1920s | 1930s | Dresses

Re-Creating My Grandmother’s Dress – Gatsby 2018

By on October 5, 2018

Every year the Art Deco Society of California puts on the The Gatsby Summer Afternoon. This Gatsby Event is the highlight of my year, as far as vintage events go, and this year was no exception. The weather was perfect (high 70 degrees and breezy), the picnics were exquisite and the company eclectic and entertaining.

For this year’s ensemble, I chose to replicate a look that my grandmother wore (see photo above) in one of her modeling photos. I’ve admired this dress for years and have not quite had the nerve to re-create it until now. That front neck detail with the capelet and ruching really had me flummoxed.

When I mentioned, on Instagram that this was my plan, Deirdre from Vintage Pattern Lending Library suggested I use one of her patterns to start and then she sent it to me! How lucky am I? Thank you Deirdre! The pattern was a perfect jumping off point and it really took the pressure off to have a pattern to start from.

I’m pretty pleased with the overall look, considering, in the end, I only had about a week to pull it off. I completed the ensemble with me-made purse, hat and jewelry. There are a few changes I would make, given the time and inclination (neckline wider and capelet longer in the back). Overall, though, I’m pretty happy with the whole look.

To read the complete post, see pattern adaptations and more pictures from the event, please visit my blog.

Thanks and Happy Sewing!

xo – Jennifer

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1940s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

1940s Vogue 8811 (For the hot Australian summer)

By on January 27, 2018


This is my second Vogue 8811. Made from a beautiful navy blue based Japanese cotton lawn.

Western Sydney has had weeks of over 40ºC and this dress is perfect. High jewel neckline and kimono sleeves to protect from the sun, and a lovely tea length to stop behind-the-knee sunburn.

The only seriously mod was to omit the sleeve facings, I did a narrow hem instead.

Swing by my blog to for more details and images!

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1970s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

Winter Sewing (McCalls 4968)

By on January 9, 2018

 

I just finished sewing a winter wool jumper dress from 1970s-era McCall’s 4968.  I’m very happy with it: it is comfortable, unusual, and very warm.  My Grandpa and Grandma both made admiring comments about it when I wore it for the first time last Sunday.  The thrifted worsted wool was easy to work with so long as I was careful to press it well, grade all the seams, and edge-stitch all the darts, seams, and edges on the right side to keep them flat and crisp.

Please come visit the sewing blog that I share with my husband for more details and other recent vintage sewing projects: Mr and Mrs Rat.

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1940s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

1948 Vintage Vogue 9280

By on December 16, 2017
Pattern envelope, Vintage Vogue 9280, Vintage on Tap | Vintageontap.com

Hello, everyone!

A couple weeks ago I stitched up Vintage Vogue 9280, which was a recent reproduction pattern that was released this past year.

 

Completed Vintage Vogue 9280, Vintage on Tap | Vintageontap.com

I’m actually very impressed with how it came out!

No doubt about it, this piece is a jour-neeeeyyyy in the amount of hand sewing and moments when you think the project is nearly done… until it isn’t!

But then again, if you’re into vintage sewing, chances are the hand sewing is no biggie!

 

How to fit Vintage Vogue 9280, Vintage on Tap | Vintageontap.com

The muslin process of this piece was actually pretty straight forward.

Even with princess seams, inverted darts, and multiple smaller shaping darts, getting the sorted muslin wasn’t too bad. I focused specifically on shortening the bodice and getting the princess seam taken care of, which were the primary fitting points.

 

Interior detail from Vintage Vogue 9280, Vintage on Tap | Vintageontap.com

This project was a nice excuse to work on bound buttonholes.

Even though on the exterior there are only four visible bound buttonholes, there are actually a total of eight! The removable collar is stitched up in the same way as the bodice collar, with bound buttonholes matching up on the interior with button links.

 

Completed Vintage Vogue 9280, Vintage on Tap | Vintageontap.com

 

Do I love the dress? Yes! But there are some caveats!

I go into them more in depth over on my website, but essentially it comes down to that open collar design feature.

 

Click here to see more photos + video of the sewing process or-

click here to see info + video of the fitting process.

 

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1960s | Dresses | Jumpers / Pinafores | Vintage Sewing

Vintage Simplicity 5890 a 1960’s Jumper Dress

By on December 5, 2017
Akram's Ideas: Vintage Simplicity 5890

We are nearing the end of the year and I’ve totally forgotten to share my third #VintagePledge of 2017, which I made earlier this autumn.

Vintage Simplicity 5890

Akram's Ideas: Vintage Simplicity 5890
I really loved the look of version 1

This pattern is one that I got in a vintage pattern haul way back in September.
I really like the look of the aline version of this dress and just happened to have the same color fabric as shown in the cover illustration.

Akram's Ideas: Vintage Simplicity 5890
Another #VintagePledge2017 make

While the dress was fairly simple I did have to do some resizing which I ended up not doing exactly right.

The dress fits but the front bodice darts don’t line up with front skirt seams, which is so irritating.

Akram's Ideas: Vintage Simplicity 5890
I’m really irritated about my mistake

Final Dress

The mistakes I made aren’t drastic and most people won’t even notice.

Still, it was enough to discourage me and bury the dress in the back of my closet.

Akram's Ideas: Vintage Simplicity 5890
In the end this dress is pretty nice

I recently pulled out the dress and despite the mistakes, I found that it was totally wearable and the color is perfect for winter.

Akram's Ideas: Vintage Simplicity 5890
It’s actually a great dress for winter

For full details about making this dress  be sure to see my full blog post at  http://akramsideas.com/a-vintage-jumper-dress-in-teal/

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1930s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

1930’s Dress Complete – Gatsby Summer Afternoon 2017

By on November 10, 2017

 I made this dress for the 2017 Gatsby Summer Afternoon at Dunsmuir House, in Oakland CA.  It was sewn using two VPLL patterns. You can see the prototype dress here – made from the 1931 Dress pictured above left. The only changes I made to the pattern, after making my prototype was an increase of 2″ to the hips and I changed the sleeve, using the VPLL 1930’s dress, pictured above right (one layer only). I also followed the method of stitching the bodice shirring after sewing the midriff to the bodice, that Dierdre from VPLL suggested in my prototype post comments. That method looked much better, for sure. Otherwise, this pattern sewed up very nicely.

Full length dress front
Full length dress Back

If you would like to read more and see the full post you visit my blog.  Happy Sewing!

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1940s | 1950s | Dresses | Modern Patterns | Vintage Sewing

Colette Patterns, Penny Dress

By on October 27, 2017
Vintage on Tap, Colette Penny dress with full tutorial | Vintage on Tap

Modern with retro flair! The Colette Penny was my last summer hoorah before I transitioned over to Fall and Winter pieces.

Vintage on Tap, Colette Penny dress with full tutorial | Vintage on Tap

 

This particular October in San Francisco has been super warm, so I’ve gotten the opportunity to wear this dress more frequently than I anticipated!

 

Vintage on Tap, Colette Penny dress with full tutorial | Vintage on Tap

 

The vintage-inspired selling points for me were the following:

  • The cummerbund (super 50s and I love how it looks like my waist is smaller than it is haha!)
  • The A-line skirt (flattering and very 40s in its simplicity)
  • Buttons all the way to the top (very vintage-office-chic)

 

Vintage on Tap, Colette Penny dress with full tutorial | Vintage on Tap

 

The change I would probably recommend right off the bat is…

to add hooks, rather than snaps, to the cummerbund “belt”, especially since it ends right where your arm might pop off the belt (having the hooks there just makes more sense to me, anyway!)

More detailed photos, including a How to Sew video over on my website. 

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