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

Creating a Skirt from a 1930’s Dress Pattern

By on June 11, 2017
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, Phryne 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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1920s | Accessories | Bags / Purses | Blouses | Embroidery | Hats | Skirts | Vintage Sewing

A 1920 Ensemble

By on March 15, 2017

This outfit is my foray into the world of the late teens and early 20’s.  I used two patterns from Past Patterns, dated to circa 1920, for both my blouse and skirt, while my purse was made from a tapestry remnant and Vogue #7252, from the year 2000.  My hat is a thrift store find which I decorated to make-do and my shoes are close reproductions from Jeffrey Campbell.  I used primarily cotton for all pieces – even thread!  There are so many fine details to this set – the blouse has my hand-stitched floral designs on the neck, shoulders, and sleeves while I used old original glass teens/20’s era buttons for the front closure of the blouse.  There are real brass buttons along the pocket panel of the skirt…and check out those awesomely enormous pockets as big as mini suitcases!  My background was one of the very first “arcade” indoor shopping malls in our country, a lovely Gothic place built in 1919.  To see and read more, please visit my blog post here.

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1930s | Blouses | Skirts | Vintage Sewing

1930s Bishop Sleeve Blouse & Pocket Detail Skirt

By on December 8, 2016

1930s blouse and skirt

Do you ever have an idea in your mind that never really pans out when it comes to your sewing? Yep, that’s exactly what happened here. Both the blouse and skirt were going to be very different to how they actually turned out, mainly due to not having quite enough fabric for either of them!

The white silk with navy polka dots is actually a vintage fabric I picked up at a flea market. It was very narrow and as a result, the originally planned pattern of McCalls – 7053, from their Archive Collection, just didn’t fit. So after abandoning this idea, I decided to use the top half of this beautiful original 1930s dress pattern instead. It’s been sat in my collection for a while totally unused, but boy am I glad I used it this time.

Vintage 1930s Buttons

It worked out beautifully in this fabric, despite having to redo the front yoke many, many times. The issue was that it needed to be lined to give it some stability and the join at the bottom, where the button placket areas overlap, was incredibly fiddly. After many attempts, both on the machine and by hand, I finally got it to sit right. However, after all that stress I gave up on trying to do buttonholes, so just sewed the buttons in place.

1930s sleeve detail

Instead of finishing the sleeves with a mid-forearm cuff as shown in the pattern, I decided to add a long cuff right down to the wrist. I absolutely love this style of bishop sleeve, it’s so classically 1930s, and of course keeps your forearms warm! I finished it off with four buttons and rouleau loops to allow enough room to get my hand in and out.

The fabric itself, unfortunately, has weakened during the pre-wash and making up stages. As a result, I’ve decided to only wear it on special occasions and to try and find another white and navy polka dot fabric for a more wearable version. I think it would work well in a crepe or a soft cotton lawn.

1930s blouse yoke detail

The skirt was drafted from another original 1930s pattern, which I’ve used multiple times as it’s such a simple design so can be changed to just about any style. The fabric is a deep mustard linen, which I bought from My Fabrics and a dream to work with. It’s quite a heavy weight linen so can be used for both summer and winter.

The design itself was taken from an original 1930s skirt I own but haven’t yet worn. I love the little pockets on it, so decided to replicate them here with a slightly different style button tab. They worked out quite well I think and give such a lovely interest to the front of the skirt, along with the deep single kick pleat on the centre front.

If you want to read more about it, and see the gorgeous original 1930s navy suede shoes I wore with it, just pop on over to my blog.

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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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1960s | Skirts

3 Different Delphine Skirts

By on October 6, 2016

On of my most used patterns right now is the Delphine Skirt from the book Love at First Stitch by Tilly Walnes.

Akram's Ideas : 3 New Delphine Skirts
I made 3 different Delphine Skirts

While I’ve made a few of these skirts in the past, it was the “One Week One Pattern” or #OWOP16 challenge hosted by Cinderellis Sews, that prompted me to make a few new ones.

The goal of the challenge was to wear garments made from one pattern of your choice, every day for one week. I already had 4 previously made Delphine skirts, so that meant I only needed 3 more to make.

You can read about my previous makes here:

While the Delphine skirt is not exactly a vintage pattern it is retro inspired. The skirt itself has a classic 1960’s A-Line design.

Akram's Ideas : 3 New Delphine Skirts
I love this nautical inspired one

In the book Love at First Stitch , Tilly goes over a couple of variations on the skirt. Such as adding buttons to the font. Which is what I did for this nautical inspired version.

Akram's Ideas : 3 New Delphine Skirts
This brown Delphine skirt is prefect for fall

Since it’s officially autumn I decided that my next two skirts be autumn appropriate. I started first with a brown skirt. I need more brown in my wardrobe.

Akram's Ideas : 3 New Delphine Skirts
Love the color of this purple Delphine skirt

I followed up with a lovely purple skirt made out of a quilted type fabric. For both the brown and purple skirt I added a lining for warmth. I also added belt loops which are an option in the book. Finally I also added pockets, because skirts need pockets.

To read more about my process for making my these lovely Delphine skirts check out my blog Akram’s Ideas (http://akramsideas.com/week-delphine-skirt-owop16/)

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1940s | 1960s | Blouses | Jackets | Skirts

Separates turned Suit

By on September 22, 2016
Akram's Ideas: Vintage Inspired Suit in Green

Back in spring I had planned to participate in the Vintage Suit-Sew-Along. While I never did get around to making a vintage suit per-say; I did manage to make this great vintage inspired suit.

Akram's Ideas: Vintage Inspired Suit in Green
This suit is amazing!

My lovely green suit is made up completely of separates. I actually started this project with the blouse using Simplicity 1364.

Akram's Ideas: Vintage Inspired Suit in Green
Yes, I know another Simplicity 1364 top

I wanted to make a skirt to go with the blouse and the Delphine skirt from the book “Love at First Stitch” By Tilly Walnes. This is my go to skirt pattern.

Akram's Ideas: Vintage Inspired Suit in Green
The Delphine skirt is so easy to make

Once I had the blouse and skirt I thought this outfit was the start of the prefect vintage style suit. All it needed was a jacket to top it off.

Since I had limited fabric I deiced to make the bolero using Butterick 6354 pattern.

Akram's Ideas: Vintage Inspired Suit in Green
This bolero really finished the outfit

This was the perfect paring of separates into the most amazing suit. I love this suit from the color the print. It may just be my favorite outfit I’ve made.

Akram's Ideas: Vintage Inspired Suit in Green
I love everything about this suit

 

To read more about my process for making my lovely green suit check out my blog Akram’s Ideas (http://akramsideas.com/vintage-inspired-suit-green)

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1960s | Blouses | Shirts | Skirts

Gathered Skirt Paired with Simplicity 1364

By on July 21, 2016

In an earlier post I mentioned how much I love Simplicity 1364 blouse pattern. I loved it so much I wanted to make more versions of this blouse.

While searching my stash I found I had a lovely butterfly print fabric and decided to use it for another blouse.

Akram's Ideas : Simplicity 1364 & Gathered Skirt
I love this cheerful butterfly print

I really liked how the piping turned out on my shift dress I decided to add piping to this blouse.

After making the blouse I found that I had enough fabric left over that I could make a matching skirt.

I decided to make a simple gathered skirt. To give the set a more dress like appearance I aded piping to the skirt waistband.

Akram's Ideas : Simplicity 1364 & Gathered Skirt
I can wear it as a dress or as sperates

While the print might be a bit childish I really love the fun look of this this combo. I also love that at first glance it looks like a dress, but has the versatility of a two piece.

To read more about my process for making this set check out my blog Akram’s Ideas (http://akramsideas.com/butterfly-dress-purple-piping/)

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