1940s | Blouses | Vintage Sewing

Adventures in Baby Cord – Simplicity 3688

By on July 15, 2015

A me-made 1940's look created with vintage patterns | Lavender & Twill

Color blocking fun - white, aubergine, grey and blue | Lavender & Twill

1940's vintage style | Lavender & Twill

Gum leaves, a beaded purse, and shoes with bows on them | Lavender & Twill

A daytime 1940's outfit with Simplicity 3688 | Lavender & Twill

Welp, as you might be able to tell ~ simply by the fact that a whole month has gone by without any progress posts on the Sewing All The Things challenge ~ that things have gone a bit squiffy for me recently!

After all the trouble I had with my wrap dress, I was kind of feeling a bit ‘meh’ about sewing and wanted to do something simple. So I picked Advance 3886, and some mauve jersey knit I had in my stash, and went ~ “This should be fairly simple right?” …..

Advance 3886 - vintage 1940's pattern | Lavender & Twill
Ah, about that?

Spoiler alert: it wasn’t!!  ( ̄。 ̄;)

Firstly, I was wrestling with a super stretchy knit fabric with tons of give, and all the pieces I cut ended up being around two inches shorter than the pattern pieces! Which would be okay ~ except for the bodice where it really wasn’t.  I thought I’d have to bin the whole thing, but then I had the dubiously “genius” idea to add an extra piece in at the shoulders to make up for the missing length.

Okay, project saved right?

Nope.

Number one tip for cutting knits? NOTCH OUTWARD NOT IN! All the little “v” cuts I made to mark the seam joins went into the seam allowance, and apparently that makes it super, super hard to make sure the cut is all caught up in the overlocking seam so that there aren’t any holes in your dress.

Really hard.

As in going over the same seam five time in a row hard.

Yikes.

I’ve got to say, that was bad enough, but the lovely gathered detail at the shoulders ~ that really was the last straw.

I tried to follow the instructions, but I don’t know ~ something went wrong somewhere and the ruching just looked… wrong.  So I ripped out the stitches and went “I give up!”.  Hence the overly long story of how July’s dress ended up in a UFO bag on my shelf. Humph.

Then I dusted off my unhappy sewing self and went with a really simple pattern ~ the blouse from Simplicity 3688.

Simplicity 3688 - retro re-release pattern | Lavender & Twill

This pattern, thankfully, was actually easy! Score! (ง •̀_•́)ง ☆

I used some pinwale corduroy from my stash in white and aubergine {or eggplant for us Aussies!} and while I don’t know what I was thinking when I bought it {one meter of each color? Really?}, it turned out to be a happy accident because I love how the color blocking turned out with this pattern.

Because the blouse construction is so simple, it really lends itself to playing around with your fabrics. Also, it’s a fun pattern to sew. I really enjoyed the process of putting it together. The sleeve heads are super cute with darts to add structure, rather than typical gathers, and the yoke section with bias binding around the neck line looks nice.

This time I cut the blouse to fit my nursing bust size rather than attempting an FBA, and while that helps with the chest squashing problem, I can see that the fit across the shoulders is too big. And I had to run two one inch darts down the back of the blouse to take in four inches of excess fabric from the back. I know the blouse is supposed to be “blousy” in fit, but there’s cute puffy and then there’s way-too-much-fabric-to-tuck-in puffy!

I paired the blouse with my grey scratchy wool skirt ~ yes, that’s it’s name ~ and thankfully in winter, stocking seem to negate the scratch.   (¬ ᴗ ¬)  I really like the combination of the simple colours, although *gasp* I just realised I don’t have any patterns in this outfit at all!  This must be a first!

Now at last I can mark another pattern off the Vintage Sewing Pattern Pledge ~ I have three down, {one, two and this one obviously!} and two to go. While my sewing schedule may be all out of wack {annoying my OCD list ticking self}, I am definitely learning things along the way. We are getting there!  ヾ(^-^)ノ

~ Project Details ~

  • Year: A retro re-release of a 1940’s suit pattern
  • Pattern: Simplicity 3688
  • Fabric: 2 metres of pinwale corduroy; 1 meter of white, 1 meter of aubergine. From the stash: $7.00 a meter
  • Notions: A button and a hook and eye for closing the back slit
  • Time to complete: Two weeks
  • Make again? Yes. I think this blouse is pretty, and I’m keen to play around with some different fabrics using this pattern. It’s easy to make, comfortable to wear and has a nice authentic 1940’s look.
  • Wear again? For sure! I need some more 1940’s separates, and this is a good start.
  • Total Cost:  $14.00, but that was ages ago. Stash busting ftw!

xox,

bonita

༺ ♡ ༻

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1940s | Sewing Machines | Vintage Sewing

A new-old sewing machine, a pair of pants, and a question

By on July 31, 2014

The past few weeks have been FULL of sewing machine mayhem!  I visited my parents in Indiana, and brought home a new-to-me sewing machine, a gorgeous 1925 Singer 66.  After cleaning out the decades of lint, replacing the belt, and oiling every single moving part I could found, it WORKS!

(pardon my messy sewing area)

It’s really an incredible machine.  If you haven’t sewn with a treadle before, you should try it out.  It’s a good workout, as well as being fun.  I think the physical requirements make me feel like I am doing so much more.

(There are more pictures and even a video of the bobbin winder on my blog.)

I knew I had to sew something vintage on the machine once I got it working.  I was hoping for something 20s/30s, but got too frustrated trying to find a pattern I liked, so one night I just sat down and made a pair of ’40s pants from Simplicity 3699.  I’ve made them before – such a good and comfortable pair of pants!

One of these days, I’m going to make the blouse (I even have fabric picked out).  For now, though, the pants are fun and easy.  I was able to finish them in a night and morning.

(sorry for the distant photos…I’m still trying to teach my husband how to take proper “fashion” pictures of my projects)

I didn’t change the pattern too much.  Last time, the waist was WAY too high (I love the 40s waist, but goodness I’d like my pants below my bellybutton, please!), so I took about 3 inches off.  It’s still pretty high, and the crotch rides fairly low.  They were also very long, so I sewed a cuff on the bottom (which you can’t see from the pictures).  Overall, I’m very pleased.  They are great lounging pants.

Now for a sewing machine question.  In the midst of figuring out how to make the Singer 66 work, my “modern” machine (which is about the same age as me…), a Singer Sonata, decided to kick the bucket.  It had been hanging on for dear life desperately for some time, so it is probably time to let it go.  That, and the repair cost would be outrageous.  So!  I need some advice.  What type of sewing machines do you all have?  Do you like/love/hate them?  I mostly sew clothing, so I don’t need fancy computerized embroidery stuff.  I’ll be happy with a buttonholer, bobbin winder, blind hem, and the ability to sew on all types of fabrics.

If you have suggestions, or a link to someone’s wonderful sewing machine advice, I would be grateful!  Thank you!

 

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1940s | 1950s | Blouses | Pants / Trousers | Rompers / Playsuits | Shirts | Skirts | Vintage Sewing

A Watermelon Playsuit

By on July 16, 2014

I made a new playsuit!

I’ve been wanting to make another playsuit in fun colors ever since last summer’s adventure, and when I saw a watermelon print fabric at Joann’s I snapped up the last few yards that were left on the bolt.

I ended up compiling four patterns to get the basic pieces:  Simplicity 4395 and Vogue 3282 for the bodice and Simplicity 3688 and Butterick 7761 for the shorts.  I also put together a simple dirndl skirt without a pattern.

I’m super pleased with how it came out… I really like the high waisted shorts, and the watermelon fabric is such fun.  I even made a little matching belt out of an old cheapy kid’s belt from Target.  It’s a little messy, but it will do for now.  I’ll definitely make the shorts again, although I may lengthen the inseam a smidgen!  I’m also thinking of making another top option out of my remaining watermelon fabric & opinions on that would be awesome.

More pictures of the play version, the dress version, and the construction details can be found on my blog!

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1940s | Skirts

Attack of the 1940s…

By on April 22, 2013

If anyone reads my Blog they quickly figure out I have a soft spot for the 1940s! This jumper took me 5 months to knit, and I hope it’s OK to post here on SewRetro.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 It’s the Bell-Stitch Jumper from Stitchcraft Magazine, Jan 1944. It pairs really well with the navy skirt I made from the popular Simplicity repro 3688 (posted last year on WeSewRetro). I wear this skirt all the time, it was so easy to make, I really recommend it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Add a 1940’s celluoid brooch and hair scarf, and i’m set to go! I love this look, but 5 months of knitting? Ouch. I’m switching to DK weight for the next project so I can finish it more quickly and not go quietly insane.

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1940s | Pants / Trousers | Vintage Sewing

Sew For Victory: Simplicity 3688 Dungarees

By on April 1, 2013

Another Sew For Victory project here! For mine I made something I always seem to be in dire need of: trousers. I used the ever popular Simplicity 3688 repro pattern, which I’ve made once before, but with a twist. I used the bodice of a dress pattern to draft a bib pattern to make them into dungarees (overalls, for the US readers).

They are made in a soft slightly brushed navy cotton drill with a small amount of stretch, just enough for comfort. I made the bib bodice detachable by adding buttons inside the waistband to attach it to, so I can wear them just as trousers too. I lined the bodice with a lovely repro quilting cotton print that I now wish I had more of for a dress!

I put side seam pockets in, with a small facing section of the main fabric at the opening edge of the back half of the pocket to help prevent the lining peeking out if the pockets. Anyone know a technical term for this? I feel like it ought to have a specific name.

Anyways, I suspect they’ll get worn to death- I’ve already worn them four or five times in the couple of weeks since making them!

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1940s | Blouses | Jumpers / Pinafores | Skirts

Sew For Victory Outfit

By on March 19, 2013

I am so excited to finally be able to share my Sew For Victory outfit with you all.  I finished this outfit at the start of last week but every time Corey was home to take pictures for me the rain would come back.  But finally here we are.


1940s pinafore skirt blouse

1940s pinafore skirt blouse

When this sew-a-long first popped up I jumped straight on the bandwagon.  I am trying participate in a bit more around the blogosphere this year and I thought this was the perfect place to start.  I already had a 1940’s reproduction pattern (simplicity 3688) in my stash that I knew I could use and after seeing Tasha’s pinafore skirt I knew exactly what I wanted to make.  I did a little google search for some inspiration and came across this pinafore skirt by NudeeDudee which I used as my starting point.  Instead of a pastel I decided to go with a forest green cavalier garbadine that I picked up from Spotlight.  The straps are not actually functional.  The buttons are just sewn on top for decoration.


1940s pinafore skirt blouse

1940s pinafore skirt blouse

Originally I was just going to take photos of this skirt with a blouse I have in my wardrobe.  However, it isn’t 1940’s at all and I thought to myself if I was going to join in a sew-a-long I needed to do it properly.  So I went on a search for a blouse pattern to make and came across this wrap blouse by Mrs Depew’s Vintage.  I didn’t want to buy anymore fabric so grabbed this cream & yellow spotted seersucker from my stash.  The only alteration I made to this pattern was to make a pleat in the sleeves instead of gathering them.


1940s pinafore skirt blouse

1940s pinafore skirt blouse

And this is how the blouse looks without the skirt.  It is a wrap blouse so for the skirt I just pinned the wrap pieces across to the sides.  I really like this blouse, however, if I was to make it again I think I would need to try and lower the v seam in the front so it actually sits below my bust.  I am so glad I decided to take part in this sew-a-long.  It was so much fun!  I have another sew-a-long planned for this year and hopefully I will get to take part in many more.  A massive thank you to Rochelle for organising this sew-a-long.  I have had a lot of fun!

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1940s

A winter suit…advice needed

By on August 20, 2012

Yep, already thinking about winter. Well autumn, winter, spring and summer apart from the fortnight heatwave that happens. lol!

I have a navy blue skirt I love and wear very often and it got me thinking I need a suit, matching skirt and jacket. Although I’d wear the jacket more as a ‘coat’. Now I have simplicity 4044. I love the skirt pattern, made it up twice already….but the jacket doesn’t inspire me.

Now I stumble across the pattern in the centre. I really like the blue with polkadots. And simplicity 3688 looks quite close.

Now, Here comes the questions:

1) Has anyone else sewn both skirt and jacket with this pattern? Anything to be careful of?

2) What fabric? I’ve only ever successfully sewn with 100% cotton and poly cottons before. Would something like a gaberdene be best? Or should I try a wool blend? What exactly are suiting materials?

 

I hope to complete the ensemble for around £50. Is this an impossible budget?

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