1910s | 1930s | 1950s | 1970s | Dresses | Pattern Drafting | Vintage Sewing

The great white dress

By on December 17, 2015

Hi all you wonderful crafting & sewing fellows!

It’s crazy, I haven’t posted anything in here for years, but the great big white deserves a mention, methinks ūüėČ

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My inspirations for this dress was all over¬†the place. I was looking at Edwardian wedding gowns, 1930’s drapes and flowy sleeves, 1950’s circle skirts and 1970’s hippie layers and lace stuff… You can imagine the confusion and headaches I had over design choices!

In the end I went for a completely self drafted design, with added details from all the periods I was inspired by, and I think it worked pretty well! I used my standard bodice pattern for starters, cut it up to find the “perfect seam lines” (and of course that meant having a seven-piece bodice. Smart), and then made a few muslins to try to perfect it.

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The skirt is four layers – four different fabrics – full circle.

IMG_1284cFor a bunch more pictures, come over here: http://sewewellyn.blogspot.se/2015/12/finally-wedding-dress-pictures.html

And here’s the post with some of my inspiration:¬†http://sewewellyn.blogspot.se/2015/05/wedding-dress-inspiration.html

 

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1950s | Dresses | Jackets | Pattern Drafting

As seen on Pinterest

By on December 5, 2015

I have made a few things based on vintage photographs (two dresses and a suit based on a drawing, in fact) but this is the first time the picture in question did not come from a magazine from my own collection. This one came from Pinterest.

ef8779d187cc39718fa4e063282b4434Such a lovely, unusual design. Clearly 1950’s but with a freeform, sculptural flair. Because I found the picture on Pinterest, I don’t know in which magazine it was printed and in what year. There is text printed next to the image, which is in English and mentions a price in dollars which makes me guess (combined with it being very much a winter style) that it comes from North America, either the USA or Canada.

voor2Although I love herringbone tweed, I know from experience that I don’t enjoy whole dresses made from the stuff. Those are just too warm for houses with central heating. And a dress like this would look best if it were very closely fitted, which is not that comfortable in a woven fabric.

zijSo, I used a thick-ish  knit fabric with a kind of tweed-like look. (I bought quite a bit of it on sale last year).

bandThe dress was simple: a six piece skirt with a bodice made from thinner viscose jersey. I make the most of the waist definition, I gave it an inner waistband from soft elastic which closes with lingerie hooks-and-eyes under the side zipper.

The jacket was more trouble. I made several muslins, exploring different pattern options. The original looks like the sort of thing which was draped directly on the model. Great, but not a realistic option for me.

lachenIn the end, I went with this pattern. It isn’t perfect, but I’m happy with it.

More about it on my blog (the link goes to the post about the finished article, there are several posts about the drafting of the jacket before that)

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1950s | Pattern Drafting

Party dress in grey

By on May 11, 2015

voorI made this dress to wear to the wedding of friends last Friday. Initially, I didn’t plan on posting it here because it’s not a ‘real’ vintage project. By which I suppose I mean it was neither made from a vintage pattern nor solely inspired by vintage styles. However, the overall silhouette is still pretty 1950’s and everyone on We Sew Retro Sew & Tell has been so nice about it that I thought I’d post it here anyway.

d4b770a09dc5b406d3495518c70e4850 22.01.31Oh, and this picture from the 1950’s was part of the inspiration too.

The idea for this dress has been at the back of my mind for a while. It seemed like a nice challenge. A way to combine all the different kinds of sewing experience and skill I have collected over the years.

It was just the kind of thing for which you need a special occasion…

straplessMy dress has a strapless bodice with bra-style undewired cups made from lingerie foam. The fashion fabric is pleated and draped over the boned bodice.

I made the skirt using knot design nr. 1 from the first Pattern Magic book. I just placed the knot and pleat at the front dart position of a straight skirt sloper. This also allowed me to remove the side seam closest to the knot and convert the other one to a dart (so most of the waist-to-hip shaping in the skirt has been converted into the pleats radiating out from the knot).

achter 22.01.45For a bit of modesty during the more formal parts of the wedding and for a bit of warmth, I added a simple open-fronted bolero.

This was quite an involved project and I’m really happy with how it turned out. You can see more pictures and read about it in this blog post¬†and I have written more about the construction in a three previous posts.

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1800s | Dresses | Pattern Drafting

Final School Project.

By on May 7, 2015

So I just finish getting unpacked and finally back at home again since leaving school. I had a blasted with all my learning and wanted to show everyone my Final ladies wear project.

So the dress is based on a description in These happy Golden Years by Laura ingots Wilder. I do love Little house on the Prairie books still at 26 and can’t want to read them to my own children one day! ¬†and further information from the manuscript pioneer girl.

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The dress was described as a pink Lawn with delicate blue and red flowers and green leaves.  The waist was tight fitting with two rows of 1/2 inch tucks on either side of the button closure that had tiny pearl buttons, the back have also IMG_2629IMG_2592

Two rows of tucks.  and the Sleeves with long to the elbow with a hems of more tucks. I added a cute ruffle to the sleeves to tie in the ruffles.

The skirt it self was made from straight panels of fabric, gathered into a tiny waistband and every three inches with a 1/2 tuck…all away around the skirt. with a ruffle just under the last tuck that just reached her toes.

it was made in either 1884-85 , between the books she either made it before she got engaged in 84 for the fourth of July, or before she got married in 85, for the fourth of July.

IMG_2658i have plenty of research I won’t bore you with. I also made the corset and petticoat which was more of a wing it type of them, since i hadn’t planned on putting the bustle into the petti, instead i I

i wanted a separate structure

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.IMG_2551  And alas living in Canada finding cotton lawn anywhere is next to impossible, and to order online it would of be 10 a yard and Laura herself used 10 yards.. I ended up using about 6-7 of the material i bought.  Which ended up being a cotton gauze for 3 meter. and i bought 10 meters of safety lol

And with a little adjustment to the bodice, mostly letting out the back side seams and possibly the side seams and finding a way to make it longer as i have my bust then my fit model did and a longer torso, I should be able to wear it for myself! After i make myself a corset, or alter this one!. its a 36 bust and my bust is 39, and its much to short as were the hips are in the corset, well its at my waist on me. if that makes any sense! thanks for reading!

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1950s | Pattern Drafting

My 1950’s suit

By on April 27, 2015

Hi everyone. I’m happy to reveal my new suit. I’ve thought about making a 1950’s style suit for a couple of years but now I have finally given it a go.

voor1For this suit, I used a peculiar fabric from my stash, a linen tweed. The hand is a bit weird, stiff and limp at the same time, which makes it misbehave in the skirt. For the jacket, I used a very lightweight fusible interfacing which took care for those issues.

62feea25124bfe73dde117956820b93aI drafted my own pattern based on this picture from an issue of the Dutch ladies’ magazine¬†Libelle.¬†

10312768_438598262982827_235609074456462868_nFor the hat, I used V8008 which has been in my stash for years, in fact, for longer than any of my vintage patterns. I made the pillbox from the suit fabric, interfaced it with mid-weight fusible cotton and lined it with thin synthetic felt. Instead of the flower decorations included in the pattern, I put a large flat bow from the same fabric on the back, tied up with a ribbon in a bow.

voor:zij1It’s not perfect, but nevertheless, I’m quite pleased with my suit. You can see more pictures and read more about it on my blog.

achter2

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1950s | Dresses | Pattern Drafting

Big pockets from 1951

By on March 22, 2015

3bbe7194fdd32f11eb01e29c59500004I found this picture in a magazine,¬†Beatrijs, from 1951 and loved it. When I found this fabric, a fairly fine wale corduroy in bright orange a few months ago, I knew it had become this dress…

fotoAnd now it has and I love it. Every time I put this dress on, even when it was no-where near finished, it makes me smile. It’s a happy dress.

I drafted the pattern myself (Beatrijs is a ladies’ magazine, it doesn’t focus on sewing. There is the occasional draft-your-own project and it had a mailorder pattern service but there are never actual patterns included. And this picture was an illustration for an article about practical fashion).

voor:zijThe bodice was a tried-and-tested version, the skirt is absolutely new. It doesn’t have side seams (except in those upper hip bits which go into the pockets) and the darts are converted into those little seams with which the pockets are attached.

As members of Sew&Tell may know, I started second-guessing myself about the collar on Friday but, with all your input, I decided to stick with the larger collar. And I’m really happy with it.

More about it on my blog

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1910s | 1920s | 1950s | Pattern Drafting

Free Vintage Patterns and Vintage Sewing Books

By on February 10, 2015

Looking for something to read on the bus? Check out these free vintage dressmaking books, including a pattern drafting system from the 1950s that looks rather nifty.

If you’re not familiar with how the pattern drafting systems work, it’s like having small pattern guides (think of the pattern piece schematics on the back of your sewing pattern envelope)¬†that you scale up to your individual measurements using a specially marked ruler or measuring tape. In the Dressmaking at Home book here, you’ll find the details for the ruler on page 7.

Edit: these might look a little quirky on mobile. If you’re having trouble, jump on an actual computer.

Dressmaking at Home (pattern drafting system from the 1950s)

The New Dressmaker by Butterick Patterns (1921)

The American System of Dressmaking (early 1900s)

 

Home Dressmaking and the Art of Good Dressing

A note about copyright: I didn’t make any of these documents available on Scribd and Scribd’s¬†terms of use specifically prohibit the upload of works for which you do not hold the copyright. I haven’t dug down far enough into the murky world of copyright infringement to be able to say if these works are infringing or not, so I’m taking Scribd at their word that these works are not infringing anyone’s copyright. Copyright holders can file a takedown notice on Scribd¬†here.

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