2017 Review of Sewing, Crocheting & Hat Making

Happy New Year! Yes, it’s that time of year again when I look back over the last 12 months and review all the vintage garments I’ve made.

It’s been an odd kind of a year because I was much more focused on what I want to create, rather than just making random things just for the sake of it. I also added crocheting and hat making to my list of hobbies, so it was strange not to completely concentrate on sewing. At one point I was actually beginning to miss sewing so much that I had to force myself to drop everything else and get back to it. As a result, I was slightly worried about doing this roundup because I didn’t think I’d made that much, but I guess, once again, I was wrong.

1930s vintage dress

I actually completed my 1930s Ruffles Almost-Vintage Dress at the very tail end of 2016, but it wasn’t featured on the blog until January of 2017, which is why it’s included. It was made using an original 1940s rayon crepe in pale Airforce blue, modern white crepe and an original 1930s Anne Adams pattern. Despite absolutely loving this dress, I didn’t actually wear it at all during 2017 and I have absolutely no idea why. Come the summer this year, though, I will defintiely be digging it out of my wardrobe.

1930s winter plaid jacket

My 1930s winter plaid jacket was also finished at the very tail end of 2016, but the whole outfit didn’t come together until early 2017, with the majority of it being made by me. The jacket was created using a 1930s reproduction pattern from Mrs Depew and beautiful multicolour plaid wool from Ditto Fabrics. The navy crochet beret and navy crochet scarf were also both made by me, as was the 1930s brown wool crepe skirt.

I have worn the jacket so many times in 2017 and I’m sure I will continue to do so this year. It has become such a staple in my wardrobe and I team it with so many of my skirts and trousers. it’s the perfect piece of outerwear for those not-quite-so-cold days.

1930s mustard crochet jumper and hat

This 1930s mustard crochet jumper and hat was my first big, and I mean big, project of 2017. This was my second ever attempt at crocheting a jumper and it still remains the one I’m most proud of. It was made using an original Bear Brand pattern from 1932 and WYS Signature 4 Ply Sweet Shop yarn in their beautiful butterscotch colour. I made the hat to match in the same yarn but using a Fleisher’s pattern from 1933. I actually made another version of it for the winner of my blogiversary competition, which you can see here.

As much as I love this jumper I haven’t worn it that much due to it being incredibly warm. However, it was such a blessing on the snowy days we had back in December and it was great to actually look stylish in those low temperatures, rather than throwing on an old worn out modern garment!

Brandenburger Tor - Berlin

These kelly green 1930s style wide leg trousers made a very brief appearance on the blog back in the early summer when I wore them to Berlin. I made them using some left over wool suiting I bought way back in the 1990s. The pattern was created by adapting an original 1970s wide leg trouser pattern and comparing it to photos of original 1930s trousers. They have the classic 1930s low crotch and natural waist finish, which makes them so incredibly comfortable to wear. I have plans to make several more versions of these in different colours because they’re a brilliant staple piece.

Late 1930s burgundy hat

This 1930s style burgundy wool felt hat was my very first attempt at hand blocking millinery. At the time I was extremely happy that I’d actually managed to do it, but I haven’t worn it at all since this photo was taken. The problem is that I can now see my mistakes and it irritates me when I look at it. However, it was a great learning experience and I went on from this to create one of my most favourite hats ever!

Late 1930s Tulip Dress

And this is it! My late 1930s tulip dress and halo hat is one of my most favourite outfits of the whole of 2017. The hat is the perfect shape for my face and the day this photo was taken I got a lot of compliments about it. I added a cute brooch I crocheted of purple stemmed flowers, which can easily be removed and changed for something else, making it perfect for mixing and matching with other outfits.

The dress, however, has been worn many, many times over the last six months. It was made using vintage fabric, which I got as part of a big haul, and an original early 1940s pattern that I bought from ‘Til The Sun Goes Down. I adapted the skirt part to make it look more 1930s and more me!  It’s so comfortable to wear and there are so many gorgeous 1930s details, making it my most favourite dress. However, the only problem now is that I’ve broken that amazing belt buckle. Noooo! There was a lot of swearing and cursing myself for being so clumsy, but I’ve got over it and I’m now on the hunt for a replacement.

1930s feedsack print dress

Despite the many problems my 1930s dust bowl dress gave me whilst making it, I actually ended up falling in love with it. It was so perfect for the various scorching hot days we had over the late summer and kept me nice and cool. It was made using a reproduction 1930s pattern from My Vintage Wish on Etsy and reproduction 1930s print quilting cotton. It’s quite possibly the most 1930s looking fabric I’ve ever used but the weight of it was awful for this style of dress. However, I’m now thinking about using similar quilting cotton for curtains in my spare room as the weight will be perfect for those.

1940s chevron striped crochet jumper

My 1940s chevron stripe crochet jumper was actually completed back in April but I didn’t feature on the blog until late September. It was made using the most irritating original 1940s pattern that had so many mistakes in it and vital pieces of information left out of it. Another vintage gal on Instagram posted a jumper her mum had made for her using the same pattern and she said her mum had just as many problems as I did. The yarn was a gorgeous bamboo/cotton mix by King Cole with a lovely drape and I chose three very 1930s colours that contrasted beautifully.

1940s ethically produced dress

In early October I completed my ethically produced 1940s gingham dress. It was a journey that started earlier in the year after watching The True Cost documentary. I wanted to really consider every piece of fabric, every notion and every bit of haberdashery I used whilst producing an era authentic garment. It was a great experience and I absolutely love the result. I haven’t actually worn the dress yet, apart from the day I photographed it, because the weather turned cold after that weekend. However, this will be my first go-to dress come the summer. I will also be continuing to really consider the materials I use in the future with everything I make.

1930s Crochet Parisian Stripe Blouse

The last piece of crochet I featured on the blog in 2017 was my 1930s crochet Parisian striped blouse. This was made using an original Paris Sponsors Crochet Book by The Spool Cotton Company from 1935. I used DMC Petra size 5 crochet thread in emerald and white to create a really crisp look. This was my first crochet garment made in crochet thread and boy did I notice the difference. It’s so tiny compared to wool yarn and you need to use a tiny hook, which means it takes forever to make. However, it was worth it in the end, this jumper is sooooo 1930s!

1930s winter coat in teal wool and brown

My last, and favourite, creation of the year is this 1930s winter coat in dark teal and brown. I made it using a beautiful textured pure wool from Dragonfly Fabrics and buttons from the lovely Kitty Lou Vintage. The pattern was half self-drafted and half from an original 1930s tailoring pattern drafting book from the late 1930s. Almost everything else I wore with it to create this outfit, including the gorgeous matching dark teal hat, was original 1930s vintage.

This coat has very rapidly become the most practical garment I’ve made to date. I wear it all the time and it is so cosy when the temperature really drops, especially when I team it with my new-to-me 1930s style lace up boots. This is the first winter where I haven’t resorted to modern clothing to keep warm on any occasion, which feels like such a great achievement.

And there you have it! There are a few things that I made in 2017 that still haven’t made it to the blog, either because they’re just boring practical pieces or I just haven’t got around to photographing them. These include two 1930s skirts, one in navy linen and one in grey wool, a 1930s style red crochet beret (post coming soon), a super chunky mustard coloured crochet scarf, a peach coloured 1930s short sleeve crochet cardigan and a cute vintage style knitted and crocheted cushion.

Looking forward, I’m going to stick to my more focused approach. It not only helps to fill up those rapidly shrinking holes in my wardrobe but also allows me to create pieces that are methodically produced to a much higher quality. I’m sure they’ll be plenty more sewing and crocheting in 2018, but I also hope to create a few more hats, as well as finally tackling embroidery. I can’t wait!


Just a vintage gal suffering from the Golden Age syndrome. A lover of all things old, especially the 1930s, seamstress, crocheter, maker of hats and enjoys rummaging at flea markets.


  1. OMG, what a wonderful summary of 2017! Happy new year and all the best to you and all your wonderful projects. Man alive, how much closet space do you have??!!!

    • Thank you Carol! I’m actually lucky enough to have a walk-in wardrobe in my smallest room. It’s not quite full yet, but it’s getting that way! xx

  2. Wow, you really made some gorgeous pieces last year. You might have just recently taken up crocheting, but I’m totally in love with that mustard jumper and hat combo, as well as the 1930s green and white striped blouse. But my favourite of all must be your amazing coat! xxx

    • Aw, thank you Ann! I think my makes from last year are defintiely the ones I’m most proud of. xx

  3. Though at one time I was a skinny 20 year old, I no longer am…I’m a 50 year old w/ a body that comes along with time. It is so inspiring to see a non-20 something rocking the every-day vintage styles. Thank you for sharing your beautiful talents! 🙂

    • Aw, thank you Lydia, that’s so sweet of you! Big up the over 40s!! xx

  4. Gosh, I absolutely love everything you’ve made! I am in awe of your sewing and crochet skills – a truly impressive output.

    • Oh, thank you Helena! 2017 was definitely a good year in terms of being creative and it was great to look back on each achievement. xx

  5. I have a yellow belt buckle, probably form the 30’s or 40’s in my stash that I can send you as a replacement for your broken one.
    It’s 5,5 cm long and 3 cm high. I can email a pic of it if you are interersted.

    • Yes, please do and could you let me know the exact shade of yellow, as the yellow in the dress is a very particular yellow? Thanks!

  6. You really had an industrious year….and such well made makes. I really must try some proper summer crochet this year! inspired!

    • Thank you Eimear! It’s weird, I actually didn’t think I’d made that much, so it’s good to see them all together in one place and realise the complete opposite. I look forward to seeing any crochet project you do! xx

  7. What a year! You made so many beautiful items in 2017. My favourite are the kelly green wide-leg trousers and the mustard crochet jumper. I’m looking forward to reading about your projects this year! x Gwen

    • Aw, thank you Gwen! Yes, I love those green trousers too, they’ll definitely be more of those in different colours in the future. xx

  8. Such beautiful work! I loved seeing these garments again! You made so many amazing items in 2017 (and the tail-end of 2016!). Happy New Year Cate!

  9. So many lovely things, but I think that the coat remains my favourite. It’s great to hear that the Dust Bowl dress came good in the end! xx

    • Thank you Elaine! Yes, even i think that coat is a bit special. I’m so glad I made it and I will definitely use the pattern again in some capacity. xx

  10. I’m glad you talked more about those wide leg trousers. I noticed them in your post about Berlin and meant to ask if you made them and what fabric you used (it looks like they drape beautifully). I made some wide leg trousers last year that I wear constantly and they are starting to show it. I want to make more but I also want to alter my pattern to have a higher waist and I haven’t quite figured out the best way to do that. I can’t wait to see all the fabulous things you’ll make this year!

    • Yes, the fabric for those trousers is beautiful. I originally bought it, and several other brightly coloured wool suitings, from a supplier in London who supplies the Royal family with theirs! I bought them for my final year collection at fashion college and even now still have some of the purple and royal blue left. I have plans for both at some point. xx

  11. Happy New Year. Wishing you a happy and creative 2018. You made the most glorious garments last year, each one is stunning. I love seeing them and look forward to seeing those yet to be photographed. So much inspiration.

    • Aw, thank you Kate-Em! I’m looking forward to seeing your makes too. xx

  12. What an amazing collection of clothes you made last year. The Parisian crochet blouse is my favourite -it’s amazing, but I love so many of your makes I’d be here all day if I were to list them.
    Looking forward to seeing what you make in 2018.
    Happy New Year!

    • Thank you Norma! I can’t wait to wear that Parisian blouse again once it gets a bit warmer. xx

  13. I really do love vintage clothing and especially when it’s matched with an era, great post and I loved the photos.

  14. Your closet must be out of this world wonderful! What a great year of fashion created by you. Great job once again Cate!

    • Aw, thank you! I’m so much happier with my wardrobe than previous years, particularly through this winter. It feels so good to wear vintage even when it’s very cold. xx

  15. Absolutely gorgeous work. I envy your skill and admire how beautifully you dress. Definitely inspirational. I will tackle this 1930s jumper/sweater pattern! Won’t let it beat me.

    • Aw, thank you! Yes, I’m like that with projects, I try never to let any of them beat me, even if I have to put them aside for a while and have a break from them. xx

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