1910s | Blouses | Jackets | Skirts

Simplicity 9723 With a Twist

By on October 10, 2014

9723Simplicity 9723 is an approximate 1900’s based stage costume pattern. A friend is having an old West themed Halloween party and my plans to make this and go as a school marm were set.

Unfortunately (fortunately?) when I went to the fabric store, my mind started wandering. Add in that the theme of the party was subtly changed to “post-apocalyptic old West” and I started looking at more fun fabrics than I had originally planned. Somehow that landed me in the section with the pleathers and other odd-ball fabrics I just don’t use.

An hour later I came out of the fabric store a lot poorer, and with almost 20 yards of fabric. I actually over-bought on two of my fabric choices by a total of about 2.5 yards because this pattern is not terribly clear on the allowances concerning the changes I planned on making.

Still, better to over-buy than to not have enough, right?

This pattern calls for the blouse and skirt to be made as one piece, which I did not want to do. It also calls for a lot of trims and laces added, only one of which I used- the collar. After making all my changes and adjustments, I’m really pleased with the outcome and the jacket is so wild!

The ruffles on the petticoat caused me some grief and I had to pleat the skirt rather then gather it because it just would not pull along my gathering threads, but otherwise I feel really good about it. Stop by my blog at Deb’s In Stitches and see more about what I did.

The site seems to be having a loading issue with some images right now- if the pictures of my finished project aren’t loading, please click thru to my blog!

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1960s | Blouses

Simplicity 2154 View B – Bow Blouse

By on June 17, 2014

I’ve had this retro pattern in my stash fr what seems like ages and I’ve not yet sewn anything from it. Yesterday I sat down with a yard and a half of a pretty (but unfortunately polyester) fabric I grabbed at Joann’s a few days before. I knew this fabric would present some problems, mainly with it being really slippery, but I was not expecting it to literally disintegrate along the seams the minute any pressure was placed on them.

I stitched this up in a few hours, put it on, and as soon as I reach to grab something, the center back seam split completely apart. I took it off, and barely applied pressure to another seam, and it shredded apart too. Ugh! I wasn’t expecting that at all. After the seam shredding business, I busted out some bias tape and bound all of my seams, hoping that would¬† keep them together. I’ve been wearing the blouse all day today without any incidents, so it appears to have worked. We’ll see how it fares in the wash but I think it will be okay. In hindsight, I’d cut this with slightly large seam allowances and use French seams on it if I make it again out of a similar fabric- Its a close fitting blouse and there isn’t much easy at all in it.

The directions call for a button and loop closure at the neck, but I went with a hook and eye instead mostly because I have literally thousands of hooks and eyes and they were within reach.

I love the ridiculously large bow and the collar is really cute. I might make this again in a solid color cotton as I really like it, but not sure as its pretty distinctive. I don’t have this up on my blog yet, but as usual, you’re welcome to pop by and say hello!

http://debsinstitches.com/

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1980s | Blouses | Skirts

Hello 1980’s!

By on April 23, 2014

So, on the 3rd, my boyfriend and I are going to an 80’s themed party and while I have a few things that might work in my closet, I wanted to really, really look the part. I had a skirt pattern I thought would be good, and I had big plans for coordinating my skirt and blouse, but I ended up going a completely different direction.

My blouse is from a 1986 Kwik Sew 1262 View A pattern, which I did in the worst fabric I have ever worked with in my life. Gold lame’. You so much as look at it, and it ravels strings of tinsel all over the floor. My sewing room looks like Christmas blew through it after making this blouse. I can die happy if I never have to use this fabric again and wish I would have gone the liquid lame’ fabric instead.¬† Aside from that, I did like the pattern, but would make it in a moderate knit next time. The sizing was a bit off- supposedly this was supposed to fit up to a 45″ bust, and I measure 42″ and you can see its pretty tight through there. Ignore the icky face I’m making- it’s super bright and sunny today and I was half blinded so not looking up.

The skirt pattern is View A from McCall 5184 from 2006, but without the flounce added to the bottom, and with an extra 2.5″ added to the length. I made this skirt up in another fabric as printed without the flounce and it was a micro-mini. A little too short for my tastes. Cute, but no. I’m 33 years old… lol. I made the skirt out of white satin, fully lining it as the fabric was a bit thin.

I stitched the zipper in first in a yellow thread, then once it was how I wanted it, used white thread and picked out the yellow. I’m really happy with how the zipper turned out, and even though its white and I’ve no idea where I’ll ever wear it again, I quite like the skirt.

I spent about $15 total on fabrics, the skirt pattern I bought years ago at Joann’s, and the blouse pattern I bought in a small lot, and it probably costs me about $2. Either way, I have the perfect outfit for the party, for under $25. I’m still undecided on shoes, but will be crimping my hair for the night and playing with crazy make-up. I make jewelry so will be making earrings and maybe a necklace, probably out of super bright polymer clay.

Anyway, that’s my share for today! I dont have this one up on my blog yet, but you’re welcome to pop by anyway! Deb’s In Stitches!

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1980s | Shirts

Kwik Sew 1425 View B (1986)

By on October 31, 2013

I recently bought a small stack of 1980’s Kwik Sew patterns of of eBay. I don’t usually go for the 80’s, but there were a few that were super cute and the price was right. I didn’t have any immediate plans for them, but figured something would pop up in my fabric stash that would go with one of them.

The last few days I’ve been picking out pieces of fabric, either stuff I honestly can’t fathom why I ever bought it, or large remnants from past projects to list of eBay. While I was sorting through it all, I came across a piece of fabric that had so far proven too small to use for anything. I fell in love with it and ordered the very last 1.5 yards a few years ago, but I didn’t want to make a tank top, and so far that was my only real option aside from a top I had just made a few days previously and I didn’t think that fabric was right for it.. Then I realized Kwik Sew 1425 only uses a little over a yard of fabric. I decided to sew view B, but without using contrasting fabric for the sleeves, which makes it the same as view C, without the straps in the back.

The entire project took about 2 hours from start to finish, mainly because I had to rip out a couple of seams. I say its because I used a perfectly matched thread color- if I had used a contrasting thread, there would have been no mistakes, and everything would have gone perfectly. I also finished the neckband and sleeve ends a bit differently from the instructions. I used a size Large.

I’m very pleased with the outcome, though if I make it again I’d add a few inches to the bottom. I didn’t hem the bottom edge because if I had, this would nearly be a belly shirt, and I didn’t want that. I also really like my fabric choice for this. I also really like the way the back is low, but not bra-strap-showingly low. Its a nice scoop and constrast to the high neckline in the front.

Excuse the face I’m making and the yoga pants. I usually take photos with my good camera and a tripod, but my camera died, and my boyfriend apparently doesn’t know to take the picture when I’m not making faces. I figure I was lucky to get him to snap them at all. :p I’m pretty sure I’ll get a lot of wear out of this top though, even if I was making faces for the photos.

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1940s | 1950s | 1980s | Dresses

Prom Recomendations

By on July 21, 2013

Hi all! I’m not sharing today but rather asking for your help! I have been invited to a prom-themed birthday party for a friend. We are all about ten years or more out of high school. I never went to my prom, and neither did she, but I really want to make this awesome. I’m still very much up in the air about the dress I want to do for this, but here are a few I’ve seriously considered. The first one I really like the very classic and conservative lines.

Neither of these are vintage, but I fell in love with them just the same. What’s my question? What are some vintage dress patterns that would be prom-appropriate that you can think of? I’d love to find one to fall in love with and go that route instead!

I do have a few prerequisites though for you to consider.

  • Nothing strapless, plunging backs, or spaghetti straps- I’m a big girl up top (F cup) and finding a good bra is hard enough- finding a strapless good bra will be a nightmare. Not wearing one at all is not going to happen! haha
  • I would prefer a fairly sleek silhouette, but I’m not adverse to a full skirt.
  • Full length preferred, but others are okay too.
  • 1950’s and previous I’m very open to, as some 80′ s styles.
  • Sleeves are very welcome as we may be outside quite a bit for this event and it is being held in November!

As I said, I never went to my prom, so this is my chance to do it and I want to look amazing!I never have opportunity to dress up like this.

I also need to find a good men’s dress shirt pattern that’s not terribly difficult. My boyfriend has agreed to go to this as long as I make his shirt… I never thought I would hear that as a request! O.O

Anyway, show me what you’ve got! I need some fresh ideas, and if you’re already sewn the dress in question, I would love to see photos of the finished item to get a better feel for it.

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1950s | Bags / Purses | Skirts

Reversible Half-Circle Skirt with Exposed Zipper.

By on May 31, 2013

About a week ago I had this crazy idea. What if I made another half-circle skirt, but I made it fully reversible? Little did I know that it wouldn’t be as easy as I first thought when it popped into my head, but I made it work, and I think its pretty fab! I ended up having to use a separating zipper made for a coat, which was a challenge finding one the right color and length, but after that it was pretty smooth sailing!

The lighter fabric is not white- its actually a very pale pink with a tiny and delicate floral vines pattern all over it. The darker one, which I’m pretty sure you can see, its just pink scallops. I drafted the pattern myself, using the measurements kicked out by this awesome circle skirt calculator. My inspiration for this skirt is the one pictured here in this post from a week or two ago.

I look a fright, but I'm not one for wearing make-up when I'm just sitting home all day!

I was able to use up two fabrics I had a ton of in my stash that I had no idea what to do with (I originally intended a summer top but it never happened and I had accidentally ordered double the yardage I needed). I also made a matching (also fully reversible) purse to go with it. The purse is my own pattern design- its not vintage or even vintage inspired, but it goes with the skirt that is! LOL

I also made the button down shirt I am wearing in both photos a few weeks ago out of some other fabric I didn’t know what to do with. I’m really trying to pare down my stash this summer, both of fabrics and patterns, and have a lot of patterns listed for sale in my shop, mostly vintage.

You can see more about this fabulous skirt on my blog here.

 

 

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1970s | Dresses

A Modern Pattern Modified For A 70’s Feel

By on May 21, 2013

First, some background. Four years ago, right after I got my sewing machine, but before I started really sewing, I attempted to make this dress, the one shown in blue. I did such a horribly sloppy job cutting it, the skirt was all I could save from the pattern. There were literally inches of fabric that did not line up on the back of the originally cut bodice.

After about two years, I finished it as just a skirt, but it was pretty hideous- there’s no other way to describe it. Fast forward to this weekend. I pulled out the last of my black cotton broadcloth from my stash and I re-cut the bodice, this time going for the view on the right in white. I ripped out all the seams of the skirt and ironed them all. I re-stitched everything with French seams. I made a few changes to the design as I went (you can see them listed here on my blog) and when I was finished this afternoon, I had something not only wearable, but likeable.

The empire waist I ended up with and the cap sleeves along with the almost A-line skirt shape give this a kind of 70’s feel, similar to what you see here and here, though I think the shorter length is reminiscent of children’s dresses.

My fabric choices are far from that era though, and if I did this again, I’d still make the same changes I did to this now, but would choose less loud and busy pattern for my fabrics- probably a solid color. Either way, I have a feeling my altered version of this dress are more my style than the original intended design.

I’ve also just won a lot of 60 women’s patterns off of eBay for about $15. All I know about the lot is most of them are uncut, so maybe I’ll find some treasures in there when they arrive! I may have a pattern buying problem.

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