1950s | Dresses | Pattern Drafting | Vintage Sewing

Butterick 6299 just in time for Autumn

By on March 18, 2017

It’s getting cooler here in Aotearoa New Zealand, while all you sewers in the north are getting set for summer, I’m glad things are cooling off now!

I have just finished this dress, it’s made with some lovely fabric my nana gave me, and I used a stunning Butterick pattern which was new to me this year, along with a couple of other lovely vintage patterns.

These ones!

The pattern is a size and a bit too small for me, so I graded it up, and voila! New dress! In my blog post about the making of this dress…

…I share how I graded it up, it’s pretty easy, you just need a basic pattern (or pattern block) that fits well.

The crossover bodice was a bit fiddly, and adding the bias trim gave me more bulk to deal with, but in the end, I am happy with it.

From the back…

And the bias trim….

The bias binding colour was perfect, but just enough to do the neckline and sleeve cuffs. So happy!

Happy Spring or Autumn Retro Sewists!

The blog link about this dress is here, and now I’m off to make another jumpsuit!

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1930s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

1930s Dress Made Using Original Vintage Fabric

By on January 24, 2017

1930s ruffles dress front

Every now and again you come across a truly beautiful piece of original vintage fabric. You carefully unfold it, hoping and praying that it’s in good condition. You check it over thoroughly, measure it and finally take the very brave step of washing it. At this point you’re on tenterhooks, will it fall apart the second the water hits it? It survives the wash, it dries well and then you press it, checking thoroughly once again for any holes, tears or marks. And finally, you realise you have one incredible pristine piece of 1930s/1940s fabric that’s long enough to make an entire dress. You, or indeed me at this point, then do one hell of a¬†happy dance!

1930s ruffles dress

As you can imagine, I was terrified to cut into the fabric, but I truly believed that this fabric had found its way to me for a reason. I’m very much someone who believes in buying vintage and using it. Every piece of vintage clothing I buy gets worn, I don’t store things away in a dark cupboard but, rather, enjoy it as it was meant to be enjoyed. That was how I felt about this fabric. It needed to be made into something and not waste away unloved and unappreciated. And it deserved to be made into something authentic.

1930s dress back

I used an original 1930s sewing pattern and original 1930s sewing techniques from both the pattern and a 1930s dressmaking book. The trimmings, such as the rayon hemming tape, were also vintage. The only modern parts of the dress are the white crepe I used for the yoke section and the metal button blanks for the self-cover buttons. That’s why I call this my brand new almost-vintage dress!

You can see more detail photos and find out more about the fabric, pattern and techniques I used on my blog here.

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1960s

60(s) squares

By on December 26, 2016

Some time ago I made the Simplicity 1609 repro pattern for a gift and I liked it enough to give it a try as a nice, breezy summer dress (yay for sewing warm weather garments in mid-December…). I had some vintage, but still fresh and luminous white cotton sateen in a period-perfect abstract/square print.

 

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I made only minor adjustments, including a suble lengthening of the dress and interfacing its hem to make the A-line shape more pronounced.

To keep things simple, I didn’t line it, as it’s supposed to be a way out of my constant summer dilemma, “how not to expose too much skin but be able to stay cool in a sizzling city”. I think this pattern was made for cheerful, light dresses; it’s so simple and unfussy.

 

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I hope you like this little project of mine. To read more, visit my blog, rvdzik.blospot.com. Have a wonderful day! ūüôā

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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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1950s | Vintage Sewing

Summer Whites – Butterick 5920

By on August 17, 2016

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I was gifted with some vintage fabric this spring, so a fun project this summer was to engineer a way to squeeze a 1950s dress out of the minimal yardage! (and why are vintage fabrics soooo narrow??) I pulled out my trusty Butterick reprint 5920 and after playing a bit of pattern Tetris, I succeeded!

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The finished product is perfect for sunny days- light in color so it doesn’t soak up extra heat, and covered on the neck and shoulders so I don’t have to worry about sunburn!

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Stop by my blog Mode de Lis for more details and photos!

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1960s | Dresses

Simplicity 1609 Classic Shift with Piping

By on July 19, 2016

I’ve been sewing a lot of 1960’s patterns this year and one of the most icon styles of the 60’s of course is a shift dress.

While antiquing some time ago I came across this lovely vintage pink cotton fabric with a lovely turquoise blue flower print.

I loved the print so much I knew I needed to make something that highlighted the fabric and decided to go with a simple shift dress.

Akram's Ideas: Simplicity 1609
Classic Shift Dress made from vintage fabric

For this project I decided to use Simplicity 1609 a reproduction of a 1960’s JIFFY shift dress.

To add extra interest I added turquoise piping around the neckline and armholes.

Akram's Ideas: Simplicity 1609
I love the addition of the piping on the neck and armholes.

Can you believe I’d never made a shift dress before, it’s true. I don’t know why?

I love this dress so much, it’s fun and stylish.

To read more about my process for making this dress check out my blog Akram’s Ideas (http://akramsideas.com/60s-shift-dress-simplicity-1609/ )

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Vintage Sewing

1930’s Inspired Summer Blouse

By on May 30, 2016

I was really inspired to recreate a 1930’s one piece top that I had seen in a picture….so I did! ¬†I made it out of some silky plaid fabric I had lying around my sewing room, and even though it proved tricky at times to hem, it is the perfect weight for the summer. ¬†To see the pattern and tutorial, please feel free to hop over to my blog!

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Have a wonderful Monday everyone!

~Aimee

 

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