Handmade Wardrobe
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Simplicity 4903 in Baby Corduroy

Well, it’s the end of December and I have made it through half of the vintage items I pledged to make! And two of them are the same pattern… What can I say, I loved the first one and wanted to get the fit to be a little better. This version is better, because I can breath and move, but it still needs a little work.

After I made my first version of Simplicity 4903, I said I was going to leave the bodice length as is and do a 1 inch FBA. With the FBA and the slight ease of the corduroy I have a bodice that is a little bit too big. I can’t seem to win! I guess I’ll just have to make a third version. I wonder how this top would look partnered with the Anna dress skirt. Hmm.

The sleeves of version 1 were too tight so I lowered the armsyce and gathered the sleeve head less, which worked like a charm! I’ve had to make this change to a few patterns so I’m wondering if I just have a big shoulder/bicep area?

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This fabric is heavenly. Ever since Elizabeth Olwen posted her Francoise dress on Instagram I’d been pining for her baby wale corduroy in the same print. The print reminds me so much of a jumpsuit my mom had as a kid that got passed down to me. As if my cross eye didn’t give the kids enough reason to pick on me, yes I wore my moms hand me downs from the 70’s. What can I say. I was into vintage clothes as early as 1st grade! It’s fitting that this baby wale corduroy it’s made by Cloud 9, because that’s where I feel like I am when I wear it. Here are a few reasons why I love it:

  • Baby wale corduroy has the perfect amount of ease. I wouldn’t say it’s stretchy, but it kind of moves with you.
  • Baby wale corduroy is incredible easy to sew with. If the word stretch made you think this fabric would be shifty, think again. The wales kind of cling together so this fabric doesn’t move as you sew.
  • The wales can hide a multitude of sins. My gathered skirt has a small pucker around one of the side seams, but the mix of busy print and the wales hides it completely. No unpicking for me!
  • Thread just disappears in it. I used navy blue thread and you can’t even see it. I would again credit this to a mix of a busy print and the wales, but I just top stitched my sleeves and the hem and you can’t even tell.

I wear this dress all the time! Three special events included a spirit tasting event for work, Thanksgiving and to an important client meeting. I feel put together and comfy all at the same time in it.

Wearing it with my brown leather boots has been my favorite, but it looks great with flats too and let’s be honest, my feet are cut off in these pictures because I wore it with my moccasin type slippers!

Unfortunately I don’t think I will hit my goal of 6 vintage makes for the year. I’ve started on number 4, my coat, but I just haven’t had time to dedicate to it and now the year has 5 days left. I really want to get the welt pockets right so I’m not rushing it!


  1. Pingback: 2015 Review & Looking Ahead | Sweet Carolanne

  2. Wow you were really really blessed that your mother had saved all her clothes since then. I wished I had. Mom had some lady hand-do all of our clothes, and oh man they were really good items to have had. Linen play-suits, baby wale “cords” (as in another comment I made earlier, they were called ‘cords’ in those days, as in I’m wearing a pair of brown ‘cords’) you are an apt seamstress for sure, and those outfits are darling on you. Knowing how to make one’s own clothing is a valuable skill, not to mention a cool skill: you’ll never be lacking in the ‘what to wear’ department as long as you’ve got material.

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