1950s | 1960s | Skirts | Vintage Sewing

A skirt turned dress

By on April 13, 2015

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I was hesitant to show you this skirt although I have already finished it about a month ago. I didn’t have the right photos to tell the full story. I’m glad I didn’t make haste because now you can see how important this skirt it. Now that I’ve found the right photo, you can sit back and enjoy!

 

Fast backward to a few months ago. I’m at my beloved Granny’s and we’re digging through her closet. We’re finding a lot of long forgotten treasures like old handbags and purses and vintage clothes and pre-cut sewing patterns. My Granny is a very crafty woman, has been so all her life, and that’s something I’m proud to have inherited from her. So we’re digging through all the stuff… and then there are some fabrics. Dusty, hidden away for decades and gorgeous. My Grandma looks at the blue and red striped cotton and says “This used to be a dress, you know, one of my favorites. After I’d ripped the bodice by accident, I decided to leave the rest of the fabric and sew something from it but I never got to it. You should sew yourself a skirt. Here, take it.”

 

And so I did. I sewed myself a skirt from a cotton that is over 50 years old, was loved and worn to bits, and then stashed away –because it was a favorite. This is so touching to me. The life of things in our hands is so precious and so complicated, and so full. We give them meaning and keep their stories in our minds. They live as long as we lend them some space in our memories. You can see my Granny wearing her dress in 1965 below.

dok015The sewing process was easy enough and there isn’t much to describe. I was aided in making box pleats by small cuts along the edge of the fabric that have already been there, certainly from the time it was a pleated dress. I cut away a small portion of the fabric to use for the waistband –I made it from the fabric put vertical instead of horizontal, as you can see. The fabric was already hemmed so I didn’t need to do anything else there. I might shorten it a bit since I’m not sure this particular length is the most flattering to my otherwise perfect legs. If I do, I’ll shorten it just by folding the fabric and hemming with a blind stitch (as it was originally done to the dress, I think, judging from some loose threads hanging from the hem). In the photo of my Granny you can see that the skirt was shorter by one white stripe.

You can see more photos on my blog.

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1950s | Blouses | Dresses | Skirts | Vintage Sewing

50ies with an Asian touch

By on March 29, 2015

More or less ten years ago, my father gave me a Shalvar Kameez when he came back from a trip to Pakistan. Unfortunately it wasn’t my size and due to the lack of opportunities to wear such a garment in central Europe, altering it wasn’t ranging very high on my schedule.

When Tuppence Ha’Penny published a post on 50ies dresses inspired by indian Saris, I knew what I wanted my Shalwar Kameez to become.

But it took me until this year to finally start this project. I chose a 1955/6 Lutterloh-pattern, a blouse with a matching skirt. It fit without any alterations, I only changed the cut of the skirt a little, using the dupatta, the scarf, as a ruched bottom, the pattern was meant to be plain without the ruffled layer.

Waistband and collar are lined with fusible interfacing, the cotton fabric is very soft and not stiff enough without.

The blouse was made from the top (the kameez), the facings and the top part of the skirt from the trousers (the shalwar), the ruche as mentioned was the dupatta.

The fact that it consists of two parts enables me to wear it as seperates as well, I can well imagine the skirt with a plain white blouse or the blouse with high-waisted jeans.

To see more photos, including one “before”-pic, have a look at my blog, Parva sed apta.

Thank you for your attention,

ette

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1950s | Skirts | Vintage Sewing

My first swing skirt ♥

By on March 15, 2015

When I woke up last wednesday morning, my only idea was to wear a navy swing skirt for a birthday party that same evening…But I don’t have a navy swing skirt ! So when my man & kids left for an afternoon at the pool, the calm was the perfect occasion for sewing one, and I was ready for the evening. I just made it after seeing some tuts on YouTube and it turned out great !

It’s a very simple project and I was so shy to show it here because of all the talented ladies who are posting : such amazing clothes and pictures ! But I just looove my new skirt and I’m proud of myself ♥

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1950s | Skirts

My First Pencil Skirt!

By on February 11, 2015

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I’m excited to have finished this little project as it represents several firsts! It’s my first make of the year that counts towards my Vintage Pledge. It’s the first time I’ve made anything out of either of Gertie’s books (I have both). It’s my first time sewing a lapped zipper, which, thanks to online tutorials was fairly straightforward.

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It’s also the first time I’ve made a pencil skirt at all, since I tend to gravitate towards the opposite extreme of very full skirts. It was a nice change not to have to spend tons of time hemming yards and yards of fabric! I’ll definitely be making more of these. 🙂

I added a fun houndstooth lining, I just love little surprises inside garments.

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I’m sure I’ll be getting a lot of wear out of this one!

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More pics of the inside and outside on my blog here.

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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 😉

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 | 1960s | Jackets | Skirts | Vintage Sewing

A “White Christmas” -inspired Skirt Suit

By on January 7, 2015

After sitting on the pattern for waaay too long, I finally got up the gumption to sew Advance 7745 with some red wool that I snagged for super cheap at the thrift store.  Needless to say, I love it.

I omitted the collar called for in the pattern, in part because I didn’t like it and in part because there wasn’t enough fabric!  I’m thinking I’ll get a little white fur peter pan collar to finish it off for winter, and I might find a leopard print collar to swap out for fall and late spring.  The pattern didn’t call for lining the jacket, but I opted to make up a quick lining with some leopard print stuff from JoAnn Fabrics.  I was hoping for a plaid, but no such luck…

I was thinking of adding the belt at the bottom of the jacket (seen on the short-sleeved view on the pattern, barely) but I had quite a hard time picking buttons and finding a matching belt buckle might take a while.  All in all though, I’m super happy with how it turned out!

More pictures of the project are on my blog here and some pictures of the skirt without a jacket over it are in this post.

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