1920s White Lightning Dress

Greetings everyone! I’d like to share with you the dress I made for the Greater Boston Vintage Society’s White Lightning Ball. The event was held back in March at the Larz Anderson Auto Museum. I had a couple people tell me I looked like Lady Edith from Downton Abbey! :)

I made a new dress using a 1920s pattern – Vogue 9010 – that I purchased over the winter. I used a lovely ivory silk that I purchased from Deletable Mountain Cloth during their winter sale. The silk struck me as very Art Deco and I really liked the design and feel of it. So light weight. I used a cotton muslin to test the pattern. It looks rather odd because I didn’t have enough fabric to cut the full length of the right front panel. Not really an issue though as this was just a mock up. The dress is made from a back panel cut on the fold with little darts at the neck, a left front, a right front, girdle, as well as bodice and skirt cascades. I left the sleeves off . The right front crosses over the left and attaches with a series of snaps on the bodice and hips. The girdle is sewn into one side seam then wraps around the back and attaches at the opposite hip. I added a few extra snaps for good measure. Because my silk was rather delicate I made little cotton patches to go behind the snaps for extra support.

The pattern gives you the option of either hemming the edges or trimming off the seam allowance and adding a binding. My original plan was to only use a yellow/gold trim because I wanted to pair the dress with gold shoes. The binding was sewn first to the right side of the silk then folded over and pressed and hand sewn in place.

Summary of the Pattern
Fabric: Silk from Delectable Mountain Cloth
Pattern: Vogue 9010
Year: 1920s
Notions: Snaps, thread, pink and yellow China silk ribbon for binding
How historically accurate is it? Very.
Any tricky parts to the pattern? Not really
Did you change anything? Left off the sleeves for more of an evening look. Shortened the hem about 1 1/2″. I also added some additional snaps to the waist/hip area and some extra shirring to the girdle. The dress was a little high under the arms so I cut the arm holes a little deeper.
Time to complete: ummm, hard to say. I worked on it off and one for about 2 weeks.
First worn: March 28th, 2015 for the GBVS 2nd White Lightening Ball at the Larz Anderson Car Museum
Wear Again? Yes.
Notes: Due to the cascades and overall feel of this particular style, this pattern does need to be made with fabric that drapes nicely. One should also avoid fabrics with an obvious right and wrong side. My mock up was made using a cotton muslin which didn’t really hang right. It worked well for determining the overall fit of the pattern however and allowed me to mark up the fabric as needed. If I make this pattern again, which I would like to for day wear, I might try it with crepe and a contrasting cascade.

More photos and construction pictures on my blog.

A skirt turned dress

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I was hesitant to show you this skirt although I have already finished it about a month ago. I didn’t have the right photos to tell the full story. I’m glad I didn’t make haste because now you can see how important this skirt it. Now that I’ve found the right photo, you can sit back and enjoy!

 

Fast backward to a few months ago. I’m at my beloved Granny’s and we’re digging through her closet. We’re finding a lot of long forgotten treasures like old handbags and purses and vintage clothes and pre-cut sewing patterns. My Granny is a very crafty woman, has been so all her life, and that’s something I’m proud to have inherited from her. So we’re digging through all the stuff… and then there are some fabrics. Dusty, hidden away for decades and gorgeous. My Grandma looks at the blue and red striped cotton and says “This used to be a dress, you know, one of my favorites. After I’d ripped the bodice by accident, I decided to leave the rest of the fabric and sew something from it but I never got to it. You should sew yourself a skirt. Here, take it.”

 

And so I did. I sewed myself a skirt from a cotton that is over 50 years old, was loved and worn to bits, and then stashed away –because it was a favorite. This is so touching to me. The life of things in our hands is so precious and so complicated, and so full. We give them meaning and keep their stories in our minds. They live as long as we lend them some space in our memories. You can see my Granny wearing her dress in 1965 below.

dok015The sewing process was easy enough and there isn’t much to describe. I was aided in making box pleats by small cuts along the edge of the fabric that have already been there, certainly from the time it was a pleated dress. I cut away a small portion of the fabric to use for the waistband –I made it from the fabric put vertical instead of horizontal, as you can see. The fabric was already hemmed so I didn’t need to do anything else there. I might shorten it a bit since I’m not sure this particular length is the most flattering to my otherwise perfect legs. If I do, I’ll shorten it just by folding the fabric and hemming with a blind stitch (as it was originally done to the dress, I think, judging from some loose threads hanging from the hem). In the photo of my Granny you can see that the skirt was shorter by one white stripe.

You can see more photos on my blog.

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My 1920’s House Apron: A One Yard Wonder

If you have an urge to use up some of your fabric stash, or simply have an hour to spare for some much needed crafting time, try this easy tutorial to make a charming slip-over apron. Based on an 1926 pattern, this adorable apron features a scooped front, slightly gathered back, and two fabric ties.

Supplies:

1 yard (36″ wide) of cotton fabric

5 yards of bias tape

Optional: rickrack

Tools:

Paper or spare fabric to make pattern

ruler and marker

Scissors and pins

Sewing Machine

Let’s get started:

First you will need to create the pattern. Below is a visual of the pattern (yellow calico) over the apron fabric. The fabric is folded in a giant triangle, with the two open ends at the bottom and on the left. The fold is in the top right hand side.

Use the numbers as a guide to create the pattern. To adjust for wearer’s height, adjust the 36″ width up or down as needed. Wish to make the apron wider around the middle, simply use more yardage and extend the two inches at the underarm and around the bottom.

You can cut out the extra ties and optional pocket from the cut off width of your fabric.

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Now that you have your pattern pieces cut out, along with the ties, sew the back seam of the apron, right sides together.

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Pin the bias tape along all raw edges, making sure to catch the edge of the fabric. Stitch.

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If you would like a pocket, cut out the desired shape, press the edges toward the wrong side of the fabric and pin to the apron. You can add rick rack or other trim to the pocket if you like…just make sure to add the trim BEFORE you attach the pocket. Stitch the pocket to the apron.

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With right sides together, sew the ties, turn right side out, and press. Stitch with raw ends folded underneath to the inside of the apron.

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That’s it! Enjoy your new vintage inspired apron around the kitchen, craft room, or out in the garden!

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Source: Fashion Service, 1929 as seen in Vintage Notions by Amy Barickman

 

#CapeletAlong with SewRetroRose

I just finished up a sew-along collaboration between the lovely Beccie from SewRetroRose and Decades of Style, completing this lovely 1930’s Capelet.

Let me just tell you what an amazing project this was. I really feel that this one stretched my limits as a seamstress, and I learned some wonderful new techniques along the way.

Before I get to photos of the finished project, let me walk you through the construction.

On Beccie’s (SewRetroRose) suggestion I made a muslin for this project. I’m glad I did because while I didn’t need to make any huge changes, I felt much more confident when cutting into my fashion fabric. I must admit I do love the plaid fabric I used for the muslin, so this may get finished and be wearable one day.

I decided on this lovely light pink and brown houndstooth corduroy that I had about 4 yards of in my fabric stash. I felt that it had the perfect weight and drape for this project.

The bodice came together really easily in this project. I didn’t add the extra length to the cape as Beccie did with hers, nor did I do a full lining. I wanted to and honestly I bought a lovely chocolate brown satin that was to become the lining, but I chickened out on that at the last minute. Next time I’ll try the lining! I promise!

This project was the first time I’d done bound buttonholes. I’m so pleased with how they turned out, even though I ended up with a few minor mistakes, they came together so easily.

This is one of those minor mistakes… I didn’t think about the nap of the fabric and which direction each facing was well facing… Oops. :) Honestly, I ended up with two going each direction in a alternating pattern, so I’m gonna sell it as a design element! ;)

Next I moved onto the cape itself. This was very easily put together.

Here is the cape pinned onto the bodice! Thank to my lovely Millie being there for fittings. She’s such a fabulous helper… and so quiet!!

And now here it is stitched into place. I did have to adjust the stitch line a bit because it didn’t lay just right the first time I sewed it down.

After that it was just a matter of finishing the armholes, adding and tacking the facings and sewing on the buttons. I was so excited to be in the home stretch on this one. I knew from using Millie that it was going to fit, but I really wanted to see how it looked on me, and that was next to impossible to know for sure without those buttons.

I catchstiched all of my facings, which was another first for me. I’ve never used that stitch before. I also bound all of my seams with bias… it’s a slightly different shade of brown that my fabric, but it’s on the inside and no one should notice.

I’m sure your all eager to see the finished capelet by now. So thanks for sticking around through this long and picture heavy post! You’re undoubtedly the best readers around!

Here she is in all of her glory. I feel like calling her Clara because I feel like this is something Clara Bow would have worn and loved. It’s just the right amount of glamour and sophistication.

Picture credit to silentsaregolden.com

I chose large brown wooden buttons with a filigree pattern jigsawed out of the center. I searched for days for the right buttons and I’m so pleased with these.

So there you have it! My completed Decades of Style 1930’s Capelet! Now she needs a skirt…

Look for this make in the near future… but not so near future. I’m leaving on Friday with my two little ones to get on a jet plane and fly home to Sunny Florida!! We’ll be gone for 17 days and it will be a much needed vacation from work and the cold dreary Ohio spring. See you all when I get back! There may be an update or two during the time I’m gone, I am taking my laptop, but there may not be if we get too busy having fun. So don’t despair if you don’t see me. I will be back!

Much love to you all!!

~MissKacySews

www.shessewbettie.blogspot.com

Suitable for Spring

I’ve always wanted a great vintage suit but have had a hard time finding one in my size and price range. So I finally broke down and sewed up my own!

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I actually made this up from two different vintage patterns-Simplicity 4013 and Simplicity 1659. It’s made from a yummy red linen with vintage buttons.

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A work in progress shot! This pattern is actually from 1939 which is one of my favorite years for fashion! I also want to make the dicky to go with the jacket.

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It turned out quite fabulously! And it’s so comfortable to wear and looks effortlessly chic. It really makes me sad that suits have gone out of fashion unless you work in a very conservative office or are going for a job interview.

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I’m also excited about the mix and match-ability of this suit! It really makes me sorry that I waited so long to make up this suit! For more photos and construction detail, pop over to my blog.

Flowers and Stripes

Hello Lovelies!

I was finally able to finish this dress. Quite a while ago I started sewing the top part but then stopped due to lack of motivation. Now that my finals are around the corner and I’m so very tired of learning, I decided to whip up a skirt pattern and finish the dress.

Barefoot this time as it was sunny and warm outside. I would wear this dress with simple white heels or wedge sandals, also in white.

The back isn’t all too interesting, but I wanted to show you anyways. The dog is called Egon and yes he sits funnily but that’s due to an injury he had a while back (I think he was more interested in the neighbours than the camera ;D )

Close Up of the unfinished dress but the photo shows the patterns and the piping quite nicely. Also, aren’t my Lumpy Space Princess brooches too cute? :D

Another close up from the night I finished the dress. Buttons, piping, pattern and my amazing new nail polish!

Aaaaaand another picture because “me likesta!”:

Details:

The pattern was made entirely by me. There is pink piping around the collar and button closure as well as the sleeves and on the pockets. The waist is quite loose fitting but is gathered by a rubber band. I still need to make a belt but as long as I can get away without, I won’t ;D All in all it took me about 2 days to finish this dress minus the pattern construction.

There’s not much to talk about actually. Everything went smoothly and I didn’t have any problems while sewing. Huge bonus point when making your own patterns :D

I hope you like it! I wanted an easy, slightly casual (yes this is casual for me xD ) everyday dress. Nothing too poofy or fancy. And I love the print! Hopefully the fabric store has some left. I really need to make a skirt out of this fabric. It doesn’t even wrinkle! *Ö*

Hugs and kisses from Germany,

Reika

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