Vintage Simplicity 6345 top

Bit of a two-for-one in this post, self-drafted maxi-skirt and vintage Simplicity 6345 in which I’m looking smug and pleased with myself.

Simplicity 6345 and maxi-skirtMore on the skirt in a later post. . . This top is something I adapted from this 1974 Simplicity pattern (yet another one snaffled from my mum’s collection). I particularly enjoy the version on the left there. Dig that feathery armpit detail.

Simplicity 6345

The pattern pieces were all lovingly cut out and were so soft and worn. It’s such a pleasure to work with these old pre-loved patterns, they seem to have this quiet form of tactile history and I love thinking of someone else using the very same paper pieces. The fact that this was more than likely used by my mum or my mum’s mum makes me especially nostalgic. I like to imagine what they eventually made and how they made the garment, did they finish the dress? Were they crawling round their living room floor shooing cats away? And did they choose a bastard thin fabric like I did?

I used a very thin and delicate fabric which led to a lot of me shouting “toughen up and stop being such a princess!” at it during the sewing process. It got caught in the feed dogs of my machine, threads pulled and distorted and it slipped around something terrible. To deal with this nonsense, I put tracing paper under the fabric as I sewed and it worked a treat.

It took me a while to figure out how the ruffles worked as I didn’t have any instructions in the envelope (where did they get to? And who put that yellowing sticky-tape on that piece? More pattern mysteries). The piece said “cut 3” and in retrospect, I now see that one is to go across the front, two go around the side and meet at the back. But I went ahead and cut two pieces slightly modified, one for the front, one for the back. I didn’t fancy having it ruffle all up under my armpits.

I also changed the front bodice so it was one piece rather than two and after a lot of deliberating about whether to use buttons and button loops at the back, I realised I could just get it over my head without messing about with all that and simply sewed it up.

I considered edging the ruffles in a tiny ribbon of tea-dyed lace but just zig-zagged the edges and I kind of like how it looks like it’s frayed, it’s a softer, more blurred finish but I think that softer silhouette works.

Getting the shoulder straps right was a bit of a pain so I went for a tie at the top. So, so much easier. Looking back, I can barely remember the grief this material choice caused me and I’m glad I stuck with it. I think my sewing-based, problem-solving skills are getting a lot better!


About Vanessa

Sewing and assorted nonsense. For reasons that escape me, I left the sunshine and beaches of Australia for the crisps and glitter of London in 2001. I now live in the middle of some kind of feline drop-in centre in East London battling for space to make costumes and clothes. Over on twitter and instagram as @smittenness Email over here ------>
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16 Responses to Vintage Simplicity 6345 top

  1. Gjeometry says:

    Oh, you do look smug and pleased with yourself and you also look beautiful. Lovely outfit!! Great job drafting the skirt.

  2. Jo says:

    ooh that’s gorgeous! well done on the slippery fabric – I have such a fear of them I just avoid completely. looking forward to hearing more about that lovely skirt too!

  3. sewexhausted says:

    Such a pretty top! The color is wonderful on you! And I can’t wait to hear about the skirt… I LOVE the button detailing! ~Laurie

  4. sewbusylizzy says:

    I love this top and the ruffle. I keep thinking a small ruffle across the top of the Saltspring dress would be lovely…

  5. cjgal says:

    This is super cute! I’ve never tried ruffles before, this is lovely. I love the soft color of this, it will go with a lot!

  6. ksgentry says:

    I love the ruffles and the fabric looks so soft and supple. I too love vintage patterns and wonder what was made previously. Recently I decided that when sewing with any pattern I will print a picture of what I made and the date it was made. Perhaps in several years when someone decides to use this pattern they will enjoy the snapshot!

    • smittenness says:

      That’s a lovely idea! I know my mum has loads of pics of stuff she made from these patterns, I just need to be on the same side of the world so I can scan them : (

  7. Amy says:

    Beautiful! What sort of fabric is it? It looks like silk.

  8. Pella says:

    Love the flounce, and the colour!

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