1930s | Coats | Downton Abbey Inspired | Vintage Sewing

1930s In-Between Seasons Coat

By on February 10, 2016

Last autumn one of my goals was to make a 1930s lightweight coat so I can wear it during those in-between months, when it’s not quite warm enough to go without one and not quite cold enough for full on winter coat, scarf and gloves. After trawling both Etsy and eBay I finally found this beautiful original 1930s pattern by Bestway, a company who produced sewing patterns for the home sewer and were available to order via the Bestway magazine.

1930s Bestway Coat Sewing Pattern

1930s lightweight coat

I used an amazing aubergine and grey mix suiting fabric that looked and behaved like wool but was actually a polyester mix and it was a dream to work with. It took me forever to make due to the traditional tailoring techniques I used but it was definitely worth it in the end as it hangs so well.

1930s Bakelite buttons

The buttons had to be authentic and after many hours of searching I found these original 1930s Bakelite ones on Etsy. I absolutely love the classic Art Deco lines on them and I think the size of them really adds the right amount of detailing to the coat.

1930s aubergine coat

If you would like to read more about the coat and see more photos feel free to pop over to my blog.

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1910s | 1930s | 1950s | 1970s | Dresses | Pattern Drafting | Vintage Sewing

The great white dress

By on December 17, 2015

Hi all you wonderful crafting & sewing fellows!

It’s crazy, I haven’t posted anything in here for years, but the great big white deserves a mention, methinks 😉

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My inspirations for this dress was all over the place. I was looking at Edwardian wedding gowns, 1930’s drapes and flowy sleeves, 1950’s circle skirts and 1970’s hippie layers and lace stuff… You can imagine the confusion and headaches I had over design choices!

In the end I went for a completely self drafted design, with added details from all the periods I was inspired by, and I think it worked pretty well! I used my standard bodice pattern for starters, cut it up to find the “perfect seam lines” (and of course that meant having a seven-piece bodice. Smart), and then made a few muslins to try to perfect it.

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The skirt is four layers – four different fabrics – full circle.

IMG_1284cFor a bunch more pictures, come over here: http://sewewellyn.blogspot.se/2015/12/finally-wedding-dress-pictures.html

And here’s the post with some of my inspiration: http://sewewellyn.blogspot.se/2015/05/wedding-dress-inspiration.html

 

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1930s | 1940s | Skirts | Vintage Sewing

A Skirt Suited to Adventure

By on November 5, 2015

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Hello again! I have been trying this year to add new neutrals to my wardrobe after years devoted to basic black. In that effort I decided I needed a light brown skirt for this fall! I wanted something a little different from the usual pencil skirt shape I always make so I added a circular flare to the side seam of one side. In theory this was easy enough to do, but for the first go I just didn’t add enough flare and the skirt hung sort of odd. To fix this I added a larger triangular shaped godet into the flared seam for more fullness. It drapes much better now but I probably should have weighted down the hem (sewn a small chain into the hem tape) for it to hang even better. I used a bias tape facing to finish the hem, in a lightweight shantung silk that is my new favorite fabric for hem facings! It just does the job so well, the only problem is that it is expensive stuff, luckily one yard is enough to do several hems!

 

 

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I am really happy with how the skirt turned out in the end and plan on making a little bolero to match for a sort of suit.  I think the skirt looks sort of late 30’s/early 40’s and I can’t wait to style it for the colder weather with even more vintage looking accessories. For more photos of this skirt, visit me at theclosethistorian.blogspot.com/

 

 

 

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1930s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

1930s Cotton Butterfly Day Dress – Butterick 5764

By on September 3, 2015

I was able to snag this pattern, and loved the variation of the dresses.

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I wanted to make this a true 1930s day dress for view C, so I constructed the dress of a quilter’s cotton. I wanted to keep the natural drape of the collar, so I made that piece of a poly peachskin.

butterick 5764 fullI made a few changes, and there were a few challenges with this pattern. One change I made was that I added a slight elastic waistband instead of making the belt. Some of the challenges included having to make a back yoke as the collar did not come close to reaching the back bodice. Also, the french cuffs were designed to be very small, the construction was odd and the end result was not practical. I ended up just scrapping them, and making a keyhole construction while keeping the gathers at the button cuffs. You can read more of my trail of tears here.

butterick 5764 close up

I fully lined the dress, and am most pleased with the finished product.

butterick 5764 side

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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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