Category: dubarry

Finished Project: Vanilla Layer Cake Dress


Vanilla Layer Cake dress, 1950s inspired. Self-drafted.

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I started this dress five months ago. It certainly didn’t take five months to make, but a lot happened in five months. I used a lightweight textured cotton and lined the bodice top. I trimmed the sleeves with yellow lace. I still have no idea if I can pull of circle skirts but I definitely feel like a princess in this dress.

Finished project: DuBarry 5390, circa 1940s



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Pattern used: DuBarry 5390, circa 1940s


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Fabric used: Cotton voile, in orange floral

Pattern notes: I made this pattern 3x already and won’t be reviewing it thoroughly. These are my notes that are particular for this version. I ran out of fabric for the skirt part and had to go back to the fabric store for 1 yard of fabric. Lesson learned! Don’t skimp when buying fabric just because you can save $7. This project took twice as long because of that. I inserted an invisible side zipper that took twice as long because I was watching Angel and not paying attention. However mishaps aside, this is my favorite version of this pattern so far.

Work in Progress: DuBarry 5390



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I recently started work on my tried and true shirt-dress pattern, DuBarry 5390. I’m using a cotton voile in an orange and black floral print.

Finished Project: DuBarry 5390, Plain Red

duBarry5390-red-plain-oSide view.

duBarry5390-red-plain-mSide view.

duBarry5390-red-plain-nFront view.

duBarry5390-red-plain-pCloseup of buttons.

duBarry5390-red-plain-lOn the dressform.

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Pattern used:


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I used a polyester/cotton for the fabric. It has a good drape to it, and is a strong neutral red. If I don’t finish my planned dress for the holiday season, this will be a pretty good backup.

Construction-wise, I didn’t change anything from the first pattern. I didn’t add a belt for the waistline, and I didn’t add the pockets to the shirt. I also only put buttons on the top half, and attached an invisible zipper to the side seam. Compared to the first version, it’s impressive how authentic this dress looks with properly styled hair. The buttons could have been more evenly placed, but I can live with them as of now.

My original pattern review can be found here.

DuBarry 5390: Work in Progress

duBarry5390-red-plain-hSleeves added. There’s a puckering on the bottom of the left sleeve, but I hope it won’t be noticeable when it’s worn. Too late to unstitch now, I’ve already serged the seams along the armscye.

duBarry5390-red-plain-iCloseup of the bodice front. I just added the buttonholes, and still have to sew the buttons on.

duBarry5390-red-plain-jThe bodice is now attached to the skirt. The side is left open for the zipper.

duBarry5390-red-plain-kBean, sitting on a pile of sewing notions.

DuBarry 5390: In Progress

I had a chance to work on DuBarry 5390 over Thanksgiving break. The collar seemed really confusing (standard one-piece collar) until I inspected my last version.

Collar construction notes: After facing and sewing the two collar pieces, I ended up bagging out the collar. Then put the collar and the back/front pieces together, right sides together. Sew 1/2 inch seam across. Put the lapel flap over the collar pieces and serge the raw edge (should be at back of the neck only).

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duBarry5390-red-plain-eEsteemed Sewing Assistant, surveying the land (and the ironing board).

duBarry5390-red-plain-fEsteemed Sewing Assistant, still inspecting the ironing board in mid-bath.

duBarry5390-red-plain-gProgress so far.

Patterns I Should Not Be Buying

I have way too many patterns in my queue and don’t need any more, but I can’t resist looking. DuBarry ones are especially my favorite. I might attempt copying one of these after this project is finished, using DuBarry 5390 as a base.

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DuBarry 5503



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DuBarry 5368



DuBarry 5390, circa 1940s: The Red Version

I’m still alive and I still remember how to sew. It’s been a hectic few weeks, but things are settling down now. Hopefully this will mean a resurgence to vintage sewing.

I’ve been feeling lazy with vintage fashion as of late, defaulting into black jeans, t-shirts, and any kind of myriad outfit that’s comfortable and requires no planning. I haven’t set my hair in weeks. It’s all reflective of the stressful situation as of late. I still love vintage fashion and this will still be a blog about vintage sewing (and fashion). I hope to chronicle some outfit posts in the future in the spirit of maintaining this philosophy.

My first project in a long time is DuBarry 5390, circa 1940s. I’ve made this once before over the summer, and hope to make a winter version. I’m using a cotton/polyester blend that I picked up a few months ago, and plan to make a short sleeved version. I am grafting a simple four-gored skirt in a 40s shape instead of using the attached skirt pattern.

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duBarry5390-red-plain-aDuBarry 5390, old reliable.

duBarry5390-red-plain-bI had a can of evaporated milk that I’ve been using as a pattern weight.

duBarry5390-red-plain-cMy Esteemed Sewing Assistant, Bean, still remembers how to assist me.

duBarry5390-red-plain-d30 seconds before this shot, Bean had knocked over this entire setup by suspending his entire 20 lb. weight onto the edge of the fabric, leading all four cans and the fabric to fall to the floor.


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