1950s | Blouses | Pattern Drafting | Skirts | Vintage Sewing

My new spring outfit

By on May 7, 2018

Hello everyone,

since it is so quiet here, I decided to write a short post about my new favourite outfit for spring. The whole look started with the idea of an green outfit inspired by Karlotta Pink’s latest fabric collection. The colour of the print is quite difficult to describe, but it was very important for me that the colour of the skirt would make the colour of the blouse shine.

The pattern of the blouse is self-constructed, because I had fallen in love with a no longer available Simplicity Schnitt 1624. A very similar pattern was reissued by Simplicity, but due to my last experience I became a bit cautious with regard to fit. It should be a figure-hugging blouse and not a nightgown.

The Blouse

For this reason I set about reconstructing the pattern myself. That sounds a lot more awesome than it was. Since I prefer to adapt existing models out of pure laziness rather than develop a pattern myself, I am not particularly experienced at it. The drafting was quite easy and there were only little to adjust – for more information on drafting the blouse check out my blogpost here.

The Fabric Desaster

I wanted to use a lime green satin for the skirt, because it is always available at my regular fabric shop. They didn’t have the fabric at the time, but it was supposed to arrive soon. No luck. (They still don’t have it.) Then I went on a fabric shopping trip to Zurich and I was sure I’d find something. But: Nothing.

A little annoyed and under time pressure, due to to a sewing blogger meeting, I ordered 5 different green fabrics. I didn’t want “okay”, I wanted perfect (at that time I was really obsessed with the right material for the skirt). And in the package were even three possible fabrics. I then decided for the most harmonious combination with the kiwi green cotton-linen blend.

Grünes Set 5

 

In the end everything did go as planned. The blouse was a fast sew and the skirt did go together easy too.

If you wish to see more pictures and read the whole background story (there were more drama than mentioned in the text), you can hop over to our blog PeterSilie&Co or directly to the longer blogpost.

Till next time,

Sabine

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1920s | 1930s | Blouses | Downton Abbey Inspired | Pattern Drafting | Vintage Sewing

A 1920’s Blouse Done 3 ways with One Vintage Dress Pattern

By on June 25, 2017

Three Blouses from One 1920's Dress Pattern

As part of my quest to build a “Miss Fisher” wardrobe, I’ve sewed up three little blouses inspired by separates her character wears in different episodes.  This post will show you the 3 blouses I have made, starting with one pattern.  The base pattern is the Vintage Pattern Lending Library 1920s Ladies Frock with Pleated Skirt Inset – Reproduction Sewing Pattern #Z2773.

Here is my Finished Blouse 1. I love it and wear it all the time!

 

For the first blouse the fabric was made from a printed stretch silk charmeuse and coordinating white silk habotai collar and tie ends.  I kept the tie exactly as on the pattern, making the ends contrast and the tie the same fabric as the blouse.

For blouse #2,  there were a few revisions to the pattern/construction – namely adding a loop under the collar to hold the neck tie, omitting the bottom band (with added length) and omitting the contrast tie bottom on the neck tie (adding length here again).

Close up view of front neck
Front view of finished blouse

Blouse #3 has to be my favorite so far.  It’s a departure from the other two but was easy to create using the same pattern. I sketched it after watching Series 2 episode 3 (Dead Man’s Chest) and decided to modify this pattern to get the look.  This version was made in a printed paisley cotton lawn and the flat piping was made from white seersucker scraps that I had floating around as well as white covered buttons (joining sleeve ends) that were also floating around in my stash. On a related side note, there was some great conversation about Miss Fisher’s blouses in The Miss Fisher Philes podcast , when they discuss this episode (Series 2 episode 3 (Dead Man’s Chest)), making reference to Miss Fisher wearing more separates than dresses.

If you would like to read more about how exactly I revised the pattern to create each of these looks, visit my blog post here.

See more of my projects and vintage inspiration on my blog or connect with me on instagram!

Thanks and Happy Sewing!

Jennifer Serr

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1920s | 1930s | Mail Order Patterns | Pattern Drafting | Skirts

Creating a Skirt from a 1930’s Dress Pattern

By on June 11, 2017
My Finished Skirt
Vintage Pattern Lending Library Pattern #T3221
Vintage Pattern Lending Library Pattern #T3221

Recently, I’ve given myself the task of creating a “Miss Fisher” wardrobe, inspired by the Australian TV series Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries.  If you haven’t seen the show, I highly recommend to head over to Netflix and watch immediately.  The main character, Phryne Fisher – Lady Detective,  has a fairly AMAZING wardrobe, circa 1928,  filled with a variety of wardrobe staples – wide leg trousers, skirts, matching camisoles etc., and some downright outrageous statement pieces – embroidered coats, custom cloches and coordinating accessories.   All of which I’ve been sketching and analyzing as much as I can with repeated viewing of all the episodes.

The first stop on this journey is the staple pieces.  These are garments I can coordinate with many things.  With Summer approaching, a light weight skirt is was in order.  After struggling to find a skirt pattern I liked, I found a dress that had a great skirt –  Vintage Pattern Lending Library Pattern #T3221.

The pattern is quite sweet – a column shape through the body, with 6 small darts that gently shape the waist, and a skirt that has arched seams along the hip line and fluted panels that give it a nice little fare at the hem.  The pattern comes in one size – created for a 36″ bust.  I measured the pattern and found that it was a good fit for my hips at 42″ but that I would need to shape the waist to fit my own.   It was a fairly easy process:

  1. The pattern was cut at the natural waist line which is indicated at the center of the darts on the pattern. I squared a line at the CF, folded out the darts and shaped a nice waist.
  2. The darts were re-distributed into two darts (each side) at front and back and positioned somewhat centrally on each half of the skirt at front and back as well.  I new I wanted a 32″ waist finished, so my dart depth was determined by measuring the pattern at the waistline, subtracting the different and dividing the darts up accordingly.
  3. Then a waistband pattern was made – 4″ high x 34″ long.  This accounts for 3/8″ seam allowance and a 1 1/4″ tab for the button on the waistband.

The fabric used was a beige colored textured rayon jacquard.  The skirt sewed together beautifully, as per the pattern instructions.  I did serge the edges before assembling, to prevent fraying.  The bottom edge is a simple turn and turn 1/4″ clean finish hem.  And the standard zipper was inserted using a hand picked method.

Hand Picked zipper on the side opening
Hand Picked zipper on the side opening
My Finished Skirt
My finished Skirt

I’m really happy with the results, however, my 13 year old daughter thinks it should be several inches shorter.  What do you think?

See more of my projects and vintage inspiration on my blog or connect with me on instagram!

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1950s | Dresses | Mad Men Inspired | Pattern Drafting | Pattern Sizing | Vintage Sewing

Vintage Vogue 8789, Fitting and sewing videos!

By on April 20, 2017
Pinup Sewing, Vintage Vogue 8789 | Vintage on Tap

Hello, everyone!

A couple of my favorite sewing bloggers (Abi and Akram) have both posted their Easter dresses, so I figured it was about time I posted mine 😘

Pinup Sewing, Vintage Vogue 8789 | Vintage on Tap

For my Easter/Spring dress I made the super popular Vintage Vogue 8789, which always seems to make a return this time of year.

I actually really love how versatile the pattern is and it still continues to be a vintage sewist favorite, even if the reproduction pattern is out of print!

Pinup Sewing, Vintage Vogue 8789 | Vintage on Tap

I made my version out of a stunning linen fabric that sews like butter and has such a yummy hand that looks great over a petticoat.

Pinup Sewing, Vintage Vogue 8789 | Vintage on Tap

I went all out on the interior of my dress, stabilizing the neckline like crazy, using petersham ribbon this way and that to stabilize the seams, and added a waist stay for good measure. I’m equally- if not more so- happy with the interior than the exterior!

Pinup Sewing, Vintage Vogue 8789 | Vintage on Tap

Pinup Sewing, Vintage Vogue 8789 | Vintage on Tap

 

I actually filmed a fitting video for the girls out there that have to do some insane FBA action, with a petite frame. Shifted some darts around, shortened the length, took in the shoulder seam. In the end, it fit like a glove.

Check out the video for fitting Vogue 8789.

And if you just want to see my sewing tips for it, check out the sewing video for Vogue 8789.

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1950s | Dresses | Pattern Drafting | Vintage Sewing

Butterick 6299 just in time for Autumn

By on March 18, 2017

It’s getting cooler here in Aotearoa New Zealand, while all you sewers in the north are getting set for summer, I’m glad things are cooling off now!

I have just finished this dress, it’s made with some lovely fabric my nana gave me, and I used a stunning Butterick pattern which was new to me this year, along with a couple of other lovely vintage patterns.

These ones!

The pattern is a size and a bit too small for me, so I graded it up, and voila! New dress! In my blog post about the making of this dress…

…I share how I graded it up, it’s pretty easy, you just need a basic pattern (or pattern block) that fits well.

The crossover bodice was a bit fiddly, and adding the bias trim gave me more bulk to deal with, but in the end, I am happy with it.

From the back…

And the bias trim….

The bias binding colour was perfect, but just enough to do the neckline and sleeve cuffs. So happy!

Happy Spring or Autumn Retro Sewists!

The blog link about this dress is here, and now I’m off to make another jumpsuit!

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1950s | Burlesque / Pinup | Dresses | Modern Patterns | Pattern Drafting

Butterick Patterns by Gerite B6354 – Wanda Woodward Wearable Toile

By on August 5, 2016

Hi everyone!

This post is a little different from my usual for quite a few reasons! To start, it’s my first ‘pattern hack’ post, my first fitted make and my first wearable toile! Also this post will lead on to another post with the final make and full instructions on my pattern hack. That’s why this one will be a little shorter than normal as it’s more of an introduction to the main dress – if that makes any sense…

Check out my wearable toile:

gertieb5354polkadot1

gertieb5354polkadot4

 

For my full pattern review & images, check out my blog The Crafty Pinup.

Thank you!
xo

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1940s | Dresses | Pattern Drafting | Vintage Sewing

Wrestling With Rayon

By on June 11, 2016

blackdress1

Everyone loves a good LBD right? I recently began a quest to create one for each of the eras I wear the most often (20s-50’s) and found some amazing quality black rayon to use for a forties dress! The only problem was I had to fight the silky stuff to do my bidding! A lot of rayon seam binding was involved with the creation of this dress!

I took my usual bodice pattern and modified it so that the sweetheart neckline was higher so I could wear dress clips at the neckline. I also used a puffy sleeve pattern with 1/4 inch shoulder pads sicking out just over the shoulder line into the sleeve puff for a stronger structured 40’s shoulder. I think most late 30’s and 40’s dresses look just a little bit more vintage with shoulder pads inside, don’t fear the shoulder pad! The most time consuming part of making this dress was simply spent focusing on not screwing up at any point and binding all of the interior seams since rayon likes to fray. I am not the most patient so working on this dress over several weeks seemed like an eternity to me!

blackdress15

Now that my new 40’s LBD is finished, I am so happy with how everything came together and I can’t wait to wear it again and again with different hats and accessories. For more photos of this dress visit me at The Closet Historian!

blackdress18

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