1920s | Downton Abbey Inspired | Vintage Sewing

Early 1920s Cardigan

By on April 20, 2016

One garment from the 1910s and 1920s that often gets overlooked is the belted cardigan. However, it’s actually a classic piece of fashion history from this time period and often pops up in period dramas based in these eras. Women wore them about the house to keep warm before central heating became the norm, you could probably equate them to modern day hoodies!

1920s wool cardigan

I’ve always found them fascinating and have always loved to have one, but most were knitted and I, very annoyingly, cannot knit. So, when I saw this original 1920s wool jersey one on Pinterest I knew I needed to try and make my own version. It would be a perfect challenge for my next Vintage Pledge.

Early 1920s outfit

And here it is! I based the design on an original 1930s cardigan sewing pattern I had, although the 1920s detailing of the large patch pockets and double button belt were just guess work.

Top stitching detail on 1920s cardigan

Sportswear inspired clothing was just beginning to creep into fashion during the early part of the 1920s and one detail that was used in the majority of these garments was top-stitching. I added loads of it to this cardigan to really give it a sportswear feel which was a huge challenge, trying to keep it straight and neat everywhere!

If you would like to read more about how how I made this early 1920s cardigan and see more photos, feel free to pop over to my blog.

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1920s | Blouses | Downton Abbey Inspired | Giveaway | Skirts | Vintage Sewing

1920s Silk Blouse and Pleated Skirt

By on March 11, 2016

After admiring everyone else’s achievements last year for A Stitching Odyssey’s Vintage Pledge I decided that this year I was going to join in. My own pledge was to challenge and push myself with my sewing. I’ve just finished my first outfit for the pledge, a 1920s silk blouse and pleated skirt. I created the pattern for the blouse by tracing around a simple silk top I already had and then making my own adjustments. The pattern for the skirt was McCall’s M7022 pleated skirt which I lengthened to a more suitable 1920s style.

1920s blouse, skirt and cloche hat

I used a beautiful Pre-Raphaelite inspired green and purple floral silk for the blouse which I bought from the fabulous ClothSpot and this was my first challenge. I’d never worked with silk before so was really, really nervous about starting it and I put it off for about four months. The Vintage Pledge was just what I needed to force myself to be brave and just get on with it. As it turned out there was nothing to worry about!

Pre-Raphaelite inspired silk fabric

I added vintage, probably early 20th Century, jet buttons to both the front of the blouse and at the side to close the band around the bottom.

1920s blouse, skirt and cloche hat

The skirt is in a black cotton twill that I dug out from my stash. I’m not overly happy with it, mainly because the fabric is all wrong for the style of skirt, it’s way too stiff. I’m not sure if I’ll try and adjust it or just make a different one.

If you would like to read more about how the whole outfit and see more photos feel free to pop over to my blog. And while you’re there why not check out my latest post where I’m running a giveaway of £40 to spend on fabrics at ClothSpot. (Giveaway ends midnight 20th March 2016)

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1930s | Coats | Downton Abbey Inspired | Vintage Sewing

1930s In-Between Seasons Coat

By on February 10, 2016

Last autumn one of my goals was to make a 1930s lightweight coat so I can wear it during those in-between months, when it’s not quite warm enough to go without one and not quite cold enough for full on winter coat, scarf and gloves. After trawling both Etsy and eBay I finally found this beautiful original 1930s pattern by Bestway, a company who produced sewing patterns for the home sewer and were available to order via the Bestway magazine.

1930s Bestway Coat Sewing Pattern

1930s lightweight coat

I used an amazing aubergine and grey mix suiting fabric that looked and behaved like wool but was actually a polyester mix and it was a dream to work with. It took me forever to make due to the traditional tailoring techniques I used but it was definitely worth it in the end as it hangs so well.

1930s Bakelite buttons

The buttons had to be authentic and after many hours of searching I found these original 1930s Bakelite ones on Etsy. I absolutely love the classic Art Deco lines on them and I think the size of them really adds the right amount of detailing to the coat.

1930s aubergine coat

If you would like to read more about the coat and see more photos feel free to pop over to my blog.

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1920s | Aprons | Vintage Sewing

My 1920’s House Apron: A One Yard Wonder

By on April 9, 2015

If you have an urge to use up some of your fabric stash, or simply have an hour to spare for some much needed crafting time, try this easy tutorial to make a charming slip-over apron. Based on an 1926 pattern, this adorable apron features a scooped front, slightly gathered back, and two fabric ties.

Supplies:

1 yard (36″ wide) of cotton fabric

5 yards of bias tape

Optional: rickrack

Tools:

Paper or spare fabric to make pattern

ruler and marker

Scissors and pins

Sewing Machine

Let’s get started:

First you will need to create the pattern. Below is a visual of the pattern (yellow calico) over the apron fabric. The fabric is folded in a giant triangle, with the two open ends at the bottom and on the left. The fold is in the top right hand side.

Use the numbers as a guide to create the pattern. To adjust for wearer’s height, adjust the 36″ width up or down as needed. Wish to make the apron wider around the middle, simply use more yardage and extend the two inches at the underarm and around the bottom.

You can cut out the extra ties and optional pocket from the cut off width of your fabric.

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Now that you have your pattern pieces cut out, along with the ties, sew the back seam of the apron, right sides together.

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Pin the bias tape along all raw edges, making sure to catch the edge of the fabric. Stitch.

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If you would like a pocket, cut out the desired shape, press the edges toward the wrong side of the fabric and pin to the apron. You can add rick rack or other trim to the pocket if you like…just make sure to add the trim BEFORE you attach the pocket. Stitch the pocket to the apron.

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With right sides together, sew the ties, turn right side out, and press. Stitch with raw ends folded underneath to the inside of the apron.

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That’s it! Enjoy your new vintage inspired apron around the kitchen, craft room, or out in the garden!

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Source: Fashion Service, 1929 as seen in Vintage Notions by Amy Barickman

 

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1920s

Trying out for the Mack Sennett Bathing Beauties….

By on November 5, 2014

1926I love all the images of bathing beauties from the 1920’s – so I thought I might have a go at sewing one with a pattern from 1926.

I haven’t had much experience in sewing with knit or stretch fabric, but I thought I could manage with this piece of really heavy ink-navy t-shirt cotton – it really didn’t have much stretch at all thankfully (just rolled a lot at the edges until they were over-locked).  The contrast fabric was a lighter knit fabric with a faux-animal skin print.

The skirt is really twirly – it makes a full circle when laid out:

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Not sure how it will go when fully wet, the fabric already makes the bathing suit quite heavy…but then, I daresay most of the Sennet Beauties didn’t really go for a swim either. Even the bloomers are pretty substantial!

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1920s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

Speakeasy Dress

By on May 3, 2014
My outfit including my wool coat with fluffy fox fur collar and a fake bob which took more effort than the dress.

I recently went to a prohibition night at the Police and Justice Museum in Sydney, Australia. They had turned the museum into a speakeasy with heaps of fun activities, music and performances. Of course they encouraged 1920’s and 30’s dress and so I “whipped up” (because it’s that easy) a flapper dress. I found a gorgeous light satin in green and bought the longest black fringing I could find. I used a 1970’s (Simplicity 8750) bias slip pattern but left out the main darts to have that loose silhouette and added two rows of fringing on the bottom.


I also tied the Best Dressed competition so I’m very happy.

 
I had forgotten how fantastic bias cut is to wear and am very tempted to make more bias cut garments. I’m hoping to have a few more photos on my Instagram: http://instagram.com/sharpscissors from the night soon.

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1920s | 1930s | Dresses

Prohibition New Year’s Eve

By on January 8, 2014

As most of you already know, one of the greatest satisfactions of sewing your own clothes is having a fabulous occasion for which to wear them!  Such an occasion was this past New Year’s Eve, when Wild Kat hosted a glittering Prohibition Party.  We even convinced our men to dress the part!

 

Wild Kat opted for a flapper-styled sack dress made from an original 1920s Standard New Idea pattern.  She used a cream satin trimmed with embossed black velvet.  For more photos and details, please see the Hometown Victory Girls blog.

 

 

 

 

I  stepped away from my typical, full-skirted dress and created a classic 1930s-style.  Using Vogue 1371 and a slubbed satin in peacock blue, I was quite happy with the results.  More photos and dress details can be found at the Willow Homestead blog.

 

 

Wishing you all a wonderful New Year!

 

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