Vintage Tattooed Ladies

After writing my post on my tattoo plans, I started searching for more photos of tattooed women from back in the day. Obviously it was not the done thing at the time and the tattooed lady was a regular feature of the travelling freak show. Luckily times have changed but I can’t help but wonder what these women were like and why they chose to get tattooed.

vintage tattoo 1940s

vintage tattoo

Tattooed older folks also help to rebut the oft-used argument against getting tattoos: “That tattoo looks good now but it will look horrible when you’re old!” In fact, the tattooed elderly look pretty darn awesome.

elderly tattoo


If the muslin fits…


Yesterday I went on a muslin making spree. I had to resize my pattern first because it was about 3 inches off. I thought the new pattern still looked a bit too big but after I’d sewed the darts on the muslin it fit me like glove. I’m a bit nervous about having a go with the real fabric because I bet I need to make quite a few adjustments anyway. The fabric I used for the muslin is more supple than the one I’ll use for the real thing and has a tiny bit of stretch. Maybe the fabric will soften a bit after I pre-wash it. The fabric is cotton in a mint colour, kind of like this:


One strange thing is that the version I’m making, view 3 (the yellow one in the picture) has no closure in the design at all. I think this is nuts. It would have to be huge for me to be able to slip it on. Or maybe in a stretchy material, but to me it seems like the design needs a structured fabric. Simplicity pattern makers of 1958, what on earth were you thinking? I’m definitely going to have to add a zip. View 1 and 2 have instructions for adding a zip so it shouldn’t be too hard to figure it out.

Sewing the real thing is going to require a lot of patience because this time it actually has to look neat… I’ve also got facings and trimmings to contend with but all in all, it’s going quite well so far!

First Vintage Sewing Project

Simplicity 2522

I bought a vintage pattern! I like to sew things and have some experience in making small items and adjusting clothing but I’ve never made an actual piece of clothing. I’m currently housebound because of a stubborn knee injury so it’s the perfect time to learn how to make my own clothes. As you can see I’ve gone for something that looks relatively easy and could fit in with a modern wardrobe. I also made sure to pick something I could wear right now (no dresses or skirts until the hot weather arrives I’m afraid because I can’t wear tights) so I can have the satisfaction of wearing it when I’m done. I’ll probably start off with view 1 or 3 since they’re sleeveless and I don’t want to end up with an arm in the wrong place :D. Ideally I’d like it to be an ‘authentic’ colour/pattern for the late 1950s. I suppose I should just look at other patterns for colour inspiration. I’m excited to start my first vintage sewing project!

Style alert: Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday (1953)

The off duty princess look. Simple, comfortable and elegant.

audrey hepburn, roman holiday

Style alert: Betty Schaefer in Sunset Boulevard (1950)

betty schaefer, sunset boulevard



Her style is very professional and neat looking and I love the added feminine touch of her hair bow.