1930s

Hello all,

The usual – long time lurker etc. I’ve been sewing for at least two thirds of my life and am a part-time seamstress for hire. I also work in the theatre industry as a Stage Manager and Props builder. I’ve recently been making things from my vintage pattern stock, some of which are posted on my blog, and others which will be soon!

I thought for my first post, I’d share a project that I completed in the fall for a good friend’s wedding. Since I’ve been on contract for the past few months, I’ve just recently been able to add it to my site. I’ve been getting into 1930s styles, and the bride is a long time fan of the era, so it was a perfect fit that we design her dress accordingly. As a prelude, I don’t normally do wedding dresses. I feel that there is a large pool out there and I’m only interested if it’s a special, personalized gown. My previous versions have included a light green dress, and a Sleepy Hollow themed wedding party.

I did lots of research on 30s gowns, and working with fabric on the bias. Here’s the finished gown on the bride – in the end, I could not get it onto my dress form as there were no fastenings. The bodice is entirely cut on the bias and fits her like a glove (a glove that fits obviously…).

Late afternoon light on a lovely lady.

Action shot.

Princess seams, a beaming Groom and a fairy flower girl.

The pattern was self drafted. Pearl beads accent the front and back neckline.

Bodice beading and a custom veil too!

A train was attached with pearl beads also, which was removed for the reception (for dancing and sitting comfortably).

The back View without the train.

For more pics and nerdy sewing details, see the full post here.

More fun projects to come!

~ Heather

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30s coat pocket

I made our little niece a vintage tweed coat using a 1930s Pictorial Review pattern:

Pictorial Review 6128

Pictorial Review 6128

In true 1930s spirit, all the materials were re-purposed or came from my stash. We had some purple Woolrich tweed and black lining, and I cut the pocket flaps from an old pair of leather gloves. The buttons are vintage Civil Defence buttons from wartime Britain.

This was an experiment in both coat-making and tailoring for me. The pattern instructions said to pad stitch only the undercollar, and because the coat is a size 1 there could only be so much hand sewing. I love working with wool and heavy fabrics, so the project was a lot of fun, especially the pockets and lapels.

Here are some photos of the finished coat:

1930s child's coat front

1930s child's coat - front view

1930s child's coat - back view

1930s child's coat - back view

Here’s a closeup of the front buttons. I also tried out some handworked keyhole buttonholes:

Civil Defence buttons

Civil Defence buttons

For more details and tailoring progress pics see my blog post.

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The second skirt in my Pendleton quartet is another plaid number. This one is fairly plain as well, with some simple alterations made to change the look up a bit. I widened the waistband and added suspenders. I’ve always really liked the look of the suspender skirt (whether from the 1910s or the 1950s or anywhere in between), and have intended to make myself one for a long time now. I thought it would be a nice silhouette with this plaid also, simple enough to showcase the pattern, but not so overly simplified as to be boring. This piece of wool had just a few moth holes that needed repair, so I set myself to work at re-weaving again. This is a much finer weave than the previous fabric, so it required a little more precision, but it really wasn’t too bad. I have to admit, I think I’m actually getting a little hooked on it. It’s just the kind of insanely meticulous work I find fun and relaxing (’cause maybe I’m a little nuts).

 

After pulling threads from a scrap of the plaid, I set to work reweaving the two holes in the skirt front, and then the two in the suspender pieces.

 

Doing this made me feel a little bit like the woman who made Chanel’s braided trim for decades (although not old, French, and incredibly skilled).

 

You can see the first hole mid-repair just to the right of the pin.

The skirt turned out pretty well, and I had just enough left of the fabric to make a matching hat (because every outfit should have a matching hat, right?). Anyway, I used the Wearing History Sporty Toppers pattern, view 1. I was working with scraps, so the plaid doesn’t match perfectly on top, but it doesn’t bother me too much since there is so much seaming to break it up in the first place. I used a slightly narrower ribbon than called for in the pattern, but I like how it looks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To complete my sort of “golf-course” couture look, I managed to finally finish one of my biggest UFOs; this brown wool suit jacket. I started this suit about three years ago, finished the skirt, got about half way through the jacket and then put it on the back burner and left it there to stew. It feels really good to finally have it finished and out of the project pile. It’s far from perfect, but finished it all I was really aiming for at this point, so I’m happy with it. I don’t have all the pattern details in front of me, but I’ll try and dig them up. I’m pretty sure it’s a McCall’s pattern, and it’s from the 50s, but I’m not sure the exact year and can’t remember the number. Anyway, here’s the ensemble all put together and ready for a stroll across the fairway. (Both pieces need a little touch up with the iron).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, that’s that. Now on to other projects in the queue. I’ve still got two of the wool skirts to put together, and then numerous other summery projects to start, but I’ve got an Edwardian event to go to in early May that I also have to make some stuff for, and that will probably take precedence. Hope everyone has had a good week!

 

-Evie

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I am very happy (although my face is serious in the photos, hehe) because I designed this dress, I drew the pattern and sewed it …. now I have a 30s inspired dress in my wardrobe!
Lately, I’m obsessed with this era fashion and I think I got a sewing a dress inspired by it that I can wear every day, of course, if you want to see more about it, including more photos, feel free to visit my home.

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