Summer Sewing

Hey guys, lately I’ve been enjoying the warm weather and have put away my winter patterns for a few months. Yesterday I began this bra top, and today I finished it! It was super easy and quick, not to mention really cute. Where do you all wear your retro bra tops? I think they’re really neat, but not as practical as a full shirt. I really liked the small amount of fabric it required- about 1 yard and 1/2 yard of lining. I used all scraps for it!

DSCF7237 DSCF7238 DSCF7244 Circa 1940s Simplicity Pattern 2825 Junior Misses and Misses Jacket Bra and Shorts Size 14

The finished product looks a little different from the drawing. The folded edge is small so it lays flat rather than sticking out a little. I am not sure how to fix that.

The shorts I made last summer out of this pattern:

1960s McCall's Pattern

Top: Simplicity 2825

Year: 1949

Cost: <$5

Shorts: Simplicity 4009

Year: 1962

Cost: $5

Thanks for looking!

 

Everyone loves a Bad Girl (Butterick 5895)

I feel really late to the party sewing up Gertie’s Butterick 5895 - better late than never though!

I’d wanted a pair of 1950s fitted pants for ages, but wasnt sure a bigger gal like me could pull them off – I was so wrong!

With a few mods (full list on my blog) to make adjustments for a big booty and large calves, they fit perfectly.

I used a stretch cotton chino (had it for 10 years in my stash) and would recommend using a heavier weight stretch cotton so it won’t hug your bumps and lumps.

Verdict – perfection! I need these in ankle length, in demin, and in novelty prints! I can also see these pants being the basis for little shorts, and maybe even a playsuit.

Bigger girls – definitely add these to your sewing list! xxx

Modern Home Needlecraft

I was fortunate to be gifted this book by a friend. I have spent the last couple of weeks pouring over the pages. There are some amazing techniques, pattern drafting directions and suggestions for make do and mend.

The book was published in 1946 and came in its original card envelope, with the address still intact. it even had the slip inside that stated it must be paid for by return, so maybe it was from some book club. It was published by Odhams Press in London, which I’d never heard of.

Inside the book I found two patterns, one for a child’s dress – it’s not a printed pattern, but looks to be in very good condition. There is also a knitting pattern for a boy’s slipover. I don’t knit so cant ever imaging making this.

The book contains a wealth of information and there are a range of techniques covered. Have you ever heard of a Jetted pocket?

There are pattern drafting instructions for a range of simple garments including suspender belts and underwear; mens shirts and pj’s; childrens shirts and trousers.

And to top it all off, suggestions to make do and mend. How to make your garments last longer or refashion them. I particularly like the section on disguising underarm shabbiness!

This is an absolute treasure and I look forward to trying some of the techniques and patterns for myself.

Have you ever come across such a gem?

Big pockets from 1951

3bbe7194fdd32f11eb01e29c59500004I found this picture in a magazine, Beatrijs, from 1951 and loved it. When I found this fabric, a fairly fine wale corduroy in bright orange a few months ago, I knew it had become this dress…

fotoAnd now it has and I love it. Every time I put this dress on, even when it was no-where near finished, it makes me smile. It’s a happy dress.

I drafted the pattern myself (Beatrijs is a ladies’ magazine, it doesn’t focus on sewing. There is the occasional draft-your-own project and it had a mailorder pattern service but there are never actual patterns included. And this picture was an illustration for an article about practical fashion).

voor:zijThe bodice was a tried-and-tested version, the skirt is absolutely new. It doesn’t have side seams (except in those upper hip bits which go into the pockets) and the darts are converted into those little seams with which the pockets are attached.

As members of Sew&Tell may know, I started second-guessing myself about the collar on Friday but, with all your input, I decided to stick with the larger collar. And I’m really happy with it.

More about it on my blog

Simplicity 7702 – 60s shift dress

My first shift dress. I usually go for more tailored looks but when I saw the fabric half price in Jon Lewis I couldn’t resist. It was really nice to work with an easier pattern with only a few pieces and I am finally please to report that set in sleeves aren’t causing me too much grief these days.

Really happy with my first sew of the year. Hope you guys like it :)

Simplicity 7702

Simplicity 7702

Simplicity 7702

 

More details over at my blog.

DuBarry 5986 (1944) St. Patrick’s Day

Actually, I learned yesterday that March 17 is also St. Gertrude’s Day.  She’s the patron saint of travelers, mental illness, “against mice”, and cats.  I’m picturing an eccentric lady with cats in an RV.  Anyway . . . I guess I’d better start planning a cat-themed dress for next year.

DuBarry 5986 is adorable:

Dubarry 1944 5986 packet

but the “Easily made” bit is a half-truth at best.  It did assemble easily, I’ll give it that.  Actually getting it to fit, though, was an uphill battle.  I’m usually a pretty standard bust 34, with a few minor tweaks for fit, but that wasn’t an advantage this time around.  My pattern was missing the bodice back, but I borrowed a similar one from another 1940’s DuBarry pattern and went on my merry way.

I added 1 1/2 inches width to each side of the skirt front because it fit, but the gathers looked chintzy.  We’re not really on fabric rationing any more, anyway.

At it turned out, things were too short, too blousy, not blousy enough, etc.  It took me six and a half (six, with the last one altered on a second go-round) bodice muslins to get this thing right.  And it was worth it, mostly.  It will never be my favorite dress, but it’s cute, and I might like it better if I made it out of a better fabric.  The holiday-themed cotton is adorable–green and gold shamrocks on black–but the fabric itself is pretty cheap and not very lovable.

Dubarry 1944 5986 done

Hemmed it a little too short, too, and I need different shoes.  These are nice and green but they’re 1970’s and kind of pinchy.