1940s | 1950s | Skirts

Parrot Print Gathered Skirt

By on November 10, 2016
Akram's Ideas: Parrot Print Gathered Skirt

I love big novelty print skirts! Novelty skirts are kind of a staple of 40’s and 50’s fashion.

While I do love novelty print skirts, I actually have very few in my wardrobe. Since I get my fabric second hand I don’t usually come about interesting prints, mostly solids or modest floral prints.

However, when I came across this lovely vintage (or at least old) parrot print fabric I knew I was destined to make myself a novelty skirt.

Akram's Ideas: Parrot Print Gathered Skirt
This print makes the prefect Novelty Skirt

Originally I wanted to make a nice full circle skirt but alas, I didn’t have enough fabric. So in the end, I did a traditional gather skirt with waistband.

While the light weight cotton or print may not be autumn appropriate I’m still very happy with this skirt and can’t wait to get some serious wear out of it this summer.

Akram's Ideas: Parrot Print Gathered Skirt
Can’t wait to wear this next summer

To read more about my process for this fun novelty skirt see my blog Akram’s Ideas (http://akramsideas.com/vintage-inspired-gathered-skirt-parrot-print/)

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1950s | Rompers / Playsuits | Vintage Sewing

1950s-Style Co-ord

By on January 30, 2016

I’ve been having a lot of fun with my summer sewing here in Australia – frequent beach trips have necessitated (or so I tell myself!) lots of playsuits and rompers to flounce around in. My last frivolous make of the summer? A 1950’s inspired co-ord, made from the BHL Anna dress hacked for the top, and self-drafted shorts.

Beach Baby Co-ord

The fabric is very special – a vintage cotton lawn that had been my great-grandmother’s, before my grandmother passed it on to me. The edges are finished with self-made bias binding, and I added a hand-worked button loop to close the back of the top – gotta love little vintage details like that 🙂

Beach Baby Co-ord

Beach Baby Co-ord

I love this little set, and it’s so versatile for mixing and matching! You can read more about it here on my blog 🙂

Until next time,

Miss Maddy xx

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1950s | Dresses

Dressed to Impress: 50s-Inspired Formal Dress

By on August 23, 2015

Things I love in a sewing project:

  1. Remnants
  2. Getting the pattern placement you wanted
  3. Getting the pattern placement you wanted when you only have 1.5 metres of fabric
  4. Getting a dress with a full circle skirt out of 1.5 metres of fabric
  5. Getting your ballgown for less than $40

But my favourite thing? All of these combined in the same project! My self-drafted 50s-prom-dress-inspired strapless ball gown, with full lining and a boned bodice. I wore it to a ball recently, and felt like a princess all night. I was so happy with how it turned out! 🙂

DSC_2475

 

For more photos and construction details, check out my blog!

Until next time,

Miss Maddy x

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1950s | Capes

Vintage inspired drafted cape

By on August 3, 2015

green cape sitting

I started this cape project earlier this year, it’s a flow on from my big ‘separates sewing’ days from 2014. I made a cape last year, but was not quite sold on it, and wanted one with a decent collar, so I modified my original 1950s pattern, drafted a collar and voila! I cape I’m very happy with.

Butterick 6039 pattern

Butterick 6039, my starting point, (the older project is here). I have more photos and project details on my blog, I used the last of some lovely wool crepe and a remnant of cotton silk for the lining, and a button from my stash.

green cape standing

I attached a hook and eye for the closure, sewing the button on top, as I couldn’t commit to it! And I’m still undecided about the best closure. Ha!

green cape standing back 2

I’m really happy with this cape, it adds real warmth, without too much weight, it is easy to wear and (I think) it’s a simple way to add some elegance to a more casual ensemble. And it looks great closed or unbuttoned.

green cape standing collar open

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1950s | Shirts | Vintage Sewing

Self-drafted retro top

By on May 28, 2014

self-drafted retro check top

This top is the result of a pattern-drafting class I took recently. The fit isn’t great but it’s one step in the right direction.

I gleaned the design from a 1950s pattern envelope but totally drafted all the pieces myself.

self-drafted retro top

It has a zipper up the left side in true vintage style and is fitted at the waist so I can wear it tucked into a high waist pencil skirt.

I created facings for the armholes and neckline. I wasn’t sure how to do it in one piece what with the rolled over bias collar and all. But its no big shakes. I just tacked the sleeve facings to the neck facing with a couple of stitches on the shoulder line. If I did it again, I might consider using a bias finish on the armhole to save on bulk.

self-drafted retro top

The fit still needs working on. It really is a bit big under bust. But it’s certainly wearable and it feels great to wear an original ooobop!

More deets and pics over on the blog.

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Dresses

Completely reworked vintage crepe dress!

By on May 2, 2014

Hi! I have been sewing for many years but am new to this site. I love seeing what other people are making! I have been collecting vintage fabric for too long, and tend to use exclusively vintage materials whenever possible (unless it compromises the integrity of the garment, ie. thread).
For my first post I want to share with you something I finally finished recently that I am really very proud of. This is one of my favourite “reworks” that I have ever done. I found the starting dress at a local thrift shop. Though the style was.. let’s say dowdy (see bottom photo for ‘before’ pic), I was in love with the fabric. It’s a really lightweight crinkly crepe, and the horizontal lace insets gave me instant inspiration.
I took the dress apart at the seams and decided to wing it without making a pattern. Started with the bodice, adding shaping via under bust gathers and a lightweight cotton for modesty behind the lower lace panel, and attached that to a flat 3-panelled waist section. The straps were a (possibly over-)zealous whim, with alternating opaque and sheer stripes made with pin tucks. I wanted lots of fullness in the skirt so I gathered both the top crepe and an under layer of the original lightweight cotton lining. I had a bit  of extra fabric left over so I fashioned a matching  rosette which slides on to an super long tie belt which is optional, I like wrapped haphazardly a few times about the waist. Closure is a hidden side zipper which just felt right with the whole retro vibe.
I really love how this turned out, especially considering the lack of planning! Not sure exactly what era I was channelling here, probably between the 1930’s and 50’s. Hope you guys like it!

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1950s | Pattern Drafting | Shirts | Skirts | Vintage Sewing

Vintage Ensemble

By on April 29, 2014

After discovering a bit about Ulyana Sergeenko and her designs, I decided I wanted to do my own take on one of her outfits, and this is my first result!

For the top, I used a pattern envelope from the 1950s as inspiration, Simplicity 4538. I didn’t have the actual pattern, but it looked easy enough to sew the two ends together. The other seam is across the back to form the yoke, but it stops so you have room for the arms. It was easy enough and it took me about 10-20 minutes to figure everything out.

As for the skirt, I drafted my own circle skirt from 2 yards of fabric. I put in a pocket on one side and a zipper on the other.

I have more details here on my blog.

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