1950s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

A Gaggle of Gingham

By on August 9, 2016

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Goodness it has been a while since I last posted some of my retro sewing over here! The summer offers so many distractions, and my sewing has been thoroughly distracted by my love for gingham textiles this year! I recently put the rest of my stash busting projects on hold to turn out not one but two new gingham frocks, of which this full skirted 50’s number is the first!

Having discovered the wonder of Malco Modes petticoats I knew I wanted another full circle skirted dress to wear with either my ivory or black petticoats. The dress pattern was self drafted, with the bodice in a kimono sleeve style with a v-neckline and the skirt as a full 27″ long circle skirt. The full circle skirts on 45″ wide fabric do eat up a bunch of yardage, but with lots of Joanns coupons they are still doable. I always hem mine with coordinating cotton bias tape, usually just the packaged kind you can get at Joanns, and it takes at least two packages (at 3 yards a package!) to go around the skirt hem! I actually hemmed two circle skirts in one day a while back for a total of over 12 feet of hem hand stitched that day!

I tend to make simpler designs since I draft most everything myself and haven’t branched out into more intricate styles just yet. Still, I wanted to fancy this dress up a little bit so I added crisp white cotton sleeve cuffs and trim at the neckline. To do so I simply cut strips of fabric on the bias and ironed it into self-made bias tape to edge the sleeves and neckline, easy but effective! 🙂

For more photos of this outfit, visit me over on my blog The Closet Historian!

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1960s

Lace Bleached Denim Jacket a.k.a Simplicity 2898

By on October 29, 2013

When I first found this pattern in a pile I purchased for my Etsy shop, I knew it was destined to be a “hold-back.” You’ve gotta keep some of the things you love for yourself, right? I wanted to use it to make a modern denim jacket with retro details, so altered the pattern to a cropped length, I lengthened the sleeves, and I added bands at the hems of the jacket and sleeves.

For my fabric, I tried out a method I saw while browsing bleach techniques online. I used a medium weight denim and a lace curtain fabric, both thrifted, and simply placed the lace on top of the denim (in the driveway) and misted over them with bleach.

Full details and several more photos can be found on my blog. How is your fall sewing coming along? (Sorry I forgot to include the link to my blog in the post earlier! It is linked up now…I think!)

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1950s | Dresses

“No Cock Nor Tails” Cocktail Dress Ensemble [from a newbie]

By on January 19, 2013

Hello there! I’m a new contributor, but a long time reader!
My name is Melody and I blog over on Bourbon and Bras, where I make vintage-inspired clothing to better my sewing skills.
It’s nice to finally take the plunge in contributing, and I hope through this I can get a lot of tips and tricks, as well as new sewing friends!

I thought I’d get right to the chase and start blogging with one of my most recent makes!

Over the Christmas period, my boyfriend had a work’s Christmas party at the Natural History Museum in London.
The dress code was black tie, and never one to shy away from an opportunity to dress up, I made myself a 50’s inspired Cocktail Dress, and a ‘pullover’ sheer mesh top to go over it, to emulate the sheer-yoked nature of this dress by Aiseirigh Vintage, with the wearability of two separate garments.

No Cock Nor Tails Emsemble

The dress is made from a faux silk taffeta, made from a self drafted pattern from a basic block.
It’s unlined due to a short time to finish it, but features a sweetheart neckline, full circle skirt and center-back lapped zipper [a first for me]. The seams are pinked and the hem  was hemmed with bias tape and hand stitched to the dress [this took three hours. three. hours.].

The pullover was “frankenpatterned” from two patterns from Gertie’s Book For Better Sewing, the Wiggle Dress and the Bow Tied Blouse. You can read a little about that on my blog here.
It was made from a dobby spot “lace” mesh, which has four-way stretch and is little else other than a pain to sew.
But it features a 3/4 length sleeves, front and back darts, a tie back and some interesting “these-used-to-be-kimono-sleeves” panelling under the arm.

 Overall, I’m really quite happy with the ensemble. I have finally worked out a good fit for my bodices, and although this dress is plain I think with the lapped zipper and below-knee length it’s a good “vintage-style” circle dress, but the pullover makes it more “vintage modern” which is a style I go for! If you so wish, there is more about this ensemble, including links to the design/inspiration, please check out my post on it, here!

  • Fabric:
    Dress; Faux silk taffeta
    Pullover; Dobby print stretch ‘lace’ [stash]
  • Pattern:
    Dress; Self drafted from basic circle dress block
    Pullover; ‘Frankenpatterned’ from Gertie’s Wiggle Dress and Bow Tied Blouse
  • Notions: Bias binding [hem and facing], metal zipper [stash], grosgrain ribbon waist stay
  • Time to Complete:
    Dress; I’d estimate that, including hand-stitching the hem and the pattern, around 15 hours
    Pullover; Around 8 or so hours, including the ‘frankenpatterning’
  • Make again?: Definitely, the dress is a great fit for once, and a nice length, and the pullover pattern could work in any jersey or mesh and it’s a great little coverup!
  • Total price:
    Dress;
    £17, for the fabric, bias tape and thread.
    Pullover; £0! Unless you count the pattern, which was from Gertie’s book which cost me £15.
    So, £32 in total for an entire ensemble, including a pattern!

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1940s | Dresses

Mccall’s 4864 – Another 40’s dress!

By on March 3, 2012

Hi Everyone.

A new post on my latest creation is up at Kitty’s Drawings

Black & white polka dot dress made out of possibly rayon – something. I don’t know. I never know! A burn test only tells me so much.

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Anyways – lots more details over at the blog. Some close ups too. This was quite a project! It wasn’t that the dress was hard to make, more that I did quite a bit by hand.

Also – the pattern is so quirky and cool. I list all the little interesting things about it. 🙂


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1950s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

The Debacle Dress – Simplicity 3608

By on February 26, 2012

Now why did I call this The Debacle Dress?? The full story is HERE at Kitty’s Drawings 😀  A whole SERIES of dramas came with the creation of it.

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BTW – this is Simplicity 3608 from 1951, made in white cotton drill. It was really great to sew up actually, due to the nature of the fabric and it was also quite a simple pattern. The variations are really great too – It came with an intact transfer pattern for the neckline and pocket. It’s actually not meant to be embroidered – the instructions tell you to attach three threads of yarn/wool with double overcast stitches spaced 1/4 inch apart. How cool! I’d love to make this in a navy wool or linen and white yarn.

 

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