Vintage Sewing

Lingerie Design: A Complete Course & Vintage Details: A Fashion Sourcebook

By on August 29, 2016

I let out a prolonged “ooooooooh” when these two big beautiful books landed on my desk so I thought you might like to see them.

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The first is not technically a sewing book but I guarantee you’ll reference it constantly in your sewing if you love to sew vintage. We used Vintage Details: A Fashion Sourcebook as a giveaway prize recently and honestly I had a hard time letting it go to the winner. Imagine me wavering in a post office parking lot, clasping the packaged book and intoning “My preciouuuuussssssss” for a solid five minutes.

This book is both beautiful and huge. You’re going to put it on your coffee table and every coffee break from that moment on will last at least four hours as you get lost in the pages and pages of photos of necklines, cuffs, pockets, fastenings, darts, and flounces.

If you’re the kind of person who likes seeing a photo of a garment’s inside as much as the outside, I’m pretty sure you’ll love this book. You can find Vintage Details on Amazon here or trot down to your favorite independent bookstore if you have one locally. No room in your budget right now? Don’t let that hold you back – you can always ask for a copy at your local library.

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The second, Lingerie Design: A Complete Course, comes at a great time for the sewing community because it seems like more of us than ever are trying to sew our own underthings.

Sidenote: I’ve been a little bit obsessed with this Bra Making Forum facebook group lately…I’ve got the popular Shelley Bra pattern from Pin Up Girls cut out and ready to sew but working through the instructions in this book is definitely next on deck.

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What I love about this book is it doesn’t just cover the history of lingerie, the construction details and delicate embellishments, but it shows step-by-step how to construct your own sloper for slips, panties, petticoats, sleepwear, foundation garments and bras. Where the other book is all about inspiration, this is a practical guide to designing, drafting, and construction. Have a squiz at the contents…

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Lingerie Design: A Complete Course can be purchased direct from the publisher here or on Amazon here. Again, don’t forget your local library if your budget is tight!

 

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Burlesque / Pinup | Lingerie

Old World Charm & Burlesque Glamour

By on October 7, 2015

On a shopping expedition a couple of months ago, I was lucky enough to land myself a gorgeous remnant of burgundy stretch velvet. But what is one to make with such a small amount of such a ridiculously luxuriant fabric? Why, make ridiculously luxurious lingerie of course!

In planning this set, there were two main inspirations I wanted to bring together: the elegant, classic pin-up look of the longline bra and garter belt, and the lush and often outrageous fabrics and lace seen in burlesque-style lingerie and costumes. So here it is, in velvet and lace, a three piece set: longline bra, garter belt and panties! You can read more about the patterns, alterations and construction details on my blog 🙂

Burlesque Lingerie Set Longline bra in red velvet and lace Garter belt in red velvet and lace

 

Until next time,

Miss Maddy x

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1940s | Vintage Sewing

1941 Bathrobe

By on February 16, 2015

For better or for worse, so much of my vintage sewing tends to be for plays – I work in theatre and my husband and I do a lot of community theatre, so I end up doing a lot of costume pieces for myself… which then work their way into my personal wardrobe. 🙂

This time around I’m playing Edith in Noel Coward’s Blithe Sprit, who comes out at the end of the play in a nightgown and bathrobe.  She’s the housemaid – so nothing too fancy – but I definitely wanted something that looked distinctively 1940’s.  I chose this sweet 1941 housecoat/dress pattern from EvaDress, partially because it was so sweet looking and partially because I wouldn’t have to do too much modification in sizing.

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The pattern calls for the dress/housecoat to be joined at the CF and zip up – I decided to finish off the CF edges and leave it open, like a bathrobe.  Because of that, I didn’t insert the sash into the waist as shown – I made that separate.  The only other modification was lengthening the sleeves (in the photos they still need to be hemmed) and leaving off the trim, other than on the pockets.

Due to fabric constraints I wasn’t able to pattern-match the plaids on the CF and SF pieces – I’m (mostly!) okay with that. 🙂  I love the swoop of the skirt and how nicely it fits – much more feminine than a modern bathrobe pattern!  Made out of lovely heather grey wool plaid flannel, with one pretty pink stripe in the tartan.  I used vintage pink rick-rack for trim.

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1930s | 1940s | Lingerie

40s style French Knickers and a Top

By on June 26, 2013

As part of the Show Off Your Skivvies Challenge, I made a pair of French knickers and a matching pajama top. I got both patterns from Vera Venus, but I mixed genres somewhat. The knickers are based on 1940s patterns and the top is from the 1930s.

I love the patterns but I cut them a bit too small and had to improvise with the lace to make inserts and also make it a bit stretchier. The top is still a bit too tight, but the knickers are perfect!

Also, I had no idea that knickers were once considered a form of undies – I thought they were mostly lounge clothes!

If you’re interested, you can read more on my blog.

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1950s | Buttons | Lingerie

Vintage Pajama Party!

By on May 6, 2013

As a three-time cancer survivor, my mom has had more than her share of challenges.  This year, I’m especially happy to give her a pair of hand-made pajamas – her favorite garment – for Mothers’ Day.  Since she grew up in the 1950’s, this terrific vintage pattern was the perfect find:

1950's Pajama Pattern - Simplicity 1325

I chose View 3, with shorts, because she lives in the South.  Instead of the two hip pockets though, I did just the single upper pocket from View 1.  Here’s the result:

Pajama top

The fabric is a crisp cotton in yellow (her favorite color) with ribbons and pale pink roses.  I trimmed the sleeves and pocket with lace.  I love the boxy shape of the top.  The bottoms have a cute front pleat, which truly gives them 1950’s flair!

Pleat detail on pajama shorts

 

Pajama shorts

I accomplished a few sewing ‘firsts’ with this project:  first collar, first set-in sleeves and first project finished with my new machine ( a Husqvarna Emerald 116, which I’m absolutely loving!).  This machine makes near-perfect button holes, automatically:

Woohoo, a buttonhole!

And here is perhaps my favorite detail, the pink vintage buttons:

Pretty buttons

Altogether, a fun and worthy project.  I know my mom will love them!  And I’m looking forward to making a few more pair, for summer and winter.

Has anyone else made vintage pajamas or lingerie?  I’d love to hear your advice.  Thanks for reading!

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