Vintage Sewing

Sew For Victory “Doris” Dress

By on March 26, 2013

I crafted this dress (named after my Great Grandmom) with the help of one of my first Patterns From The Past purchases: McCall 4890 circa 1942!

I was immediately drawn to the military-esque triangular shape of ’40s tops but was unsure how they would look on my very ’50s hourglass figure. I reeeeeally don’t enjoy emphasizing my hips, and had never made a dress that wasn’t uber fitted at the waist.

The Sew For Victory challenge really did inspire me in this way, and I decided to give it a go. I actually LOVE the drape of the loose-fitting waist, especially since I used a light linen. I placed the fitted skirt yoke just high enough on my hips to show that I’m not actually that wide, so I think it did turn out fairly flattering.

For more details on how I made this, check out my blog!

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1930s | 1940s | Children

Child’s Play

By on March 9, 2012

The Kindergarten that my children attended is turning 75 this year and the director of the kindy has asked me to sew some clothes that the children might have worn when it opened in 1937. These will be worn by children at a street parade in our city in May.  I thought it might be fun to have them dressed in sepia type colours (representing the ‘Then’), as they will be leading the rest of the kindy (dressed brightly, representing the ‘Now’)

So far I have sewn: Du Barry 1235B

and McCall 6179

Little boy’s trousers are surprisingly complex – these have a little fly opening at the c/f, but actually have the closures (to get in and out of them) at the sides. I am looking forward to doing some other styles of these trousers to see if the other pattern companies instructions are less confusing.

Two down, only a couple more to go…..

 

 

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1940s

In the doghouse, again?

By on February 5, 2012

I did a bit of a stash rearrange recently and found I had the perfect light brown (with white polka dots) fabric to make up McCall 957.

Rather than choose the colouring of the main illustration on the pattern as a guide, I opted forthe more obscure white apron with blue check in the background.

All was going swimmingly until I went shopping for blue ric-rac today and discovered that I could only get a dark or a light blue – and I didn’t really care for either. So here my little apron project has stalled for the time being (with a mental note to gather supplies prior to cutting out and sewing) without a roof on my doghouse.

Of course, I did also have enough red and white striped fabric to complete both his and hers, and the fabric shop had loads of red ric-rac, so when I finally crawl out of my little self inflicted dog house, I might have another go at actually finishing a pair of these aprons.

 

 

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1920s | Capes

McCall 4455 by Martial et Armand

By on December 18, 2011

My latest 1920s sewing project—an evening wrap by Martial et Armand—is finished! Here’s the pattern envelope:

Like the other three, this one’s also from 1926. Although it isn’t called an evening wrap on the pattern envelope, the catalogue promotes it as a design for evening. I made the plain version (without shirring) in black velveteen. The standing collar is even more dramatic when made up. Here I am in the finished wrap:

For more details and photos see my blog.

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1920s | Dresses

McCall 4464 by Chanel

By on December 2, 2011

This week’s Twenties designer pattern is McCall 4464, an evening dress by Chanel. Here’s the pattern envelope:

McCall 4464 Chanel 1920s evening dress pattern

This one is also from 1926; it’s shown on the same catalogue page as Naomi’s Patou dress. Apart from grading the bust down one size, I made the pattern as-is, but without the rosettes.

I used a black satin for both dress and slip. I hadn’t sewn with satin before, but this one behaved itself pretty well. I also tried out a bias strip facing to finish the drapery section. If I were to make the dress again I think I would choose a lighter fabric, although maybe not a chiffon as seems to be shown in the catalogue illustration—I wouldn’t have the patience for French-seamed streamers!

Here I am in the finished dress:

(Do any of you folks know where to find repro ’20s shoes like those in the pattern engraving? I just love them…)

For more details and photos see my blog.

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1920s | Capes

McCall 4459 by Miler Soeurs

By on November 22, 2011

My 1920s designer pattern for this week is McCall 4459, a cape by Miler Soeurs. Here’s the pattern envelope:

McCall 4459 Miler Soeurs 1920s designer cape pattern

This one is also from 1926. The Ladies’ and Misses’ size Small (14-16) seemed just right for Naomi, so I didn’t make any alterations at all. The pattern gave two lengths for the cape; I cut the shorter length, which is the same length as the dress she’d be wearing it with.

I made the cape in a grey Dormeuil wool-silk blend with a silver moiré lining and contrast wool pockets. Two small changes I made were to leave off the (decorative) pocket buttons and to interface the standing collar yoke with hair canvas. Working with such beautiful fabric, I was extra-careful with the finishing details—and it was completely worth it.

Here are a few photos of the finished cape:

You can find more details and photos on my blog.

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