1950s | Pattern Drafting | Skirts

Skirt and bolero

By on February 8, 2015

This bright orange stuff has been in my stash for over a year. It looks a lot like wool but the seller was certain it’s cotton. It did shrink like cotton when I washed it and it doesn’t smell like wool when I iron it, so I guess he was right.

rok1For a while, I’ve wanted to make a pencil skirt from this stuff, and now I finally did. I re-worked my skirt sloper to get rid of a small fitting issue which has started to annoy me now that I’m even more critical than before.

Because this fabric is rather thick, I didn’t want to make a vent or a kick pleat. Instead, I took inspiration from my vintage skirt patterns: In the vast majority of those, the sleek pencil skirts are actually slight A-lines. Which makes sense, of course. It would help keep the skirt from riding up when you walk and it would make it fall back into place neatly when you stand up. Usually, the A-line effect is just a little bit and the skirt still gets a pleat to give it enough leg room.

rok2In this case, I thought I had made it just wide enough to go without a pleat and yet still narrow enough to look like a pencil skirt. It turns out I could have done with a little bit more width at the hem, but I suppose that will teach me to walk like a lady ūüėČ

Schermafbeelding 2015-02-08 om 09.24.31The skirt is fully lined and has patch pockets without topstitching (set in from the side seam. I made a tutorial for it) at the front.

The bolero is a very simple pattern I drafted a couple of years ago: One pattern piece, cuffs and a binding along the edge. Very quick and easy to make but I really like the look with a skirt like this.

More about it on my blog!

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1950s | Dresses | Pattern Drafting

Warm wool winter dress – now with added glamour

By on January 20, 2015

A few years ago, the nicest fabric store in town was going out of business. Before they did so, they sold of all the stock at sale prices. I still have some fabrics in my stash from that sale. Such nice fabrics that I’m a bit afraid to cut into them…

zakkenBut now I have finally made a dress from this lovely wool crepe.

I considered a couple of vintage patterns for it but ended up drafting my own pattern after all.

hoedClean lines, a 1950’s style silhouette and big pockets.

achterIt feels very chique yet quite comfortable. I should remember to wear it and not keep it on a hanger and just look at it lovingly every time I open the wardrobe…

You can read more about it and there are more pictures and a technical drawing on my blog

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1950s | Dresses | Pattern Drafting | Vintage Sewing

Rosemary Dress — a free pattern

By on December 30, 2014

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I decided to make a present for myself after Christmas has already passed and here it is, a dress I called Rosemary, based on a pattern from Der Neue Schnitt 5/1952 –number RK 35113.

This particular magazine came to me without the key and with just one pattern sheet. So if I wanted to sew this gorgeous thing, I had to trace all the lines on the sheet with my finger to find the right pattern pieces. Let me tell you that took long. But it was worth it. When I finally did find it, I decided to scan it and trace it digitally and I made it into a downloadable pattern. Head over to my blog to get it. Merry Christmas.

The sewing process was easy peasy, even with no instructions I just followed my gut feeling and it went smoothly. The pattern is also well fitted which actually means that it is a bit too loose for me, as it is intended for bust measurement of 92 cm/36in (and I’m more of an 88/34in). But I actually like that because it makes me feel I can easily move around in it, which I intend to do a lot of during the New Year’s Eve.

For more photos and a full story of this dress, head over to my blog.

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1950s | Pants / Trousers | Pattern Drafting | Vintage Sewing

Drafting Cigarette Pants

By on September 19, 2014

I’m not brand-new to pants (the first pair of jeans I made), but I’ve never drafted¬†slim-fit trousers before and to be honest they’re a bit intimidating. So math! ¬†Much fitting! ¬†Wow! ¬†But I have some great herringbone woolen in my stash (somewhere between a flannel and a boiled wool, very nice quality, from Gorgeous Fabrics a couple of years back), a job I can’t wear jeans to, and a sudden interest in¬†late-1950s silhouettes, so I thought it was time to take on the challenge.

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Drafting discussion and fitting photos are here at my blog. ¬†I made a couple of breakthroughs and (hopefully) did away with a major fit issue in every pair of pants I’ve ever sewn. ¬†I would love some input from those of you who are experienced at fitting pants–there are some horizontal wrinkles in the back thigh that are still stumping me:

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Needs length in the back fork, maybe?

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1950s | Dresses | Pattern Drafting

Retro Inspired Birthday Dress

By on September 4, 2014

I am a little late posting this as my birthday is in July. Every year for my birthday I try to make a dress for me to wear that day. This year I made a 1950’s inspired cutout dress. I have always wanted a cutout dress since seeing that iconic dress Marilyn Monroe wears in the film Niagara. I drafted my own pattern. The fabric I used was actually a twin sheet from Target I bought ages ago for about 5 bucks and the black buttons I already had in my stash.

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1930s | Embroidery | Lingerie | Pattern Drafting | Vintage Sewing

A Completely Reversible 1930’s Silk Brassiere

By on August 25, 2014

Sewing #610
Recently I’ve been on a complete lingerie sewing bender! I made a silk crepe de chine bra and was so delighted with the comfort and luxury of it that I decided to host a sew-along and make a few more.

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I started with the fabric from an old pair of silk charmeuse pajama pants that hadn’t survived my restless sleeping for long, and then found a lovely black silk blouse at a thrift shop for the lining (can you tell my fabric order was woefully late in arriving?).

For the pattern, I used my 1930’s French Brassiere reproduction pattern and I couldn’t be happier with how well this bra fits!

I’m a huge fan of using historically accurate sewing and embellishment techniques so I included a few tutorials on adding spiderweb silk roses and French knots, covered truing darts, adding straps and closure options, and voila! A completely reversible silk bra!

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Depending on the top I’m wearing, I can wear the bra in blue or black to suit my fashion needs and if I wear a really low-cut top (not that I have so many of those) the rosettes and French knots are a lovely little accent to peak out of my neckline.

If you would like to join in (it’s never to late and I’m always happy to answer questions!) or if you would just like to learn a few bra sewing techniques, you can find every step of the sew-along here, on my blog A Few Threads Loose.

Happy Sewing!

Anna Signature

 

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1950s | Pattern Drafting

Retro wrap top

By on August 22, 2014

This is a bit of an odd project: a 1950’s style jersey wrap top, made using a modern tutorial inspired by a ¬†vintage pattern illustration.

1voorI found the tutorial here. No sloper needed. It says the design is for ‘up to’ an Australian size 12. I don’t really know what that is, probably the same as a British one… In which case I’m a little smaller. And I quite like the fit of the top. It’s the only waist length desing I’ve ever tried which stays in place when you sit down!

1Avoor2According to the illustration, you can also wear this top back to front. That doesn’t really work. It’s a bit uncomfortable and on me, there is extra length in the ehh closed side. That’s nice and practical when it’s at the back. At the front it just looks odd.

Anyway… As usual, you can read more about this top on my blog¬†and if you want to make your own, follow the link above.

 

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