1940s | Dresses | Pattern Drafting | Vintage Sewing

Wrestling With Rayon

By on June 11, 2016

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Everyone loves a good LBD right? I recently began a quest to create one for each of the eras I wear the most often (20s-50’s) and found some amazing quality black rayon to use for a forties dress! The only problem was I had to fight the silky stuff to do my bidding! A lot of rayon seam binding was involved with the creation of this dress!

I took my usual bodice pattern and modified it so that the sweetheart neckline was higher so I could wear dress clips at the neckline. I also used a puffy sleeve pattern with 1/4 inch shoulder pads sicking out just over the shoulder line into the sleeve puff for a stronger structured 40’s shoulder. I think most late 30’s and 40’s dresses look just a little bit more vintage with shoulder pads inside, don’t fear the shoulder pad! The most time consuming part of making this dress was simply spent focusing on not screwing up at any point and binding all of the interior seams since rayon likes to fray. I am not the most patient so working on this dress over several weeks seemed like an eternity to me!

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Now that my new 40’s LBD is finished, I am so happy with how everything came together and I can’t wait to wear it again and again with different hats and accessories. For more photos of this dress visit me at The Closet Historian!

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1940s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

• 1940s Tropical Print Rayon Dress •

By on April 20, 2016

Today I’m posting about a dress I made for a vacation to the Gulf Coast a couple of months ago. I had some very tropical, vacation-appropriate rayon fabric that I thought would make a perfect 1940s dress!

I used Simplicity 1692 for the basic bodice shape, but altered it by adding darts, and changing the neckline and sleeves. The skirt is from Butterick 6266.

Hop over to my blog to read all about it! Have a lovely day, ladies! 🙂

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1930s | Dresses

1930s for Summer

By on August 14, 2014

Lately, I’ve been in the mood for all things 1930s! I recently completed my first 30s project and I’ve been shopping for fabric and patterns for some others.

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I made this 30s dress from a 1930s reprinted pattern from Past Patterns.

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The bodice is made from some great rayon fabric with rings that I interlined with cotton lawn for modesty.

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The skirt is cotton broadcloth which makes it quite a cool outfit for summer! I’ve got more photos and construction details over on the blog, plus a sneak peak of some of my other 30s sewing plans is coming on my blog this week.

Do you like wearing 1930s fashions?

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1930s | 1940s | Dresses

1939 Vintage Simplicity Dress

By on August 6, 2014

vintage 1939 dress front

There’s something so magical about creating a dress from an original vintage pattern. Especially when it is 75 years old! This is Vintage Simplicity dress pattern number 3302. And when I came to open the envelope the pieces were not only all present but in pristine condition too!.

vintage simplicity sewing pattern 3302

I just fell in love with the sweetheart neckline and the elegant shape of the skirt. I don’t quite shape up to the lovely svelte ladies on the packet but then I guess they had slightly less food on the table in those days!

side view of dress

The sleeves are  quite something. They are gathered and stiffened with silk organza and have an inverted pleat at the hemline. Pressing the seam onto the sleeve is very important. You wouldn’t believe how high they stick up on the shoulder otherwise!

detail of sleeve pleat

I have a feeling the fabric might be vintage too. I scored it at my local charity shop for a fiver! It’s quite soft and far more drapey than I would expect cotton to behave. And it was only 35 inches wide. Possibly rayon?

sleeve detail

More detail and pics over at ooobop!

 

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1930s | Blouses | Skirts | Vintage Sewing

1934 EvaDress Frock as Separates

By on May 30, 2014

Another 1930s re-pro pattern from EvaDress, I made these up a few months ago but finally got around to documenting them. I had started the blouse (not enough of the lovely rayon for a whole dress) ages ago, but the sleeve pleats got the better of me and then I got busy with other things. Once I’d figured them out though, I’m in love with the look.

EvaDress 1934 Frock

As I had an occasion to wear it, I finished the blouse and made up the lower portion of the pattern in a similar green coloured mystery fabric I picked up second hand.

EvaDress 1934 Frock (as separates) by HLB
EvaDress 1934 Frock (as separates) by HLB. Back view.

Cutting out the blouse and getting it to do what i wanted was a bit of a challenge. It’s a buttery rayon with lovely drape but frays terribly at the edges and slinks around when you try to sew it. I pinned it to within an inch of its life and took the time to hand baste as well as hand hem the bottom edge/ties, collar and  sleeve edges. Time consuming but a nice neat finish.

Sleeve detail. Self covered button and pleating.

Most people thought it was a dress when worn together, but I actually like that I can mix and match it. For another event I made a shorter black rayon skirt with side godets for dancing in.

EvaDress 1934 Frock (blouse) with self drafted skirt by HLB

I’ll definitely be making this up again with some strategic alterations. As always, do check out the full post on the blog.

~Heather

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1940s | Blouses | Skirts

A Rayon Dream

By on January 24, 2014

I adore rayon! It’s the fabric I most wish would come back into modern fashion. I’m always on the hunt for rayon with a great retro style print and I fell in love with this divine polka dot yardage.

It’s the size of the print and the color that make this perfect for late 30s/early 40s rather than 50s/60s where polka dots often shine. I ended up pairing this with Wearing History’s Dahlia blouse pattern. Originally, I had a button down blouse in mind but once I got this fabric in my hands, I knew it was screaming to be something more drapey.

The version I made has a cute little bow in the back! And the back is longer to help it stay tucked in to skirts and pants. 1900s and 1910s blouses often have this feature and I have to say it’s quite handy.

I also love, love the neckline! It’s high but not too high. And the edge of the wrap is cut on the grain rather than the bias like most wrap dress/blouse patterns I’ve worked with so there’s no bias stretch to make your neckline gape open.

To finish off the look, I also whipped up Simplicity 3457, an early 40s 12 gore skirt, in some fine whale corduroy.

For a more in depth pattern review of the Wearing History Dahlia blouse pattern and more photos, feel free to pop on over to my blog.

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1940s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

A Tropical Wrap Dress

By on June 14, 2013

Rayon is perhaps my favorite fabric to sew with! Love it! And it’s absolutely perfect for 40s dresses!

When I saw this fabulous tropical printed rayon in the garment district in LA, I knew it had to be a 40s tiki dress! And I promptly bought 7 yds. lol.

I used Eva Dress 3863 from 1943. It’s a daring wrap dress and it’s available as a multisize pattern!

 

I did view 2! It turned out so lovely!

I really love this fabric! More photos and construction details over on the blog!

P.S. These photos are from a modeling shoot with a professional so that’s why there’s watermarks.

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