1950s | 1960s | 1970s | Accessories | Hats | Vintage Sewing

Faux Zhivago: self-drafted faux fur hat

By on December 29, 2014

handmade faux fur hat

December is definitely a month for quick satisfying projects that can slot into the madness of work, shopping, entertaining and visiting! And a faux fur hat is most welcome when the temperatures take a dive into freezing.

handmade vintage style fur hat

December is also a great month for finding the best range of faux fur. This fur is so soft and silky and feels so real I had to double check the backing to make sure it wasn’t! It’s a bit pricey but you really don’t need much more a hat of this kind.

I’ve got fond memories of snuggling up on the sofa with my mum, lots of years ago, watching Doctor Zhivago on the telly. So this hat is cosy in more ways than one. It has a wonderful vintage vibe but I can’t attribute it to any one era. 50’s? 60’s? 70’s? or 2015’s? Maybe it’s just timeless!

I’m planning on posting a tute and a pattern real soon so keep an eye on my blog for more details.

In the meantime, I’d like to wish you all a very happy and healthy new year! x

Handmade faux fur hat Doctor Zhivago style

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1930s | 1940s | Accessories

Irish Lace

By on October 4, 2014

Technically not sewing, but it’s from a vintage pattern, and I know there are some other knitters/crocheters on here who I thought might like to see this.

In what little time I have to sew and knit lately, I’ve managed to grab a few moments here and there to  work on a new sort of project for me. A couple of years ago a good friend gifted me with a pretty massive stack of vintage and antique crochet and knitting books, ranging in age from about 1915 to the 1950s. The vast majority of them are crocheted lace patterns (plus one KILLER 1930s knitting book, which I’ve got plans for later this winter), and while I’ve never been much of a crocheter, some of these lace patterns are just too pretty for me not to try my hand at it.

I decided to try and stick with something fairly simple for my first go ’round, so I picked this fabulous Irish lace jabot pattern. There is no dat on the pattern, but I’m guessing it’s from around 1940. It has taken me MONTHS (ok, honestly I have no idea when I started this thing, but if feels like eons ago) to finish this thing. Mostly since I only had little bits of time here and there to work on it, and even then I couldn’t work for very long in a sitting because it started to make my hand cramp after a while. Maybe this should tell me something about my tension?

1940s crocheted irish lace jabot ruffle

1940s crocheted irish lace jabot ruffle

A lot of these patterns call for size 50 crochet cotton, but I had a hard enough time finding 30 anywhere. I’m seriously doubting whether 50 even still exists, but it seriously has to be about the size of hand-quilting thread because the 30 is pretty darn tiny. Anyhoo, this pattern was not only simple, but it was one of the few that called for 30 to begin with, so I guess it was kismet. After the foundation rows the jabot is worked back and forth in a “U” around the center, building outward in a series of simple 7-chain loops. The final three rows are done with an alternating 7-chain loop and double crochet shell. I was kind of winging it on the final rows, since I couldn’t tell from the picture exactly what the edging was supposed to look like. In theory, this is right. Either way it looks pretty, so who cares, right? The entire piece is about 18 inches long, and gets folded in half when worn. I have no ideas what I’m actually going to wear it with since almost all of my clothes have “V” or scoop necks, but I’ll figure something out. It’s just too awesome not to wear.

1940s crocheted irish lace jabot ruffle

I still need to hit it with a little bit of starch to get the ruffles to hold really well, but overall I’m really happy. I’d say for a first lace project it was a success. Has anyone else been trying their hand at something new lately? I’m always keen to learn new skills (because I clearly don’t have enough projects already). Even if I only end up doing something once I can at least say that I have.

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1950s | Accessories | Dresses | Mens

Pictures from Prom!

By on May 20, 2014

I promise this is my last post about my prom dress. Here’s the first post and the second post.

We had prom two days ago and I had a blast! I’m so glad with how my dress and overall look came out. I had so many people compliment my dress, both people who knew I made it and people who didn’t! My date, Alex, wore a bowtie that I made for him and I will admit that his bowtie did not look as good as the other bowtie I made for a friend.

This is me and my dorm parent/volleyball coach/directed study advisor. She helped me through all this and supported me the whole way.

 

 

This is me and Alex, quite the power couple, right?

He doesn’t know how to tie a bow tie so I helped.

This is Evan’s bow tie. He wanted a Boston Bruins bow tie and I told him as long as he bought the fabric I would be thrilled to make one for him.

 

This is all the girls on my lacrosse team who went to prom. This is a good full length picture of my dress.

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Accessories | Bags / Purses

Terminology help: What do you call this kind of pocket?

By on April 17, 2014

This is a little thing but it’s been nagging me forever.

What do you call the kind of pocket seen in this Flickr set (Simplicity 4717, 1943).  (This is my set; I made the dress a couple of years ago.)

I’ve gotten in the habit of thinking of them as “Colonial pockets” because they’re similar to the pockets women wore as a separate accessory before pockets installed in clothing became common, but I know that that’s only my lazy term for them and they must have a proper name.  Unfortunately, since I don’t know what that name is, I can’t search for it, and since they’re not a terribly common kind of pocket they’re not coming up on my various “types of pockets” searches.

 

 

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1940s | 1950s | 1960s | Accessories | Buttons

The Retro Cushion – A Tutorial

By on March 25, 2014
I’ve always loved the round retro cushion, but I just couldn’t justify the expense of buying one – cushions are serious investments these days! So, I decided to make one and show you guys just how easy it is to make your own as well!

You can find the full tutorial on my blog. The bulk of the cushion is hand-sewn, so it does take longer to make than your traditional square cushion cover, but the results are simply gorgeous (the centre grid on this cushion took me about 2-3 hours to hand sew one evening). It also gives you a chance to practice your hand sewing and it’s really quite forgiving if you’re a bit rusty.

While the cushion itself looks complicated, I’ve hopefully made the process much easier to understand and once you get the hang of it, it’s a little like knitting with it’s repetitive stitches which makes it great t.v sewing.

 

If you do give one of these a go, please let me know!! I’d love to see them.

xx

J

 

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1970s | Accessories

A very retro leather saddle bag

By on March 12, 2014

VintageSaddleBagHi All!

I wasn’t at all certain this post would be welcome here because this baby is not a garment but an accessory! Anywho here goes, hope you all still find it interesting and inspiring!

This gorgeous retro-inspired bicycle saddle bag was not actually made by me… but by my ridiculously clever husband! I just had to share it with vintage lovers and since this is where I share my vintage makes I thought it would be the place.

I’m so very proud and awed by my vintage bike mad, non-sewing, non-leatherworking hubby who conceived of the idea, created the design from scratch (including drafting the pattern), sourced the leather and hardware, dyed and finished the leather himself, and then sewed it completely by hand. The man’s talents are limitless.

The part I like about it the best? That I could easily see it tweaked to make an amazing 70’s style shoulder bag with long strap… I may have already put an order in! If you’d like to see more feel free to pop over to my blog to check out the deets.

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