Hats

When I showed my husband the fabric I planned to use for this dress, he said it looked Granny. Lol! So I proudly call this my Granny dress! (He liked the final product regardless.) ;-) I used Retro Butterick 6582.

Since this was my Easter dress, I had to get an Easter bonnet to go along with it. I found a great little vintage hat for $8, and added some of my own embellishments.

More pics and details on my blog here. :-)

 

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For the Great Gatsby challenge, I made a draped dress from a 1924 publication. The instructions were surprisingly easy, though it was challenging not having enough of my gorgeous silk chicken fabric.

I also decided to also make a hat and a brooch to tie the whole look together. The hat is from Simplicity 1736, view E.

More photos are over on my blog!

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If it’s early May, there are two things those around me can count on:

1. I’ve tormented them for the last month with a countdown to my birthday (39 this year) and…

2. The Vancouver International Burlesque Festival (8 this year) is going on.

I love Vancouver’s burlesque scene.  There are some AMAZING, creative, sassy women working hard. This is why for the last four years I have attended at least one of the three showcase nights for my birthday.

Now usually I prefer to make something colourful, but my husband gave me a bespoke hat for my birthday gift and so I chose to make a 1959 Simplicity 3445, View B for my night out IN BLACK.  How very simply basic of me!

Thank you to momspatterns.com for always having what I need!

One thing I love about buying vintage patterns is the items you sometimes find tucked in the pattern envelopes.  I found a full page from The Los Angeles Times showing a dress similar to View 2, made in jersey for $11.98!  What a treat!

Newspaper from Feb. 21, 1960 with the newly married Mrs. Larry Cessna McVey.

"Star in no-iron Arnel jersey white as the Milky Way"

This pattern was really quite simple to put together and I used some black crepe I found in my stash.  I did a muslin to ensure that I didn’t have to do any major alterations.  The only alteration I had to do was to shorten the dress by 20cm (8″), but being 155cm (5’2″), I’m use to shortening everything!   I had given myself a week to work on the dress, but unfortunately I caught a head cold early in the week. Boo.  Needless to say, I am VERY lucky that this was a straight-forward pattern.  I managed to finish it up in about 12 hours over two days.

Full length picture of finished dress.

I really love the simple details of this dress.  I was worried that the waist gathers would add a paunch where no lady wants a paunch to be seen, but they are really very flattering.  The pleated sleeves are wonderful!  I really would like to make a bright, eye-popping version of this dress, that’s how much I love this dress.

Close up of waist gathers.

Subtle, but gorgeous sleeve pleats.

I don’t have a full body shot of the finished look yet, but I will post one once I have one!  Hopefully you can accept a head shot of the finished look.  I love my bespoke beaver felt percher with antique veil.  My necklace was also a gift – a design from the early 60s.  I wore seamed fishnet stockings and peep toe satin heels with bows at the heels.  We’ve had beautiful weather in Vancouver this week, but the nights still get a little chilly, so I finished the look with a rabbit capelet.

Head shot of the finished look!

I had a fabulous time celebrating my birthday with friends and the girls AND boys of burlesque.  The highlight of the night for me was when Judith Stein, Canadian Legend of Burlesque (in her 60s and STILL putting on a fantastic show!) stopped me after the show and complimented me on my look!  Meep!

EDIT:  An ALMOST full length picture of the finished look.  Picture by Pin-up Perfection Photography.

The final look outside the Vogue Theatre. Picture by Pin-up Perfection Photography.

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I just loved the bird ornament on this pattern from Mrs. Depew the moment I saw it. So I bought a copy and made myself one.

The pdf contains instructions for drawing out the hat and bird patterns and describes how to do the other  variations pictured. Sewing instructions are minimalist to say the least. But drawing the pattern is simple and it’s easy to sew. An unlined felt one would be perfect to start with if you were unsure and needed a practise hat.

Anyway I made this to complete a tailored suit which uses the same suede as a trim, but no pictures of me in that ensemble yet as I still have an extra Christmas inch on my waist and the pencil skirt was already tight to start with. As soon as I can button the waistband again I will post about my making of that as it’s a copy of a late 40′s suit and I’m quite pleased with how it turned out.

But back to the hat- I made this one out of suede and lined it. The bird wings are two layers of suede fused (bondaweb) together to keep them from flopping. Next time I’ll probably do the same on the tail but it depends on how firm the material is. The two pattern changes I made were to enlarge the head opening and make the birds body a tiny bit shorter… but possibly my initial measurements for that were a little off in the first place. Stitching the edges gave it a more finished look I thought.

How long to make?  With drawing the pattern and messing about with my sewing machine to get it sewing suede nicely about 4-5 hours. I expect further hats to take much less time.

Will I make it again?  Definitely. Plans for red velvet, black felt….


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