1950s | Dresses

Vogue 1397 Easter Spring Dress 2017

By on April 17, 2017
Akram's Ideas: The Easter Spring Dress 2017 Big Reveal in Blue

I hope you all have had a lovely Easter holiday this past weekend.

While there were some early morning storms by afternoon the weather had warmed up enough to debut my #EasterSpringDress2017.

I had the pleasure of co-hosting the #EasterSpringDress2017 sewalong with Judith of Judith Dee’s World  , which encouraged participants to sew a new dress or outfit for Easter / Spring.

Tracy Reese Vogue 1397

For my own project, I wanted a very classic 50’s style Easter dress.  I decided to make Tracy Reese Vogue 1397, while a modern pattern I felt had that classic look I was going for.

For the fabric I had my followers choose between a bold pink rose print and a monochromatic blue rose print. Blue was chosen as the overall favorite, which I’m happy with since I don’t usually make a lot of blue dresses.

Akram's Ideas : #EasterSpringDress2017 Sewalong
I couldn’t decided between blue or pink

The project seemed real straight forward, though I found the low back neckline caused a lot of drooping issues. I ended up making 4 different muslins of the bodice top and am still not 100% happy with the final results of how the bodice sets.

Despite the issues with the bodice, the overall look of the dress is lovely.

Akram's Ideas: The Easter Spring Dress 2017 Big Reveal in Blue
Overall I’m pretty happy with this dress.

As I said earlier I really like the vintage inspired look of this dress, even more so when I paired it with vintage accessories.

While it may not be my best make the end result is exactly the look I was going for.

Akram's Ideas: The Easter Spring Dress 2017 Big Reveal in Blue
Vintage accessories make this dress

Check out my Youtube video about this make ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4p8vqO64h-U) or read more about my process for making my Easter Spring Dress 2017 check out my blog Akram’s Ideas (http://akramsideas.com/easter-spring-dress-2017-reveal/)

Did you make a dress for the #EasterSpringDress2017 how did it turn out?

 

 

 

Continue Reading

1960s

Whiter shade of pale

By on March 24, 2017

Hello!  Some time ago I bought 2 remnant pieces of beautiful grosgrains: an apple green rayon and a creamy-white cotton one. I never worked with grosgrain except for the ribbons and I was surprised to find how delicate, soft and drapey it is. The rayon grosgrain has more body and is a bit firmer; the cotton is light and smooth; both have a wonderful, subtle sheen to them, which catches the light beautifully. The only problem is that they fray like crazy: be sure to leave a considerable seam allowances and to properly secure them if sewing with grosgrain fabrics (I used a dense zig-zag stitch).

 

I used the Simplicity 8049 1960s reproduction pattern. I was attracted to the three-armhole dress idea and I liked the purity of its lines. The construction was pretty straightforward; surprisingly enough, the front is cut on straight grain so the “cowl” is created by using pleats. I decided to line the whole dress; this cleaned up the mess inside and helped to give the dress a little bit more body and less transparency. The lining pieces were created using main pattern pieces, I hand-stitched them in place all around the facings, the side seam and the hem.

The cat always thinks he’s so creative with his hiding spots

I made some personal touches to the project like adding a lining cover to the snaps or making a separate belt, which fastens with 3 hooks-and eyes and a snap. For more details and photos, I invite you to visit my blog, rvdzik.blogspot.com. Have a great weekend!

Continue Reading

1950s | Dresses | Pattern Drafting | Vintage Sewing

Butterick 6299 just in time for Autumn

By on March 18, 2017

It’s getting cooler here in Aotearoa New Zealand, while all you sewers in the north are getting set for summer, I’m glad things are cooling off now!

I have just finished this dress, it’s made with some lovely fabric my nana gave me, and I used a stunning Butterick pattern which was new to me this year, along with a couple of other lovely vintage patterns.

These ones!

The pattern is a size and a bit too small for me, so I graded it up, and voila! New dress! In my blog post about the making of this dress…

…I share how I graded it up, it’s pretty easy, you just need a basic pattern (or pattern block) that fits well.

The crossover bodice was a bit fiddly, and adding the bias trim gave me more bulk to deal with, but in the end, I am happy with it.

From the back…

And the bias trim….

The bias binding colour was perfect, but just enough to do the neckline and sleeve cuffs. So happy!

Happy Spring or Autumn Retro Sewists!

The blog link about this dress is here, and now I’m off to make another jumpsuit!

Continue Reading

1940s | Dresses

A 40s wool dress with sunray-darts

By on February 24, 2017

While spring is already knocking at the door, I had the idea to sew a wintery wool dress. This pattern is included in a booklet with fabric-saving-pattens from 1944. It features a very slim skirt, slightly puffed sleeves and sunray darts around the neck.

I used a pure wool fabric in dark green for the dress and a black wool fabric for the contrasting belt and  bow. Unfortunately I was a bit over-ambitious and sized the pattern down too much, now it fits a little tight and has sleeves that are a little on the short side. But I do love it and am very happy with the result.

Here is a the original pattern drawing:

More photos and details I included on my blog parvasedapta.ch

Greetings from Switzerland,

ette

Continue Reading

1950s

A bouquet of grey roses

By on February 19, 2017

Hello, fellow Seamstresses and Tailors:)

Today I’d like to show you the dress I’ve just completed 😉 I’ve used a modern pattern with a modern design, which could be easily modified for a vintage 1950s look; it’s Butterick B5984. As I’ve suspected, quite a few changes were needed-the most important of which was to modify the princess seams of the front and side bodice panels to accommodate the bullet/cone shape bra. I didn’t have to make the ususal FBA as the pattern had the A-B-C-D cup options, which was a nice change. The pattern was drafted to accommodate a modern, sphere-like, heavy bust shape and I had to change the seam curve below the bust from convex to a clearly pronounced concave one.

I’ve lengthened the skirt, shaved off a little bit of the décolletage and altered the sleeves’ length as well. As for the above-mentioned décolletage, I think it’s the most beautiful element of the design. It’s quite big and geometrical, but it doesn’t expose the breasts atall and therefore does not look cheap, even with so much skin exposed. The extra emphasis on it  made with contrasting band is also wonderful, making a portrait-perfect frame for the face.

     The main fabric is a heavy, quilting weight cotton and it works wonderful with the circle cut of the skirt. The belt and the contrasting bands are made from some cotton twill. The bodice and sleeves are lined with ivory cotton batiste, having all of the seam allowances enclosed in a snow-white satin bias binding. The skirt has its own separate lining.

To read about the finishing techniques (lots of  hand-sewing involved) and to see more photos, I invite you over to my blog, rvdzik.blogspot.com. Thank you for visiting! 🙂

Continue Reading

1960s

McCalls 6569: Gold Satin Evening Dress

By on February 11, 2017

This year I made a decision, a decision not be to scared by fabric. For a couple of years now I’ve had some gold satin I brought back from Vegas in my stash and I’ve been so scared to use it having never worked with anything like that. This year it’s my tenth (?!) wedding anniversary and I thought it would make the loveliest dress for our celebratory meal out.

I picked McCalls 6569 for the pattern; a gorgeous sixties evening dress.

IMG_20170101_203502_925

The first thing I did was post in the We Sew Retro Sew & Tell facebook group to ask for tips, it’s one thing I LOVE about the sewing community, you have a wealth of experience and advice online in a group like that and people are only willing to help and wish you luck. So armed with my new found advice I bit the bullet and cracked on. As you may have noticed if you read my blog, I don’t often make muslins of my clothes but as I was working with an unforgiving fabric I thought I probably should get it right the first time, as a seam ripper might not be the best friend it previously had been to me. I measured up, perfect in the bust but 2 inches bigger on the waist and 4 on the hips (not live I’ve had a baby in the last year or anything….). It was going to need a little adjustment.

To read more about the adjustment process and how I sewed my muslin up pop over to my blog.
IMAG2518 IMG_20170125_204847_210

So on to the dress….

I spent a whole night cutting out and marking up the pattern pieces (including the adjusted pieces – see my other blog). My, my, what a pain in the arse. It turns out satin is the most slippery material known to man (slight exaggeration, but it did feel like that at the time).

IMG_20170126_212414_336

The following day I sewed the bodice together which went very well but then it was time for the lining. I should say at this point I have never lined anything in my life but as I was sewing with satin I thought it would probably be a good idea just to bit the bullet and do it.

I then spent a long night sewing the lining to the skirt pieces following this, and here was where I made one of my major mistakes. I have no idea how I marked the fabric up wrong but somehow I managed to.

IMG_20170130_210751_879

When it came to the later stage of sewing it together it meant that I had a row of stitching down the back of the skirt next to the centre seam which I then had to unpick.

With a day to go to my anniversary (and after a lengthy trip to the dentist for two fillings) I spent a full day sewing the skirt pieces together. I attached the skirt to the bodice with relative ease and inserted the zip. Mistake number two: I was silly enough to not check that the fabric was taught when I basted the zip in, meaning that when I went to sew it I, again, had a big chuck of stitches to unpick which left a rather messy side zip insertion.

Thankfully it’s a side zip so really no one’s going to see it unless the come up really close to have a look . I finished sewing the lining pieces together at the waist and was quite impressed with how it looked inside out.

At this point I thought I should just leave the hemming to my anniversary and cut my losses before I cried.

So the day of my 10th wedding anniversary (last Friday) I sewed right up to the last minute but I did finally finish my dress with a couple of hours to spare, and I did get all dressed up and we did go out for the first time on our own in seven months. And here I am in my dress!

IMAG2584 2017-02-11_05-03-32

Overall I am extremely happy with how it turned out. What do you think?

To see more photos of my mistakes and successes and to read more about it, please have a look at my blog 🙂

Continue Reading