Brand new shirt – from a vintage Maudella pattern (again)

I’ve made another Maudella pattern! I just can’t stop. I’m a Maudella machine.

maudella shirt 5

It’s a 70s shirt pattern that I’ve posted about before, I couldn’t resist buying it from Ebay, although I wouldn’t exactly describe my lifestyle as ‘ship and shore’, whatever that means. It includes a pattern for a rather excellent pair of 70s bellbottoms which I may make at some stage.

Photo nicked from Ebay seller as I couldn't find the envelope in my sewing room
Photo nicked from Ebay seller as I couldn’t find the envelope in my sewing room

I really liked the yokes on this pattern, and the pocket placement on the front. I can let you into a little secret though – the pockets are completely non-functional.

maudella shirt closeup

The pattern has you sew two pointy rectangles right sides together, turn them right side out, fold over the top point and topstitch the whole thing down. Does that make any sense at all? Anyway they look neat, and I never use shirt pockets anyway.

I spent a lot of time working on the shoulder and bodice fit of this pattern, but somehow forgot to account for my gorilla arms so the sleeves are too short. I mostly wear them rolled up anyway.

shirt done up

The collar has a pointy finish to the band, which you can see when it’s buttoned up to the top. I know it’s trendy but I feel like I’m suffocating when I wear shirts like this. Maybe I have a particularly thick neck (must be all that weightlifting I do).

Here’s the back, with a lovely matching pointy yoke.

maudella shirt 2

This shirt was almost entirely brought to you by Wonder Tape. If you haven’t used this, it’s a thin double-sided sticky tape that dissolves in the wash, and which you can sew through without gumming up your needle.

photo (3)

This stuff has transformed my sewing career. It’s a brilliant cheating aid for lazy people who can’t be bothered to pin and baste, like myself. I used it to stick down the yokes and pockets before topstitching them, as well as securing the button placket facing before stitching in the ditch.

The fabric is a fine dotted swiss, part of my Peter Jensen sample sale haul. Yeah, I’m still working through it! I’ve still got a metre and a half left. Not sure what to do with it. Suggestions welcome! I don’t think I need two beige shirts….

maudella shirt 6


Vintage Maudella dress in coffee coloured polka dot crepe

Well what do you know – it’s a bank holiday weekend here in the UK and the sun actually came out! And having the Monday off means I have a bit of extra time to catch up with blogging.

I’ve got so many new things to show you, but our internet at home has been broken, which has made it a bit tricky. Anyway, I’ve managed to get online now, so fingers crossed it holds out until I finish this post.

This is a new dress I made for a wedding last weekend in Scotland. It POURED with rain but it was a lovely day, and everyone was safely indoors (except for the poor bagpiper standing outside the hotel, who had huge streams of water running from his cape.)


I won this crepe fabric in a giveaway run by the lovely Rehanon. I think the coffee colour makes enormous polka-dots look quite sophisticated, and it was gorgeous to sew with.

The pattern has the same shoulder treatment as the Colette Ceylon, but it’s actually a vintage Maudella pattern which I won on Ebay for 99p! You’ve seen it before, but here’s the envelope again, just cos I love it:

maudella dress front

I’d definitely make this again – it’s pretty quick to put together, and the shoulder yokes are so cute! I did two things that really made a difference. I bought posh interfacing from the English Couture Company, which made the usual stuff I sew with look like old cardboard in comparison. And I worked very hard on adjusting this dress around the shoulders, so the sleeves aren’t sliding off for once.

Unfortunately tissue-fitting didn’t show me that the centre front neck was far too big. It looks okay, but I’m going to rip out the facing and bring that front seam in a bit. I’m loathe to start making muslins for everything, so I’ll just chalk it up to experience.

dress bodice on hanger

I probably should have lined this dress, but I didn’t have the time or the fabric, so I took the cheater’s option. That’s buying a slip from M&S to go underneath. Specifically, this one.

I heartily recommend doing this. A lot of vintage dresses aren’t lined and were designed to be worn with a matching slip, so there’s a precedent! I kept thinking ‘well I could make my own slip….’ but then I came to my senses and realised I sew for fun, and that would not be fun.

I also added belt loops using this easy-peasy Colette patterns tutorial, and felt very smug about it too (although one broke halfway through the night, boo. I was dancing quite a lot).

dress belt loop
Belt Loop Action!

So, in conclusion, hooray for Maudella patterns! As well as this dress and this skirt, I’ve made another piece of clothing from this English pattern company in May, which I will post about soon (she said unconvincingly).

Here’s another photo just to prove that I can smile in pictures:


Me-Made-May 2013 – first week! + Maudella denim skirt

So the first week of Me-Made-May 2013 has been and gone. Here’s a round-up of what I wore on days 1-4.


Man, I am bad at taking photos of myself in the mirror. How do other people manage one-handed phone selfies? It’s so hard! I was complaining about this to my boyfriend but he just laughed at me for using the word ‘selfie’, which is basically a fair comment.

Anyway, you might be able to spot my black and white dress, my brown jeans, my Moss denim skirt, and this blue floral dress which I’ve since shortened into a top.

I’m pleased that I’ve managed to wear 90% me-made clothes, except for knitwear (can’t give up my knitwear). There’s a few new things I haven’t blogged yet. One is a denim skirt from a 70s pattern, which I also wore today:


It doesn’t look so great with tights so it’s been languishing in a drawer until this week, but I think it’ll be a summer staple.

The pattern is a Maudella classic, very kindly sent to me by Kestrel Makes. The fabric is £1 a metre denim from the Peter Jensen sample sale. Yes, I’m still working my way through my massive PJ haul.

maudella skirt

I added slash pockets from a Burda pattern, ripped off from inspired by the Hollyburn from Sewaholic. Pockets are an essential in a denim skirt, don’t you think? I also added lots of jeans-style topstitching, and a lapped zipper using this tutorial.

denim skirt collage

Here’s a top tip – don’t try and hem a heavy denim skirt by turning it up twice and stitching. The hem will keep flipping up no matter how much you iron it. You’ll have to undo the whole stupid thing, then re-sew it using some yellow bias-binding you have lying around. At least that’s my experience.

I’m looking forward to the rest of the month! My sewing has been super-productive lately, the May challenge is really getting me inspired. I’ve got lots of new things to show you as soon as I’ve got some decent photos.

Maudella patterns from the 60s and 70s

Fun fact of the day: Did you know that New Look patterns actually started out as Maudella, a British company? It was set up in 1937 in Yorkshire. Now owned by Simplicity, of course. I’ve never sewn a New Look pattern, but I love Maudella.

maudella new look

You can still find super-old Maudella patterns on Ebay, but my favourites are from the 60s/70s era. They mostly put out simple separates and dresses, and they’re so go-ahead, so peppy, so Helen Gurley Brown-era Cosmopolitan reader.

I’ve got two in my collection. Firstly this sweetheart dress with puffed sleeves, which I got for 99p on Ebay. 70s patterns are still going cheap at the moment, but I think more people are looking for them.

Will the same thing ever happen to those 80s monstrosities all over Etsy, I wonder? Who will rehabilitate the immense puffed sleeve?
maudella dress front

This pattern may actually be from the late 60s, not 70s at all. I love the dolly shoes. Clarks are doing a similar vintage style at the moment that I’m coveting.

My other Maudella find is this one, which Kerrie kindly sent me. This is a hard-working pattern: you get a double-darted pencil skirt for weekdays in the typing pool, and a long floral a-line number for relaxing in at the weekend, crocheting a new afghan perhaps. The woman on the left has some extreme pointy nails going on.

maudella skirt

Maudella patterns don’t pop up that much on Ebay and Etsy.  I’m kind of in love with this ‘Ship n Shore Leave’ beauty that’s currently available.


These people don’t seem to belong to the same pattern, with Ms. Flower Power on the right, a homage to Chairman Mao at the back, and God-knows-what on the left. Funky chef’s uniform?

The illustrations are nearly always great on Maudella envelopes. I’ll leave you with this beauty, which is rather risque for a vintage pattern. Check out the lady in pink at the bottom, going for some tan-line-free sunbathing…