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1970s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

Seventies Stripes (Simplicity 5497)

By on September 11, 2017

 

 

 

I made up this 1970s era dress because I’m fond of the contrasting white collar and cuffs.  Overall I’m very pleased with how it turned out: it fits well, is comfortable to wear, and was inexpensive to make, since I bought the fabric for less than a dollar a yard at Michael Levine’s Loft in the fabric district in Los Angeles, and the buttons on the cuffs were bought at the thrift store.  My only changes were to leave off the waist-ties so it will be easier to wear with cardigans and jackets when the weather finally cools off, and to lengthen and widen the skirt to be more comfortable to wear and walk in.

For more photos and details, please visit the sewing blog that I share with my husband: Mr and Mrs Rat

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Vintage Sewing

1936 Dressing Gown

By on September 8, 2017

Of all the vintage garments I’ve sewn, this dressing gown has the best combo of elegance and usefulness that I have come across!  I used a polyester jacquard, in a rich burgundy with a flowing drape like a rayon, and fully lined it in a crepe finish lining.   My pattern was easy to make and is generally well fitting – it’s a re-print of a German design offered through “Repeated Originals” on Etsy. There is an arched waist seam, wide bell sleeves, and two filigree metal clasps to close the asymmetric bodice wrap.  For more on what a dressing robe is, as well as more pictures and details, please visit my blog post for this make.  This was part of my wardrobe for a recent trip (yes, I made sure to have a vacation in handmade vintage) and the poster behind is an original 1929 paint ad!

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1930s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

1930s Print Quilting Cotton Dress

By on September 7, 2017

1930s feedsack print dress

As a 1930s obsessive I’m often drawn to the beautiful 1930s reproduction prints on quilting cotton fabric. However, I’ve always been weary of it because of its stiffness and just knew it wouldn’t be right for the style of clothing I love to make. Genuine 1930s dresses were always made using a softer fabric with plenty of drape, whether it be cotton, linen, rayon, silk or wool, which always hung well.

However, when I came across this amazing feedsack reproduction print I just couldn’t resist it. I knew straight away that I wanted to make a Dust Bowl style dress with it, despite knowing it was going to be challenge.

I used an original pattern from the very early 1930s and, although it was my size, I did have to make quite a lot of adjustments. The main issue was the way it fitted due to the stiffness of the fabric and there was too much bulk everywhere. If it had been made in a much softer fabric, this would’ve gathered perfectly around the waist when the belt was added.

1930s feedsack print dress

For more information about the troubles I had with the fit of this dress, please have a read of my post here. However, if you’d just like to skip to the outfit post to see all of the lovely 1930s detailing and find out more about Dust Bowl dresses, then you can view the post here.

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1970s | 1980s | Blouses | Skirts

Gingham! (Simplicity 5900)

By on August 31, 2017

 

I’ve been sewing with so much gingham this summer!  This particular checked cotton, which I bought on sale in the LA fashion district for 99 cents a yard a few years ago is especially light and perfect for the hot days of late summer and early fall.  The 1980s-era pattern I used to sew this blouse was a surprise: the sleeves are very puffed!  And the fit is quite good without any adjustments—you know how wonderful that feels for a seamstress!  I’m wearing it with one of my 1970s-era Simplicity 7880 skirts, made of $2 a yard black poly-cotton broadcloth.  For more information about the pattern and the construction (and more photos), please visit the blog that I share with my husband: Mr and Mrs Rat.

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1970s | Blouses | Skirts

Late Summer Muslin (Simplicity 7880 and Simplicity 8356)

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This blouse and skirt are both made form 1970s-era patterns, and have become favorites in my summer wardrobe.  I made them from unbleached muslin bought on sale at JoAnns fabric stores.  They wash well, are light and breezy on hot days, and only get softer with wear.  For more information about the patterns and construction, please come visit the blog that I share with my husband: Mr and Mrs Rat.

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1930s | 1940s | Dresses | Modern Patterns | Vintage Sewing

Modern & Vintage

By on August 30, 2017

This Dress was a long time coming.  I started working on it in November of last year. Originally, I intended to make it from a wool crepe and that the red rayon would be a wearable muslin.  Using the Colette Patterns Oolong Dress pattern (purchased for 1/2 price, when they were discontinuing the pattern), I decided to make one modification – add godets to the skirt in the princess seams to give it a little flip and flare.  That version was not so exciting, in fact, I was so disappointed with the fit,  I put the dress back on rack to wait for some inspiration or divine intervention, whichever came first.

 

Earlier this summer I needed a dress to wear to a tropical themed Art Deco party, so I pulled the dress and pattern out of storage and decided to see what I could do.  Necessity is the mother of invention, right?  Well I ended up combining 3 patterns to make this one look – the Colette Oolong, Colette Parfait and the 1930s Ladies Afternoon Tea Frock – Reproduction Sewing Pattern #T3221 from Vintage Pattern Lending Library.

Here is a closeup of the finished dress!
And a view from the back

In the end, I’m pretty happy with the results.  I don’t think I will make it up again, but If I did, I would fit the skirt a bit differently and make the godets come up higher.  I’ve worn it twice now – once to the tropical event and once to a local production of Castle Happy, a play about William Randolf Hearst and Family.

If you are interested in seeing HOW I worked with the fitting and the patterns, visit my Blog for the full post.

Until Next Time….Happy Sewing!

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1930s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

Sewing the Prototype of my 1930’s dress

By on August 22, 2017

 

There is a big event coming up – The Art Deco Society of California’ Gatsby Summer Afternoon.  I attend almost every year and have sewn an outfit every time. This year my blog readers helped me decide which pattern to choose for the early 1930’s look I was going for.  I will use this 1930’s Ladies Dress pattern from Vintage Pattern Lending Library.

The final dress will be made from a vintage rayon floral, but I needed to sew up a prototype first to check the fit,  before cutting into my OOAK vintage fabric. I didn’t really have any rayon hanging around that would behave like the vintage fabric, but I did have a vintage dress from the 1940’s that had gobs of fabric.  I didn’t really like the dress but the fabric was perfect so I worked hard to make it all fit.  I love the result.

Here is the front view of my prototype dress.

And the Back View

For the full story and more pictures, visit my blog

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