Help Me Build A 1950’s Jumper in Corduroy

I have a few meters of cranberry colored corduroy, purchased in the midst of my Great Wide-Wale Corduroy Fixation of 2011.  I toyed with the idea of a red-cord cape for a while, but I already have a cord jacket.  The cape can wait.

I started noticing gorgeous 50’s jumper patterns.  Since it’s winter and all, it’s a no-brainer to make a cute jumper of red cord.  I cruised the Vintage Pattern Wiki for images, and combed through my own image files.  Since I finally made a sloper/block that fits I can make up most simple patterns by myself.  It’s easier than I thought, once I make a plan of action.

I definitely want a full circle or half-circle skirt.  Other than that, the field is open.  I looked at many 30’s-40’s patterns, but they didn’t tickle my fancy quite the same way.

(Narrow, deep neckline and large pockets)
(Wide, nearly off the shoulder neckline, belt)
(Wide, square neckline.  Needs pockets)
(Sweetheart-like neckline, narrow skirt.  I could remedy that.)
(Square Neckline again, no waist seam.  Do I want a waist seam?)
 (HUGE skirt, tiny bodice)
(I’m not a bit worried this is a teen pattern, surely I’m not too old for a cute collar.  Would a collar on the jumper compete with the blouse underneath?  Should I save the collar for another dress?)
(Deep Oval Scoop neckline, BIG pockets.  Modeled on an older woman, jumpers aren’t just for teenie-boppers.)
If you sew, collect, or just adore 1950’s patterns, I’m sure you’ve run across skirt pockets big enough to accommodate a baby.  They’re perfect for a mommy.  I find I’m always collecting little bits and pieces as I potter around the house.  If I don’t put something away immediately, I’m bound to misplace it but I often find I’m distracted en route to the item’s destination.  I don’t like to carry a purse, either.  My brain isn’t together enough not to lose a bag.  I think this jumper needs great big pockets:
Wow.  Maybe not that big.
These make me smile, though I’m not sure I could pull it off.  They’re in the running.
These might be my Goldilocks pockets- just right.
This is the photo that inspired me to make some big-pocket 1950’s utility clothes.
I’d love to hear ideas- is a cranberry cord jumper a good idea, what are your favorite necklines, should I make big pockets or ridiculously huge pockets?  Life’s too short for small pockets, right?  Do you have any pattern pictures, photos, or ideas to share?I’d appreciate all kinds of input, basically any opinions even if you don’t sew or wear vintage.


  1. Yay for big pockets, but yes those third-last ones take the cake! Maybe a whole cake! I'd be careful with a circular cut and corduroy – one side will end up darker than the other due to the nap – may be a gored option is best? I like the curvy collar, but for some reason can't see it in cord, and yes it will limit what you can wear underneath!Is Jumper a North American thing? We call them pinafores here, well I do anyway!

  2. I like the wide square and deep oval scoop necklines. I love pockets so I say add away! I've been wanting to make a red jumper for a while. I may just have to make it up on cordouroy for the fall. You've been very inpiring wrt cordouroy! I've never sewn with it before but that's never stopped me before!

  3. I love the idea of the cord jumper with a full skirt, although Sherry is probably right about gored rather than plain circle being the best option. (Would four gore be enough, though, or would it need more?)Personally I love the wide, almost-off-the-shoulder necklines the best.And I love those triple-decker pockets. Although I think you'd need a crinoline of iron if you wanted to put anything heavy in the bottom one… :)Yay corduroy! I had to restrain myself severely passing the cord section at the fabric store the other day…

  4. I love most of them, and I have S-1246 and S-4838, both of which I keep meaning to make….I got as far as a muslin on 4838 and the scoop was really nice and interesting, I thought (as long as you are definitely wearing a shirt under it at all times). I kind of like the Butterick with the square neck the most though!

  5. Oooh, talk me into the triple pockets. It won't be hard….Noted on the nap/circle skirt. Would a half circle skirt be similarly problematic?

  6. the stacked pockets don't seem very utilitarian (since this is your reasoning for pockets in the first place). i like 4838, but am always drawn to a nice sweetheart neckline

  7. I love the wide, almost off-the-shoulder neckline most, too. But then this could be because I have sort of a soft spot for wide necklines.As for pockets – how about cobbler pockets? It seems those are usually put on aprons, but I suppose they would work for you, too… Well, I have no personal experience with them, but they seem quite practical to me. Really practical for putting away things as you walk around the house – easily accessible.

  8. Any option in which the grain does not run symetrically will give you nap issues. Gores are about the only way to go for a full-at-the-hem skirt — and an odd number will look better, imo. Yes, Sherry, N. America says "jumper." A pinafore is a bibbed apron in the South. Do please use a pattern with a defined waist, Steph, and leave the shapeless sacks of the 1980s and 90s to us Women of a Certain Age.

  9. 1284 or 4838, I think. Both will let you use the napped cord, and both will support pockets well. I think pockets would ruin the line of those bouffant circle skirts, and I suspect the cord would be too heavy, as well. I like the scooped necklines and think they'd look great on you. I agree with LinB that a definite waistline would suit you. You have one- flaunt it!

  10. Yay, more corduroy! The 1284 and the square-necked Hollywood stood out to me. I think I like the narrower, longer bodice lines, especially with a fuller skirt. I think if they're not too big, the triple pockets would be really neat. I'm a biased corduroy fanatic, but I like corduroy patch pockets!

  11. Grr silly blogger. MrsC here. You Can have a half circle skirt. I'd put the seams centre front and back not at the sides, with the wales coming into a chevron at the front. Very cool. Also for your fabulous curves and petite height I would recommend a very low neckline, so as to not have a big expanse of cord from bust fullness point to neckline, very unflattering. Probably scooped or sweetheart not square. Not for thee. I LOVE those big shaped pockets, they have an interesting line and maybe a slightly smaller version is just what you need!

  12. So much to think about! I'll be drafting in the next couple of days, and I'll let y'all know what I come up with. What about closures? I had the thought to bone the side seams (it works super well in my weskit) and maybe use hook and eye tape down the front? Just to be a little interesting?I really like the idea of a sideways half-circle skirt…. hmmmm….

  13. I like the less poufy styles for a jumper, with very simple scoop neck–corduroy is heavy to gather, but a wonderful comfortable and durable fabric. How about a pocket as in 16th century fashion, tied on like a belt? It could be a wonderful size and a fashion statement that can go with other clothing too. The 16th century style hid the pocket under a slit in the dress, so the pocket was tied on over the petticoat but under the (slitted) skirt. A gorgeous version could have a contrast lining and go on with a buckle, and stay at the side or right in front for convenience. I made one for a costume in the musical Brigadoon & found it very convenient.

  14. Pingback: Finished Object: Twisty Pinny « 3 Hours Past the Edge of the World

  15. Pingback: Drafting the Jumper- For the Pattern Geeks « 3 Hours Past the Edge of the World

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