1930s | Blouses | Skirts | Vintage Sewing

1934 EvaDress Frock as Separates

By on May 30, 2014

Another 1930s re-pro pattern from EvaDress, I made these up a few months ago but finally got around to documenting them. I had started the blouse (not enough of the lovely rayon for a whole dress) ages ago, but the sleeve pleats got the better of me and then I got busy with other things. Once I’d figured them out though, I’m in love with the look.

EvaDress 1934 Frock

As I had an occasion to wear it, I finished the blouse and made up the lower portion of the pattern in a similar green coloured mystery fabric I picked up second hand.

EvaDress 1934 Frock (as separates) by HLB
EvaDress 1934 Frock (as separates) by HLB. Back view.

Cutting out the blouse and getting it to do what i wanted was a bit of a challenge. It’s a buttery rayon with lovely drape but frays terribly at the edges and slinks around when you try to sew it. I pinned it to within an inch of its life and took the time to hand baste as well as hand hem the bottom edge/ties, collar and  sleeve edges. Time consuming but a nice neat finish.

Sleeve detail. Self covered button and pleating.

Most people thought it was a dress when worn together, but I actually like that I can mix and match it. For another event I made a shorter black rayon skirt with side godets for dancing in.

EvaDress 1934 Frock (blouse) with self drafted skirt by HLB

I’ll definitely be making this up again with some strategic alterations. As always, do check out the full post on the blog.

~Heather

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1960s | 1970s | Dresses

The Diva Dress

By on May 16, 2014

Another dance party, another excuse to make myself something the week of the event…

Made for another edition of the ‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody‘  (all divas- all night) dance parties organized and DJ-ed by a fabulous local DJ duo.

I wanted to evoke a classic look with dramatic sleeves. The end result is heavily influenced by late 60s early 70s mini dresses, and is actually 2 separate pieces that can be otherwise worn with different outfits.

The Diva Dress 2014 by HLB

The underdress is made from some lovely stretch suiting similar to fabric I’ve used before. I love the fact that it has nice structure and weight but also a good amount of give – perfect for figure hugging garments that you can move in! Frankenpatterned fitted LBD.

For the chiffon overlay I used this 1970 blouse pattern as a starting point – extending the hem, exaggerating the sleeve blousing, negating the bust dart, and lowering the neckline to a shallow scoop shape.

Simplicity 8494 (1970)

To give the waist definition, I added ties at each side that form a bow at the back. I wanted initially to have the overlay drape more, but it proved unflattering on my curves.

The Diva Dress 2014 by HLB. Back View.

I love that it was long sleeved but still pretty cool. The sheer sleeves let my arms breathe, I was pretty comfy all night and they were super fun to dance with.

More pics and details in the full post here.

p.s. Another blog post coming soon documenting my themed dance party ensembles!

~ Heather

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1960s | Blouses

1965 Blouse: Simplicity 5885

By on April 23, 2014

In my attempt to keep up with recent goals of making things for myself and also using my vintage pattern stash, I chose this 1965 blouse pattern – View 4:

1965 Simplicity 5885

This was my first button backed top pattern. I like the idea, but honestly I’m not sure why this was so popular, as doing it up yourself is a little challenging – and that’s without wearing a girdle as most likely you would be in this era. I cannot imagine having to do up more than 4 buttons this way without a ladies’ maid.

Modified Simplicity 5885 (1965)
Modified Simplicity 5885 (1965) Back view.

The collar was of course very high and tight, so I lowered it in the front to make it more comfortable. I also took in the side seams a little to give the blouse some shape. It’s actually a pretty boxy design – ok if paired with a nipped waist skirt, but I wanted to be able to wear it untucked as well. The nice thing about making up new garments from vintage patterns is that I don’t feel guilty when making alterations! The nearly finished version of this blouse was relegated to the UFO pile for months awaiting a solution to the excessive ease issue that did not involve completely re-making it. See the ‘before’ pics on the original post here.

 

Simplicity 5885 Modified centre front with pin tucks.
Simplicity 5885 with a skirt.

In the end, I ended up having to remove the collar tabs and most of the neckline facing. I took about an inch out of the centre front by way of pin tucks, which also help give it a nicer line. I also extended the back shoulder darts down to the waist to help pull it in a bit more. It’s still a little on the boxy side, and if I make it again I’ll be sure to grade the whole thing down from the start. It does improve the look to wear it with a skirt or high waist pants. In the meantime, I’m planning to try out some other quick tops for summer from the vintage pattern stash.

~Heather

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1930s | Dresses | Introduction | Vintage Sewing

Hello, and a 1930s Wedding Dress

By on April 18, 2014

Hello all,

The usual – long time lurker etc. I’ve been sewing for at least two thirds of my life and am a part-time seamstress for hire. I also work in the theatre industry as a Stage Manager and Props builder. I’ve recently been making things from my vintage pattern stock, some of which are posted on my blog, and others which will be soon!

I thought for my first post, I’d share a project that I completed in the fall for a good friend’s wedding. Since I’ve been on contract for the past few months, I’ve just recently been able to add it to my site. I’ve been getting into 1930s styles, and the bride is a long time fan of the era, so it was a perfect fit that we design her dress accordingly. As a prelude, I don’t normally do wedding dresses. I feel that there is a large pool out there and I’m only interested if it’s a special, personalized gown. My previous versions have included a light green dress, and a Sleepy Hollow themed wedding party.

I did lots of research on 30s gowns, and working with fabric on the bias. Here’s the finished gown on the bride – in the end, I could not get it onto my dress form as there were no fastenings. The bodice is entirely cut on the bias and fits her like a glove (a glove that fits obviously…).

Late afternoon light on a lovely lady.
Action shot.
Princess seams, a beaming Groom and a fairy flower girl.

The pattern was self drafted. Pearl beads accent the front and back neckline.

Bodice beading and a custom veil too!

A train was attached with pearl beads also, which was removed for the reception (for dancing and sitting comfortably).

The back View without the train.

For more pics and nerdy sewing details, see the full post here.

More fun projects to come!

~ Heather

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