1960s | Blouses | Skirts

Two-piece dress based on Simplicity 4906

By on December 27, 2016

Hello everyone,

This will be my debut on this page. I have been sewing vintage-inspired clothes for some time and recently started using authentic patterns from my favorurite era, 1950s-1960s. My newest project is a two-piece dress, based on Simplicity 4906 pattern.

What I like most about this pattern is how it fits on the shoulders. Made from non-elastic fabric it does not constrain movement. And the wide collar has enough room for a woolen scarf in a matching colour.

The original pattern

I altered the top a bit, as the original had short or 3/4 length sleeves and I wanted long, plus I eliminated a side zipper – who needs a zipper in a loose-fitting boxy-shaped top? Also, I decided not to use the original skirt pattern as my fabric was too thick for a skirt with a long back pleat. I went for a Burda skirt pattern from 2/2013 issue, but to my disappointment, the pattern did not work with my fabric either – elastic band are not friends with thick fabrics… Anyways, I ended up making a simple skirt with darts and a waistband. But the overall result is I think satisfactory. I also used the original belt pattern, which was meant for the dress, but can work with the top as well.

Top with black pants

The greatest thing about two-piece dresses is that you can wear them as separates.

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1930s | Blouses | Skirts | Vintage Sewing

1930s Bishop Sleeve Blouse & Pocket Detail Skirt

By on December 8, 2016

1930s blouse and skirt

Do you ever have an idea in your mind that never really pans out when it comes to your sewing? Yep, that’s exactly what happened here. Both the blouse and skirt were going to be very different to how they actually turned out, mainly due to not having quite enough fabric for either of them!

The white silk with navy polka dots is actually a vintage fabric I picked up at a flea market. It was very narrow and as a result, the originally planned pattern of McCalls – 7053, from their Archive Collection, just didn’t fit. So after abandoning this idea, I decided to use the top half of this beautiful original 1930s dress pattern instead. It’s been sat in my collection for a while totally unused, but boy am I glad I used it this time.

Vintage 1930s Buttons

It worked out beautifully in this fabric, despite having to redo the front yoke many, many times. The issue was that it needed to be lined to give it some stability and the join at the bottom, where the button placket areas overlap, was incredibly fiddly. After many attempts, both on the machine and by hand, I finally got it to sit right. However, after all that stress I gave up on trying to do buttonholes, so just sewed the buttons in place.

1930s sleeve detail

Instead of finishing the sleeves with a mid-forearm cuff as shown in the pattern, I decided to add a long cuff right down to the wrist. I absolutely love this style of bishop sleeve, it’s so classically 1930s, and of course keeps your forearms warm! I finished it off with four buttons and rouleau loops to allow enough room to get my hand in and out.

The fabric itself, unfortunately, has weakened during the pre-wash and making up stages. As a result, I’ve decided to only wear it on special occasions and to try and find another white and navy polka dot fabric for a more wearable version. I think it would work well in a crepe or a soft cotton lawn.

1930s blouse yoke detail

The skirt was drafted from another original 1930s pattern, which I’ve used multiple times as it’s such a simple design so can be changed to just about any style. The fabric is a deep mustard linen, which I bought from My Fabrics and a dream to work with. It’s quite a heavy weight linen so can be used for both summer and winter.

The design itself was taken from an original 1930s skirt I own but haven’t yet worn. I love the little pockets on it, so decided to replicate them here with a slightly different style button tab. They worked out quite well I think and give such a lovely interest to the front of the skirt, along with the deep single kick pleat on the centre front.

If you want to read more about it, and see the gorgeous original 1930s navy suede shoes I wore with it, just pop on over to my blog.

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1950s | Skirts

Making Peace

By on November 22, 2016

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Do you ever have one of those projects that just fights you at every turn until finally you have to resign your own opinions on the matter and let the project call the shots? This skirt started out as a rather cute 1950s style dress, but it apparently wasn’t meant to be….

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More details on the skirt as well as some shots of this darling original wool sweater (and a few ramblings, for good measure!) on my blog. 🙂

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And please share! What was a project that didn’t go according to your original hopes? Did you end up liking it more after all, or are you still a bit resentful? 😉

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1940s | 1950s | Skirts

Parrot Print Gathered Skirt

By on November 10, 2016
Akram's Ideas: Parrot Print Gathered Skirt

I love big novelty print skirts! Novelty skirts are kind of a staple of 40’s and 50’s fashion.

While I do love novelty print skirts, I actually have very few in my wardrobe. Since I get my fabric second hand I don’t usually come about interesting prints, mostly solids or modest floral prints.

However, when I came across this lovely vintage (or at least old) parrot print fabric I knew I was destined to make myself a novelty skirt.

Akram's Ideas: Parrot Print Gathered Skirt
This print makes the prefect Novelty Skirt

Originally I wanted to make a nice full circle skirt but alas, I didn’t have enough fabric. So in the end, I did a traditional gather skirt with waistband.

While the light weight cotton or print may not be autumn appropriate I’m still very happy with this skirt and can’t wait to get some serious wear out of it this summer.

Akram's Ideas: Parrot Print Gathered Skirt
Can’t wait to wear this next summer

To read more about my process for this fun novelty skirt see my blog Akram’s Ideas (http://akramsideas.com/vintage-inspired-gathered-skirt-parrot-print/)

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1950s | Skirts | Vintage Sewing

Spider Web Taffeta Circle Skirt

By on October 31, 2016

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I really do try my best to buy natural fibers, I’m just not a fan of polyester or acetate, nor nylon or spandex. Then of course there comes along a fabric so fun or downright special that I have to break my own rules… like flocked velvet spider webs on black taffeta! It may not be silk, but this fabric was too great to pass up!

The pattern for a circle skirt is so simple to cut and sew together it’s no wonder the style remains popular among vintage reproduction sewers. The hardest part is the zipper, but then again perhaps zippers and I just don’t get along and other seamstresses don’t fear them the same way I do! The hems on these skirts sure do take ages to finish if you are doing them by hand though.I usually finish circle skirt hems with bias tape sewn on by machine then ironed under and stitched down by hand. It takes two and a half packages of pre-made bias tape to do such a hem, but it is so worth it in the end! No hassle, just time consuming!

 

 

 

 

 

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The skirt has a lot of natural body to it as the taffeta is quite stiff on its own, but of course I still wore it over a petticoat too for maximum flair. Another way to get this kind of body in a circle skirt with a less stiff fabric is to use horsehair braid in the hem, but I didn’t have to bother for this skirt. I have been putting twill tape in all of my waistbands though so they don’t stretch out on me after the first wearing. There is nothing more annoying than having a waistband suddenly grow a few inches out of nowhere as it isn’t a fun repair to make!

For more photos of this outfit visit me over on The Closet Historian. Happy Halloween everyone!

 

 

 

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1960s | Skirts

3 Different Delphine Skirts

By on October 6, 2016

On of my most used patterns right now is the Delphine Skirt from the book Love at First Stitch by Tilly Walnes.

Akram's Ideas : 3 New Delphine Skirts
I made 3 different Delphine Skirts

While I’ve made a few of these skirts in the past, it was the “One Week One Pattern” or #OWOP16 challenge hosted by Cinderellis Sews, that prompted me to make a few new ones.

The goal of the challenge was to wear garments made from one pattern of your choice, every day for one week. I already had 4 previously made Delphine skirts, so that meant I only needed 3 more to make.

You can read about my previous makes here:

While the Delphine skirt is not exactly a vintage pattern it is retro inspired. The skirt itself has a classic 1960’s A-Line design.

Akram's Ideas : 3 New Delphine Skirts
I love this nautical inspired one

In the book Love at First Stitch , Tilly goes over a couple of variations on the skirt. Such as adding buttons to the font. Which is what I did for this nautical inspired version.

Akram's Ideas : 3 New Delphine Skirts
This brown Delphine skirt is prefect for fall

Since it’s officially autumn I decided that my next two skirts be autumn appropriate. I started first with a brown skirt. I need more brown in my wardrobe.

Akram's Ideas : 3 New Delphine Skirts
Love the color of this purple Delphine skirt

I followed up with a lovely purple skirt made out of a quilted type fabric. For both the brown and purple skirt I added a lining for warmth. I also added belt loops which are an option in the book. Finally I also added pockets, because skirts need pockets.

To read more about my process for making my these lovely Delphine skirts check out my blog Akram’s Ideas (http://akramsideas.com/week-delphine-skirt-owop16/)

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1930s | Blouses | Skirts | Vintage Sewing

My Exploring New Colours 1930s Outfit

By on September 23, 2016

1930s coral skirt and blouse

Does anyone else find themselves sticking to the same colours with their sewing? I was very much guilty of this until I made a New Year’s resolution to explore new colours, even ones I’d never worn before. One colour that surprised me on this journey was coral. It all began when I spotted a gorgeous coral linen/cotton mix fabric on the website of my favourite fabric shop, ClothSpot. I fell in love and set out to find a patterned fabric that went with it. I found a beautiful one on Fabric Godmother, which had a mixture of coral, turquoise, mustard yellow and fawn in it. I knew it was the one!

1930s bow blouse

I, of course, stuck to my favourite era, the 1930s. I used the coral linen mix for a complicated pleated skirt and the patterned cotton lawn for a short sleeve blouse. The blouse was made using an original 1930s pattern I bought at a vintage fair (you can see it here). However, I decided not to do it with a Peter Pan collar and instead I created a V neckline and added a large pussy bow.

The sleeves are my favourite part as they remind of the puffball skirts of the 1980s. The cuffs are secured with elastic and you push them up inside the sleeve when you wear it to create the puff shape.

Mrs Depew 1930s skirt pleat

The skirt was the hardest part, not only because the fabric was such a pain and kept moving, but also because of the pattern I chose. It was an original 1930s draft at home pattern which I bought from Mrs Depew on Etsy. The illustration of the skirt and the illustration of the pattern pieces just didn’t seem to add up. You can see how confusing it was here.

I’m still not convinced I did it exactly right but at least the complicated double pleat looks like the skirt illustration. Also, I’m really, really chuffed with how the two pieces go together and make a really lovely 1930s day outfit. I just wish, despite my love of pushing myself with my sewing, that it had been a bit easier!

If you want to read more about it, and see other detail pictures, just pop on over to my blog.

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