1920s | 1930s | Blouses | Downton Abbey Inspired | Pattern Drafting | Vintage Sewing

A 1920’s Blouse Done 3 ways with One Vintage Dress Pattern

By on June 25, 2017

Three Blouses from One 1920's Dress Pattern

As part of my quest to build a “Miss Fisher” wardrobe, I’ve sewed up three little blouses inspired by separates her character wears in different episodes.  This post will show you the 3 blouses I have made, starting with one pattern.  The base pattern is the Vintage Pattern Lending Library 1920s Ladies Frock with Pleated Skirt Inset – Reproduction Sewing Pattern #Z2773.

Here is my Finished Blouse 1. I love it and wear it all the time!

 

For the first blouse the fabric was made from a printed stretch silk charmeuse and coordinating white silk habotai collar and tie ends.  I kept the tie exactly as on the pattern, making the ends contrast and the tie the same fabric as the blouse.

For blouse #2,  there were a few revisions to the pattern/construction – namely adding a loop under the collar to hold the neck tie, omitting the bottom band (with added length) and omitting the contrast tie bottom on the neck tie (adding length here again).

Close up view of front neck
Front view of finished blouse

Blouse #3 has to be my favorite so far.  It’s a departure from the other two but was easy to create using the same pattern. I sketched it after watching Series 2 episode 3 (Dead Man’s Chest) and decided to modify this pattern to get the look.  This version was made in a printed paisley cotton lawn and the flat piping was made from white seersucker scraps that I had floating around as well as white covered buttons (joining sleeve ends) that were also floating around in my stash. On a related side note, there was some great conversation about Miss Fisher’s blouses in The Miss Fisher Philes podcast , when they discuss this episode (Series 2 episode 3 (Dead Man’s Chest)), making reference to Miss Fisher wearing more separates than dresses.

If you would like to read more about how exactly I revised the pattern to create each of these looks, visit my blog post here.

See more of my projects and vintage inspiration on my blog or connect with me on instagram!

Thanks and Happy Sewing!

Jennifer Serr

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1920s | 1930s | Downton Abbey Inspired | Dresses | Pattern Drafting | Vintage Sewing

Sewing a 1920’s Art Deco Evening Gown

By on June 11, 2017
Art Deco Ball - Jennifer Serr
Art Deco Ball - Jennifer Serr
At The Ball

Well, the day (Art Deco Society of California’s) of the  Preservation Ball arrived and I was prepared!  This year’s theme was Death on The Nile (the Agatha Christie Murder Mystery) with a focus on Egyptian Revival of the Art Deco era. I was lucky to be gifted some beautiful fabric, salvaged vintage trims and good luck at Britex for the finishing touches to my gown and headband. Thanks also to Barbara Mooney at Daisy’s, here in Alameda, for lending me the PERFECT necklace and pointing me to some wonderful coordinating earrings (in her shop) that I will treasure for years to come.

Dressed Up with My Handsome Husband
Dressed up with my Handsome Husband

In the end, I’m happy with the final look. My foundation garment worked well on the dress form so that I could drape my gown to my measurements, however, did not work under the dress when I was wearing it.  It still needs some modifications to the cups and the straps showed. Fitting can be a challenge sometimes and often requires multiple fittings (which I did not do this time – ugh).  I ended up wearing a 1920’s-style corset that I made two years ago.  It’s strapless and gave me the right silhouette.

Front View of my Dress
Back View of My Dress
Back View of My Dress

Below are some photos of the process by which I created this dress – Draping the fabric directly on the dress form.  For a more in-depth view of my process including inspiration, sketches and step-by-step photos, visit my blog posts here, here, here & here

Taping the Dress form and foundation for Draping
Taping the Dress form and foundation for Draping
Draping the Back Bodice
Draping the Back Bodice
Draping the Side Bodice
Draping the Side Bodice
Fabric Draped and trims placed
Fabric Draped and trims placed

See more of my projects and vintage inspiration on my blog or connect with me on instagram!

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1920s | 1930s | Mail Order Patterns | Pattern Drafting | Skirts

Creating a Skirt from a 1930’s Dress Pattern

By on
My Finished Skirt
Vintage Pattern Lending Library Pattern #T3221
Vintage Pattern Lending Library Pattern #T3221

Recently, I’ve given myself the task of creating a “Miss Fisher” wardrobe, inspired by the Australian TV series Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries.  If you haven’t seen the show, I highly recommend to head over to Netflix and watch immediately.  The main character, Fryne Fisher – Lady Detective,  has a fairly AMAZING wardrobe, circa 1928,  filled with a variety of wardrobe staples – wide leg trousers, skirts, matching camisoles etc., and some downright outrageous statement pieces – embroidered coats, custom cloches and coordinating accessories.   All of which I’ve been sketching and analyzing as much as I can with repeated viewing of all the episodes.

The first stop on this journey is the staple pieces.  These are garments I can coordinate with many things.  With Summer approaching, a light weight skirt is was in order.  After struggling to find a skirt pattern I liked, I found a dress that had a great skirt –  Vintage Pattern Lending Library Pattern #T3221.

The pattern is quite sweet – a column shape through the body, with 6 small darts that gently shape the waist, and a skirt that has arched seams along the hip line and fluted panels that give it a nice little fare at the hem.  The pattern comes in one size – created for a 36″ bust.  I measured the pattern and found that it was a good fit for my hips at 42″ but that I would need to shape the waist to fit my own.   It was a fairly easy process:

  1. The pattern was cut at the natural waist line which is indicated at the center of the darts on the pattern. I squared a line at the CF, folded out the darts and shaped a nice waist.
  2. The darts were re-distributed into two darts (each side) at front and back and positioned somewhat centrally on each half of the skirt at front and back as well.  I new I wanted a 32″ waist finished, so my dart depth was determined by measuring the pattern at the waistline, subtracting the different and dividing the darts up accordingly.
  3. Then a waistband pattern was made – 4″ high x 34″ long.  This accounts for 3/8″ seam allowance and a 1 1/4″ tab for the button on the waistband.

The fabric used was a beige colored textured rayon jacquard.  The skirt sewed together beautifully, as per the pattern instructions.  I did serge the edges before assembling, to prevent fraying.  The bottom edge is a simple turn and turn 1/4″ clean finish hem.  And the standard zipper was inserted using a hand picked method.

Hand Picked zipper on the side opening
Hand Picked zipper on the side opening
My Finished Skirt
My finished Skirt

I’m really happy with the results, however, my 13 year old daughter thinks it should be several inches shorter.  What do you think?

See more of my projects and vintage inspiration on my blog or connect with me on instagram!

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1950s | 1960s | Dresses

Retro Nautical Inspired Moneta Dress

By on May 4, 2017
Akram's Ideas: The Moneta Dress an Astonishingly Quick Make

I recently took part in the #MonetaParty hosted by the Triple Stitchers made up of Rachel, Abigal, and Elle . The idea was that all participants sew up the Moneta dress by Colette patterns and share their makes on Instagram.

Retro Additions

At first, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to participate after all the Moneta dress is just a simple knit dress.

However, I after exploring Colette patterns website I found a free collar extension pack for this pattern. The collar variations really added to this dress.

Akram's Ideas: The Moneta Dress an Astonishingly Quick Make

 

I was especially taken by the tie collar and how it gave the dress a bit of a retro nautical inspired look.

Along with the tie collar, I also made the largest size skirt and then gathered it. It gave the skirt a much fuller look than the more relaxed fit of the original dress.

Akram's Ideas: The Moneta Dress an Astonishingly Quick Make

The length of the skirt I cut as directed, but I’m short so I feel like it seems longer to me than most of the Moneta’s that I see online.

With that said, the fuller skirt and longer length also help to give this dress more retro appeal.

Simple Make

Akram's Ideas: The Moneta Dress an Astonishingly Quick Make

The Moneta dress is so easy to make and I managed to sew it up in around 4 hours.

While it might be simple, a few additions really give this dress the retro style I love.

For full details about making this dress  be sure to see my full blog post at http://akramsideas.com/moneta-dress/

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1950s | Coats | Modern Patterns

Faux Fur Trimmed Coat – McCalls 6800

By on March 1, 2017

It’s been so cold here lately, I really wanted a warm, everyday coat with enough room to fit a circle skirt and petticoat underneath. McCalls 6800 was the perfect choice, with its princess seams, full skirt and a hood! The main thing I wanted to add to my version was the faux fur trim. It makes the coat so cosy.

I love full skirts and a coat is no exception. To make the skirt section on this even fuller, I added a couple of inches width to the bottom of each panel. Combined with the faux fur trim around the hem, the skirt section is very full and very swishy.


 The fabric I used was so thick I don’t think my machine could’ve managed a sewn buttonhole. Instead, I opted for 4 bound buttonholes. They’re a pain to make but always look so lovely.

The lining is a bright cerise crepe backed satin. I love how the pink pops against the pale faux fur and dark navy, plus it makes the coat so easy to slide on and off.

I have more details on the making of this on my blog.

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1950s | Burlesque / Pinup | Dresses | Mad Men Inspired | Modern Patterns

By Hand London – Kim Dress – The Pinup-Perfect Party Dress!

By on December 22, 2016

Hi pinups! To round up this year’s sewing pattern reviews, I thought I’d end on a festive note with my By Hand London ‘Kim’ Dress! The perfect dress for pinup-perfect party style this Christmas.

byhandlondonkimdress1

Sewing Summary:

Pattern: By Hand London Kim Dress

Fabric: Plain Cotton Poplin Fabric – Scarlet Red

Notions: 22″ concealed zip

Sewing time: Half a day.

Modifications: None.

Fit: I know I’m going to love the fit of this dress even more with a full bust adjustment.

Difficulty: Medium.

Watch out for: Getting even gathers and under-stitching the lining of the bodice.

Make Again?: Yes! I see this pattern being my go to Summer dress pattern once I made the bust adjustments. Simple, pretty quick and a gorgeous result!

byhandlondonkimdress5

For my full review & images, check out my blog The Crafty Pinup.

Thank you!
xo

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1960s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

Grey dress from a 1960s Burda pattern

By on December 7, 2016

In summer I stumbled upon a beautiful and simple pattern for a dress in a 1962 wedding edition of Burda and immediatelly made a few versions of it, including one for a client who loved it as much as I did.

img_9671 img_9679

The pattern proved very versatile and looks great with a variety of fabrics –no wonder, because it’s just such a simple and staple piece. I really love the short sleeves, they add elegance to an otherwise simple design. I made it with different skirts. I usually freehand them, pinning tucks as I go but I also made one version with a circle skirt that I need to photograph.

img_9759 img_9674

This is one of my iterations of the pattern: I added a collar with a bow to it. For a moment there I was afraid it looked too much like a hotel personnel outfit! But I guess the bow helps distract the mind from this easy association ;). It’s fully interlined but with no lining. I’m having second thoughts about interlining this one… turned out quite stiff, even though the outer fabric was quite thin. I finished the skirt with a blind hem stich by hand.

Check out the original blog post for more photos.

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