1930s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

Red Linen Wrap Dress

By on September 3, 2016

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Seeing as vintage can sometimes seem a little bit prim and higher maintenance, it can feel great to just toss on a wrap dress and be extra comfy. No petticoats or under structure, just a linen rayon blend and an adjustable waist tie!

I’ve made a 1930’s inspired wrap dress before, and I used the same pattern once again, a self drafted number cobbled together from my usual kimono sleeved dress bodice pattern and an A-line skirt pattern. I did change the sleeve shape just a bit to be a bit more square and actually kimono like, as I knew I wanted to take photos of the finished dress in a Japanese garden. The red linen/rayon blend is from Joanns, and they carry this same fabric in several colors in their linen section. I like the addition of rayon, it means the fabric wrinkles a bit less ferociously than a linen would on its own. This fabric also has a nice weight to it and holds a crisp edge well when ironed.

Here is a 1930s pattern image that shows a similar dress, though I think these 30’s numbers are meant to be more casual house dresses and I made mine more formal for wearing out and about.

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The most tedious thing about making this dress was making, ironing, and stitching on the self fabric bias binding along the edges. The dress is unlined, and has no facings, so the bias binding encloses all of the raw edges including the hem. I sewed the bias along the outer edge by machine (that was a lot of pins!) and then after folding it over to the backside stitched the entire length down with invisible hand stitches on the back. Time consuming indeed, but worth it in the end for a nice finish!

 

 

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I am so pleased with how the dress came together in the end and I already want to make another version in the black colorway of this same fabric! Perhaps that will be a project for next year 🙂 For more photos of this dress and my day at the Denver Botanical Gardens visit me over on The Closet Historian!

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1930s | Vintage Sewing

1930s Summer Plaid!

By on July 8, 2015

Well! It’s been a while since I’ve posted so I thought I’d start again with my new favourite number. A plaid 1930s style frock for summertime wear. I loved this dress so much when I saw one in a German fashion magazine dated August 1931 and I just had to have it so I draped it and I did so from memory because the magazine belonged to an antique dealer downtown who wanted $69 too much for it. I was going to snap a photograph of it but there were too many eyes upon me. Here it is anyhow, probably not exact to the style I saw but exact to what I desired.

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I made it a bit blousey for a change and I love that once in a while because it feels nice and cool on hot days.image

I also played around with the plaid which is something I love to do with all types of weaves and prints and patterns. I did the major pieces of the plaid on the bias because I love that about 1930s style and it makes me feel wonderful.image

I hope you’ll visit me on my blog! I have a few more finished articles there too and shall have many more to come!

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1950s | Blouses | Vintage Sewing

Vintage wrap-blouse

By on December 14, 2014

vintage wrap blouse

I made this blouse using vintage pattern Bestway D.3,109. It looks to be one of those mail order style patterns from the 50s. I can’t see a date so I’m going by hair and shoes on the cover image!

Bestway D3109

It’s a wrap-over top, held closed with two vintage buttons. The third button is for decorative and balancing purposes! The bottom two buttons sit just above the waistline at the base of the two waist darts. It could really do with a fourth hidden button to keep the under wrap layer in place. But for now, I’m tucking it in my pants!

lighthouse shirt buttons

The back is cut in one piece with extended sleeves and the front yokes form the sleeve fronts.

I love the shape of the neckline and how the collar just lays flat across the collar bone. I’ve not seen this style on any other garment to date.

And as most 1950s patterns go, I love how it’s nipped in at the waist for that flattering silhouette.

lighthouse shirt

When I came to choose the fabric, I knew I needed a crisp, 100% cotton fabric but I didn’t bank on finding a lighthouse print! I think it worked perfectly to achieve the whole vintage repro style!

vintage lighthouse blouse

For more vintage and modern hand-makes, please pop over to ooobop!

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1950s | Skirts | Vintage Sewing

A polka dot, a plaid, a classic!

By on November 5, 2014

Hi there again!

I’ve recently sewn two skirts that are, in my mind, hinting to the classic vintage styles we all love here. One is a half circle in zesty red plaid and the other — full circle in gorgeous polka dot pattern. The last one I actually hemmed with a bias tape by hand! With the skirt being 5 meters in circumference, it took me about 3 to 4 hours I guess. I like to live dangerously ;).

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Making the plaid skirt made me realise how important it is to think your garments through before you start making them. So, imagine I made a skirt out of the same fabric bit chose to makie it short and pleated. Nineties much? Pop-punk naughty teens in heavy shoes and ripped tights, drinking beer in a local park and swearing while you pass them by? That was my reality about 15 years ago! Well, all of it but the pleated skirt. A thought of wearing a skirt would’ve made me laugh my head off back then. I wouldn’t have been able to even imagine myself wearing a short skirt. I can now and that’s why I immediately decided against it and made this one hit me at mid-calf ;).

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With the polka dot skirt I was hesitant about the length and in the end am not all that pleased about it. It was great before hemming (as seen in the photos above) but afterwards it is just that particular tad shorter that I’m not very fond of, landing at the slightly bigger part of my muscular calf (which is totally awesome but requires careful styling not to look too thick). Also the added bulk from the bias tape made the hem hang differently from what you can see in the photos above, it actually looks like this now. Not that I care much, I still like it a lot, it just goes to prove that you have to do a lot of detailed planning beforehand if you want your piece to be just the way you like it! A lesson learned.

I made both of these using this handy circle skirt app. It’s very useful for making all the calculations and there’s no way you can make a mistake which was reasurring to me because I’m a complete math idiot.

You can read more about making these skirts and see more photos on my blog.

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1930s | Accessories | Burlesque / Pinup | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

It’s been New Year’s Eve, know what that means?

By on January 4, 2014

Glitz, glamour and silly headpieces, that’s what! My home town Stockholm, Sweden, is blessed with a great burlesque club, Fräulein Frauke Presents, housed in one of the city’s classic dance palaces with quite the bad reputation back in the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s. Their annual New Year’s masquerade is the perfect  opportunity to break your sequin seaweed and your frivolous mask-making abilities.

New Year's Eve, photo by John Paul Bichard.

I bought this red sequin seaweed for last year’s celebrations, actually, but it got delayed at my local post office and I’ve been sitting on it since. The plans for the dress have changed during the year, for the better I think, and instead of a complicated, slinky number with a high slit and back cut-out, I made… a dressing gown. Sort of. I drew inspiration from a simple, but very glamorous and slightly quirky evening gown that Katharine Hepburn wore in the 1938 screwball comedy Bringing Up Baby, the one that has the entire back panel of the skirt ripped off in a memorable scene. I translated the inspiration into a long gown with an a-line skirt, containing all the width I could squeeze out of 3 yards of fabric, and a surplice bodice, buttoned at the side, with elbow-length sleeves and a modest v-neck. I really like that combination of the rather casual, simple cut with the inherently festive fabric. It’s a dress that looks comfortable, and feels easy to wear.

The entire garment is flatlined with red cotton poplin, to protect the skin from the somewhat scratchy sequin fabric and counteract a slight transparency, since the base material is a synthetic tulle with very little stretch. I put it together with french seams throughout, for further protection against scratchy sequins on the inside of it, and finished the hem and edges with poplin bias strips on the inside. I also spent a lot of time cutting tiny 2 mm sequins in half, to clear at least some of the seam allowances of the extra bulk. The end result is a very heavy, but, yes, quite comfortable evening gown that I really think I will get a lot of use out of. It’s formal enough for white tie events at a pinch, what with the full length, but also frivolous enough for black tie and just plain parties, and I also think it turned out quite flattering.

Cutting a thousand little sequins in half to clear the seam allowances = major pain in the behind.

I also made the pearl… thing. It’s a masquerade, after all, of course you want a mask of some sort, and I didn’t feel like repeating last year’s sequin glove mask, especially since this year’s theme was the roaring 20’s, which really isn’t my decade, normally. I toyed with the idea of simply draping a few strings of pearls across the eyes, but that seemed a little too easy, and the project grew into this, after having a closer look at showy Art Deco headpieces, the Ballets Russes and Russian kokoshniks. It’s all based on a plain plastic headband with teeth, my favourite notions shop turned out to have an old lot of vintage glass pearls in stock, and the  rest is steel wire, lots of pearl string and thousands of knots, topped off with two enormous artificial peonies.

Pearl headdress in progress, from the very beginning to close to finished.

And it was fun. All of it, including New Year’s Eve. Hope you all had a great New Year’s too, have yourselves a happy new year!

More on both projects over at the Fashion in Shrouds, for once.

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1950s | Blouses | Shirts | Vintage Sewing

Vintage 50s Blouse with Monogram

By on November 27, 2013

simplicity 2195

I don’t often get chance to partake in sewing challenges. My own personal sewing list is long enough and even that is jeopardised by work and small people! But this blouse had a decent deadline and an exciting date to wear the finished shirt to. A bowling date with some really cool bloggers at London’s Bloomsbury Lanes!

simplicity 2195

It’s not strictly a bowling shirt, as you can no doubt see, but with a bit of black piping on the yoke and a hand embroidered monogram, it was the best I could find. And I wasn’t unhappy with it! It works as a day shirt too and sits great with a half circle skirt and my favourite boots, for a lunch date with the Mister!

simplicity 2195 vintage blouse

I did an FBA but other than that it was a very simple make and I am so going to make a gingham one to match the pic on the cover of the pattern.

simplicity 2195

More details over at ooobop!

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1950s | Vintage Sewing

Vintage 1950 Vogue Jacket

By on September 30, 2013

Vogue 2934 jacket

It is jacket weather for sure in the UK and a damn fine excuse to put this pattern to work. It has been patient enough!

Such a simple one to make but beware, there is a lot of hand-sewing involved which makes it very time consuming.

I used an inexpensive wool blend for the outer fabric. It’s got a great texture to it which makes it very snuggly.

vogue 2934 jacket

For the lining I splashed out on 100% silk satin and I’m so jolly glad I did. It feels like heaven, every time I put it on.

v2934 jacket

I’m not sure I could get away with wearing anything else other than a pencil skirt with this jacket for fear of looking like a Weeble but it is nonetheless very flattering for such a cropped cape-like shape.

The dolman sleeves and big substantial cuffs did it for me. But I do love those ‘frogs’ too!

v2934 jacket

Lots more crazy photos over on the blog. Thanks for hopping by 🙂

 

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