1940s | 1950s | Applique | Blouses | Embroidery | Shirts | Vintage Sewing

Gingham blouse with western appliqué!

By on January 19, 2013

Hello fellow sewers!

I just finished sewing up a fun little project that I want to share!

I used Simplicity 1093 to make a simple cotton blouse. I chose “style 3” because I wanted the most basic shape as I planned on adding an appliqué.

simplicity 1093simplicity 1093 style 3

The blouse was a fairly quick project to sew up, mostly because there were only five pieces to work with! The front and back bodice pieces are both cut on fold and the sleeves are part of the bodice, so there are only the two big pieces to worry about. The remaining three are a neck facing and two sleeve facings.

The blouse opens by a tiny side zipper that runs from about the bust down to the hem. I inserted the zipper by hand with a pick stitch, which is a technique I’d been itching to try for a while. There are also two buttons at the neckline which aid in slipping the blouse over your head.

hand sewn zippergingham buttons (close-up)

As you can see, I liked the hand picked look so much that I did all of the topstitching by hand as well!

gingham 3

I paired my new blouse with a red button-front skirt and tooled leather belt.

gingham 1

gingham 5

Now for the appliqué…my favorite part!!

gingham 4

I cut this little design out of felt and attached it to the blouse with a blanket stitch. Next, I embroidered the details (horse’s bridle, mane, etc.) with a variety of  embroidery stitches.

horse appliquéhorse appliqué (close-up)

I’m really happy with this project, it was such a fun one!

Now I leave you with an “out take” in which my dog Herby decided to make an appearance….

that's my "excuse me....tryin' to take photos here" face.
that’s my “excuse me….tryin’ to take photos here” face.

xoxo,

Tina

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1910s | Blouses | Embroidery

Embroidered 1910’s blouse

By on January 14, 2013

Cross-posted to my blog Isis’ Wardrobe http://isiswardrobe.blogspot.dk/

This is probably my oldest project and I’m very pleased to have it out of my way. The blouse with its embroideries were bought as a kit for about 15 years ago! It is a reproduction, so cut and embroidery are based on an actual blouse from the 1910’s. I worked on it on and off for a couple of years until the embroideries were done, but for the last ten years, or so, it has been waiting to be sewn together. I thank The Historically Sew Fortnightly project for giving me a nudge to finally finish it.

 

The blouse is in linen and the embroideries in whitework in linen thread. Both back and front have embroideries as well as the collar and the cuffs. The shape is rather simple, though the side seams are curved to give the blouse some shape.

As I started this project such a long time ago I found that the blouse was now a bit too small over the bust. In my stash I found some linen lace that my grandmother had made, so I mounted that on a piece of leftover linen and inserted that at the front. That probably made the blouse a bit more un-correct for the time as that made the blouse so wide that it is now possible to pull it over my head. As I wanted to finish it I decided to leave the buttons out. However, the insert that made the bust part in the right size, also made it too wide above it.

 
When I was finishing it yesterday I felt at loss on how to cope with that without destroying the embroideries as my mind only came up with darts. For this photo I solved it by fold the surplus and hold it together. Now when I look at the pictures I realise that I can, of course, unpick the neck and cut away some fabric at the centre front before re-attaching it to the lace. Oh well, it is wearable as it is now, so for now I will call it a day.
 
 
 

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Accessories | Applique | Burlesque / Pinup | Embroidery

A new year’s project

By on January 5, 2013

I really enjoy making small cocktail hats and other heavily decorated things to wear on my head. It’s the perfect pleasure project, in many ways; I can whip them up quite fast, usually these things come together for specific parties, they generally don’t require a lot of material, there’s very little fitting, lining and other time-consuming work involved, and it’s fun. It’s as free of performance anxiety as sewing ever gets for me, and it feels festive and playful and exhilarating. I’m not shy about wearing odd stuff on my head, either, so the sky’s the limit, really.

For New Year’s, there was a grand masquerade, and for that you need a mask. I also needed a red sequin evening gown, but the red sequin seaweed fabric got lost in the mail and didn’t arrive until yesterday. Oh, well. Another party, I made a sequinned and beaded red half mask in the shape of a gloved hand anyway – I’m a huge Schiaparelli fan, I love mildly surrealist headwear, and oddly enough my wardrobe didn’t contain a decent mask before this one.

Sketch and base for a mask
I went through a lot of paper copies to get the shape right.

The original idea was to use a lonely actual red leather glove, but that turned out a bit too bulky; I think I’ll try to make a hat out of it at some point instead. So I sketched, cut, folded and ended up with a decent pattern of sorts, which I cut and shaped in this heavy linen/horsehair interfacing. There are two darts in it, so that it follows the curve of the head.

Completed mask base
Nice shape.

Then I added steel wire to the edges, for stability and shape…

Mask shape covered with red cotton
Very three-dimensional.

…and covered the base with plain red cotton poplin, and the inside with peach satin. Outlines of the fingers and glove stitching on the back of the hand marked out, too.

Mask beginning to be covered with sequin ribbon.
This was the fun part, really.

And then I covered the whole thing with sequin ribbon, for plain areas, and red glass seed beads, for contours, shades and outlines.

Mask almost covered in sequins
Almost done.

Strictly speaking the sequinned areas aren’t really lighter than the beaded areas, but I wanted more sequins than beads and when they do reflect light your way, they do it much more brightly, so…

Finished mask.

…I think it worked rather well, anyway. I added a couple of rows of tiny black seed beads to stress the outline of the fingers after this, but it doesn’t make much of a difference; there’s just a little bit more of a contour. It fastens in my hair with four of those little toothed metal clips that are often used on clip-in hair extensions, you know – those are the best thing there is for attaching things securely to hair, even short hair.

The mask being work
This wasn't my first glass of champagne.

And then I wore it, with a marvellously vulgar 50’s dress that I got for New Year’s two years ago. I think it turned out quite well.

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Embroidery

Vintage Quilting

By on December 12, 2012

I have not been super sewing-active the past few months, mostly because I have been very tired and pregnant! However there is one project that I’ve been working on which I thought appropriate to share here with you. 🙂 It is a nursery rhyme quilt for our new addition (who is due any time now!). Today I pieced together the quilt top!

The vintage embroidery patterns are available as a free download from patternbee.com. You probably already know this, but they have a bunch of adorable free vintage embroidery patterns for download. 🙂

All of the fabric used in this quilt was either thrifted or auctioned–I don’t think I spent more than $3 on the supplies.  Gotta love that, especially when you are broke like I am!  The embroidered squares are cut from an old cotton bed sheet.

You can see more pictures at my blog!

~Bessie

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1950s | Buttons | Dresses | Embroidery | Vintage Sewing

Thanksgiving 50s Style

By on November 26, 2012

I hope all of you in the States had a fabulous Thanksgiving weekend! I did! Now, I’m not too excited about Christmas stuff out and about around Halloween, but I do start to get in the mood around Thanksgiving and I did rock a Christmas vibe this year for turkey day!

I used Butterick 8078 to make up this pattern. I found this great 50s looking Christmas quilting fabric at JoAnn Fabrics last year so I snapped some up. (And I think I may have spied it there this year too!)

The pattern.

 

The white top felt a bit blah so I added a bit of red embroidery to spice it up. And I used a thrifted vintage belt kit to make the matching belt.

And what full skirted 50s dress would be complete without a crinoline? (Which is also me-made!) Want to see more of this dress? It’s on my blog too!

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1940s | Applique | Dresses | Embroidery | Vintage Sewing

A Labour of Love

By on November 17, 2012

I saw this vintage dress on FabGabs.com and fell in love. I had to have something similar so set about recreating it.

 

My pattern is a hodgepodge from other projects- sleeves from a 40’s style evening dress I made for a client, bodice slashed and spread from a slim fitting shirt block and bias skirt developed from a 30’s style pj top pattern I made myself earlier this year. I have to admit I am pretty darned pleased with the results.The main fabric is a heavy satin backed silk crepe and the velvet is a silk & rayon mix. How to re-create the embroidery posed a small problem as hand embroidering it wasn’t something I wanted to spend weeks on and not something I’m very good at anyway. So I came up with a cunning plan… and re-purposed a lovely embroidered upholstery sample I had. To do this first I cut out the areas of embroidery I wanted to use leaving a good margin around the stitching edges and ironed BondaWeb on the back to stabilise it. Then I trimmed very close to the embroidery, lightly ironed it in place on the velvet yoke and pockets and lastly blanket stitched all the edges in place with silk buttonhole thread. I did try a sample first without the BondaWeb but the  embroidery started to fall apart as I was edge sewing it so some kind of stabilising was definitely needed. This is my version:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Making it didn’t go entirely smoothly. I had to reset the left sleeve three times before I got it to hang the way I wanted. Then a certain amount of messing about with making different size shoulder pads and what best to round out the sleeve cap with (felt in the end, rather like in some jackets) was needed. The hem has been done twice. After the first time it was an inch too long to wear with a particular coat so knowing it would really bother me I did it again. Doing the multiple rows of shirring was a bit tedious too. Even so I’m intending to use the pattern again soon with some rayon flower print fabric as the shape is very flattering to wear. It should all go much more easily second time around!

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1950s | Applique | Embroidery | Skirts

Mad Tea Party Skirt, planning part one

By on October 17, 2012

Hello hello!

I have An Idea for a circle skirt, which is probably terribly misguided, but I’m going to do it anyway, which is why I am asking the lovely WeSewRetro community for guidance.

 

Joann Fabrics has the most adorable teapot-print novelty fabric, which I’ve been dying to make a skirt out of.  Unfortunately, the teapots seem too directional and busy to make anything but a dirndl out of, and I’d rather have a circle skirt.  SO, I formulated a plan.  I ironed some Heat n Bond Lite iron-on adhesive to the back of some teapot fabric and cut out about 50 little teapots.  I plan to make a black cotton circle skirt (the patterned one above is just for proof of concept, not the eventual home of the teapots) and applique the teapots to it.  I’m thinking I can do this by ironing all the teapots on for placement and then going around each one with a narrow zig-zag.  Is there anyone with applique-ing experience who has a better idea?

Also, I have a general question… the teapots have three background colors: bright red, medium red, and burgundy.  Should I applique them all with the same color thread, or should I pick up three colors and match the thread with the teapot?

Thanks so much for your help!

 

 

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