1960s | Dresses | Hats | Mad Men Inspired

Mad Men Dress Challenge 3 – Bobbie Barrett

By on April 14, 2014

The fabulous Bobbie Barret was the inspiration for my entry into Julia Bobbin’s Mad Men Dress Challenge 3. I chose Butterick 9497, with this lovely purple fabric from an op shop. I decided to make a hat to accessorise, as ‘business’ Bobbie is rarely seen without a perfectly styled hat, fortunately I had the body of a hat I had played around with just waiting to be embellished.

I have had some fun in this dress already, my daughter and I dressed up to watch Audrey Hepburn in Funny Face at a lovely old cinema on the weekend. By special request I had to whip up a dress for her in matching fabric, she also embellished her own hat, the base of which I had at hand. Here we are, it was VERY exciting.

This is the original pattern – I have many more photos over on my blog – this dress really was ‘quick and easy’ and I love it more than I thought, I do plan to make the full skirted version, perhaps for spring.

It has been ages since I have posted here, but I have been doing a lot of vintage sewing! Many separates, that get worn daily – including finishing off other people’s sewing projects, like this lovely gabardine skirt, which came to me through a friend, in a suitcase with fabrics and patterns, mostly 1970s.

I also have accepted a really exciting project, through some very talented women who have set themselves up to run workshops in millinery, corset making and vintage sewing (cool!). I was invited to document and blog a vintage sewing project with their vintage specialist – who in completing her MA designed and made a range of luxurious woollen coats using vintage techniques and based on coat designs from the 40s to the 60s. A couple of her coats are inspired by none other than Balenciaga, I had the pleasure of trying them on when we met on the weekend.

The collaboration was an opportunity for me to find a project that I would find challenging, one using techniques or skills that are new to me. So I brought a selection of patterns and fabrics, we talked and dreamed up several exciting projects, we had to chose one, and this is what we will create. The fabric and pattern are both 1950s, the pattern is unused and the fabric was a gift from a dear friend. I have many more photos on my blog including the projects that didn’t make it – this time. I was excited as I have a few (ahem, well perhaps more than a ‘few’) vintage fabrics that I hesitate to cut into, so it is good to go into a project with someone who has more experience – we both want to do justice to the lovely fabric and the gorgeous pattern. So, watch this space!

Continue Reading

1950s | Dresses | Mad Men Inspired | Modern Patterns

Butterick B5953

By on April 6, 2014

Hi guys!

 

I fell in love with this pattern as soon as I clapped eyes on it! I finally got round to sewing it last night, im still deciding on buttons (it’s always a big decision for me) so it’s not completely finished yet.

I had to do quite a bit of adjusting on the pattern because im pretty short. I chose a torquoise and black houndstooth and a plain black trim. Theres a godet in the back centre seam, which I also did in the houndstooth.

Anyway heres a quick photo and I’ll post one of me wearing the dress once I’ve put the buttons on. Im really pleased with how it turned out 🙂

 

 

 

Continue Reading

1960s | Mad Men Inspired | Shirts

Butterick 2475: 60s Pussybow Blouse

By on March 1, 2014

here we are and finished in all it’s splendour is my blummin gorgeous 60s blouse a la Joan Harris (nee Holloway).

Joaniegreen

Having never made a blouse before I wasn’t entirely sure what material to go for. I decided on a trusty poly-cotton which meant the drape would be a bit stiffer than the one shown in the picture but I did want the collar to be a little stiffer, and as I wasn’t sure how this would all play out I thought not splashing the cash on fancy fabric would be the best option.

I went about cutting the pattern, fabric and interfacing out and I was quite happily thinking “less pieces, less work than a dress”. Ah, the young sewing fool inside me.

At the end of the first day I’d made the bodice and the collar. It dawned on my when I finished that I’d absolutely breezed the collar this time, I think I’ve been so caught up in worrying about the set in sleeves that I appear to have somehow mastered collars without thinking about it. Pretty good eh?!

Butterick 2475

Now, I made a little list of goals at the beginning of the year (some have totally fallen by the wayside already) and one of these was to master set in sleeves by the end of 2014. So when I went into this part of making the blouse I did so with a new determination that I would not simply settle for “that’ll do” and I would set these sleeves in over and over until I got them perfect.

Plenty of people gave me advice (thank you everyone for all of your helpful tips and guidance) but I really owe massive thanks to Clare at www.sewdixielou.com for spurring me on when I was halfway through ripping the sleeves out for the second time (and on the verge of having a little cry) who simply said “I never use gathered way hate it. I do it by hand gently easing larger fabric pinning every 1/2″. Then when happy pin in between pins then baste by hand. Remove pins check how it looks then machine”.

Now, this may strike you as odd (but probably goes a long way to explaining more than bit about me) but I never considered for a moment that I should use any other method than gathering.

It’s what everyone had shown me; books, sewing tutorials online, pattern instructions. All gathering. It’s a rule right?

Wrong. I am learning more and more that sewing is about finding what works for you and just because people say you should do it this way, it doesn’t mean you have to do it this way.

In the end I went for a bit of both, I gathered a little and then pinned and pinned. I sewed from the inside of the sleeve ; calmly, slowly, gently and smoothed as I went. Et VoilĂ ! A perfectly set in sleeve!

Butterick 2475

So overjoyed was I that I ran about the house and told Tim he should come and look, at which point he did and we embraced and then I did my little happy dance (literally). Then I proceeded to set the other in, with no problem at all and then made Tim come back every five minutes to look at my beautiful set in sleeves on my fantastic blouse.

Needless to say, it wore a bit thin (for him- certainly not for me) after the 50th time, saying that though he was very chuffed for me.

Next up were buttonholes and buttons, which I forgot to buy.  I finally located some small-ish ones and add them to the cuffs and the front of the blouse with a pop stud opening at the top (which is covered when the collar is done up) and here we are, the finished article.

Butterick 2475

Butterick 2475

Butterick 2475

Butterick 2475

Butterick 2475

I have refrained from modelling this as I really want to get the skirt made in March so that I can wear both together, just like Joanie.

I really feel like I’ve made sewing skills progress with this blouse.

If you’d like to read more or check out other things I’ve made, please visit my blog www.staceystitch.com 

Continue Reading

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!

 

 

Continue Reading

1960s | Dresses | Mad Men Inspired

1960’s Inspired Rogue

By on January 16, 2014

It has been quite a long time since I have made a post here. I haven’t been doing a lot a of sewing lately due to a back injury I have been dealing with. The lovely Heapha made a post showing off her vintage inspired Avengers costume, which has inspired me to make a post about my own vintage take on a Marvel character.

I have been a huge fan of the X-Men since I was a little girl. Rogue is my favorite character, so when I decided to go to Comic Con St. Louis last spring I knew I wanted to pay homage to her. I didn’t want to do anything traditional, so I decided to put a vintage 1960’s twist on my outfit. I used The Wiggle Dress pattern from Gertie’s New Book for Better Sewing. It went together very smoothly for what little time I had to finish it. I finished both my dress and my boyfriend’s Spider-Man motorcycle style jacket at around 2 am the day of the convention. After seeing photos I wish I would have spent some time on ironing my dress a bit more. I got lots of super amazing compliments from people, which was super exciting. The best part though was getting to meet Stan Lee, one of my heroes while wearing this costume.

Continue Reading

1940s | 1950s | Dresses | Embroidery | Mad Men Inspired | Modern Patterns

A Merry Stepford Christmas…

By on December 23, 2013
Merry Christmas Eve everyone!

This is my newest make, the Stepford Wife does Christmas Dress. This dress is actually the result of one of those rare ‘happy’ sewing mistakes that apparently do pop up on occasion (who knew!).

 

This dress started out originally as a plain red Anna dress, number one on my Summer Sewing List. The bodice came out beautifully, with absolutely no adjustments needed. In fact, I may have squealed when I tried it on because this bodice is so darn flattering!!

The skirt on me unfortunately, was another matter entirely…

 

For more details, head on over to my blog!

And I just wanted to wish you all a Merry Christmas 🙂 I hope you all get to spend some quality time with your loved ones (and your sewing machines, which probably count as loved ones right?).

xx
Jen

Continue Reading