1930s | Vintage Sewing

A Rainbow 1930’s Wrap Dress

By on August 14, 2015

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Hello everyone! I have been a Sew Retro reader for a long time now, and figured it was high time I started sharing my sewing projects with you all in return! My most recent make is this dotty rainbow colored 1930’s inspired wrap dress! I have included some vintage pattern illustrations below to give you an idea of what sort of shape and style I was aiming for. I have a standard short kimono sleeve mid-century bodice pattern that I drafted earlier this past spring that I modified to achieve this wrap dress pattern. I added a triangular shaped front drape (that blends in and becomes quite invisible!) to the front for a 30’s bias-ish detail.

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I used my basic pencil skirt pattern for the skirt portion but I added a bit of flare emanating out from just below the knee for more of a 30’s feel. The edges, including the hem, are all bound in self fabric bias tape. I sorta cheated and sewed the tape on by machine instead of doing it nicely by hand. I can be a bit impatient sometimes (always) and occasionally (most of the time) succumb to some sewing shortcuts! This fabric is a polyester crepe in a really great (if a bit slippery!) weight. I found it on the bargain table of my favorite local fabric shop last spring and always knew I wanted to try and make something 30’s from it. I really like how the dress came out in the end!

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Thanks for reading! For more photos of this dress and other vintage sewing projects, visit me at The Closet Historian! 

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1930s | Dresses

1933

By on August 12, 2015

staand1It took me a long time and quite a bit of trouble but this dress is finished… Made from a pattern from Gracieuse magazine from October 1933, this thing proved tricky at every step.

e59c812223944a4a89c30d1332d1d16bThe stripes meant I had to sew very carefully and try and match them and the fabric kept on growing on the bias. I’m grateful for the advice from many people on We Sew Retro Sew & Tell on how to deal with that…

zittend3The dress still isn’t perfect but it is my best attempt yet at a 1930’s design.  And it is item number 7 for my Vintage Sewing Pattern Pledge.

More information and more pictures on my blog

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1930s | Vintage Sewing

1930s Summer Plaid!

By on July 8, 2015

Well! It’s been a while since I’ve posted so I thought I’d start again with my new favourite number. A plaid 1930s style frock for summertime wear. I loved this dress so much when I saw one in a German fashion magazine dated August 1931 and I just had to have it so I draped it and I did so from memory because the magazine belonged to an antique dealer downtown who wanted $69 too much for it. I was going to snap a photograph of it but there were too many eyes upon me. Here it is anyhow, probably not exact to the style I saw but exact to what I desired.

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I made it a bit blousey for a change and I love that once in a while because it feels nice and cool on hot days.image

I also played around with the plaid which is something I love to do with all types of weaves and prints and patterns. I did the major pieces of the plaid on the bias because I love that about 1930s style and it makes me feel wonderful.image

I hope you’ll visit me on my blog! I have a few more finished articles there too and shall have many more to come!

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1930s | 1940s

1940s Plaid Hoodie

By on June 25, 2015

This is by far my favorite sewing project this year. I call my creation the Dorr Mill Plaid Hoodie, named for the shop that the wool was purchased from. I actually finished this jacket earlier in the spring but it wasn’t until recently that I was able to get some decent photos. This jacket counts towards my 2015 personal vintage pattern sewing pledge. In these pictures the jacket is worn over the blouse (Hollywood 1530) and slacks (Simplicity 1306) that I made last year for the Reading Air Show.

The sleeves are cut with an upper and lower sleeve section and are slightly gathered at shoulders. The jacket back is cut in one piece on the fold. The jacket fronts are made from two pieces each. And of course the hood, also cut on the fold. Hooray hood! The whole jacket is lined with cotton muslin. The whole jacket is gathered slightly to a wide fitted waistband and closes with buttons up the front. The buttons appear to be shell. I added a snap to the very bottom of the jacket. One of my favorite things about this jacket, aside from the hood that is, is the way the front is constructed. It was a little fiddly but I’m happy with the result. I did restitch one front section because the fabric shifted causing the plaid stripes to be off set. I flat felled the seams for a neater finish.

More photos here!

Summary of the Pattern
Fabric: 100% wool from the Dorr Mill Store, cotton lining
Pattern: Simplicity
Year: late 1930s
Notions: Buttons, thread, one snap
How historically accurate is it? Very. Plaids were pretty popular in the 30s and 40s for outerwear.
Any tricky parts to the pattern? Fitting the gathered front sections to the waistband and jacket front. Not too difficult just a little fiddly.
Did you change anything? I reduced the size just a touch and added a snap to the bottom front.
Time to complete: About a week, I’m guessing 8ish hours? I’m back at keep track.
First worn: Earlier this spring, first good pictures taken June 7 at the Reading Air Show.
Total cost: I can’t remember what I paid for the fabric because I bought it so long ago. I’d guess with the pattern the cost for this project would be in the $30 to $40 range.
Notes: The jacket fits great over a dress as intended and works well with 40s high waisted pants. If I were to make this again for modern wear I would lengthen it a little bit.

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1930s | 1940s | Swimwear / Sunwear

Glamour Swimsuit

By on June 16, 2015

Hi All!

Long time no-post here- I’ve been so busy over on my blog with my Bra-A-Week Challenge, making up lingerie and swimwear. But I made a very vintage swimsuit this week that I knew I had to share with you all! It is a one-piece suit, with a ruched front modesty panel and triangle cup-top, and the back is a non-ruched modesty panel with cut out-details!

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I got the inspiration for this suit from my two of my biggest girl crushes: Lana Del Rey and Kiera Knightly. The front is inspired by this suit worn by Lana (not sure what it was from, could just be a photo shoot) and the back is inspired by the suit that Kiera Knightly wore in the movie Atonement (could I just have all of her clothes from that movie please??)

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I made it using this delicate printed swimwear fabric (because I’m not daring enough to actually wear white swimwear), and used some large brass coloured rings in the back for the details!

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This was an entirely self-drafted pattern. I’ve made myself a base swimsuit sloper that I draft most of my swimwear from.  And it’s surprisingly easy to make any kind of swimwear from a good base sloper! Most of the edges of this swimsuit were finished with self-binding, except for the leg holes that I finished with all-rubber swim elastic, and the hem of the modesty panel that I just flipped up and stitched.  I also left a gap in the swim lining on the cups so I could put in molded triangle cups.

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I LOVE my new suit!! You can check out more about this suit and my Bra-A-Week Challenge over on my blog- in case you are also a lingerie/swimwear maker who would like to join in the fun! 🙂

xo erin

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1930s | Lingerie

1930s Dressing Gown

By on June 2, 2015

This was definitely a step away from my usual cotton day dresses and wool skirts!  My latest sewing project was a full-length dressing gown using the 1930s Butterfly Blouse pattern from Decades of Style.  This pattern has been around for quite some time and has several reviews online.  Everyone who’s made it was thrilled with the fit, and I have to agree.  It is a great pattern to work with and a very flattering style.  The fabric is lightweight with an excellent drape.  It has a black flocked background and sheer, see-through flowers.  A gorgeous lingerie effect and oh-so-dramatic!

More photos and details are over at my blog, Willow Homestead.

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