1930s Vintage Costumes for Theatrical Play & the Dance Floor

~ 1930s Vintage Costumes for Theatrical Play & the Dance Floor ~

By Tam Francis

I recently posted a new bog post about my adventures in sewing vintage. I usually blog about EVERYTHING vintage from swing dancing to classic movies, to sewing. I had the pleasure of making two costume for a play I was cast in and hoped at least one of them would transfer to the dance floor.

The first one I tackled was supposed to be a 1930s vaudeville outfit from a song called: Turn on the Heat! (I’ve got a video of the original 1929 clip on my website)

Here’s the pattern I used (with modifications), to attain the 1930s look. It doesn’t match the video exactly, but has the art deco feel I think?

pattern for Turn on the heat

I lost the collar and shortened it quite a bit. In fact, I kept going between the video and my garment, inching it up my leg until it looked sassy and theatrical. I couldn’t find fur so I had to use several feather fur boas. I didn’t want to do a hood, (like in the video) because of a quick change right after and no time to fix the hair-do. It turned out pretty cool I think and the director was thrilled! What do you think? Does it have a 30s theatrical feel? Does it evoke a touch of humor? Did you watch the video to compare? Have any advice on what I could have done differently?

turn on the heat costume

This is the success story, at least I feel like it is. The other dress: The Blue Dress, for my final scene, was an EPIC fail. If you’d like to see how that went wrong and what I learned in the process. Pop on over to my blog  about this crazy adventure in sewing!

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Have you ever felt something you made has crashed and burned? Feel like you rip out more seams than you sew? I’d love to hear about here, or on my blog :)

 

 

About the author: Tam Francis has taught swing dancing with her husband for fifteen years and is an avid collector of vintage patterns, vintage clothing and antiques. She has published two indie magazines – “From the Ashes” (Arts & Literature in the Greater Phoenix area 1990-1994) and “Swivel: Vintage Living” (all things related to swing dancing and vintage lifestyle culture 1994-2000). Tam has also been a poet (two-time, National Poetry Slam city finalist, Scottsdale Center for the Arts Poetry Art Walk Featured Poet, New Times Feature Poet, Visual Voices Featured Writer) and short story writer (two-time finalist for Scare the Dickens Out of Us contest). And finally blogger and novelist. She began blogging her dance adventures years ago on Myspace, but started her novel when her husband shipped out for Iraq and she was alone with two small children. She now lives in a 1908 home in Lockhart, Texas, which is not only the BBQ capital of Texas, but has the oldest, continuous working library in the state. She is querying agents for her novel The Girl in the Jitterbug Dress and is on the verge of publishing a short story collection: Ghostoria: Vintage Romantic Tales of Fright.

Beautiful 1950s Vogue patterns

I purchased 5 beautiful 1950s Vogue patterns last week. I received them in the post this morning and I just had to share them with you all.

Vogue 458

Vogue 458

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vogue 274

Vogue 274

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vogue 231

Vogue 321

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vogue 638

Vogue 638

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vogue 1205

Vogue 1205

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yes, Vogue 1205 is a Schiaparelli pattern. Ahhhh! I own a Schiaparelli pattern!!!!!!! It didn’t cost me a fortune and it’s in my size!

As far as I can see patterns 458, 321 and 638 are not yet included in the Vintage Pattern Wiki, so I will add them when I get a chance.

I got these patterns for an absolute steal compared to what they would go for on etsy. They are all my size too!

I purchased these patterns to use them, so to avoid them being added to my stash and never actually made, I will make these up over the next 12 months. As I don’t have a blog, I will post the results here for anyone who is interested.

About the author: Lawyer, cyclist, cake queen, preserving extraordinaire, sewing enthusiast, amateur gardener dreaming of self reliance, bookworm, procrastinator, dreamer…

1953

I recently made B5708 with a lovely floral fabric that my boyfriend gave me before he went off to school. I fought with this dress to get it how it is but I am so happy with it. If you would like to know more, you can check out the full post on my brand new blog(!) rosiesews.weebly.com

1953 carnation bodice

1950′s blouse and capri pants – Butterick 5895

I'm so happy with how these fit :-) I read on various posts that this pattern has a lot of ease.  I made them as to my measurements on the pattern envelope but did take the side seams in quite a bit.  I've used stretch denim so this may be different with unstretchy fabric.  I chose to use an invisible zip on the back seam so everything is nice and smooth.

Butterick B5895 capri pants. I’m so happy with how these fit :-)
I read on various posts that this pattern has a lot of ease. I made them as to my measurements on the pattern envelope but did take the side seams in quite a bit. I’ve used stretch denim so this may be different with unstretchy fabric. I chose to use an invisible zip on the back seam so everything is nice and smooth.

This is my 'umbrella's' blouse.  I used my Enid Gilchrist book again to draft this pattern. A simple blouse to make and even easier with the grown on kimono sleeves.

This is my ‘umbrella’s’ blouse. I used my Enid Gilchrist book again to draft this pattern.
A simple blouse to make and even easier with the grown on kimono sleeves.

This is the pattern for my blouse.  I love this book as there are lots of variations and the patterns are simple to draw out and make. Enid Gilchrist - Women and Teenagers.

This is the pattern for my blouse. I love this book as there are lots of variations and the patterns are simple to draw out and make.
Enid Gilchrist – Women and Teenagers.

These are made using Butterick B5895. I used black and white gingham to line the pockets to avoid bulk and because they look nice!

These are made using Butterick B5895.
I used black and white gingham to line the pockets to avoid bulk and because they look nice!

 

As the capri pants have turn ups I chose to hide the seam edges with some strips of micro gingham in my stash.  I think this gives a little extra detail and keeps it all looking tidy.

As the capri pants have turn ups I chose to hide the seam edges with some strips of micro gingham in my stash. I think this gives a little extra detail and keeps it all looking tidy.

 

 

 

 

About the author: Hi, I’m an English lady living in France who loves to sew, knit and be creative!

Retro Nightie for Meeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Selfish sewing is the best kind of sewing.

I purchased a pile of vintage knit fabric at auction a couple months back. Some was, of course, quite hideous, while some was kitschy retro cute. I do recognize that this is in the eye of the beholder, though.

For a quick, easy project, I grabbed a medium weight spongy retro knit and stitched up this nightgown using Simplicity 7096.

Well, I mostly just used the yoke pieces, as I cut the yardage to a length I thought would be comfortable (somewhere between views 2 and 3), and cut equal front and back panels from the width. The fabric was pretty wide, so I got both the front and back from one length. Then I used the pattern as a template for the underarm.

This was stitched entirely by machine using the “burrito method” I learned from Janet Pray’s Sew Better, Sew Faster Craftsy Class. There’s not too much to say about construction. For a sweet touch, I included some leftover ric rac trim across the yoke and pressed and stitched it down in a bow motif. I added one of the vintage buttons from my stash, and the gown was done. Now all I need are some fuzzy slippers and hair curlers!

I also recently figured out an easy method for assembling some of the PDF patterns I have been working with lately. To try my tip or just to say “hi,” feel free to stop by my blog Farmhouse Garden.

Ta ta for now!

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