Fashion make-overs for a head start on spring (1950)

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Make-overs for a head start on spring

As welcome as the first spring days of March is a wardrobe pickup. It’s a good idea to begin “shopping” in the back of your closet first — you may find some discarded clothes that will respond to the kind of treatment we gave two old suits and an old raincoat.

Because the skirt back of this gray flannel suit had been damaged beyond repair by moth holes, we restyled the jacket for wear with contrasting skirts. To make a smart box-type jacket to wear belted or loose, we removed collar, separated shoulder seams and removed the two center-back panels. The still-good skirt front was used to make a new, full center-back panel. It was seamed to side-back panels, a deep pleat made, covering each seam. Shoulder line and back neckline were shaped, using old panels as guides. Side vents were made, original collar reattached. Cuffs were removed, sleeves shortened to three-quarter length and sleeve seams opened for 3 inches. Old cuffs were used as facings. We added a new lining. Detachable pique collar and cuffs were made.

A corduroy raincoat was completely restyled to make a shirt and skirt for sport or campus wear. After hood, front facings, lining and buttons were removed, right front was cut off to inner edge of buttonholes, an equal amount cut off left side-front. Then coat was cut in two, just above pockets. Shoulder seams of the raglan sleeves were taken in to remove square line and to raise neckline.

By adding a center-back pleat, excess back fullness was eliminated. Shirt was darted to fit at waistline. New collar and front facings were made from old facings. (Any pattern with a tailored, notched collar can be used as a guide.) Cuffs were removed, and at lower edge, underarm sleeve seams opened for about 3 inches. Sleeve edges were gathered to fit wrist. From leftover fabric of left front, narrow buttoned, wrist-fitting cuffs were made and attached to sleeves. Tuck-in shirttail, made from old cuffs, was stitched on.

Lower half of coat was used for new skirt. We made skirt front from old fronts, seaming them together with a side pleat at center. Skirt back was made from back, with a deep inverted pleat in the center. So that the new skirt would be long enough, we made a hip-yoke. Most of the fabric for it came from hood, the rest from scraps of front facing. Back and side-fronts of yoke were cut in one piece, 6 inches deep across back. From pocket line, yoke front was shaped up to points which meet at center-front. Two triangular insets, 5 inches long at center-front, completed the shaped yoke. Skirt was attached to yoke with a welt seam and finished with a center-back zipper and belting inside waistline.

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