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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1940s | 1950s | Buttons | Embroidery | Shirts | Vintage Sewing

‘Rocking’ up a 1940s shirt pattern

By on August 21, 2012

Hi, How you all doing ?

I have just completed a shirt for my husband, I’ve got to say he is NOT into vintage in any way

and has had to learn that I will always dress the way I do 🙂

But as he is coming with me to Twinwood at the weekend I said I would make him a 1940s shirt !!

he was ok with it as long as it was in Zebra print !! …lol , yes I know , random but he is still hankering after his 80’s zebra print spandex leggings…

Anyway let’s get that picture out of our minds and I’ll show you how it turned out.

this was the pattern I used Advance 3968

The fabric is pure cotton , the print I got of Etsy from the States and the black was a pure cotton shirting i got here in England,

I had three goes at that until I found one that didn’t run in the wash!!

All went well until I went to put the collar on and it was 1/2″ short , the previous owner had made it smaller and I didn’t check …( silly)

it came up a little short oneside …It would have been too much hassle to take off, so I put a button loop by the collar and pretended it was meant to be 1/2″ bigger on that side :).

I also used ‘run and fell’ seams through out instead of the interesting version the instructions gave. I.E.  fold a 1/4″ over to the right side on one piece and a 1/4″ over to the wrong side for the second piece , layon top of each other butting seam allowances and baste then top stitch!! too long winded for me

I put the front iorn on interfacing on in the way I saw in a post on here (right side together, trim, turn and press to wrong side …perfect neat finish , thanks )

I also put little vents in at the side hips and finished with mitered corners and a pocket with hubbie’s name on …

 

The pocket had to go he didn’t like it !! but I found some great buttons agin on etsy but this time fro Malaysia and he loves those so on the went last night and the shirt is ready for the weekend…shame it’s going to rain 🙂

I am pleased with the result, and best of all he likes it 🙂

Things I would do differently next time  … I got a bit carried away I didn’t notice the obvious pattern repeat ..doh!

I would use a thinner shirt fabric, difficult to get in Zebra 🙂

I will check my pattern pieces very carefully .

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1950s | Applique | Embroidery | Skirts | Vintage Sewing

Felt cactus applique skirt! (using Simplicity 1659)

By on August 12, 2012

Hello fellow sewers!

My boyfriend & I just took a road trip from Northern California to Austin, Texas and along the way we drove thru Arizona. I had never visited Arizona before and was extremely excited to see the saguaro cactus & gorgeous desert landscape! I instantly had the idea to make a cactus skirt for the occasion! I drew inspiration from vintage tourist items, especially the Mexican tourist jackets!

I used Simplicity 1659 (again) as my basic skirt to start out with…

Simplicity 1659

I knew that I wanted to cut the cactus from felt & appliqué them to the skirt using a blanket stitch. Here is my quick sketch of the basic idea…

Before i cut the cactus out of felt, i drew on my skirt with chalk to get a basic idea of the layout.

Next, I drew the shapes of the cactus on my felt with chalk & cut them with a rotary cutter.

Then, I pinned my cactus to the skirt over my chalk layout & began to blanket stitch them to the skirt. This was very time consuming, but also very relaxing.

Finally, I added some details to each cactus by top stitching with my embroidery floss.

 

Here are some finished shots!! I just loved wearing my skirt in Arizona! Some of these photos are taken at the Hotel Congress in Tucson, AZ…if you haven’t been there, i highly recommend it! It is decorated in an art deco southwestern theme & the rooms are as they were in the 1930s..amazing!

 

I can’t wait to use this technique for another project!

-Tina

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1940s | Embroidery

EMBROIDER PATTERN

By on June 21, 2012

Here I show you one “simple embroider pattern” from my magazine from July 1949, it says it is a simple pattern to embelish a blouse or any other garment.

It says something like this:” You can use different colors and your will try thatc enters be darker than the edge of the flowers, For the leaves, they can be done with different green colors or browns depending in what you like”

You can save the image of the pattern and print it a letter size paper and use it.

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1950s | Embroidery | Pants / Trousers | Vintage Sewing

McCalls 5263 (1959) “Short Shorts”

By on June 20, 2012

I decided to give these shorts a go, since I’ve always loved the look of high waisted shorts but don’t actually own any! Im usually NOT a shorts person, but these have converted me! They were easy to sew up & came together quite quickly (which i know we all love!).

I chose the "short shorts"

I chose a light weight wool in dark brown that i had laying around & even added a personal touch by hand embroidering a little bow design on the waistband!

Here are some photos of the finished product! Im quite happy with how they came out & it just so happened to be a nice warm day here in Berkeley…perfect for my new shorts’ debut!!

My Finished Shorts!

close up photo of the color & embroidery

my little hand embroidered bow!

I highly recommend these shorts to all of you gals who are looking for nice summer patterns…they’re great!

xoxo,
tina

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1950s | Children | Dresses | Embroidery | Kids | Vintage Sewing

I’m so excited!

By on March 5, 2012

Okay, okay, before I say exactly why I’m over the moon, I ought to give background information.  When my oldest niece, Bit, was approaching her second Halloween, my SIL asked me to make her a Foofa costume.  I did it, using a vintage 70s pattern as the base, because it was an A-line dress with a flower petal collar.  After Halloween, I entered it into the Simplicity contest for that year, eventually winning a pattern for my trouble:

It’s Simplicity 2392, and I was in love with it from the first time I saw it.  Vintage reprints like this one were actually my first forays into vintage patterns.  But, alas, Bit had grown out of infant sizes, so it was carefully put away for the next little girl.

 

Last year, I stumbled over the original pattern that Simplicity 2392 is a reprint of.  It’s Simplicity 4053.  (And unfortunately not on the pattern wiki yet.) I promptly ordered it, because it was even  just the right size, and I gleefully thought that since my SIL was due to have another little girl, I could, joy of joys, dress them alike!  But to my disappointment, the seller I bought it from made a mistake, and I got another pattern in its place, and they were out of the country and couldn’t correct it.  Since the replacement pattern was one I’d been drooling over, anyway, I kept it and put the matching pattern away.

 

 

But last week, I found another copy of the vintage one!  I snapped it up, and it got here yesterday!  And to my absolute wonder, it’s the right size for Bit now, so she and baby sister Boo can once again wear matching sister dresses!   So sometime this spring or summer (my materials are all currently in storage right now) we’ll have two little girls in vintage and vintage-ish embroidered dresses!

The vintage pattern will, of course, need a bit of altering–widening the neck a bit and lengthening it by 10 inches, and I’ll have to do complete measurements on Boo to make sure it’s knee length, but cuteness- ho!

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