1950s | Skirts | Vintage Sewing

Spider Web Taffeta Circle Skirt

By on October 31, 2016

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I really do try my best to buy natural fibers, I’m just not a fan of polyester or acetate, nor nylon or spandex. Then of course there comes along a fabric so fun or downright special that I have to break my own rules… like flocked velvet spider webs on black taffeta! It may not be silk, but this fabric was too great to pass up!

The pattern for a circle skirt is so simple to cut and sew together it’s no wonder the style remains popular among vintage reproduction sewers. The hardest part is the zipper, but then again perhaps zippers and I just don’t get along and other seamstresses don’t fear them the same way I do! The hems on these skirts sure do take ages to finish if you are doing them by hand though.I usually finish circle skirt hems with bias tape sewn on by machine then ironed under and stitched down by hand. It takes two and a half packages of pre-made bias tape to do such a hem, but it is so worth it in the end! No hassle, just time consuming!

 

 

 

 

 

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The skirt has a lot of natural body to it as the taffeta is quite stiff on its own, but of course I still wore it over a petticoat too for maximum flair. Another way to get this kind of body in a circle skirt with a less stiff fabric is to use horsehair braid in the hem, but I didn’t have to bother for this skirt. I have been putting twill tape in all of my waistbands though so they don’t stretch out on me after the first wearing. There is nothing more annoying than having a waistband suddenly grow a few inches out of nowhere as it isn’t a fun repair to make!

For more photos of this outfit visit me over on The Closet Historian. Happy Halloween everyone!

 

 

 

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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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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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1910s | 1930s | 1950s | 1970s | Dresses | Pattern Drafting | Vintage Sewing

The great white dress

By on December 17, 2015

Hi all you wonderful crafting & sewing fellows!

It’s crazy, I haven’t posted anything in here for years, but the great big white deserves a mention, methinks 😉

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My inspirations for this dress was all over the place. I was looking at Edwardian wedding gowns, 1930’s drapes and flowy sleeves, 1950’s circle skirts and 1970’s hippie layers and lace stuff… You can imagine the confusion and headaches I had over design choices!

In the end I went for a completely self drafted design, with added details from all the periods I was inspired by, and I think it worked pretty well! I used my standard bodice pattern for starters, cut it up to find the “perfect seam lines” (and of course that meant having a seven-piece bodice. Smart), and then made a few muslins to try to perfect it.

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The skirt is four layers – four different fabrics – full circle.

IMG_1284cFor a bunch more pictures, come over here: http://sewewellyn.blogspot.se/2015/12/finally-wedding-dress-pictures.html

And here’s the post with some of my inspiration: http://sewewellyn.blogspot.se/2015/05/wedding-dress-inspiration.html

 

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1950s | Skirts

Floral Quilted Circle Skirt

By on July 22, 2015

Hello again everyone! It’s an undeniable fact that I have an obsession with circle skirts; and after sharing my last floral cotton and green satin ones with you, I’ve produced yet another! But this is a circle skirt with a difference…

…it’s quilted! I was inspired by the quilted skirt included in Gertie Sews Vintage Casual, but chose not to use the included pattern, cutting a full circle based on my measurements instead and following the directions Gertie’s blog to quilt it with batting instead of flannelette. I love how it turned out, and the way it sticks out is just incredible!

For more pictures and construction details, visit my blog!

Until next time,

Miss Maddy x

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1950s

Adventures in Circle Skirts

By on June 23, 2015

Hello guys and dolls! This is my first post to this lovely site after first discovering it, so I’m particularly excited (and nervous!) to be contributing myself.

My newest sewing adventure was completed about a week ago – she’s a darling full circle skirt, in navy cotton with white embroidered anchors. This is my first contribution to what I’m calling “Me Made Monday” (after Me Made May, which I loved participating in and seeing everyone’s creations), and I’d love to see y’all contributing too!

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I have lots more photos and sewing details on my blog, so I won’t repeat it all here. Click here to check it out!

I’m looking forward to participating more here in the future, hope you like this simple project!

xx Lauren

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1950s | Skirts | Vintage Sewing

A polka dot, a plaid, a classic!

By on November 5, 2014

Hi there again!

I’ve recently sewn two skirts that are, in my mind, hinting to the classic vintage styles we all love here. One is a half circle in zesty red plaid and the other — full circle in gorgeous polka dot pattern. The last one I actually hemmed with a bias tape by hand! With the skirt being 5 meters in circumference, it took me about 3 to 4 hours I guess. I like to live dangerously ;).

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Making the plaid skirt made me realise how important it is to think your garments through before you start making them. So, imagine I made a skirt out of the same fabric bit chose to makie it short and pleated. Nineties much? Pop-punk naughty teens in heavy shoes and ripped tights, drinking beer in a local park and swearing while you pass them by? That was my reality about 15 years ago! Well, all of it but the pleated skirt. A thought of wearing a skirt would’ve made me laugh my head off back then. I wouldn’t have been able to even imagine myself wearing a short skirt. I can now and that’s why I immediately decided against it and made this one hit me at mid-calf ;).

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With the polka dot skirt I was hesitant about the length and in the end am not all that pleased about it. It was great before hemming (as seen in the photos above) but afterwards it is just that particular tad shorter that I’m not very fond of, landing at the slightly bigger part of my muscular calf (which is totally awesome but requires careful styling not to look too thick). Also the added bulk from the bias tape made the hem hang differently from what you can see in the photos above, it actually looks like this now. Not that I care much, I still like it a lot, it just goes to prove that you have to do a lot of detailed planning beforehand if you want your piece to be just the way you like it! A lesson learned.

I made both of these using this handy circle skirt app. It’s very useful for making all the calculations and there’s no way you can make a mistake which was reasurring to me because I’m a complete math idiot.

You can read more about making these skirts and see more photos on my blog.

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