Recreating a 1950s Book Illustration…With Curtains

Last year I was looking through the children’s books at the thrift store and came across a cute book from the 1950s called Rackety -Boom.

I have a weakness for vintage illustrations, so I bought the book, even though it wasn’t in great shape (it was only 28 cents!). After I got home I flipped through the book some more and noticed the cute outfit the mom wears. She is only shown on two pages of the book (both shown above) but I instantly fell in love with her outfit!

Last Fall I made two different pairs of dungarees from a 1940s reproduction pattern (you can see more about that project HERE).

The top of the dress in the illustration reminded me so much of the dungaree top, so I immediately started making plans. I wanted to “Frankenstein” the dungaree pattern with a skirt pattern, along with self drafted pockets, to recreate the outfit from the book. I already love recreating costumes to wear to cosplay events, so why not recreate vintage clothing too?!?

You may be wondering why I made all my big plans for this project last Fall, but am just now sharing the project. The fabric. I was waiting and waiting to find the perfect fabric. I wanted a nice brown fabric in a medium weight that had a bit of a texture to it…and at a great price!

I never found that “perfect” fabric. But last week I did find two Pottery Barn curtains at the thrift store in a medium weight with a bit of texture…and at a great price! The only thing missing was the prefect brown color. I made the decision that the material was close enough (and at $2.50 it was DEFINITELY the right price!). So I finally got to start my dream project recreating a 1950s book illustration!

I vlogged the entire process so you can come along with me while I make my project. See how I altered the patterns to closer represent the original inspiration and how I drafted and sewed the pockets (my first time making this style).

Click HERE to watch the video! Make sure to stay to the end to hear what parts I love and what I didn’t like as much about the final dress.

I would love to know if you also find style inspiration from unlikely sources. If you enjoyed this style of video please let me know! It is very different from other videos I’ve made, but I really enjoyed making it. Until next time, Happy Sewing!

-Whitney

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