1919-20 Madeleine Vionnet Handkerchief Dress (Japanese Bunka Book pattern #3)

vionnet3-19I’m back with another Vionnet dress! This time it is pattern #3 from the Japanese Bunka Book, but actually has quite the presence already online as I found an existing tutorial here. The dress is from around 1919-1920 and is made of four squarish pieces of fabric which give you four “flaps” (or jabots I think is the official term) on each side of your body, a deep V neck on the front and back, twisted shoulder straps, and a sash to tie it all together.

vionnet3-30These post it notes should give you a clearer idea about this dress’ construction as it is a bit difficult to explain. The creases represent the side seams and the mini diamond in the front represents the “ripple” that forms from each flap on each side.

vionnet3-11A photo of the real dress opened up – does the paper model make more sense now?

vionnet3-15The beautiful thing about this dess is that although it is 1 pattern, 1 dress, it has a ton of different ways of wearing it. You can do a drop waist, an empire waist, a full front, a full back, a voluminous version, a halter neck version, etc…  In this particular version I made all the flaps point toward the back to create a ton of ripples and more volume in the back. It’s a really simple dress to sew as there are 6 seams total (4 sides, 2 shoulder) BUT it is not so fun to hem as you have 4 giant squares. This was a muslin so I did a shoddy job of hemming, but for a real version I would need to be a master of the narrow hem since both the wrong sides and right sides of the fabric are featured in this dress.

vionnet3-23 I’ve written more about the different variations and construction technique for the dress on my blog here, as well as more photographs if you interested: http://cathywu.com/journal/kalali/2014/09/18/vionnet-dress-pattern-3-1919-1920-handkerchief-dress/

 

Drafting for Fall&Winter!

 

It seems, when you design and construct your own entire wardrobes four times a year, that the seasons just creep too fast upon you. So many ideas, so many things to make and do and never enough time is the old way of saying things. Am I in this sphere of plight all on my own? Surely not. I hear it enough.

Anyhow, enough with my prattle….

This season is sleeves for me and I’ve drafted two thus far. I saw a beautiful wedding sleeve (photographed in green) in Bellas catalogue from late 1920s the other day and I just had to have it.  I couldn’t afford the catalogue at that moment so I had to keep it in my minds eye painfully until I got home from the antique shop to sketch it out (that will be the last time I forget my sketch pad believe you me). Luckily it wasn’t the only time I’ve seen the sleeve and there’s a similar one being used in wedding fashions of today. It’s basically just a long sleeve unraveled like apple peels and slashed and spread for gathers. The pattern looks like a snake children make in kindergarten.

Drafted fairly quickly I was really pleased with myself that I used too many notches because they were well needed to sew the sleeve precisely.  Here is the muslin for it…

photo 3 (1) Plenty of threads and wrinkles!

I didn’t get enough of sleeve drafting so I did another in a popular fashion of 1932. Since sleeves are big this season I got creative  about where the “bigness” was going to be. On the first one it was fuller all around, on the blue muslin the amplitude was on the lower half towards the wrist. Almost as if the wrists had wings. This sleeve is fully lined but not necessary with the facing I also drafted along with it.  Here it is…

photo 2 (2)    This sleeve was too much fun as well!

Here are both of the sleeves on the mid cowl I drafted to test them out.

photo 1 (1)

There are a few things I would fix on the green muslin but I am really rather pleased with them both.  And as I am 6 months along there are plenty of things I can make for the sleeves to go on so I may wear them in the winter when the baby is here and I’ve gone back to normal.

Well, that’s all from me for now, do take care!

To boot, you can find more on my site!     www.1930slife.blogspot.com

 

Mad About Plaid! (Vogue 8811, c. 1940)

Hands up who loves a good plaid?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When I came across this plaid fabric in my local Spotlight, I knew immediately that it was perfect for Vintage Vogue 8811.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And the dress has my favourite design detail – a pocket!

The Good:
- Everything? I love the drape of the skirt, the fit of the bodice, the fabric. Also, one of my best side zipper insertions.

The Bad:
- nothing

The Meh:
- I think I need to make a further short waist tuck, as it’s probably still a fraction long in the torso. I can live with it though.

Mods:
- Not using shoulder pads
- Made sure the plaid didn’t make a ‘+’ shape at my bust apex (boobs) as that would look awkward…. Hello girls!

This pattern is super easy, I’d definitely recommend it as a different way to use tartan/plaid fabric.  It’s also a great everyday vintage style, perfect for work.

As always, more about it on my blog…

Murphy’s Law Hat and a surprise HSF

I’ve made a cap and a headscarf but never a proper hat until now. The pattern was from the Vintage Pattern Lending Library a reproduction of Simplicity 1353 dated 1934. I made the caplet from this pattern for my first Historical Sew Fortnightly Challenge.  Incidentally Murphy also qualifies for the Historical Sew Fortnightly for Challenge #13: Under $10. 

The fabric is a raspberry colored suiting from Joann’s that I used for my 1936 Suit.

The lining is also from that suit and is just a poly/cotton mix. This was my first time working with crinoline and also using self covered buttons. The Self covered buttons were good practice for what I actually bought the kit for, a Frankensteined Ike Jacket, because I found out a ball pein hammer works better than the little blue plastic setter the kit gives you.  But let’s get back to the fact that this hat fought me the whole time I was making it. The fabric argued with me, the directions tricked me, I wasted at least 4 button backs, and I sewed every seam at least twice. Everything that could have gone wrong did go wrong.  One other fix I had to do was add a pipe cleaner to one of the seams because it kept wanting to collapse for some reason but I fixed that too. I kept hacking away at it and now I have a very stylish hat named Murphy.





The Challenge: # 13 Under $10

Fabric: Raspberry Colored Suiting Fabric and Purple poly/cotton lining.

Pattern: Vintage Pattern Lending Library 1930 Ladies Hat, Gloves, Purse and Collar Ensemble a reproduction of Simplicity 1353

Year: 1934

Notions: 4 Self Covered buttons

Hours to complete: About a week of on/off sewing

First worn: Not yet. 

Total cost: Pattern $15 but since it has four items I’m saying the pattern for the hat cost $3.75, Crinoline was $2.99, Fabric scraps from stash, Self Covered Buttons free, and thread was also from my  stash. So Murphy cost $6.74

Historical Sew Fortnightly Challenge #15: The Great Outdoors

For my second entry for the Great Outdoors challenge I made a red wool version of Simplicity 4366.

I love Ike jackets and I wanted one of my own for a while but then I found the red wool and decided that I would pay homage to the Ike jacket but make it my own. I have to give credit to Tasha from By Gum By Golly for starting the sewing bug for the jacket. Tahsa made a great 1940′s jacket for Rochelle’s Sew for Victory last year (2013) in a wonderful green fabric. From the moment I saw the jacket I knew I had to make one and here it is. The shoulders are gathered into a yoke and the waist of the jacket is gathered into a waistband. The sleeves are gathered at the wrist and finished with a cuff that buttons. The buttons are self covered and the red wool cooperated in waves that Murphy’s buttons couldn’t dream of doing. Oh and I swear the fabric is red the camera appears to have made it a bit pink.

The pattern called for self made shoulder pads but instead of stuffing them I used two layers of crinoline. The crinoline made the jackets shoulders keep their shape but don’t make me look like a linebacker (which I appreciate). The Jacket is also fully lined; the pattern didn’t call for it but I knew I wanted it lined because of the wool. I had to adjust the facing piece because of the change but that was a quick fix. For all of the buttonholes I used my grandmothers Singer 9134 which is cranky but works most of the time. I added the pockets to the front, they’re from Colette Pattern’s blog Coletterie and can be found here. For attaching the pockets I had to wing it since I don’t have the original Colette pattern the pockets actually go to.

The Scoop:

Fabric: Red Tango Wool and Medieval Blue Lining
Pattern: Simplicity 4366
Year: 1940′s if anyone knows the specific date I would be grateful
Notions: 9 self covered buttons
First worn?: Only around the house, it’s not cool enough outside to wear wool
Make again?: Yes but the peplum version in green corduroy with flannel lining
Total cost: Pattern $12 but I’ll say $6 because there’s a skirt pattern with the jacket, Wool Fabric $19.24, Lining $9.98, Self Covered Button Kit $5.99 so total $41.21

First self-drafted dress! A success!

I recently decided to stray from printed patterns and try my hand at drafting my own.  This is a pretty basic bodice style, but I’m pretty proud of how it turned out!  I used a stretch sateen to give the dress a little give and be super comfortable while dancing the night away! It has a full circle skirt with pleats of a leopard print sateen. The pockets and bodice are also lined with the leopard as well. Sorry I forgot to get better pictures before it got dark, but here are a few a took quickly before we left for a show.  (Modeled by the lovely friend who I made it for)

Black and leopard 50's dress

Black and leopard 50's dress

Black and leopard 50's dress