1950s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

A Gaggle of Gingham

By on August 9, 2016

greygingham9

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!

greygingham13

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1950s | Shirts | Vintage Sewing

Self-drafted retro top

By on May 28, 2014

self-drafted retro check top

This top is the result of a pattern-drafting class I took recently. The fit isn’t great but it’s one step in the right direction.

I gleaned the design from a 1950s pattern envelope but totally drafted all the pieces myself.

self-drafted retro top

It has a zipper up the left side in true vintage style and is fitted at the waist so I can wear it tucked into a high waist pencil skirt.

I created facings for the armholes and neckline. I wasn’t sure how to do it in one piece what with the rolled over bias collar and all. But its no big shakes. I just tacked the sleeve facings to the neck facing with a couple of stitches on the shoulder line. If I did it again, I might consider using a bias finish on the armhole to save on bulk.

self-drafted retro top

The fit still needs working on. It really is a bit big under bust. But it’s certainly wearable and it feels great to wear an original ooobop!

More deets and pics over on the blog.

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1950s | Blouses | Shirts | Vintage Sewing

Vintage 50s Blouse with Monogram

By on November 27, 2013

simplicity 2195

I don’t often get chance to partake in sewing challenges. My own personal sewing list is long enough and even that is jeopardised by work and small people! But this blouse had a decent deadline and an exciting date to wear the finished shirt to. A bowling date with some really cool bloggers at London’s Bloomsbury Lanes!

simplicity 2195

It’s not strictly a bowling shirt, as you can no doubt see, but with a bit of black piping on the yoke and a hand embroidered monogram, it was the best I could find. And I wasn’t unhappy with it! It works as a day shirt too and sits great with a half circle skirt and my favourite boots, for a lunch date with the Mister!

simplicity 2195 vintage blouse

I did an FBA but other than that it was a very simple make and I am so going to make a gingham one to match the pic on the cover of the pattern.

simplicity 2195

More details over at ooobop!

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1950s | 1960s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

A vintage pattern mash up…. the red gingham dress.

By on November 19, 2013

I started this project nearly a year ago, hit a bit of a roadblock on account of ah, not quite know what I was doing!  I figured I’d just use the bodice from one pattern the skirt from another and well just put them together…  I made some adjustments, to accommodate the differences, but it was (not surprisingly) not quite so simple.

But this week, I tackled it, finished it, and I love it!  I have more photos on my blog, where I talk a bit more about this crazy project.  It’s looking like it will be a hot summer this year, while many of you are preparing for winter, I’m another sewer planning summer dresses.

 

 

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1930s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

1930’s Bias Dress – Sew Vera Venus free download

By on July 12, 2013

I decided to break out of the my usual mid-century sewing and try something from the 1930’s. This pattern was a free download from Sew Vera Venus; after a bit of tweaking with the fit, it went together like a dream.

Here’s some details:

I used a light cotton with berries and flowers on a black and white gingham background, perfect for summer:

Fabric detail

The sleeves are super floaty and cut as a large circle. I couldn’t get it across in the photos, though; this is the best I could do:

flared sleeve

The skirt is cut on the bias, with a flared piece attached at the bottom. The dress moves and drapes with you, making it feel very dreamy and romantic! I didn’t want to ruin it all with a horrible zip, so I decided to use a side button placket. I even managed to find some little mother of pearl flowers that matched the fabric:

Close up of the button placket

And it’s all finished off at the back with a little belt, which I just tied in a simple bow:

And that’s it! One final look, and I’ll see you soon!

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1940s | 1950s | Dresses

Giant Gingham!

By on July 10, 2013

I just adore gingham for summer and what’s better than giant gingham! 😀

This dress is actually a refashion from a dress I made a few years ago.

This is the famous Walk Away dress, which actually fit me rather well considering all of the fit issues most people seem to have with it. (Butterick 4790) But I lost some weight and could never figure out how to make it fit again. So instead of leaving it languishing in my closet any longer, I remade it with this pattern:

Simplicity 2357 c. 1949. This was a great option for the refashion because both dresses had circle skirts and the wrap dress meant extra fabric to play around with. Also, note the blue gingham on the pattern cover. I’m highly susceptible to color/print suggestions on pattern covers…..

It’s so nice to have reclaimed this dress! And just in time for the Fourth of July too! 😀 More photos and construction details here.

 

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1950s | Dresses | Mildly Insane Photo | Modern Patterns | Pattern Sizing | Vintage Sewing

1950s Picnics and Parties Dress

By on May 30, 2013

I swooned when I saw this dress over at ButchWax Vintage – it’s divine! It would be perfect for weddings, parties and picnics – every occasion, but such a tiny waist!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I knew I needed to make my own (modest) version if I was to ever sleep at night. So, here goes….

1950s Gingham Dress

I used the Billie Jean Pattern, from Blue Ginger Doll – and drafted my own collar to suit.

The Billie Jean pattern comes together really easily, and i’m fairly sure i’d use it again as the base for other dresses. The size 16 ended up being the best size for me at a 39.5″ bust (it’s meant to have zero ease, but I found that too tight for this style).

I can’t wait to wear this dancing! (and excuse the headless photos, it’s way too early in the morning).

More details, as always, on the blog

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