1960s

Simonetta Dress Vogue Coat

By on April 14, 2017

I had to go to a wedding last weekend and used it as an excuse to try out these two patterns – Simonetta Dress, and Vogue Coat.

I seem to always buy a-line empire line dress patterns as its a style I think suits me – and I have now decided that the Simonetta dress is the best ever – I think its the wider shoulder (it extends out but no shoulder pads), as it gives a flattering line (for the pear shaped).  The dress for the wedding I made in a gross grain, and I did run up a ‘wearable’ muslin from a curtain scrap (so I now have 2 nice dresses).  The cut of this dress is simple and very effective, the front seam has a curve in it, as do the darts.  The collar was tricky only in that I had never done one like this.  Its basically 2 strips of bias, folded, and steamed into a curved shape.

 

 

The coat is in a cotton.  I had wanted to make a casual summer coat so went with a neutral colour and casual fabric.  I did interline it as the fabric creased like linen (and looks like linen), but did not interline the sleeves (1, because its a summer coat and 2, because I didnt think the bias would hold creases).  I was rather cheap and interlined with light sew-in basting, I don’t interline a lot, but if I was able to locate it (I wasn’t), I would have preferred to have used hankerchief cotton or a voile.

 

The only really technical bit about the coat was the use of ‘pad stitching’ in the collar.  I had never done this before and so referred to the wonderful Allyne Bane book and it was all clear.  I only did a medium amount of pad stitching, and it serves well.  after the pad stitching, I did baste the collar roll line in place and left this stitching in until the final steam.  Even though its a casual coat, I think the sit of the collar is gorgeous – I notice it in the wearing  as it sits away from the neck and it really feels like the coat hangs from the shoulders…..I dont know if I am explaining this correctly, but it feels exactly what is perfect for an evening or summer coat, and I dont think I ever had a coat that sat like this, which is another fabulous reason to sew vintage/sew your own!

 

I do have a blog – upsew.ie  if anyone wants to see other projects, – but I have pretty much replicated the post here!

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1960s

Whiter shade of pale

By on March 24, 2017

Hello!  Some time ago I bought 2 remnant pieces of beautiful grosgrains: an apple green rayon and a creamy-white cotton one. I never worked with grosgrain except for the ribbons and I was surprised to find how delicate, soft and drapey it is. The rayon grosgrain has more body and is a bit firmer; the cotton is light and smooth; both have a wonderful, subtle sheen to them, which catches the light beautifully. The only problem is that they fray like crazy: be sure to leave a considerable seam allowances and to properly secure them if sewing with grosgrain fabrics (I used a dense zig-zag stitch).

 

I used the Simplicity 8049 1960s reproduction pattern. I was attracted to the three-armhole dress idea and I liked the purity of its lines. The construction was pretty straightforward; surprisingly enough, the front is cut on straight grain so the “cowl” is created by using pleats. I decided to line the whole dress; this cleaned up the mess inside and helped to give the dress a little bit more body and less transparency. The lining pieces were created using main pattern pieces, I hand-stitched them in place all around the facings, the side seam and the hem.

The cat always thinks he’s so creative with his hiding spots

I made some personal touches to the project like adding a lining cover to the snaps or making a separate belt, which fastens with 3 hooks-and eyes and a snap. For more details and photos, I invite you to visit my blog, rvdzik.blogspot.com. Have a great weekend!

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1960s | Children | Kids | Vintage Sewing

Simplicity 4836 – A Sentimental Make

By on March 22, 2017

Hey lovelies,

I’ve been reading We Sew Retro for some time now, and I’m excited to join the ranks of you who contribute! I want to share a recent-ish project with you. It isn’t by any means my first retro project, but it is special, and you’ll soon see why 🙂

A few months ago, I was thrifting at a secondhand store out of town. I love scouring thrift stores for their sewing patterns – they’re a goldmine! Anyway, I stumbled on this cute pattern Simplicity 4836. It’s a little boys’ pants, vest and jacket suit pattern from the early 1960s. I originally bought it to put it in my shop, but on closer inspection I noticed something amazing.

Simplicity 4836 – you’ll make one little boy so stylish!
Can you see that? This pattern was used for a little Michael too more than 50 years ago 🙂

The original owner had scribbled some notes on the front (as sewists often do!) and made it for a little Michael in 1965. What were the chances – I have a little Michael in my life! At two and a half years old, my nephew is a big strong boy, so I figured child size 4 might be on the big side, but it would make sure there’s growing room. I just couldn’t resist. I set out to make the vest as it’s the most versatile.

I had some leftover navy blue wool/poly twill from a skirt, and enough lining for the project. It was such a quick sew and great use of those awkward leftovers that are “too big to give away but too small to make something”. Based on this logic, I think I’ll be making many, many more things for my nephews!

Kid – you look good!

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1960s | Vintage Sewing

A question to the community

By on March 20, 2017

Hi,

I hope this sort of post is allowed. I am planning costumes for a play that is set in the late 60’s. I was wondering if all the experts I see on here could suggest there favourite “tarty” 60’s look or pattern if you have one in mind. What colours would you use? Also bare in mind that I don’t have the legs to pull off a proper 60’s mini skirt or hot pants look.

I am thinking of going with red as it seems the universal colour for tarts in popular culture (not so sure if it was in the 60’s though). I really am just after whatever inspiration you could afford me.

(mod please delete if not appropriate)

Thanks
Heather

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1960s

McCalls 6569: Gold Satin Evening Dress

By on February 11, 2017

This year I made a decision, a decision not be to scared by fabric. For a couple of years now I’ve had some gold satin I brought back from Vegas in my stash and I’ve been so scared to use it having never worked with anything like that. This year it’s my tenth (?!) wedding anniversary and I thought it would make the loveliest dress for our celebratory meal out.

I picked McCalls 6569 for the pattern; a gorgeous sixties evening dress.

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The first thing I did was post in the We Sew Retro Sew & Tell facebook group to ask for tips, it’s one thing I LOVE about the sewing community, you have a wealth of experience and advice online in a group like that and people are only willing to help and wish you luck. So armed with my new found advice I bit the bullet and cracked on. As you may have noticed if you read my blog, I don’t often make muslins of my clothes but as I was working with an unforgiving fabric I thought I probably should get it right the first time, as a seam ripper might not be the best friend it previously had been to me. I measured up, perfect in the bust but 2 inches bigger on the waist and 4 on the hips (not live I’ve had a baby in the last year or anything….). It was going to need a little adjustment.

To read more about the adjustment process and how I sewed my muslin up pop over to my blog.
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So on to the dress….

I spent a whole night cutting out and marking up the pattern pieces (including the adjusted pieces – see my other blog). My, my, what a pain in the arse. It turns out satin is the most slippery material known to man (slight exaggeration, but it did feel like that at the time).

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The following day I sewed the bodice together which went very well but then it was time for the lining. I should say at this point I have never lined anything in my life but as I was sewing with satin I thought it would probably be a good idea just to bit the bullet and do it.

I then spent a long night sewing the lining to the skirt pieces following this, and here was where I made one of my major mistakes. I have no idea how I marked the fabric up wrong but somehow I managed to.

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When it came to the later stage of sewing it together it meant that I had a row of stitching down the back of the skirt next to the centre seam which I then had to unpick.

With a day to go to my anniversary (and after a lengthy trip to the dentist for two fillings) I spent a full day sewing the skirt pieces together. I attached the skirt to the bodice with relative ease and inserted the zip. Mistake number two: I was silly enough to not check that the fabric was taught when I basted the zip in, meaning that when I went to sew it I, again, had a big chuck of stitches to unpick which left a rather messy side zip insertion.

Thankfully it’s a side zip so really no one’s going to see it unless the come up really close to have a look . I finished sewing the lining pieces together at the waist and was quite impressed with how it looked inside out.

At this point I thought I should just leave the hemming to my anniversary and cut my losses before I cried.

So the day of my 10th wedding anniversary (last Friday) I sewed right up to the last minute but I did finally finish my dress with a couple of hours to spare, and I did get all dressed up and we did go out for the first time on our own in seven months. And here I am in my dress!

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Overall I am extremely happy with how it turned out. What do you think?

To see more photos of my mistakes and successes and to read more about it, please have a look at my blog 🙂

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