The 1929′s dress

So, in the end I picked this design to sew for the 1920′s portion of my Vintage Pattern Pledge.

To make it a bit more wearable in 2014, I made it in black crepe.

I didn’t make any alterations to the pattern although I didn’t completely follow the (very limited) instructions. I made the neckline a bit more stable and cleanly finished than suggested.

When I first sewed top and skirt together, it looked like this. Which looks like a 1920′s silhouette but not like the drawing at all.

I ended up making a large pleat at the back which gave me a look much closer to that in the image. I’m still wondering if this is something they just didn’t in the instructions (which again, are really limited, just a few lines for pattern tracing, cutting and sewing) assuming the reader would understand or if it just illustrates my complete lack of understanding of 1920′s fashion…

Anyway, I love the dress as it is now and I’m sure I’ll enjoy wearing it.

More about it, including more pictures, on my blog

1956′s Simplicity 1583

Just thought I’d share my most recent creation.
Since sewing,  I’ve always stuck to the 60′s. I really want to sew some of my older patterns…but I’m a tad overwhelmed. I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s the age of the pattern. I decided to tackle that fear/feeling with Simplicity 1583 from 1956. The pattern came from my stash.
As for the fabric, it also came from my stash. I can’t find any markings on it, but it was 48″-ish in width. I bought it (2 3/4ish yards) at a thrift store in North Carolina in 2009 for $2.20. I had no intention of ever turing it into an article of clothing, but loved the print. So the mystery remains, is it a replica or true vintage? My gut says it’s a really good replica. I also wish I had some left over to sell!
Oh I suppose I should mention that this is a two piece set, not a dress. I just keep calling it a dress. lol. Well anyways, the skirt was super easy so sew! Just a plain dirndl style skirt. The top was easy until I got to the V shape panels and sleeves. I think it came out a bit wonky, but I don’t think it’s too noticeable. Oh well! The top is still wearable. I’m really looking forward to wearing the pieces with modern separates.
For lots of other pictures, be sure to check out here on my blog, Through the Alley.
-A.

Complete 1960′s and 1940′s Outfits

Hello everyone! I can’t say just how excited I am about my completed outfits.

I bought this late 1960′s polyester jacket, and had no cool pants to wear with it. Now I have awesome bell bottoms! I used Simplicity 8009 from 1968. They are black and made out of a really fine corduroy, but it’s more like velvet.

 

 

The other outfit I completed was Simplicity 1752 for the blouse and Simplicity 4637 for the skirt. The blouse is silk and has shoulder pads, and the skirt is linen (very wrinkly!!).

 

The blouse is a yellowy-ivory and the skirt is dark brown if you can’t tell. I’m sorry my pictures are so crappy today.

Thanks for looking!

A new-old sewing machine, a pair of pants, and a question

The past few weeks have been FULL of sewing machine mayhem!  I visited my parents in Indiana, and brought home a new-to-me sewing machine, a gorgeous 1925 Singer 66.  After cleaning out the decades of lint, replacing the belt, and oiling every single moving part I could found, it WORKS!

(pardon my messy sewing area)

It’s really an incredible machine.  If you haven’t sewn with a treadle before, you should try it out.  It’s a good workout, as well as being fun.  I think the physical requirements make me feel like I am doing so much more.

(There are more pictures and even a video of the bobbin winder on my blog.)

I knew I had to sew something vintage on the machine once I got it working.  I was hoping for something 20s/30s, but got too frustrated trying to find a pattern I liked, so one night I just sat down and made a pair of ’40s pants from Simplicity 3699.  I’ve made them before – such a good and comfortable pair of pants!

One of these days, I’m going to make the blouse (I even have fabric picked out).  For now, though, the pants are fun and easy.  I was able to finish them in a night and morning.

(sorry for the distant photos…I’m still trying to teach my husband how to take proper “fashion” pictures of my projects)

I didn’t change the pattern too much.  Last time, the waist was WAY too high (I love the 40s waist, but goodness I’d like my pants below my bellybutton, please!), so I took about 3 inches off.  It’s still pretty high, and the crotch rides fairly low.  They were also very long, so I sewed a cuff on the bottom (which you can’t see from the pictures).  Overall, I’m very pleased.  They are great lounging pants.

Now for a sewing machine question.  In the midst of figuring out how to make the Singer 66 work, my “modern” machine (which is about the same age as me…), a Singer Sonata, decided to kick the bucket.  It had been hanging on for dear life desperately for some time, so it is probably time to let it go.  That, and the repair cost would be outrageous.  So!  I need some advice.  What type of sewing machines do you all have?  Do you like/love/hate them?  I mostly sew clothing, so I don’t need fancy computerized embroidery stuff.  I’ll be happy with a buttonholer, bobbin winder, blind hem, and the ability to sew on all types of fabrics.

If you have suggestions, or a link to someone’s wonderful sewing machine advice, I would be grateful!  Thank you!

 

Lutterloh dress

Hi all!

I just want to share my latest finished sewing project with you. I made a dress from a Lutterloh pattern book. It’s from 1941.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When I saw this dress for the first time, I was sure I wanted it to make it some day. And that just happened!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I made a few changes. First I made a full button down closure instead of stopping halfway. And I just added one pocket instead of 3. That didn’t happen on purpose. I just missed the pockets at hip level. But I don’t really regret it. Because I don’t really feel like accentuating my hips anyway.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are more pictures on my blog!

Great British Sewing Bee 1930′s blouse

Hi, this is me wearing a 1930's style blouse. If anybody watched the last 'Great British Sewing Bee' programme you may recognise this? I don't have the book but found the pattern (for free) online :-/ Anyyywayyyy, with no instructions I had to fumble my way through. I'm happy with my result. What do you think?

A close up of the front collar. On my first attempt there was a gap between the collar but because of the shirring underneath it sort of puckered and didn’t look good. So, I undid it :-( and redid it. But I’m happy I did as it looks much neater.
I used bias strips and hand stitched them onto the wrong side to finish the sleeve edges. I made rouleux strips to used to fasten the buttons.
This is a picture of the back opening with collar and button and loop.
I made my own bias strips to hem the blouse and inserted an invisable zip to the placket.