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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1950s | Pattern Drafting | Skirts | Vintage Sewing

Poppies summer skirt

By on August 5, 2014
Hi, this is me wearing a skirt I made from an old drafting book. I drafted the heart shape waistband myself.
The pockets on my skirt are thanks to Bex at Subversive Femme. I read her blog and in January 2014 she posted this pattern from a dress she had made. I thought they looked so cool I had to use them myself. I love them!
The braid/ric rac that I used I made myself. I found a tutorial on pinterst on how to do it. It’s basically taking bias strips and playing with the tension on your machine and using the blind hem stitch. I had this fabric in my stash and the colour match is so good to my skirt fabric. Very happy!
I added plastic boning into the waistband. I didn’t have enough poppy fabric so used some spare gingham. Plastic boning is really easy to use – I just zig zagged along the edges. I also used interfacing on the waistband too.
This is the pattern I used from an Enid Gilchrist drafting book. I’ve used this pattern 3 times now for 3 very different skirts.

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1960s | Dresses | Pattern Drafting | Vintage Sewing

Scallop Flutter Dress

By on July 16, 2014

Hi all – I’m back!

It’s been both a busy and rough year for me so far, however now I’m back to creating on a much more regular basis.

This is my newest self-drafted retro-inspired piece. I’m totally in love with the print! I also integrated sort of a cap sleeve/capelet feel into the yoke by doing a drop shoulder technique with the patternmaking part.

I was also really excited that the Ford Galaxie was there in my neighborhood. Someone who lives there must own it since it’s always parked on the same street.

As always, you can see more detail photos on the blog. I don’t want to be a hog and take up too much room! <3

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1940s | Pattern Drafting | Vintage Sewing

One Old Book and Two New Tops

By on July 8, 2014

 

The Pictorial Guide to Modern Home Dressmaking

The Pictorial Guide to Modern Home Dressmaking dates from 1940, and contains pages and pages of information about pattern drawing and adjusting.  This was the first book I turned to when I decided to make myself two new tops for the summer. First I followed the instructions for drafting a bodice pattern, made up a toile in calico, and then had to make serious adjustments and start again.

Once I was happy with the fit I made a top in batik which I had been lucky enough to find in a charity shop.

 

Batik Summer Top

Here is my daughter modelling the batik top for me.  We are close enough in size for her to model clothes I have made for myself.  The top was very easy to make – essentially it is from a basic bodice pattern, neckline and armholes adjusted for a cool summery look, with darts tapering the cut slightly to the waist, and a box pleated frill added at the bottom.

Having made this top and being satisfied with the fit and style, I then made a second version in high quality cotton.

 

Oakshott Herringbone Cotton Summer Top

Here is the blue version in a herringbone cotton.  The cotton is a medium weight shirting with a beautiful soft feel.  This blue cotton has a much more vintage look to it than the batik, and it called for dark navy buttons and a decorative ribbon to trim to give it a detailed finished effect.

These tops are lovely and cool to wear, and quick and easy to make.  I hope they give plenty of inspiration for everyone who is busy revamping their summer wardrobe.  For lots more information and photos of the book and the two tops, just follow the three links to the three separate posts in my blog.

 

 

 

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