Spadea

It has been way too long since I posted here, but I promise I have not given up my vintage sewing obsession!  I can always count on inspiration on these pages, not to mention all the new-to-me blogs I discover.  Thank you for keeping me motivated!

When I was contacted by Deirdre of Vintage Pattern Lending Library about testing this stunning Ceil Chapman pattern, I was ecstatic!  Ceil Chapman is a favorite of mine, and I was lucky enough to reproduce another one of her designs a few years ago, so I knew I was in for some fun, and a great challenge.

The biggest issue I had was figuring out the pleat lines on the skirt pieces, and once I had that I was off and running.

All of the seams were finished, including a waist stay, and a zipper guard made of grosgrain ribbon – and then the darn thing would not zip up.  Even with an extra pair of hands, the vintage metal invisible zipper would not make it past the waist seam when I put in on my body.  Aargh!!

I had a bit of a tantrum, and decided it would be best to put the project on hold.

Then the weather started improving and if I was going to wear the dress anytime soon (it’s made of wool), I needed to get to it!

A strip of silk organza and a standard nylon zipper came to the rescue (a similar fix can be found at the end of this post – what is it with me and invisible zippers lately!?!).

Now I have two Ceil Chapmans in my closet!  And if I ever find a spectacular fabric suited to the design, I just know I will be making this one up again.

More pictures of the finished dress may be found over on my blog, Lilacs & Lace.  I am so very glad I figured out a way to make this dress work!

{ 10 comments }

Jacket made from Chanel Pattern

I made this jacket using a pattern released in 1962 by the Spadea company. From my research, it appears to be the only officially licensed Chanel jacket pattern ever released, and it was drafted directly from a retail Chanel jacket, that was sold in the US by the Suzy Perette company. I loved the 60s boxy look, and the extremely thorough instructions, which made constructing the collar and welt pockets a breeze. You can check out details at on my blog, jetsetsewing.com. http://jetsetsewing.com/2013/12/04/im-tired-of-coco-how-about-you/

{ 5 comments }

Going through a box of vintage patterns today, I came across this Spadea jumpsuit from 1978 and nearly overlooked the major design feature.

Can you see it?

Spadea Jumpsuit

As the instructions cheerfully describe:

“Cleverly designed jumpsuit with hidden drop seat attached to belt. Invisible zippers make it impossible to detect while adding wearing comfort not found in other jumpsuit designs”

I’m trying desperately not to speculate on all the various reasons why having a trapdoor in your pants might be useful, but I’m left wondering: who was designer Blanche Evans and what horrors had she suffered at the hands of other jumpsuit designs? What incident led her to declare “No more! I must have instant access to my particulars!”

{ 14 comments }