Vintage Sewing

two variations on elisalex

By on September 29, 2013

Hi there  We sew retro readers
I’m making my wedding dress and have made 2 possibilities, both based on the Elisalex (By Hand London) bodice.

The first is guipure lace, lined with silk (both from Tessuti) with a pencil skirt. I think it needs a wider (and not so tight) belt.

The second is a silk taffeta, orange shot with pink, screen printed by Babbarra Designs Maningrida (from Nomad Art, Darwin). I’m thinking a sash self-belt, not so wide and tied at the back.


I can’t decide which to wear, maybe both? one for the ceremony, one for the dancing? thanks for reading. (More photos on my blog barbarajanemade.wordpress.com.)

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Modern Patterns | Skirts

Pink Piping Pin-Up Pencil Skirt!

By on August 21, 2013

p-p-p-p-p… I’m all a stutter now!

😀

I wasn’t originally going to post this creation on We Sew Retro… I wasn’t sure if it was retro enough, however after posting it on my blog and recieving so many wonderful comments stating how vintage-esque and pin-up the skirt looks I thought, why not! So here you have it, my pink piping pin-up pencil skirt 😀

So this skirt is made using the Lucinda Skirt pattern from indie pattern designer Parnuuna from Be My Goth.

What is great about this particular pattern is that, although Parnnuna’s style is very alternative, hence the title of her blog,  which isn’t my particular style, there are so many opportunities and ways to adapt this particular pattern to make it your own. Simply through a change of fabric this skirt quickly goes from alternative to vintage – almost pin-up some would say!

Using this pattern introduced me to the use of piping. I had dabbled with it before but this was the first time when I made it from scratch myself , and now I am addicted to the stuff. And it is so easy to do, I am looking to get a tutorial together soon 😀

There are two key features to this skirt. The first is the corset-style waist band. It is made up of several pieces and can be pieced together either using piping or without. The piping helps to emphasise the effect of the paneling.

The second feature this the adorable pleated pockets. Again I think the use of piping really adds to the cuteness of these pockets. The skirt works equally well both with and without the pockets, They are completely optional.

I chose to make my version in a grey suiting material with contrasting coral pink piping. Rather than line the skirt I used bias tape to seal the seams on the inside of the skirt and it looks really nifty (I forgot to take a photo, sorry)

I think that the Lucinda skirt made in a suiting material makes it perfect for work, don’t you think?!

It is such a versatile pattern that I know I am going to get a LOT of use out of.  I might even try a version without the pockets.

Check out my blog post for more information on this pattern HERE

I would love to get a second opinion on what types of fabric I could use to make this truly vintage looking?

What do you think? Any suggestions are welcomed.

Happy Sewing

oXo

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1940s | 1950s | Blouses | Dresses | Shirts

Sewing Through Gertie’s New Book

By on February 22, 2013

I’ve been having a fun time sewing my way through Gertie’s New Book for Better Sewing, and enjoying the vintage flair it’s adding to my wardrobe. I’ve found the construction fairly simple, although not suited to the absolute beginner. Her suggestions for vintage construction techniques are a great resource for knowing how to make true-to-period pieces, although you may want to look elsewhere for detailed technical instructions if said techniques are new to you.

I started with her basic high-waisted pencil skirt pattern to sew my autumnal wool pencil skirt. I followed all of her suggested construction techniques including boning the waistband and hand-picking the zipper. I’m madly in love with that skirt! I took the same pattern and added scallops to bottom and top to make my red scalloped pencil skirt. I’m wearing it with the bow-neck-blouse, which I also quite like, although I futzed with the collar quite a bit to keep it from choking me. Finally, I’ve made the shirtwaist dress. Although there are several changes I want to make for the next time, I’m happy with the result. I’ll definitely continue to sew my way through book, so there will be more to come.

One of the best parts of the book, in my opinion, is how she has sized her patterns. She’s based them on her body type – an unassuming bust and noticeable hips – which is perfect for me. I’ve found that I need to do only minor modifications to make the patterns fit me well (other than adding on quite a bit of length, but I have to do that with everything). If you are busty, you will probably need to make full-bust-adjustments, and if you don’t have a rear, you’ll need to cut down on some of the shaping.

I’m always happy to share more opinions, so feel free to ask. I have tutorials planned for some of the construction techniques used on these pieces, so keep an eye on SeamstressErin.com if you’re interested. Hearts! -e

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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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1950s | Burlesque / Pinup | Mad Men Inspired | Pattern Drafting | Skirts | Vintage Sewing

Sailor Ahoy!

By on January 7, 2013

Vintage pencil skirt using Burda 8155.

I  have made a few of these skirts, but this is my fav because of the cute little sailor buttons i added to the front dart seam.

It is made in a light cotton, perfect for summer and what a breeze to make!

Check out my blog for more info:

http://bluegingerdoll.blogspot.com.au/2012/09/sailor-ohoy.html

Ta!

x

www.bluegingerdoll

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1950s | Blouses | Skirts | Vintage Sewing

Plaid Pencil Skirt

By on November 19, 2012

The 50s were a great time to be a curvy gal and nothing shows of curves like a great pencil skirt.

 

I used McCall’s 5121 for this great 50s pencil skirt. I also made this blouse from a 50s style pattern in Gertie’s New Book For Better Sewing. Bow!

I used a black button on the waist for a cute retro detail.

I love the kick pleat in the back. It’s so fun!

Pencil skirts are such a great basic! I can see myself making this pattern again and again! It’s just 3 pieces and takes only one yard of fabric. More pictures and construction details on my blog.

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1950s

The Pencil Skirt – from Gerties book

By on October 30, 2012

So I bought Gerties book for better sewing and have been reading it cover to cover. I decided to start at the begining and go for the first pattern. The pencil skirt.

Yes, I am finally going to start the tartan pencil skirt. There were various colours to choose from but I went for blue. My hat is blue, my coat is blue…so why not my skirt. I chose the (60″ wide) tartan and then some poly silk haboutai for the interlining.

I cut the skirt out to find I had enough fabric to make 2 skirts if I wanted. lol! Well -I thought- handy if I make a mistake.
I cut generously so I could adjust the fit while wearing it to allow more ease. I added about 1cm to each seam…and it was quite comfy to sit down in. Started sewing it up. If I was using a machine it would have been very quick but as I hand sew everything it took longer. Especially as I wanted to do it properly so used the hong kong seam finish from the book. Cut bias strips from the silky blue fabric to encase the fraying material. As I decided instead of lining the skirt I would wear a slip. I of course hand sewed the zip. Was supposed to be ‘invisible’ but as always it doesn’t stay in place and gapes and shows the teeth of the zip however close I sew.

I used a hook and eye I took of an old jacket instead of a button as I suspected trying to do a buttonhole in the tartan material would be a nightmare with fraying.

For more infor/pic see my blog

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