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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1920s | 1930s

Drafting for Fall&Winter!

By on September 17, 2014

 

It seems, when you design and construct your own entire wardrobes four times a year, that the seasons just creep too fast upon you. So many ideas, so many things to make and do and never enough time is the old way of saying things. Am I in this sphere of plight all on my own? Surely not. I hear it enough.

Anyhow, enough with my prattle….

This season is sleeves for me and I’ve drafted two thus far. I saw a beautiful wedding sleeve (photographed in green) in Bellas catalogue from late 1920s the other day and I just had to have it.  I couldn’t afford the catalogue at that moment so I had to keep it in my minds eye painfully until I got home from the antique shop to sketch it out (that will be the last time I forget my sketch pad believe you me). Luckily it wasn’t the only time I’ve seen the sleeve and there’s a similar one being used in wedding fashions of today. It’s basically just a long sleeve unraveled like apple peels and slashed and spread for gathers. The pattern looks like a snake children make in kindergarten.

Drafted fairly quickly I was really pleased with myself that I used too many notches because they were well needed to sew the sleeve precisely.  Here is the muslin for it…

photo 3 (1) Plenty of threads and wrinkles!

I didn’t get enough of sleeve drafting so I did another in a popular fashion of 1932. Since sleeves are big this season I got creative  about where the “bigness” was going to be. On the first one it was fuller all around, on the blue muslin the amplitude was on the lower half towards the wrist. Almost as if the wrists had wings. This sleeve is fully lined but not necessary with the facing I also drafted along with it.  Here it is…

photo 2 (2)    This sleeve was too much fun as well!

Here are both of the sleeves on the mid cowl I drafted to test them out.

photo 1 (1)

There are a few things I would fix on the green muslin but I am really rather pleased with them both.  And as I am 6 months along there are plenty of things I can make for the sleeves to go on so I may wear them in the winter when the baby is here and I’ve gone back to normal.

Well, that’s all from me for now, do take care!

To boot, you can find more on my site!     www.1930slife.blogspot.com

 

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1920s | Dresses

The 1929’s dress

By on August 3, 2014

So, in the end I picked this design to sew for the 1920’s portion of my Vintage Pattern Pledge.

To make it a bit more wearable in 2014, I made it in black crepe.

I didn’t make any alterations to the pattern although I didn’t completely follow the (very limited) instructions. I made the neckline a bit more stable and cleanly finished than suggested.

When I first sewed top and skirt together, it looked like this. Which looks like a 1920’s silhouette but not like the drawing at all.

I ended up making a large pleat at the back which gave me a look much closer to that in the image. I’m still wondering if this is something they just didn’t in the instructions (which again, are really limited, just a few lines for pattern tracing, cutting and sewing) assuming the reader would understand or if it just illustrates my complete lack of understanding of 1920’s fashion…

Anyway, I love the dress as it is now and I’m sure I’ll enjoy wearing it.

More about it, including more pictures, on my blog

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1920s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

Speakeasy Dress

By on May 3, 2014
My outfit including my wool coat with fluffy fox fur collar and a fake bob which took more effort than the dress.

I recently went to a prohibition night at the Police and Justice Museum in Sydney, Australia. They had turned the museum into a speakeasy with heaps of fun activities, music and performances. Of course they encouraged 1920’s and 30’s dress and so I “whipped up” (because it’s that easy) a flapper dress. I found a gorgeous light satin in green and bought the longest black fringing I could find. I used a 1970’s (Simplicity 8750) bias slip pattern but left out the main darts to have that loose silhouette and added two rows of fringing on the bottom.


I also tied the Best Dressed competition so I’m very happy.

 
I had forgotten how fantastic bias cut is to wear and am very tempted to make more bias cut garments. I’m hoping to have a few more photos on my Instagram: http://instagram.com/sharpscissors from the night soon.

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1920s | Vintage Sewing

Betty Skirt Pattern from Shaffer Sisters

By on February 23, 2014

The Betty Skirt pattern is the debut pattern from Shaffer Sisters!

Betty Skirt pattern | SewsNBows

I thought some of you retro sewists might like the 1920’s inspired deep yoke, and 8 or 16 gore pleat options. It goes up to a girls size 10, but I hear rumors that it may be sized up to teen & women’s soon!

Betty Skirt in Denim with Mother of Pearl Buttons

You can see photos, pattern options, and a link to the designers at SewsNBows. I’m really proud of Shaffer Sisters for working so hard to release their first pattern!

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1920s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

A glamorous Party in a vintage style dress

By on February 18, 2014

Hi lovely people at wesewretro,
this is my first post on this amazing site and I would like to introduce my latest make to you. It´s a babypink satin dress in the style of the roaring twenties here in Berlin. As a vintage lover I wanted to attend a party dedicated to this era and just had to make my own dress for this special occasion!

I found a pattern in an older Burda Style, December 2011, dress number 126. It was not perfect but good enough for my purpose. So I made a few adjustments, like taking in the side seems a little (I like to show a little waist!) and eliminated the velvet panel in the middle…. the hardest part was adding the thousands (or so it seemed) beadstrings that I had in my mind to posh up my look… turned out fabulous if you don´t mind me boasting 😉

You can have a look of the completed dress and if you´re interested in more detail, pop over to my blog.

 

Thanks for your interest.

Cheers,

Milan

 

 

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1920s | Accessories | Downton Abbey Inspired | Dresses | Hats

1921 Bustle Effect Dress

By on February 13, 2014

I made this dress to wear to a Downton Abbey inspired tea, but also as an entry into the Historical Sew Fortnightly Challenge #3 Pink.  The pattern itself is a repro of an original 1921 Butterick pattern and it went together very nicely.  For being such an old pattern the instructions were much better than what you find on BurdaStyle magazines, although they are wholly inadequate Big Four standards today. I used a poly shantung for economical reasons but other than that, the dress is pretty historically accurate.  Actually, it’s not a dress but a skirt suspended from a “long underbody” and then a blouse on top. I am very happy with how it turned out.  It’s not something I can just wear around but it served its purpose, and I think I’m going to use during Costume College for day activities.  For more pictures and a description of the Historical Sew Fortnightly challenge, please visit my blog.  I almost forgot, I made the hat too, using Simplicity 1736 and wool/rayon felt.

 

As a side note, I hadn’t made any posts since the blog was moved over from Blogger but I could have sworn I had an account.  Apparently I didn’t so I had to create one, and it’s showing that I have no other posts.  Bummer.

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