1950s | Dresses | Mail Order Patterns | Vintage Sewing

First Time Re-Sizing: Anne Adams R4769

By on May 15, 2017

I have spent a long time trying to build up the courage to attempt re-sizing a vintage pattern and I finally took the plunge last week. While I definitely need to work out a ton of kinks, I could not be happier about finally trying. After a lot of unpicking and re-stitching I was able to stitch up Anne Adams R4769 in a wearable size!

You can read more about my adventure (and all of my mishaps) with this garment over at my blog. This experiment has rekindled my passion for sewing and I now can’t wait to start on another one!

Until next time . . . happy sewing!

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1950s | 1960s | Dresses

Retro Nautical Inspired Moneta Dress

By on May 4, 2017
Akram's Ideas: The Moneta Dress an Astonishingly Quick Make

I recently took part in the #MonetaParty hosted by the Triple Stitchers made up of Rachel, Abigal, and Elle . The idea was that all participants sew up the Moneta dress by Colette patterns and share their makes on Instagram.

Retro Additions

At first, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to participate after all the Moneta dress is just a simple knit dress.

However, I after exploring Colette patterns website I found a free collar extension pack for this pattern. The collar variations really added to this dress.

Akram's Ideas: The Moneta Dress an Astonishingly Quick Make

 

I was especially taken by the tie collar and how it gave the dress a bit of a retro nautical inspired look.

Along with the tie collar, I also made the largest size skirt and then gathered it. It gave the skirt a much fuller look than the more relaxed fit of the original dress.

Akram's Ideas: The Moneta Dress an Astonishingly Quick Make

The length of the skirt I cut as directed, but I’m short so I feel like it seems longer to me than most of the Moneta’s that I see online.

With that said, the fuller skirt and longer length also help to give this dress more retro appeal.

Simple Make

Akram's Ideas: The Moneta Dress an Astonishingly Quick Make

The Moneta dress is so easy to make and I managed to sew it up in around 4 hours.

While it might be simple, a few additions really give this dress the retro style I love.

For full details about making this dress  be sure to see my full blog post at http://akramsideas.com/moneta-dress/

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1950s | Dresses | Mad Men Inspired | Pattern Drafting | Pattern Sizing | Vintage Sewing

Vintage Vogue 8789, Fitting and sewing videos!

By on April 20, 2017
Pinup Sewing, Vintage Vogue 8789 | Vintage on Tap

Hello, everyone!

A couple of my favorite sewing bloggers (Abi and Akram) have both posted their Easter dresses, so I figured it was about time I posted mine 😘

Pinup Sewing, Vintage Vogue 8789 | Vintage on Tap

For my Easter/Spring dress I made the super popular Vintage Vogue 8789, which always seems to make a return this time of year.

I actually really love how versatile the pattern is and it still continues to be a vintage sewist favorite, even if the reproduction pattern is out of print!

Pinup Sewing, Vintage Vogue 8789 | Vintage on Tap

I made my version out of a stunning linen fabric that sews like butter and has such a yummy hand that looks great over a petticoat.

Pinup Sewing, Vintage Vogue 8789 | Vintage on Tap

I went all out on the interior of my dress, stabilizing the neckline like crazy, using petersham ribbon this way and that to stabilize the seams, and added a waist stay for good measure. I’m equally- if not more so- happy with the interior than the exterior!

Pinup Sewing, Vintage Vogue 8789 | Vintage on Tap

Pinup Sewing, Vintage Vogue 8789 | Vintage on Tap

 

I actually filmed a fitting video for the girls out there that have to do some insane FBA action, with a petite frame. Shifted some darts around, shortened the length, took in the shoulder seam. In the end, it fit like a glove.

Check out the video for fitting Vogue 8789.

And if you just want to see my sewing tips for it, check out the sewing video for Vogue 8789.

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1950s | Dresses

Vogue 1397 Easter Spring Dress 2017

By on April 17, 2017
Akram's Ideas: The Easter Spring Dress 2017 Big Reveal in Blue

I hope you all have had a lovely Easter holiday this past weekend.

While there were some early morning storms by afternoon the weather had warmed up enough to debut my #EasterSpringDress2017.

I had the pleasure of co-hosting the #EasterSpringDress2017 sewalong with Judith of Judith Dee’s World  , which encouraged participants to sew a new dress or outfit for Easter / Spring.

Tracy Reese Vogue 1397

For my own project, I wanted a very classic 50’s style Easter dress.  I decided to make Tracy Reese Vogue 1397, while a modern pattern I felt had that classic look I was going for.

For the fabric I had my followers choose between a bold pink rose print and a monochromatic blue rose print. Blue was chosen as the overall favorite, which I’m happy with since I don’t usually make a lot of blue dresses.

Akram's Ideas : #EasterSpringDress2017 Sewalong
I couldn’t decided between blue or pink

The project seemed real straight forward, though I found the low back neckline caused a lot of drooping issues. I ended up making 4 different muslins of the bodice top and am still not 100% happy with the final results of how the bodice sets.

Despite the issues with the bodice, the overall look of the dress is lovely.

Akram's Ideas: The Easter Spring Dress 2017 Big Reveal in Blue
Overall I’m pretty happy with this dress.

As I said earlier I really like the vintage inspired look of this dress, even more so when I paired it with vintage accessories.

While it may not be my best make the end result is exactly the look I was going for.

Akram's Ideas: The Easter Spring Dress 2017 Big Reveal in Blue
Vintage accessories make this dress

Check out my Youtube video about this make ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4p8vqO64h-U) or read more about my process for making my Easter Spring Dress 2017 check out my blog Akram’s Ideas (http://akramsideas.com/easter-spring-dress-2017-reveal/)

Did you make a dress for the #EasterSpringDress2017 how did it turn out?

 

 

 

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1950s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

Weekly Star Farmer/Pattern Bureau 1950s 2207 – Foal Dress

By on April 11, 2017

I’m usually a very slow seamstress, but occasionally–very occasionally–I actually work well under pressure.

I had an event coming up and decided I really, really, wanted a new dress to wear.  A themed dress.  I’d had the fabric for awhile but hadn’t given myself permission to sew it (this is an ongoing problem for me: I feel obligated to burn through a bunch of boring utility projects before I let myself sew the high-investment ones.  But of course I have limited time so I never get to the high-investment ones).

The fabric was Moda Purebred Bluegrass Foals in coral red (not quite this bright in real life.  The foals are natural cotton color, not bright white, and the coral is slightly faded):

 

It’s a big print.  The foals are about three inches each.

My pattern requirements were specific: It had to be 1950’s (big skirt) and it had to have a skirt that was four panels or fewer, and couldn’t have a lot of design elements, because I wanted to preserve the foals as much as possible.

I went around and around on this but kept coming back to Weekly Star Farmer (probably Pattern Bureau) 2207, from the early 1950’s.  This design was also sold as Pattern Bureau 2911 and, later, as 2593.

I love the pockets.   How can you not love those pockets?

It needed a lot of adjustment, partly for personal fit (longer bodice, added upper back width, minor full-bust adjustment) but also for design reasons.  The illustration is kind of a lie: The skirt is actually conical, not bell-shaped, and the pockets are set two inches below where they’re shown.

The skirt pieces have straight sides.  Not kidding.  And no darts.

I knew this would need alteration, anyway, because I have big hips, but the test muslin, while better, still didn’t look good and wasn’t comfortable.  The final solution was to both curve the side and center back seams, and to add 3/4 inch width per side in the back, and then create waist darts.

The other major issue was the collar.  The original collar was two pieces that, I guess, met in the back?  I didn’t like the way this looked and also thought it seemed structurally weak:

So I reshaped it to meet in the back as a contiguous collar.  But the test collar was enormous.  I am not kidding–it was as wide as the shoulder points on the dress, and it looked nothing at all like the illustration.  It was like wearing an open jacket flapping around all the time, except it was attached.  I narrowed it by two and a half inches (you read that correctly) and lowered the point in the front by an inch and a half.  It’s still plenty big but at least I’m not in danger in a stiff wind.

I mounted the pockets two inches higher than the pattern called for.  For the record: I’m a little over 5’7″, so I have no idea for whom the original pockets were intended.  Chimpanzees, perhaps?  I don’t know how a shorter woman would have reached them.  (They’re not crooked.  I’m slouching because the show lasted 15 hours.)

Still plenty of collar!  I think I could narrow that by another inch and it would still look good.

I sort of want to make this again . . . ideally in a large blue-on-blue gingham with solid trim.

And in case you’re wondering why I needed a dress with horses all over it . . . Lemmonade Live Model Horse Show 2017.

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1940s | 1950s | Accessories | Burlesque / Pinup | Hats | Vintage Sewing

Vintage Headscarf + Free Pattern

By on March 26, 2017
Vintage Headscarf, free sewing pattern | Vintage on Tap

Its been a beat since I originally completed this project over on my blog, but it occurred to me that I never posted this project here, which is a shame since I know there are plenty of readers here who would be super interested!

Inspired by some old-school vintage traveling hoods and vintage headscarfs, I had to make my own from a vintage 1940s pattern, ASAP!

Vintage Headscarf, free sewing pattern | Vintage on Tap

My leopard print headscarf has already seen a bunch of wear since I made it- and all in all, it stitched up about an hour, start to finish. Perfect for protecting your pincurl sets and generally protecting you from the wind and humidity.

Vintage Headscarf, free sewing pattern | Vintage on Tap

I actually am super surprised at how much I love this headscarf- it was such a simple project but it feels super Old Hollywood Glam haha!

Vintage Headscarf, free sewing pattern | Vintage on Tap

I made the drafting instructions available over on my blog if you were interested in making this yourself. Since the pattern is from the 1940s, I figured it would be a good idea to just draw the pieces out (total of 4 pieces, if you’re making a lined version)- and put them online. I also went ahead and did a short video, showing you step by step how to make the hood as well, over on my YouTube channel.

Click to Get the Instructions!

Click to Watch the YouTube video!

I’m actually already planning on sewing this up in a white lawn for the summer time. Its also a good reminder to pick up some fabulous glam sunglasses to rock with it 🙂

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1950s | Dresses | Pattern Drafting | Vintage Sewing

Butterick 6299 just in time for Autumn

By on March 18, 2017

It’s getting cooler here in Aotearoa New Zealand, while all you sewers in the north are getting set for summer, I’m glad things are cooling off now!

I have just finished this dress, it’s made with some lovely fabric my nana gave me, and I used a stunning Butterick pattern which was new to me this year, along with a couple of other lovely vintage patterns.

These ones!

The pattern is a size and a bit too small for me, so I graded it up, and voila! New dress! In my blog post about the making of this dress…

…I share how I graded it up, it’s pretty easy, you just need a basic pattern (or pattern block) that fits well.

The crossover bodice was a bit fiddly, and adding the bias trim gave me more bulk to deal with, but in the end, I am happy with it.

From the back…

And the bias trim….

The bias binding colour was perfect, but just enough to do the neckline and sleeve cuffs. So happy!

Happy Spring or Autumn Retro Sewists!

The blog link about this dress is here, and now I’m off to make another jumpsuit!

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