Stitching Up the Lilly Rose Pattern


Lilly Rose Pattern

My friend Lorna McKenzie of The Tailor’s Apprentice asked me in 2011 to review the Lilly Rose pattern she was developing from an original 1940s design. Unfortunately, I had just moved to Kenya and was expecting a new baby at the time, so I never did get around to sewing the dress. But I can’t stand leaving a project undone, so five years later (!!!) I asked Lorna if I could still stitch up the pattern and provide feedback. She graciously sent me a review copy, and I got started! Read more…

Rebecca’s 1940s Swing Dress


1940s swing dress pic 2

I have always been inspired by vintage fashion since I was a young teen and thought the clothing so glamorous and practical compared to modern fashions today. As a young woman I wanted more dresses in my wardrobe, so in 2010 I sewed up Jennie’s marvelous swing dress pattern for the first time. Since then I have completed two swing dresses from the pattern and always get compliments when I wear them. Read more…

Thilda’s Swing-Style Blouses



I was always looking for a blouse for my 40’s dresses and I was so happy to found your pattern for the “Swing Style Blouse”. I had never expected to have so much fun while I was sewing the first one. The pattern is so well explained that I finished it in only 6 hours! I was so happy that I started with the 2nd one. For both blouses I used fine cotton and pearl buttons. Now my 40’s dresses are complete. Thank you for your fantastic patterns. Read more…

Fashion Inspiration: My Glamorous Grandparents (Part 2)


My father at two months old. Don't his parents look proud?

In my first post, I covered my grandparents’ early history in Hollywood up to the point where “Pop” asked his US Army Air Forces superiors to consider sending him overseas to join the air war instead of working in recruitment and training. They granted that request, and he immediately transferred to North Island to learn to fly Lockheed’s brand new P-38 “Lightning” before joining the 48th Fighter Squadron, 14th Fighter Group, serving in North Africa. Read more…

Fashion Inspiration: My Paternal Grandparents


Thelma Jean Robbins

From my earliest memories, I have loved to play “dress up,” and a large portion of my play wardrobe came from my paternal grandmother’s cast-offs. I remember teetering around on silver high heels in a sparkly red chiffon dress liberally sprinkled with rhinestones. How I wish now that I’d known what I was wearing and saved it, but–alas!–that particular dress got worn to death and ended up in shreds long before I could appreciate its real value. Thankfully, my grandmother kept back a lot of her favorite clothes for me to enjoy as an older teenager, and I still have several beautiful pieces. Read more…

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