Delicious Details From Cindy’s Vintage Collection

by Ramona on November 16, 2012

Hello ASG members and other readers. We have a guest post today from multi-talented Cindy Vincent. She is an author, a mystery party game developer, a prolific sewing enthusiast, collector of vintage clothing AND a member of ASG! Cindy takes you inside a few beautiful garments in her vintage collection. Read, enjoy, comment below and try these ideas in your own sewing.  Also, check out books and games by Cindy!


I have long been a student of history.  And I’m a big believer in the old axiom: those who don’t know history are bound to repeat it.  Even so, that saying isn’t necessarily true when it comes to the sewing world.  For, as fashions come and go, so do the skills, techniques and ideas that went into creating such fashions.  Thank goodness for people like Susan Khalje and Claire Schaeffer, who strive to keep the old techniques alive!  But I have found another way to help this history live on — I collect vintage clothing.  Not only have I shared my collection via magazine photos and presentations at sewing groups, but I often peruse my collection when looking for ideas or inspiration for my own sewing.

 Here are some photos of just a few of my garments:

 The first is a classic 1940s dress, meant to give an hourglass figure.

If you look closer, you’ll see one of my favorite techniques.  Instead of a dart or a princess seam to create a curve for the bustline, they’ve used a series of 2” tucks at the top and bottom to create room for the bust. Then they’ve created a fake placket by simply sewing grosgrain ribbon up the front.

The ribbon is repeated on the sleeve.  It’s such a simple technique to dress up any dress or blouse.

Next we have a jacket from an 1880s wool jacket and skirt combo, below.  Note the trim work on the jacket – something that could easily be recreated on a modern garment.  I especially like the tape/ribbon down the princess seamline and then taken around the bottom of the top layer and brought back up again.  This would be beautiful on a garment even now.

My next jacket is also from the same era.  This is made from pink satin and embellished with black lace and trimmed with very small black velvet ruffles.  You can see the details a little better on the following photos.  The sleeve is especially interesting, with a sleeve over a ruffled sleeve attached to a band.


The back of the jacket also shows this lace embellishment.

And of course, the inside of the jacket, below, shows the boning, as well as the waistband that goes in front, to sort of . . . ahem . . . hold things in place.  If you ever see this in person, believe me, that waistline is about the same size as my Maine Coon cat’s waistline . . . meaning, it’s very, very tiny.

 The next photo shows the lace on the skirt.

And last is one of my favorite pieces in my collection, a 1940s evening dress. This dress is almost too gorgeous to be believed! It’s chiffon over satin, with rhinestone and pearl embellishments.

But I especially love the sweetheart bodice and the sleeve detail.

The sleeves have actually been split down the shoulder seam and the entire front portion of the sleeve is gathered chiffon.  It’s a gorgeous detail that I hope to duplicate on a dress sometime soon.

I hope these photos of garments from my collection give you some ideas when it comes to your own sewing!

 Cindy Vincent is the author of the Mysteries by Vincent murder mystery party games, at and the author of a new middle-grade novel, The Case of the Cat Show Princess: A Buckley and Bogey Cat Detective Caper availabe on Amazon

Cindy’s ASG membership is affiliated with the Houston, TX ASG Chapter.


OMG! I really, really want to duplicate all of the above ideas, expecially the chiffon/satin/rhinestone/pearl combination.  I could swear I saw this dress in an old movie from the 1940s!  Thank you, Cindy, for taking us inside your collection. We hope to see some more very soon 🙂


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Ramona November 16, 2012 at 1:45 pm

Incredible garments!

I also like watching old movies to glean inspiration. The fashions then were impeccable! When I was doing bridal work many an inspiration came from a detail in those dresses. There is also great inspiration in watching movies and TV series from old England period. The ornate fabrics used in recreating costumes, details, and silhouettes will mesmerize any sewer.

Thank you for sharing, Cindy and Samina!

Teri November 16, 2012 at 3:39 pm

I love the ribbon down the front for a faux placket. I must try that someday:)

Beal November 16, 2012 at 9:50 pm

These garments are gorgeous! Does the first dress have a zipper in back (given that the front placket is just for show)?

Cindy November 18, 2012 at 6:04 pm

That’s a great question! This dress actually has two zippers — the first is 7-inch zipper that’s been very nicely sewn into the center back seam. So it goes from the neckline just a little way down the back of the dress. The zipper is not that noticeable, and if the wearer had long hair, her hair would have covered the zipper. The second zipper is in the side seam and is twelve-inches long. Again, this zipper is barely noticeable as well, being concealed on the side.

I’ve seen this double-zipper concept used in many dresses from the thirties and forties. It’s a great way to allow room to put the dress on, but yet keep the zippers more concealed.

Thanks for your question!

Samina November 19, 2012 at 6:20 pm

Amazing blend of garment engineering and creativity.

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