1930s | 1950s | Accessories | Hats | Jackets | Skirts

A sporty look, and the second chapter in my wool skirt saga.

By on February 28, 2014

The second skirt in my Pendleton quartet is another plaid number. This one is fairly plain as well, with some simple alterations made to change the look up a bit. I widened the waistband and added suspenders. I’ve always really liked the look of the suspender skirt (whether from the 1910s or the 1950s or anywhere in between), and have intended to make myself one for a long time now. I thought it would be a nice silhouette with this plaid also, simple enough to showcase the pattern, but not so overly simplified as to be boring. This piece of wool had just a few moth holes that needed repair, so I set myself to work at re-weaving again. This is a much finer weave than the previous fabric, so it required a little more precision, but it really wasn’t too bad. I have to admit, I think I’m actually getting a little hooked on it. It’s just the kind of insanely meticulous work I find fun and relaxing (’cause maybe I’m a little nuts).

 

After pulling threads from a scrap of the plaid, I set to work reweaving the two holes in the skirt front, and then the two in the suspender pieces.

 

Doing this made me feel a little bit like the woman who made Chanel’s braided trim for decades (although not old, French, and incredibly skilled).

 

You can see the first hole mid-repair just to the right of the pin.

The skirt turned out pretty well, and I had just enough left of the fabric to make a matching hat (because every outfit should have a matching hat, right?). Anyway, I used the Wearing History Sporty Toppers pattern, view 1. I was working with scraps, so the plaid doesn’t match perfectly on top, but it doesn’t bother me too much since there is so much seaming to break it up in the first place. I used a slightly narrower ribbon than called for in the pattern, but I like how it looks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To complete my sort of “golf-course” couture look, I managed to finally finish one of my biggest UFOs; this brown wool suit jacket. I started this suit about three years ago, finished the skirt, got about half way through the jacket and then put it on the back burner and left it there to stew. It feels really good to finally have it finished and out of the project pile. It’s far from perfect, but finished it all I was really aiming for at this point, so I’m happy with it. I don’t have all the pattern details in front of me, but I’ll try and dig them up. I’m pretty sure it’s a McCall’s pattern, and it’s from the 50s, but I’m not sure the exact year and can’t remember the number. Anyway, here’s the ensemble all put together and ready for a stroll across the fairway. (Both pieces need a little touch up with the iron).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, that’s that. Now on to other projects in the queue. I’ve still got two of the wool skirts to put together, and then numerous other summery projects to start, but I’ve got an Edwardian event to go to in early May that I also have to make some stuff for, and that will probably take precedence. Hope everyone has had a good week!

 

-Evie

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1950s | Jackets | Mad Men Inspired | Mens | Vintage Sewing

Le Smoking Jacket AKA the Ninth Gate of Hell.

By on January 20, 2014

 

So, I found this amazing pattern for a smoking jacket from 1951, Butterick 1769. Despite being neither a smoker nor an idle rich guy from a Hollywood melodrama, my Husband decided he needed one in classic satin and quilted velvet. He accompanied me to the fabric store on a Saturday (an event never to be repeated), where he picked out this gorgeous Asian style brocade. We splurged and bought the fancy dress velvet to do the collar and cuffs. I made up a muslin sample, which actually fit him pretty good. I just needed to shorten the sleeves and he decided he would prefer a belt to buttons, so I drafted one. This is where the fun ensued. Slick satin just refuses to be sewn, especially when you are trying to meaningfully join it to any type of napped fabric. Sheer hell. Puckering. I ended up using tissue paper between the layers, which helped some, but not enough. I had to hand baste the batting to the velvet to do the quilting, which took forever and isn’t totally even. The piping was a pain, and in retrospect I should have used a finer weight cording. To top it off, I forgot to cut the back pleat into the lining, which I didn’t discover until I handed the jacket to my Husband to try on. I had to buy more fabric to recut it. Despite the hellacious and neverending trouble this pattern gave me, I still think it turned out pretty good. My Husband likes to strut around the house with a martini while wearing it, so mission accomplished. The moral of the story is that choice of fabric and finish details can make a BIG difference in your work load!

 

 

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1930s | 1940s | Applique | Jackets | Vintage Sewing

Tracht-inspired jacket

By on October 27, 2013

Hello, here I am again. I’ve been neglecting my blog and online presence for too long now, but I have been sewing quite a bit, in my defense – and also put myself on a very healthy ban on frantic last-minute sewing of overly ambitious party outfits. My stress levels are down (slightly) and my nerves are thanking me.

I’ve been making a lot of things lately, several everyday garments that I need quite badly, but this is the one I’m the most pleased with; a wool/poly gabardine jacket inspired by Steirer jackets and German and Austrian traditional costumes in general, with leather oak leaf appliqués, abstract bakelite acorn buttons and a pleated, skirted back, the cut nicked from a late 1940’s jacket that I have loved almost to pieces.

The original sketch made three years ago or so, when I got the fabric.

It’s been in the pipeline for several years, in other words, but I’m glad I waited.

Front and back panels sewn together, interfaced with horsehair canvas, wool and a heavy linen canvas at the front shoulder, with pockets nearly done.

It has bound pockets with the leather oak leaves applied after the pocket was practically finished, but before I closed up the pocket bag. The whole process of figuring out the best order in which to do the pocket and appliqué steps to create fully functional pockets with the appliqué took a bit of frustrating trial and error. I added top-stitched leaf veining after some consideration – it felt like an idea that might go spectacularly wrong, even with a teflon foot, but it actually turned out quite well.

Fitting process. The back came together beautifully at once, the front took a lot of fine-tuning.

I added a lot (a LOT) of extra hair canvas and wool fabric pieces to the body of the interfacing here and there around the bust and front of the shoulder to get the pocket to lie reasonably smoothly, for instance, and get a nice, smooth shape. It was worth it, and I highly recommend spending some time fiddling around with stiffening, shaping and filling out the silhouette like that if you have the time. I certainly will. Also added horsehair braid along the hemline, from the side pleats in the back, around the curve in front and up to the waist. Also worth it.

SO worth it.
The finished jacket, with a peaked cap in the same fabric and a new skirt with scalloped button edge.
The back is my favourite part of the garment.

Right, and I did leather-bound buttonholes on the sleeves, with leather that is not what you’d call thin or supple. That may have been one of the worst ideas I’ve ever had. They look pretty awful up close, but not half as awful as making them was. I wanted to do that on the rest of the jacket as well, but no. Just no.

I’ve been wearing it constantly for several weeks now. Very happy with this one.

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Jackets | Vintage Sewing

My wild child jacket! – McCall 6360

By on August 28, 2013

I did it! I made me a vintage style jacket! And not any jacket! A 1940s bad girl one!

To be exact, it’s a windbreaker jacket. I used the McCall 6360 pattern, red sued and beige lining.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I made a muslin first, and had to increase lenght of sleeves and neck-to-waist.

And I finally went to the final fabric. I had some troubles with my sewing machine and the thickness of the many layers of suede sometimes. (especially for buttonholes!) . I mostly sewed the lining with machine, and it was really faster!

I LOVE it! It will become one of my most worn jacket for sure!!

And you, have you ever sewn a jacket ? I would love to see your projects!

I think I took enough room on we sew retro, so

if you want more informations and pictures, come on my blog! 😀

Thanks for reading!

 

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1800s | Jackets | Skirts | Vintage Sewing

Simplicity 2207

By on August 4, 2013

I took the last week off to have time for another sewing project and decided to tackle this wonderful victorian era inspired steampunk costume, consisting of jacket, skirt and bustle. I bought dark green dupioni silk in Brussels at Maison des Tissus and beige lace at Maison dorée a few weeks ago (I forgot to take the pattern with me then and was so lucky to have bought just enough of both!). The pattern is incredible – it was the first time for me that all patterns parts matched perfectly (and I am always very careful with cutting them out) and the instructions were easy to follow.  I decided to shorten the skirt to make the costume a bit more suitable for daily wear and I will probably take it in a bit but I changed nothing else. I am very happy with the finished costume and am eager to wear it soon again (-:

See a few more pictures on my blog, Draped in Cloudlets.

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1940s | Blouses | Jackets | Vintage Sewing

1940s Wearable Wardrobe Expansion…

By on July 7, 2013

Continuing on in my attempt at a 1940’s wearable wardrobe – the ubiquitous 1940’s Lumber Jacket!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Really very happy with how this turned out (and really happy its stopped raining long enough so I can take photos)!

I used Simplicity 1535 (view 1) and black gaberdine.

The sleeves are full and glamorous, and the nipped waist is really flattering. Did I mention the pattern was easy to sew as well?

My favourite element would be the pointed cuffs, so very cute.

 

It was also sunny enough to take photos of Simplicity 1692 – View A.

While the jacket was made pretty much to-pattern, this one was modified to death. A full list is on my blog, but the main pattern change was to make the blouse back-buttoning like a traditional 1940’s blouse pattern.

I didn’t realise the pattern was a pull-over at first, and I don’t think the amount of ease called for was very flattering for an already plus-sized girl! I would definitely make this pattern again though, it’s great novelty print stash buster and the gathered neckline is really sweet.

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1960s | Jackets | Skirts

Pretty Pattie – early 60s work suit

By on
Oh my ! How much stress this suite caused me. But in the end it turned out very well!
I cut this pattern 5 weeks ago, and other than a break to make another dress, I’ve been stitching little bits of this jacket, making improvements on the fit and fiddling around with “tailoring techniques” (which in the end were kind of useless), and having tiny hissy fits every time I tried it on
But in the end I am so happy with it I don’t even care about its remaining imperfections!

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