1920s | Hats

A cloche

By on May 12, 2015

When I made a hat to go with my 1950’s suit, I got interested in making other styles of hats as well.

Hats can be tricky for me. Not all styles work with long hair and a fringe. But I really liked the idea of making a 1920’s style cloche and fortunately, I had some patterns in my 1920’s Gracieuse magazines.

10This is the design I picked but I didn’t add the scarf.

patroonThe pattern looks like this. Different from any more modern cloche pattern I’ve ever seen.

clocheI made my hat from a material that is definitely not period accurate: thick synthetic felt. I cut the pieces without seam allowance and sewed them edge to edge by hand.

cloche2I think it’s a fun hat and it will count towards my Vintage Sewing Pattern Pledge. I’m not so sure it looks like something from the 1920’s though 😉

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1920s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

1920s White Lightning Dress

By on April 14, 2015

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.

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1920s | Aprons | Vintage Sewing

My 1920’s House Apron: A One Yard Wonder

By on April 9, 2015

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

 

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1910s | 1920s | 1950s | Pattern Drafting

Free Vintage Patterns and Vintage Sewing Books

By on February 10, 2015

Looking for something to read on the bus? Check out these free vintage dressmaking books, including a pattern drafting system from the 1950s that looks rather nifty.

If you’re not familiar with how the pattern drafting systems work, it’s like having small pattern guides (think of the pattern piece schematics on the back of your sewing pattern envelope) that you scale up to your individual measurements using a specially marked ruler or measuring tape. In the Dressmaking at Home book here, you’ll find the details for the ruler on page 7.

Edit: these might look a little quirky on mobile. If you’re having trouble, jump on an actual computer.

Dressmaking at Home (pattern drafting system from the 1950s)

The New Dressmaker by Butterick Patterns (1921)

The American System of Dressmaking (early 1900s)

 

Home Dressmaking and the Art of Good Dressing

A note about copyright: I didn’t make any of these documents available on Scribd and Scribd’s terms of use specifically prohibit the upload of works for which you do not hold the copyright. I haven’t dug down far enough into the murky world of copyright infringement to be able to say if these works are infringing or not, so I’m taking Scribd at their word that these works are not infringing anyone’s copyright. Copyright holders can file a takedown notice on Scribd here.

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1910s | 1920s | Blouses | Downton Abbey Inspired

Downton Abbey inspired blouse

By on December 24, 2014

Recently, I re-watched season two of Downton Abbey and for the first time, the clothes really appealed to me. Especially some of the blouses looked like they would still be nice to wear now.

I have some vintage pattern magazines in my collection which date as far back as 1918 so I started looking for options. In those magazines, there are plenty of pictures of lovely designs and readers could order the patterns for those… Just some of the designs (about one in each size) were included on a tracing sheet.

jurk_topI finally found these dresses in an issue of Gracieuse magazine from 1922. The middle one is more or less in my size (and so loose fitting I didn’t worry about that) and, more importantly, has the design I was after. So, I used the pattern pieces for the dress bodice to create this blouse.

blouse3It was a bit difficult to find a way to wear it. The blouse is very comfortable and I like it, but most of the bottoms in my wardrobe are more 1950’s in style and really didn’t work with it. I like the look with these trousers though. Not really period accurate but it doesn’t look ‘off’ either.

blouse voor 2With this blouse, I’ve also completed my goal of five items from actual vintage patterns for my Vintage Pattern Pledge.

As usual, you can read more about it on my blog.

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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:

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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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1920s

1919-20 Madeleine Vionnet Handkerchief Dress (Japanese Bunka Book pattern #3)

By on September 18, 2014

vionnet3-19I’m back with another Vionnet dress! This time it is pattern #3 from the Japanese Bunka Book, but actually has quite the presence already online as I found an existing tutorial here. The dress is from around 1919-1920 and is made of four squarish pieces of fabric which give you four “flaps” (or jabots I think is the official term) on each side of your body, a deep V neck on the front and back, twisted shoulder straps, and a sash to tie it all together.

vionnet3-30These post it notes should give you a clearer idea about this dress’ construction as it is a bit difficult to explain. The creases represent the side seams and the mini diamond in the front represents the “ripple” that forms from each flap on each side.

vionnet3-11A photo of the real dress opened up – does the paper model make more sense now?

vionnet3-15The beautiful thing about this dess is that although it is 1 pattern, 1 dress, it has a ton of different ways of wearing it. You can do a drop waist, an empire waist, a full front, a full back, a voluminous version, a halter neck version, etc…  In this particular version I made all the flaps point toward the back to create a ton of ripples and more volume in the back. It’s a really simple dress to sew as there are 6 seams total (4 sides, 2 shoulder) BUT it is not so fun to hem as you have 4 giant squares. This was a muslin so I did a shoddy job of hemming, but for a real version I would need to be a master of the narrow hem since both the wrong sides and right sides of the fabric are featured in this dress.

vionnet3-23 I’ve written more about the different variations and construction technique for the dress on my blog here, as well as more photographs if you interested: http://cathywu.com/journal/kalali/2014/09/18/vionnet-dress-pattern-3-1919-1920-handkerchief-dress/

 

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