Dresses | Vintage Sewing

Show your Patriotism with a July Sew-Along

By on May 11, 2017
Join the #4thofJulyProudDressProject and/or #FlagsOfTheWorldDressProject

With the success of the #EasterSringDress2017 sew-along (see the roundup here) I’ve teamed up again with some amazing seamstress to bring you the next big sew-along.

Renta from Running In Style contacted me, along with  Judith of Judith Dee’s World and Bianca of Vintage on Tap, to team up and host two sew-alongs in one.

Announcing the #4thofJulyProudDressProject and the #FlagsOfTheWorldDressProject 

The idea behind both is to show your patriotism and make a dress or outfit that represents your country or nationality with the big reveal the week of 4th of July.

Vintage Ideas

While the sew-along doesn’t stipulate any specific pattern or style, I’d love to see some vintage style dresses in the big round-up.

4th of July Dress from early 1900's
4th of July Dress from early 1900’s

A quick search on Pinterest for 4th of July fashion will yield lots of ideas from early nineteenth century gowns to 1950’s novelty dresses.

Matching Mother and Daughters 4th of July 50's dresses
Matching Mother and Daughters 4th of July 50’s dresses

Of course red, white and blue also often bring a slew of nautical inspired outfits as well. I’m not sure why, but I love the idea of a nautical dress for 4th of July.

Nautical 4th of July dress 1900
Nautical 4th of July dress 1900

Join the Fun

If you plan to join in the fun post your creations between Saturday, July 1 thru Friday, July 7th  on Youtube, blog or Instagram using the hashtag #4thofJulyProudDressProject and/or #FlagsOfTheWorldDressProject 

1930's actress Marion Shilling in her firework stockings
1930’s actress Marion Shilling in her firework stockings

For full details on the sew-along and to sign up be sure to see my full blog post at: http://wp.me/p3yKY3-2Cv 

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1950s | Dresses | Mad Men Inspired | Pattern Drafting | Pattern Sizing | Vintage Sewing

Vintage Vogue 8789, Fitting and sewing videos!

By on April 20, 2017
Pinup Sewing, Vintage Vogue 8789 | Vintage on Tap

Hello, everyone!

A couple of my favorite sewing bloggers (Abi and Akram) have both posted their Easter dresses, so I figured it was about time I posted mine 😘

Pinup Sewing, Vintage Vogue 8789 | Vintage on Tap

For my Easter/Spring dress I made the super popular Vintage Vogue 8789, which always seems to make a return this time of year.

I actually really love how versatile the pattern is and it still continues to be a vintage sewist favorite, even if the reproduction pattern is out of print!

Pinup Sewing, Vintage Vogue 8789 | Vintage on Tap

I made my version out of a stunning linen fabric that sews like butter and has such a yummy hand that looks great over a petticoat.

Pinup Sewing, Vintage Vogue 8789 | Vintage on Tap

I went all out on the interior of my dress, stabilizing the neckline like crazy, using petersham ribbon this way and that to stabilize the seams, and added a waist stay for good measure. I’m equally- if not more so- happy with the interior than the exterior!

Pinup Sewing, Vintage Vogue 8789 | Vintage on Tap

Pinup Sewing, Vintage Vogue 8789 | Vintage on Tap

 

I actually filmed a fitting video for the girls out there that have to do some insane FBA action, with a petite frame. Shifted some darts around, shortened the length, took in the shoulder seam. In the end, it fit like a glove.

Check out the video for fitting Vogue 8789.

And if you just want to see my sewing tips for it, check out the sewing video for Vogue 8789.

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1950s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

Weekly Star Farmer/Pattern Bureau 1950s 2207 – Foal Dress

By on April 11, 2017

I’m usually a very slow seamstress, but occasionally–very occasionally–I actually work well under pressure.

I had an event coming up and decided I really, really, wanted a new dress to wear.  A themed dress.  I’d had the fabric for awhile but hadn’t given myself permission to sew it (this is an ongoing problem for me: I feel obligated to burn through a bunch of boring utility projects before I let myself sew the high-investment ones.  But of course I have limited time so I never get to the high-investment ones).

The fabric was Moda Purebred Bluegrass Foals in coral red (not quite this bright in real life.  The foals are natural cotton color, not bright white, and the coral is slightly faded):

 

It’s a big print.  The foals are about three inches each.

My pattern requirements were specific: It had to be 1950’s (big skirt) and it had to have a skirt that was four panels or fewer, and couldn’t have a lot of design elements, because I wanted to preserve the foals as much as possible.

I went around and around on this but kept coming back to Weekly Star Farmer (probably Pattern Bureau) 2207, from the early 1950’s.  This design was also sold as Pattern Bureau 2911 and, later, as 2593.

I love the pockets.   How can you not love those pockets?

It needed a lot of adjustment, partly for personal fit (longer bodice, added upper back width, minor full-bust adjustment) but also for design reasons.  The illustration is kind of a lie: The skirt is actually conical, not bell-shaped, and the pockets are set two inches below where they’re shown.

The skirt pieces have straight sides.  Not kidding.  And no darts.

I knew this would need alteration, anyway, because I have big hips, but the test muslin, while better, still didn’t look good and wasn’t comfortable.  The final solution was to both curve the side and center back seams, and to add 3/4 inch width per side in the back, and then create waist darts.

The other major issue was the collar.  The original collar was two pieces that, I guess, met in the back?  I didn’t like the way this looked and also thought it seemed structurally weak:

So I reshaped it to meet in the back as a contiguous collar.  But the test collar was enormous.  I am not kidding–it was as wide as the shoulder points on the dress, and it looked nothing at all like the illustration.  It was like wearing an open jacket flapping around all the time, except it was attached.  I narrowed it by two and a half inches (you read that correctly) and lowered the point in the front by an inch and a half.  It’s still plenty big but at least I’m not in danger in a stiff wind.

I mounted the pockets two inches higher than the pattern called for.  For the record: I’m a little over 5’7″, so I have no idea for whom the original pockets were intended.  Chimpanzees, perhaps?  I don’t know how a shorter woman would have reached them.  (They’re not crooked.  I’m slouching because the show lasted 15 hours.)

Still plenty of collar!  I think I could narrow that by another inch and it would still look good.

I sort of want to make this again . . . ideally in a large blue-on-blue gingham with solid trim.

And in case you’re wondering why I needed a dress with horses all over it . . . Lemmonade Live Model Horse Show 2017.

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Vintage Sewing

Tips for Facebook Sewing Groups

By on March 30, 2017

We have a facebook group called the WeSewRetro Sew & Tell for sharing our vintage makes and want to offer a few tips for getting the most out of the sewing communities on facebook.

Tip 1: Search the group before asking a question

If I had a penny for every time someone had joined the Sew & Tell and waded straight in with “Has anyone made any patterns by Gertie?” then I would have enough to get Starbucks to serve me a literal bathtub of cappuccino.

Any group that has been around for a while is going to have a ton of information in it, so you’re really shortchanging yourself by not digging around to see what already exists before hoping the person who can answer your question is online and looking at the same moment you are.

It’s not always obvious how to search in facebook group, so read on to see some examples.

On a desktop, you can scroll up to the top of the group and look for a box marked ‘Search this group’, like so:

 

 

If you’re on facebook on mobile, it might look more like this:

 

 

And, super confusingly, if you use the Facebook Groups app on mobile, you’ve got to hunt for the search magnifying glass symbol up at the top of the group banner. Thanks, Facebook… 😐

How to search is as important as where to search. It usually makes sense to start off using a fairly vague search term and then get more specific if there are too many results. For example, I might search the Sew & Tell for “gertie” rather than the more specific “patterns by gertie”. If you’re looking for a particular modern pattern, say Butterick 5813, consider the different ways people might refer to it. For example, they might say “5813” or “B5813” so try both if you’re not finding what you’re looking for.

 

Tip 2: Know how to follow a discussion without “Following!!”

If you spend any time at all on a reasonably sized facebook group, you’ll see someone comment on a post with “Following!” or something similar. What’s the point of this? Well, when you comment on a post, facebook notifies you of any subsequent comments on that post, so the person typing “Following!” is trying to keep an eye on the discussion despite not having anything they want to add to it at the moment.

You might not realize there’s actually a better way to achieve the same end. On whatever post you want to keep an eye on, look at the top right hand corner of the post for a little arrow pointing down. Click/tap it and select ‘turn on notifications for this post’

Voila! Now anytime someone comments on it, you’ll get a notification. When you’re done following or if the notifications are becoming intensely annoying, go back to the same place but this time select ‘Turn off notifications for this post’.

Another occasion when this is useful: maybe you commented on a post but the ensuing discussion is now massive and very active and so you’re constantly getting pinged with ‘So and so commented on a post you’re following’ notifications. Just go to the post, hit the little arrow and ‘turn off notifications for this post’

Tip 3: Save stuff you want to find again

Don’t want to get pinged every time someone comments but want to be able to find the post again? Save it! You can find saved posts in the sidebar and facebook will periodically remind you about them in your feed.

To save a post, click/tap the arrow at the top right of the post and select ‘Save post’

 

So there it is. Three tips for getting the most out of facebook sewing groups. Do you have any tips to add to the list?

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1940s | 1950s | Accessories | Burlesque / Pinup | Hats | Vintage Sewing

Vintage Headscarf + Free Pattern

By on March 26, 2017
Vintage Headscarf, free sewing pattern | Vintage on Tap

Its been a beat since I originally completed this project over on my blog, but it occurred to me that I never posted this project here, which is a shame since I know there are plenty of readers here who would be super interested!

Inspired by some old-school vintage traveling hoods and vintage headscarfs, I had to make my own from a vintage 1940s pattern, ASAP!

Vintage Headscarf, free sewing pattern | Vintage on Tap

My leopard print headscarf has already seen a bunch of wear since I made it- and all in all, it stitched up about an hour, start to finish. Perfect for protecting your pincurl sets and generally protecting you from the wind and humidity.

Vintage Headscarf, free sewing pattern | Vintage on Tap

I actually am super surprised at how much I love this headscarf- it was such a simple project but it feels super Old Hollywood Glam haha!

Vintage Headscarf, free sewing pattern | Vintage on Tap

I made the drafting instructions available over on my blog if you were interested in making this yourself. Since the pattern is from the 1940s, I figured it would be a good idea to just draw the pieces out (total of 4 pieces, if you’re making a lined version)- and put them online. I also went ahead and did a short video, showing you step by step how to make the hood as well, over on my YouTube channel.

Click to Get the Instructions!

Click to Watch the YouTube video!

I’m actually already planning on sewing this up in a white lawn for the summer time. Its also a good reminder to pick up some fabulous glam sunglasses to rock with it 🙂

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