vintage inspiration: 40s playtogs

As the halfway point of this pregnancy draws closer and closer (how did it sneak up on me like this?! lol.), I’ve been finding myself musing over teeny tiny clothes for the Blueberry. Hopefully, we’ll find out soon what the baby’s gender is, so I can really get started on planning a cute wardrobe! I have a real weakness for baby and toddler clothes from the 1920s through 40s, and these pages show some really adorable pieces I’d love to have in the nursery’s dresser drawers. Gingham! Rompers! Cute little sunbonnets! What’s not to love? I’ve decided, no matter what the Blueberry is (meaning boy or girl!) I need to make some little shorts overalls like the ones on the bottom of the last page for next summer. I suspect if this baby is anything like SH and I, it’ll be a scooter and have the proverbial “ants in it’s pants” even at an early age… ;)

P.S. Thank you for the words of concern and good health for my mom in the previous post. She has been so touched and heartened by reading those!

October 23, 2012 · 24 lovely thoughts
posted in baby diary · tags: , ,

Gillian October 23, 2012 at 07:03

Those are so cute!


Brigid October 23, 2012 at 07:20

Those are adorable! I could so see you dressing your little “blueberry” in those clothes when he/she arrives! :)

The middle sister and singer


Laura D October 23, 2012 at 07:26

50s era toddler clothes are awesome, too. Casey, you haven’t sewn little kid clothes, so you probably don’t know. I know I didn’t. Size 1/2 is not six months. My little Imp is currently a 1/2, and she’s 18 months. Infant-size patterns are HTF in vintage. There’s layettes out there, but “toddler” sizes don’t fit until they’re well into walking. Then again, Imp started a bit early, ’cause she figured out how to crawl, pull herself up, and cruise around the furniture all in the same week… at seven months.

There are some re-releases out there–Simplicity has four–though some of their re-relases are out of print again. Three are layettes, one is a toddler dress and bonnet that they went down to infant sizes with. Infant sizes are done according to weight, not measurements, though things like length are still important measurements to have. My advice is to start measuring the Blueberry early, so by the time it’s a toddler, it will be used to being measured. Less tantrums that way.

Vintage kid patterns are also insanely short by modern standards. My advice is to check finished measurements on the back of the pattern, and compare it to a modern one and to your measurements. I routinely add 10 inches to vintage dresses for my girls. The dresses look more like tops because they’re so short! Vintage kid patterns also have higher necklines…. which kiddos don’t tend to put up with. Bit, my four-year-old niece, will claim that something is too tight if it’s got a typical vintage neckline. I cut the seam allowances off those for a slightly more modern fit.

I, too, love the sweet details in vintage kid patterns, but like all vintage sewing, there are pitfalls!


Laura D October 23, 2012 at 07:33

Oh! Most vintage patterns won’t say 1/2. They’ll say 6 months…. which they’re not. Bit didn’t measure right for those until she was almost two… and then hit a growth spurt and skipped from infant sizes to pattern size 2, where she stayed for almost two years. Imp is barely there… as in 1/8″ under, but close enough. Their cousin, Lizzy, is 2 1/2 and still in infant patterns!


Annabelle October 23, 2012 at 08:22

These are so cute! In the past when shopping for vintage patterns I would pass up children’s patterns, but now I wish I had thought twice about that. I’m looking forward to seeing Bluberry’s hand made outfits.

Vestee Sweater


Molly October 23, 2012 at 10:23

I just got a handful of 1940′s patterns for children to make for my newborn son. My favorite is the pattern for a pea coat for when he’s older.

Hope you find some darling clothes pattern. Best of luck in the last half of your pregnancy. :-)


Katrina @ Edelweiss Patterns October 23, 2012 at 16:09

Those are absolutely adorable. There’s something about the way little people were drawn back then that made them look so much cuter than children’s ads of today! What precious chubby cheeks and curly heads. : )


Jessica October 23, 2012 at 16:59

We don’t have children yet ourselves, but if that should ever happen, I’ve long maintained that I would turn to vintage (or vintage appropriate) garments first and foremost, too (at least when they were wee little youngsters). There is such a sweetness and timeless beauty to yesteryear infant and children’s clothing. Over the years I’ve been tempted on numerous occasions to buy a 40s or 50s child’s garment, even without a tyke to put it on, simply because of how beautiful they are. As of yet, I’ve not, but one day I might do just that and hang it someplace as the lovely piece of art it is.

♥ Jessica


jessica October 23, 2012 at 19:29

adorable outfits. love the illustrations.


Alli October 23, 2012 at 21:53

Sooooo cute Casey! I love all of them. Bet you can’t wait to find out if you are having a boy or girl…….so exciting!!!!! :D


Chrissy October 23, 2012 at 22:40

These are so cute. Hard to find already-made outfits like this and if you do they are really expensive. Would love to find my little girl some clothes that don’t look like miniature women’s clothes.


Maslinda October 24, 2012 at 06:49

I love the sweet details in vintage kid patterns too, but like all vintage sewing, there are traps!


Victoria / Justice Pirate October 24, 2012 at 10:37

No matter what, your child will have the coolest clothes ever.


Vintage Parenting October 24, 2012 at 11:28

What adorable patterns! Wish I could sew better then I could try making some of these. I do make vintage-inspired knits for babies and toddlers, though, so hopefully you’ll have a minute to take a look at my Etsy shop (VintageParenting) from time to time to see if anything catches your fancy. I only have one item in it right now, a 1949 romper suit, but I’m sure you can imagine how long it takes me to make them, and I’m knitting as fast as I can in order to add some more stuff soon.

Anyway, I love your blog. Keep writing! :)


Deanna October 24, 2012 at 15:17

These are adorable, Casey. I imagine you’re getting antsy yourself, waiting to find out what you’re having. :-) I hope you’re mom feels better soon. It’s so hard when our loved ones are sick. I’m glad you’re close enough to be able to be with her and help.


Eileen October 24, 2012 at 19:33

Aww, such cute little togs for tykes. I especially love the little sailor suit (you just KNOW you have to get one, boy or girl) and the little girls beach pyjamas. They’re all so adorable though.


Renee October 25, 2012 at 03:52

those little overalls are so nice. I had them for my daughter and when my granddaughter was a baby and I would dress her that is what I always put on her. She had one pair in a striped denim that was so adorable. I am looking forward to getting to buy baby things again when my daughter has her baby.

Hope your mother is feeling better.


maddie October 25, 2012 at 11:37

Whatever blueberry is, you have to dress him/her in overalls! Have to! Have to! Have to!


Vicki October 25, 2012 at 11:44

I know what you mean…when my son was born, I was obsessed with striped shirts for him that looked straight out of the 50′s.


Ashley Westmoreland October 25, 2012 at 16:50

aDOREABLE stuff. I really wish I could sew because my kids would be outfitted 40′s to 50′s all the time.


Jen October 26, 2012 at 18:08

Hi Casey – I can’t wait to see all of your gorgeous baby clothes – you are going to have the best dressed baby out there.


Brenda October 26, 2012 at 20:07

Hi Casey. :) This is my favorite sewing blog, but my first time posting. I have a bunch of vintage children’s patterns. There are a few baby overall patterns like in those pictures. I think I even have one just like the center one on that bottom picture. If you are interested I could send them to you.
I don’t need them and they might as well go to someone who appreciates them. Just let me know. And congratulations!!


Kathy October 30, 2012 at 13:40

I made some of the clothing on the last page for my son who was born in 1980. I found modern patterns that looked very similar to that page. I totally agree about measuring the child early on. My son was a 10 lb. baby and never fit new born clothes. He was always in a size that was double his age. For example, at 6 months he wore a 12 months size. I didn’t keep those baby clothing because we moved so many times but I do still have pictures of him in the short pants, sun suits and the sailor suit I made him. I also made prequilted overalls for winter. I thought that having a boy would be disappointing in the sewing dept. but it really wasn’t. Certainly I didn’t sew for him as long as I would have if I had a girl but I did make t-shirts and Halloween costumes for many years. Enjoy your pregnancy. My daughter-in-law and son are having their first child in April. Hopefully I can also sew for their child.
Best wishes.


Amy November 2, 2012 at 22:42

When I was pregnant, I obsessively collected vintage children’s patterns… but so far, my daughter (now 21 weeks) has been living in cloth nappies (um… diapers?) and woolly pants pretty exclusively, with knitted cardies on top when we go out. Not what I’d planned ;) but super-cute, and quite vintage (I’m the world’s slowest knitter, so Etsy has been awesome). If you’re thinking about cloth diapers (we use the old-fashioned flat/folding kind, from a laundry service, but I have friends who love their modern cloth diapers), lanolized woolly covers are a fabulous investment, adorable and practical. And they’re secure! My daughter is a very physical little person who has been extremely wiggly from the get-go, and she’s an early crawler, and we haven’t had one come off yet. These woollies, f’rinstance, are brilliant (I have no affiliation with the seller beyond being a repeat customer).


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