1940s | 1950s | Mad Men Inspired | Skirts | Vintage Sewing

Half-circle chic

By on September 15, 2013
Half circle skirt

Half circle skirtMy adventures into pattern drafting are not as yet very adventurous but I am learning very slowly but surely.

This is my first half-circle skirt. I made it from some cheap poly-crepe as a tester before I went to wool-crepe. But I am more than happy with the result. It hangs really nicely, thanks to the nature of the drape and also to a heavy stretch satin lining!

The hem was a nightmare to get straight. My own fault for not letting it hang first. The stretch in the bias resulted in an extra 2.5 inches at the front and back, compared to the side seams. So I dutifully unpicked and started again. A long process. But once I’d accurately trimmed and finished with bias tape, it worked a treat.

Half circle skirt

I incorporated a lapped zipper on the left side with two military style buttons on the waistband.

I love the timelessness of this style and for a simple black skirt it feels really more classy than it should! It’s so girly and swishy! More photos and info over at ooobop!

half circle skirt

 

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1950s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

For the love of Lawn

By on August 11, 2013
red rose lawn dress

red rose lawn dress

This is the first time I have used the luscious lawn fabric and it didn’t disappoint! I used the Elisalex bodice (once again), an elbow length sleeve and a full gathered skirt to create this 50s style dress.

red rose lawn dress

Looking at the picture above, I think the silhouette would be better emphasised with a petticoat. Another to add to the list!

I love the way that the rose print disguises the princess seams even though it would have been impossible to match up the print.

red rose lawn dress

More details and pics over at ooobop!

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1950s | Dresses | Pattern Sizing | Vintage Sewing

The dress that nearly wasn’t

By on July 27, 2013
spotty rose dress

spotty rose dressI’m on a roll with summer sewing, spurred on by the amazing heatwave we are experiencing in the UK. These style dresses are so easy to whip up, especially now that I’ve mastered the fitting on a princess seam bodice. This is the 4th dress I’ve made using this bodice pattern but the only one that I would say fits properly.

spotty rose dress

I’ve only just got used to wearing full skirts but I love the 1950s vibe this style has. And its great for accessorising with a pair of crazy, pink, furry, leopard-print shoes!

spotty rose dress on the step

It nearly wasn’t a real dress as I didn’t like the fabric. I only intended it to be a toile before I cut my special fabric. But when I saw how it looked I decided it was for keeps after all!

More details and photos over at ooobop!

 

 

 

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1950s | Dresses | Modern Patterns | Vintage Sewing

My first summer dress of 2013

By on April 15, 2013
vintage style rockabilly dress

vintage style rockabilly dressI used the bodice section from Simplicity 2442 for this dress but omitted the rouched layer on the midriff. The fabric was far too busy to add any more detail! The midriff really does give a flattering shape. It’s one of my favourite vintage-style features. The straps on this pattern curve inwards to create a sweetheart style neckline and crossover at the back which is a lovely feature too. A 50’s  rockabillyesque, vintage style tea dress was what I was after and I think it pretty much fits that bill.

crossover straps on vintage style dress

I didn’t really like the suggested style of the skirt pattern so I created my own dirndl skirt. It is very full with a 3 metre hem! I dutifully hand-hemmed it too!

vintage style floral dress

With very special thanks to my mister for taking the photos. For more of the same and some more details please hop over to ooobop!

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1950s | Skirts | Vintage Sewing

Old Throw – New Skirt!

By on February 17, 2013
self drafted pencil skirt
self drafted pencil skirt
self-drafted pencil skirt from thrifted throw

This is the 3rd self-drafted pencil skirt I’ve made and I’m sure it wont be the last. I love how each one has taught me something new. This one is indeed made from a thrifted wool throw/blanket. I wasn’t sure if it was going to work out until the end but this darned cold weather spurred me on. The idea of having a blanky wrapped round my legs an’ all! I made sure to interface the hem and vent so that it had a bit of weight to keep the shape and that really worked.

 coffee in the pub

It did come up a little too big though. I did stay stitch the waistline but clearly the weave in the wool has much more give than I’d bargained for. Only noticeable when I wear a cinched in belt, the waist at the back drops down, but no biggie. It’s a keeper this skirt, so come the warmer months, when it’s no longer my go-to, I will remove the waistband and take it in a bit. Boy, that’s how I know I’ve come so far! I would never have even thought that before!

check wool skirt
I have documented how I attached the lining to the vent over at ooobop! for anyone who is interested. Only the 2nd time I’ve attempted this but there’s no going back now!

The wonderful photos are taken by the lovely Mr Ooobop! Such a luxury to have a hubby who’s so keen to practice photography skills.

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1960s | Accessories | Capes | Dating Patterns | Pattern Drafting | Vintage Sewing

A cape for Poison Ivy

By on November 15, 2012
poison Ivy outfit

poison Ivy outfitI made a capelet for my daughter’s halloween costume… better late than never, hey?!

Poison Ivy was a fictional character, enemy of Batman, created by DC Comics. She made her debut appearance in 1966.

It was a very quick and easy project, self-drafted using the formula for a circle skirt with the addition of a ruffle on a collar stand.

poison ivy back

I used a weighty green polyester satin for the self and a polyester satin lining in red for the inside.

The only difficulty I had was sewing two very shiny fabrics together…nightmare!

I forgot to enclose the ribbon ties in the collar stand so I used a couple of glitzy buttons to hide the ends of the ribbon which were sewn to the right side!

poison ivy capelet

She was very happy with the result and she looked amazing with the whole ensemble! I just feel very old!!

poison ivy costume

I have included a ‘how-to‘ on my blog, just in case you fancy making one! 😉

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1950s | Vintage Sewing

Norman Hartnell Telephone Blouse

By on November 5, 2012
Norman Hartnell blouse

Norman Hartnell blouse

I made this blouse using a 1950s vintage pattern, that came free with a copy of Woman’s Day magazine, one of a fabulous collection of 40s/50s patterns I won on Ebay.

Norman Hartnell blouse pattern

The designer was Norman Hartnell, Dress designer to the Queen and many other famous and stylish ladies. It is fundamentally a very simple pattern but I had to employ some grading ‘skills’ to increase the size.

Norman Hartnell blouse

There is no collar stand so the winged collar effect is created by the folded back facings. I used fusible interfacing to keep the front folds sharp and little red telephone buttons for a pop of colour!

Norman Hartnell blouse

The previous owner of this pattern had drafted a back neck facing which came in very handy and was a much better idea than the bias strip suggested.

 

More info over at ooobop!

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