Oct 28, 2013

Vintage Winter White

I'm not sure why, but when I start thinking about winter and the holiday season I get all nostalgic.  I love looking at pictures of the holidays during the 50's.  Everything seemed to be so much simpler then.  (Although, I wouldn't really know since I wasn't born yet!)  So it was natural for me to be drawn to a vintage vibe when it came to the winter white challenge.

I gathered all the white and cream things I had in my stash and gave some thought as to what I could do.  I decided on a stretch lace formal gown, a sheer curtain panel, a drapery panel, a piece of ultra suede, and a bag of pearls.  Later I added a linen blouse with crocheted lace.

The Dress

You'll use the excess fabric and lining for your new sleeves.
Prep for your new sleeves by doing the following:

I used a long-sleeve t-shirt as a pattern for my new 3/4 length sleeves.

Stitch the side seams of the lining together.  Do the same with the fabric.  Place the lining inside the sleeve, wrong sides together.  Baste around the bottom and top edges.

Hem one edge of the flounce.

Fit the sleeve to your armhole, pin and stitch in place.
Hem your new dress.

The Capelet

Make a pattern for your capelet from scrap fabric.  My drapery fabric was 38" wide so I made my circle the same, but its up to you on how long you want your capelet to be.

I drew the hood freehand, then cut it out.  I allowed enough at the bottom so that it would gather nicely onto the capelet.  If you're unsure, you could use a hood from a jacket or coat as a pattern.  I wanted my hood to be on the bigger side.  You can see from the picture that the front edge measured 15".

Make a mock-up of your capelet by sewing the hood together and attaching it to the capelet.  Adjust as necessary.  You'll notice that your shoulders lift the capelet on each side making it appear longer in the front and back.  I chose to trim off a bit from the front and back so it appeared to be the same length all the way around.  I also chose to trim some from the front edge, starting at about 2 1/2" in at the bottom edge and tapering it to nothing at the neck.  Once you're happy with the pattern, take the mock-up capelet apart and cut your pieces from the fabric and the lining.  Begin by sewing the curved seam of the hood fabric and lining.

When attaching the hood, pin it to the fabric only, you'll add the lining on the next step.  Be sure to pin the hood about 5/8" in from each edge of the neck opening to allow for a seam allowance.

Make a loop for your button closure by following the steps below:

Trim the end and corner before turning.

Cut off the amount you need to fit around your button.  Pin it to the top edge of the capelet.

The Skirt

Set aside the skirt panels for now.
Cut a belt your desired size from fabric.  Allow enough to overlap in the back by about 2".  I used Ultra Suede because its what I had in the color I wanted.  Also cut a piece of lining and fusible interfacing.  Fuse the interfacing onto the belt.

I wanted the edge of the belt to have piping, but its not necessary.

Gather your skirt panels to fit onto the belt.  Stitch in place along the bottom edge of the belt.

Attach hook and eye closures to the belt.

The Clutch

For the above long rectangle, I cut it the width of the fabric.
For these additional rectangles, the length was determined by the length of my finished clutch, doubled, plus seam allowances.  The width was determined by the width of my half circle and cut the same.

Baste your interfacing to one of the half circles and one of the body rectangles.
Use the long rectangular piece to gather for ruching on the front flap of the clutch.

Place your lining and clutch front, right sides together.  Stitch around the curved edge.  Trim and turn.

Box the corners of the lining.
Pin lining to front edge of clutch, right sides together.

Secure with a snap.  Attach a decorative button to the front.

The muff was made from a furry blanket scrap, lined with polar fleece.

 Be sure to check out the other winter white refashions over at the Renegade Seamstress and vote for your favorite!  This is the last week!  UPDATE: Voting is over for this challenge.

I like to link to these great parties!


  1. very nice outfits! :)
    hugs from Brazil


    1. Thanks Cintia! BTW, my son spent two years in the southern part of Brazil!

  2. Wow - a lot of work, and beautiful results. How neat that you made the extras, too - the clutch and the muff. You are a talented lady!

  3. Adorable! I think the vintage look suits you! Your snowy scenes are a spectacular addition to your Vintage Winter White ensemble! Good luck...you know I'm cheering for you!

    1. Thanks Kathy...I appreciate the support! When are you going to get your sewing machine going in high gear? You would do some fantastic refashions!

  4. Wow! Susan, you must never sleep. So many creative details. I love the lace belt and the capelet. I can't believe you even made muffs. Wonderful job!

    1. Thanks Trisha! I thought you did a fabulous job with your wedding dress refashion! So brave!

  5. This is a be-a-utiful outfit, Susan! Every week, I am so impressed with your workmanship- you do such wonderful work. I love vintage looks, and you did a lovely job of capturing it. The caplet is adorable! I'll have to add that to my ever growing list of things to make. :) You certainly go the extra mile with all of your accessories! Wonderful job.

    1. Thanks again, Desarae! Yes, you'll have to make a capelet, they're quite fun! I'm thinking about doing one in a heavier winter fabric, maybe a bit longer, too.

  6. I love this!!!!I featured you this week at Boogieboard Cottage, Take care, Mary

    1. Thanks Mary! And, thanks for the feature...its always nice to get noticed!

  7. You look so Noble in it , i hope the Prince will dress accordingly ..
    I feel white in Winter is great.

    1. Thanks! I guess I'll just have to make sure the prince coordinates with my ensemble!

  8. Wonderful Susan! It really had the 50's vibe! I love it.

    1. Thanks Magda! I was hoping that the 50's vibe would show through!

  9. Wonderful, Susan! Especially the capelet: I love it so much!
    Xxx, Irma from Italy

  10. Definitely a great 50s feel to this outfit. I just love the clutch... a timeless style!!!

  11. Congratulations on winning the Renegade Seamstress competition. I voted for you every time as I am so impressed with your skills. I have been following you for ages - since I first found you via Altered Couture. Love what you do, what a lot of work - well done

    1. Thank you so much for your support! How cool that you found me via Altered Couture! It's such a fun magazine with so many wonderful ideas. Thanks for following along...I hope I can continue to inspire!


Thanks for taking the time to comment. I appreciate the feedback and always look forward to reading what you have to say! Susan