1930s | Coats | Vintage Sewing

By on December 19, 2017

1930s winter coat

One thing I’ve wanted to make for a couple of years now is a 1930s warm winter coat. In the past I never quite had the right coat to go with my 1930s clothing and this year I was on a mission to resolve that problem. After purchasing a beautiful original 1930s halo hat in dark teal felt wool, I knew this was the colour my coat had to be. It was neutral enough to go with most things, but wasn’t the same old black, grey or navy that most coats seem to be in.

1930s coat top stitching detail

I set on a mission to find the perfect matching shade of dark teal in a heavy wool fabric and after several months I finally stumbled across a gorgeous one from Dragonfly Fabrics. It has an amazing diagonal textured design to it, which creates a lovely interest to the fabric.

The pattern I used was a self-draft pattern from an original 1930s tailoring booklet, which allowed me to create one exactly to my size in an authentic 1930s design. I did make an adjustment to the front curved seam though, as the original line didn’t really suit me across the chest. This was simple enough to do and I actually think the final seam looks much better.

I also decided to make the top line of the cuff curve with the front seam of the coat to make it look like the line was carrying on. Thankfully this worked spot on when I sewed it all up, something I wasn’t entirely convinced would happen!

1930s coat - back

You can read so much more about this coat and how I made it by heading to my blog. You’ll also find loads of photos, including ones of the incredible Autumn inspired lining and all of the matching garments that create the entire ensemble.

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1950s

The Paris coat

By on September 30, 2017

Dear WeSewRetro Readers,

as I was planning an autumn holiday trip to see Dior haute couture exhibition, I knew that I had to make a coat as it’s the most important piece of a travel wardrobe; not only due to the fact that it keeps you warm and cozy in a plane or during long walks, but also because a good coat is the simplest and quickest style statement you can make, covering all the in-between clothing beneath.


I have bought this beautiful wool because of its outstanding deep red shade. When I got my hands on Marfy 1961 I knew I had a match and a trip was a perfect excuse to sew it up. The coat was beautifully drafted, with a spectacular collar, interesting front shaping and – last but not least – the best-fitting sleeve that I have worked with. My modifications included lengthening the garment to make it more 1950s-appropriate (I was going for a mid-century swing coat silhouette), changing the collar gathers to small pleats, adding rows of topstitching, removing pockets and putting and emphasis on the sleeves by accentuating the cuffs.

Too see and read more, I invite you to visit my blog, rvdzik.blogspot.com. Thank you !

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1950s | Coats | Modern Patterns

Faux Fur Trimmed Coat – McCalls 6800

By on March 1, 2017

It’s been so cold here lately, I really wanted a warm, everyday coat with enough room to fit a circle skirt and petticoat underneath. McCalls 6800 was the perfect choice, with its princess seams, full skirt and a hood! The main thing I wanted to add to my version was the faux fur trim. It makes the coat so cosy.

I love full skirts and a coat is no exception. To make the skirt section on this even fuller, I added a couple of inches width to the bottom of each panel. Combined with the faux fur trim around the hem, the skirt section is very full and very swishy.


 The fabric I used was so thick I don’t think my machine could’ve managed a sewn buttonhole. Instead, I opted for 4 bound buttonholes. They’re a pain to make but always look so lovely.

The lining is a bright cerise crepe backed satin. I love how the pink pops against the pale faux fur and dark navy, plus it makes the coat so easy to slide on and off.

I have more details on the making of this on my blog.

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1960s | Coats | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

Les Fleurs Swing Dress (Simplicity 6820, 1966)

By on January 31, 2017

I posted my leopard print version of this pattern last week and today I’m back with a dark floral variation–specifically the gorgeous Les Fleurs in navy from Cotton and Steel’s collab with Rifle Paper Company. I lovvvve this fabric, and I wanted to use it with few seam lines, so Simplicity 6820 seemed perfect. I’m wearing it with my pink bow coat made last year from Simplicity reprint 1197–a perfect match!

See more on my blog here!

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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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1950s | Coats | Vintage Sewing

2015 Sew-tember Sew Along Vogue 1083

By on September 10, 2015

Hello We Sew Retro readers!

I’m so excited that this month is September, because if you haven’t heard already September is National Sewing Month. Which means this is #Sewtember, as I call it.

This year for #Sewtember I’ve decided to host my very first Sew Along and would like to invite all who are interested in joining the fun.

For this fun month long Sew Along each participant will be working on Vogue pattern v1083. This is a reproduction of a Vintage Vogue 1953 ladies coat.

If you’ve had the chance to read my blog (Akram’s Ideas), you may have seen a few coats I made in the last few month.

The first coat I ever attempted was back in March, of this year. It was a lovely pink fleece coat I made from my toddler niece using McCall’s pattern 4647.

Fleece Coat, McCalls 4647
Pink coat made for my niece, Layla.

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I made this coat, because I had heard that coat construction can be rather difficult. However, the coat seemed to come together rather nicely. No big hiccups and I loved working with fleece.

After getting my feet wet with in coat making I decided to make a coat of my own. I ended up making a vintage swing coat using, vintage Simplicity pattern 4191 from my stash.

The coat was made in part of the Your Fleece Fashion Contest, hosted by Your Fleece, an online Fleece retailer. I ended up making this coat out of red fleece, provided by Your Fleece, and finished the lining using some red statin from my fabric stash.

I entered the contest purely for fun, I still consider myself a novice sewer, besides I had planned to make a swing coat anyways. Despite what I thought about my sewing skills, somehow or another I managed to win the  Your Fleece Fashion Contest.

red swing coat
Posing in my swing coat.

I can’t say how much I love this coat it’s fantastic! It’s not only a great fashion statement it’s so cozy soft thanks to the fabulous fleece.

While I adored my first attempt at making a swing coat, I decided I’d like to make myself another. This time around I wanted to make a longer coat and while I’m at it , I thought why not share my sewing journey on this project as a Sew Along.

When planning the Sew Along I decided to choose a pattern that would accessible to others who might want to join the fun. Vogue’s vintage reproduction pattern v1083 was exactly what I was looking for. It had the class 1950’s swing coat style and it is still readily available for purchase.

The plan for the Sew Along is pretty simple. I’ll be posting once a week (typically on Saturday) my progress along with tips and tricks about sewing the coat.

I’ve also created a Flickr group (:https://www.flickr.com/groups/2015-sew-tember-v1083/) for all participants to join and share photos, discussions and comments on their own and other’s makes in the Sew Along. At the end of the sew along (in early October) I’ll be compiling a video montage of all the coats of participants in the Sew Along.

Akram's Ideas 2015 Sewtember Sew Along
Akram’s Ideas 2015 Sewtember Sew Along

So, with that said. I’d like to once again invite all you wonderful lovely vintage sewers to be apart of this Sew Along and join the fun in making Vogue pattern v1083. The first (getting started) post will debut this Saturday (Sept 12) over at Akram’s Ideas.

Hope to have you join the fun.

–Akram Taghavi-Burris
Bringing Creative and Crazy Ideas to Life.

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1950s

Pauline Trigere Coat – Mc Calls 7520

By on November 28, 2014

Last spring, I was in a charity shop and I saw a coat for 2euro, I was amazed as the fabric quality was great, but the cut of the fabric was right from the 1980s and had humungous shoulders….. anyway I got it, and over the next few weeks bought some more coats from the bargain rail and it pretty much started me thinking on about – remaking/refashioning clothes, all the limitations of fast fashion, and the shocking amount of what ends up in charity shops – and my blog started from the coats really

mc call 7530This is the second of the 6 coats to get remade.  The first was the jacket from this pattern which I was very pleased with, so I thought the coat could be a good follow-up.  Making the coat was not as straightforward as the jacket, and I had to compromise on a few things (addition of cuff, and coat length), and the fabric quality was not as luscious as the last coat, and has also stitch marks left by patch pockets.  However, I did get to wear it, and like it (camel is not a colour I wear, and I am now converting – it looked great with jeans and black sweater)

before after copy

 

There are a 2  issues, the first is the previous patch pockets left some marks which I hope will ease in time, and I will re-steam the coat in a few weeks and they may lessen.  The second issue is I notice the fabric absorbed some water from being splashed when I wore it out, and the water soaked immediately, and dried within 20 minutes.  For the 20 minutes – the splash marks looked like grease marks and the coat looked grubby (and I didn’t feel quite so classy in my new coat).  I don’t know if the coat had some detergent used on it at some time to make it so absorbent, or if camel wool does this (which I doubt) – so I am now considering spraying some scotch-guard and seeing if this will help!

 

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