1930s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

Red Linen Wrap Dress

By on September 3, 2016

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Seeing as vintage can sometimes seem a little bit prim and higher maintenance, it can feel great to just toss on a wrap dress and be extra comfy. No petticoats or under structure, just a linen rayon blend and an adjustable waist tie!

I’ve made a 1930’s inspired wrap dress before, and I used the same pattern once again, a self drafted number cobbled together from my usual kimono sleeved dress bodice pattern and an A-line skirt pattern. I did change the sleeve shape just a bit to be a bit more square and actually kimono like, as I knew I wanted to take photos of the finished dress in a Japanese garden. The red linen/rayon blend is from Joanns, and they carry this same fabric in several colors in their linen section. I like the addition of rayon, it means the fabric wrinkles a bit less ferociously than a linen would on its own. This fabric also has a nice weight to it and holds a crisp edge well when ironed.

Here is a 1930s pattern image that shows a similar dress, though I think these 30’s numbers are meant to be more casual house dresses and I made mine more formal for wearing out and about.

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The most tedious thing about making this dress was making, ironing, and stitching on the self fabric bias binding along the edges. The dress is unlined, and has no facings, so the bias binding encloses all of the raw edges including the hem. I sewed the bias along the outer edge by machine (that was a lot of pins!) and then after folding it over to the backside stitched the entire length down with invisible hand stitches on the back. Time consuming indeed, but worth it in the end for a nice finish!

 

 

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I am so pleased with how the dress came together in the end and I already want to make another version in the black colorway of this same fabric! Perhaps that will be a project for next year 🙂 For more photos of this dress and my day at the Denver Botanical Gardens visit me over on The Closet Historian!

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1940s | 1950s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

Blackmore 8194 vintage dress

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Blackmore 8194 vintage dress

I’ve been wanting to tackle this dress for a long time. Don’t know what I was afraid of! It came together quite simply. But it helps that I’ve sewn vintage dresses before. The instructions on the back of the packet are minimal to say the least and include things like:

“Make darts in the back bodice where shown by dotted lines in diagram”. Quite literally the diagram which is the tiny pattern layout illustration on the back of the packet. So it’s anyone’s guess, really!

“Gather upper edge of side fronts to fit hip yoke of front as in sketch and stitch together matching VV to VV.” Again, helped by the fact that I’ve managed inset seams before when quilting so I know a thing or two about clipping and pivoting. It could have caused a tantrum or two otherwise!

Blackmore 8194 vintage sewing patternI made it in a hurry, like the day before the wedding so there’s room for improvement. I graded it up a size but could do with adding an inch of ease at least at the waist I was hesitant to do this for fear of losing the lovely silhouette but I think I can still retain the line by cutting and slashing from under arm to waist.

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As for the era… Blackmore Patterns finished trading in the 1940s by all accounts so I would naturally date the pattern from late 40s but Wikia Patterns says 1950s. So it’s anyone’s guess really!

My favourite details are the keyhole neckline and the skirt gathers on the hip yoke.

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I’m definitely going to have to make this again. Has anyone else tried this pattern before?

More info on the making of this dress and others over at ooobop.

 

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1940s | 1950s | Burlesque / Pinup | Dresses | Swimwear / Sunwear

Butterick Patterns by Gerite B6354 – Bustier to Skirt Pattern Hack! #RetroTikiCollab

By on August 11, 2016

Hi everyone!

As promised, here’s the second part of my Butterick Patterns by Gerite B6354 – Bustier to Skirt Pattern Hack post! Part of the very exciting #RetroTikiCollab I’m participating in with fellow vintage style sewing bloggers. You can see the first part of this post HERE, all about my rather sassy Wanda Woodward style wearable toile.

But for my main post, this pattern just had to be tiki, so I went for it 100%! I picked up my Hawaiian style fabric a while back in my local Textile Express store in their bargain bin. At the time I had no idea what to use it for, I just knew I needed it. Then this collaboration appeared and it was meant to be….

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For my full pattern review & images, check out my blog The Crafty Pinup.

Thank you!
xo

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1950s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

A Gaggle of Gingham

By on August 9, 2016

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Goodness it has been a while since I last posted some of my retro sewing over here! The summer offers so many distractions, and my sewing has been thoroughly distracted by my love for gingham textiles this year! I recently put the rest of my stash busting projects on hold to turn out not one but two new gingham frocks, of which this full skirted 50’s number is the first!

Having discovered the wonder of Malco Modes petticoats I knew I wanted another full circle skirted dress to wear with either my ivory or black petticoats. The dress pattern was self drafted, with the bodice in a kimono sleeve style with a v-neckline and the skirt as a full 27″ long circle skirt. The full circle skirts on 45″ wide fabric do eat up a bunch of yardage, but with lots of Joanns coupons they are still doable. I always hem mine with coordinating cotton bias tape, usually just the packaged kind you can get at Joanns, and it takes at least two packages (at 3 yards a package!) to go around the skirt hem! I actually hemmed two circle skirts in one day a while back for a total of over 12 feet of hem hand stitched that day!

I tend to make simpler designs since I draft most everything myself and haven’t branched out into more intricate styles just yet. Still, I wanted to fancy this dress up a little bit so I added crisp white cotton sleeve cuffs and trim at the neckline. To do so I simply cut strips of fabric on the bias and ironed it into self-made bias tape to edge the sleeves and neckline, easy but effective! 🙂

For more photos of this outfit, visit me over on my blog The Closet Historian!

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1950s | Dresses | Introduction | Vintage Sewing

Vintage Butterick 8038 (and also a mini-introduction!)

By on August 7, 2016

OK, so I’m always waaaay behind trends, and We Sew Retro is case in point!  How did I not know about this blog before last week?  I’ll never know…. but I’m so glad I finally did!

I’m Lily and I’ve been blogging over at Mode de Lis for almost 3 years now and I’m so excited to get in touch with some more vintage seamstresses! 🙂  Last week I shared one of my recent projects: a dress made from hand-printed Indian cotton using vintage Butterick 8083….

More details (including my love for indulging in obsessive pattern matching) over at my blog, Mode de Lis!

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