1920s

Trying out for the Mack Sennett Bathing Beauties….

By on November 5, 2014

1926I love all the images of bathing beauties from the 1920’s – so I thought I might have a go at sewing one with a pattern from 1926.

I haven’t had much experience in sewing with knit or stretch fabric, but I thought I could manage with this piece of really heavy ink-navy t-shirt cotton – it really didn’t have much stretch at all thankfully (just rolled a lot at the edges until they were over-locked).  The contrast fabric was a lighter knit fabric with a faux-animal skin print.

The skirt is really twirly – it makes a full circle when laid out:

1926

Not sure how it will go when fully wet, the fabric already makes the bathing suit quite heavy…but then, I daresay most of the Sennet Beauties didn’t really go for a swim either. Even the bloomers are pretty substantial!

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1940s | Swimwear / Sunwear | Vintage Sewing

Franken-fabric

By on July 14, 2014

Because it is summer somewhere….

A friend had an amazing piece of fabric and wanted a vintage bathing suit made from it. The border print fabric had 9 individually blocked and decorated ballerinas and the pattern that she really liked was Simplicity 2441 (sorry about the photo quality of the fabric… )

Being woefully short of fabric to actually make the bathing suit, I started to experiment with placement of the ballerinas on the fabric with my computer first (because I am pretty sure I will never see fabric like this again!)

 

We finally came up with a design that involved my completely discarding the plain blue fabric (because there wasn’t enough, and I couldn’t find a perfect match) and patchworking the border print fabric to the 8 panels of the bathing suit skirt. Apart from being a bit busy on the inside of the bathing suit, it ended up being not too noticeable from the outside. And I still have a leftover ballerina!

And the best part of all is that she got to wear it earlier this year on the last day of summer here in Australia at Red Beach –  so you could say it was sea-worthy.

 

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1970s

Quaint Quants or ‘Trashion’

By on July 8, 2014

I have been wanting to make a pair of 1970’s black velvet hot pants for a while, so I decided to have a go at this Mary Quant pattern and see what these looked like made up.

I used a remnant of 1980’s furnishing fabric to do the mock up from – I thought that the weight of the fabric would work better than making it from calico. Once I got it to this stage,  they looked cute (in a non-Quant kind of way), so  I thought ‘what the heck’ and decided to finish them properly.

 

The blouse on the pattern illustration was made in broderie, so I used another remnant (in a dirty beige colour) from stash to make it up – and found some awesome vintage buttons that seemed to be in keeping with the whole dandy feel.

The result, complete with some trashy coloured pearl necklaces and bracelets from a local op-shop, was interesting, but wearable.

 

And I have yet to make up the black velvet hot pants.

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1960s

1968 Keyhole Dress

By on July 6, 2014

Starting with a really cute Simplicity pattern from 1968 and using the McQueen/David Bowie Jacket as a bit of Union Jack inspiration

First I played around with the pattern  schematic and a Union Jack on the computer and ended up with a placement that I didn’t think looked too bad (although it was a bit tough going over the curved seam at the centre back….

Because the dress was fully lined, I mostly patchworked the shapes on to the outer fabric. (The pattern had originally been cut out with a shortened hem, so I thought I might just use the previous owner’s length – just to see how short they anticipated wearing it) I used a stiff 100% cotton fabric with a linen weave.

After that it was just a walk in the park to get the dress together using the same white cotton fabric as lining.

 

 

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