Vintage Sewing

Le Smoking Jacket

By on February 7, 2014

Thanks to a sew along (Fearless February over at tenthousandsewinghours.blogspot.com) I finally made my hubby Le Smoking Jacket in a brocade (see below)!

It wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be but is definitely not for beginners as the cutting/piecing instructions are only so-so. I even put the black contrasting ends in the tie like he wanted! It definitely made him happy. He put it right on and is now walking around the house in it. More details on my blog:Cuttlefish Corner

Let me know what you think!

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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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1930s | 1940s | Applique | Jackets | Vintage Sewing

Tracht-inspired jacket

By on October 27, 2013

Hello, here I am again. I’ve been neglecting my blog and online presence for too long now, but I have been sewing quite a bit, in my defense – and also put myself on a very healthy ban on frantic last-minute sewing of overly ambitious party outfits. My stress levels are down (slightly) and my nerves are thanking me.

I’ve been making a lot of things lately, several everyday garments that I need quite badly, but this is the one I’m the most pleased with; a wool/poly gabardine jacket inspired by Steirer jackets and German and Austrian traditional costumes in general, with leather oak leaf appliqués, abstract bakelite acorn buttons and a pleated, skirted back, the cut nicked from a late 1940’s jacket that I have loved almost to pieces.

The original sketch made three years ago or so, when I got the fabric.

It’s been in the pipeline for several years, in other words, but I’m glad I waited.

Front and back panels sewn together, interfaced with horsehair canvas, wool and a heavy linen canvas at the front shoulder, with pockets nearly done.

It has bound pockets with the leather oak leaves applied after the pocket was practically finished, but before I closed up the pocket bag. The whole process of figuring out the best order in which to do the pocket and appliqué steps to create fully functional pockets with the appliqué took a bit of frustrating trial and error. I added top-stitched leaf veining after some consideration – it felt like an idea that might go spectacularly wrong, even with a teflon foot, but it actually turned out quite well.

Fitting process. The back came together beautifully at once, the front took a lot of fine-tuning.

I added a lot (a LOT) of extra hair canvas and wool fabric pieces to the body of the interfacing here and there around the bust and front of the shoulder to get the pocket to lie reasonably smoothly, for instance, and get a nice, smooth shape. It was worth it, and I highly recommend spending some time fiddling around with stiffening, shaping and filling out the silhouette like that if you have the time. I certainly will. Also added horsehair braid along the hemline, from the side pleats in the back, around the curve in front and up to the waist. Also worth it.

SO worth it.
The finished jacket, with a peaked cap in the same fabric and a new skirt with scalloped button edge.
The back is my favourite part of the garment.

Right, and I did leather-bound buttonholes on the sleeves, with leather that is not what you’d call thin or supple. That may have been one of the worst ideas I’ve ever had. They look pretty awful up close, but not half as awful as making them was. I wanted to do that on the rest of the jacket as well, but no. Just no.

I’ve been wearing it constantly for several weeks now. Very happy with this one.

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1950s | Vintage Sewing

Vintage 1950 Vogue Jacket

By on September 30, 2013
Vogue 2934 jacket

Vogue 2934 jacket

It is jacket weather for sure in the UK and a damn fine excuse to put this pattern to work. It has been patient enough!

Such a simple one to make but beware, there is a lot of hand-sewing involved which makes it very time consuming.

I used an inexpensive wool blend for the outer fabric. It’s got a great texture to it which makes it very snuggly.

vogue 2934 jacket

For the lining I splashed out on 100% silk satin and I’m so jolly glad I did. It feels like heaven, every time I put it on.

v2934 jacket

I’m not sure I could get away with wearing anything else other than a pencil skirt with this jacket for fear of looking like a Weeble but it is nonetheless very flattering for such a cropped cape-like shape.

The dolman sleeves and big substantial cuffs did it for me. But I do love those ‘frogs’ too!

v2934 jacket

Lots more crazy photos over on the blog. Thanks for hopping by 🙂

 

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1960s | Coats | Pattern Drafting | Vintage Sewing

Finally Finished – Mod-ish Denim Military Jacket

By on July 8, 2013

So here’s a modern take on a military-esque jacket with a mod twist that I just finished:

Back in 2008, I made a group of 5 jacket patterns with my original intent to sell them on Etsy and this was one of the jackets I made almost completely with the exception of buttonholes and sewn on buttons. I had a point in my life where I decided that I wasn’t any good at all with fashion design and I should quit. So…. I kinda did. This was one of the last things I didn’t finish until this past week. (I think maybe I was afraid of the buttonholer?) I tried it on a few months ago and my boyfriend asked me where I bought it. Umm….     So after that, he encouraged me to finish it.

(Note: I want to use a “click to read more” sort of link right here, but I’m having trouble with the code. This may get edited later!)

The jacket is  far cooler than I ever thought it was!

It’s all-denim and I used all green top-stitching thread.

Back view.

Ta daaaaa!

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1950s | 1960s | Coats | Jackets

Baby you can drive my car Butterick 2624

By on May 30, 2013
I’ve been working on this early 60s coat for awhile and I finished the hand stitching this weekend.

Initially it had a collar but I didn’t have enough fabric to make a full front facing so off came the collar!

The fit is similar to the 50s style car coats – it’s shapeless and only has 2 small darts at the back to stop it looking too sack like. The pattern I used was Butterick 2624 (1-2-3 Shift!)

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1940s | Jackets | Pattern Drafting | Skirts

UFO finished; a green linen suit.

By on May 2, 2013
Green linen suit

I finished a UFO that got stuck right after the first fitting, oh, about seven or eight years ago. That calls for celebration, doesn’t it? It’s a fitted suit jacket, aiming for a 40’s silhouette, and it was left unfinished because tailoring is, or was, kind of intimidating; but I really love the fabric, a heavy, bright green vintage herringbone weave in what I’m pretty sure is linen, and I needed a jacket for spring, summer and fall wear, so I went ahead and did it.

There were a few problems, to begin with; I made the pattern a very long time ago and had lost it, of course, so I made a new one from the cut-out pieces for the lining. I also had a couple of remnants of the fabric that I really wanted to make a skirt out of, but the fabric, having spent a number of years in someone’s attic, had a few large sunbleached areas that were unusable and needed to be cut around. I managed to puzzle out a skirt from tiny pieces anyway before I got to work on the jacket, which was stupid, because as it turned out, I hadn’t cut the jacket collar when I cut the rest of the garment. And this green, let me tell you, was not an easy shade to match – for a while I toyed with the idea of making the collar from the only matching fabric I could find, an upholstery canvas, and then covering it with tiny cross-stitching in a matching green mouliné yarn. My mother came to the rescue with a beautiful green silk twill from Burma, though; I sent a small sample of the original fabric with her. The rest of that fabric will hopefully make a nice dress some day.

Also, I had to refit the jacket, again, mostly because I made a false start at it about four or five years ago, did another fitting then and remembered it as being a bit tighter than I like jackets now, for whatever reason. So I put it together with a smaller seam allowance than originally planned to give it some extra ease now, only to find that it was huge on me and needed adjustments in the opposite direction. On the bright side the fabric was lovely to work with, firm but still pliable, with a nice drape for such a heavy fabric. It certainly wrinkles like linen, but that’s mostly only noticeable in the skirt.

The end result is alright for a jacket I made the pattern for almost ten years ago, and a skirt made from impossibly small scraps of fabric. I still love that shade of green and the herringbone texture. I could be happier with some of the details, but I always could, every single time. And I’m getting a lot of wear out of it at the moment. Mission accomplished.

Green linen suit
Suit in action. The snow is gone now, thankfully.

 

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