1940s | Applique | Dresses | Embroidery | Vintage Sewing

A Labour of Love

By on November 17, 2012

I saw this vintage dress on FabGabs.com and fell in love. I had to have something similar so set about recreating it.

 

My pattern is a hodgepodge from other projects- sleeves from a 40’s style evening dress I made for a client, bodice slashed and spread from a slim fitting shirt block and bias skirt developed from a 30’s style pj top pattern I made myself earlier this year. I have to admit I am pretty darned pleased with the results.The main fabric is a heavy satin backed silk crepe and the velvet is a silk & rayon mix. How to re-create the embroidery posed a small problem as hand embroidering it wasn’t something I wanted to spend weeks on and not something I’m very good at anyway. So I came up with a cunning plan… and re-purposed a lovely embroidered upholstery sample I had. To do this first I cut out the areas of embroidery I wanted to use leaving a good margin around the stitching edges and ironed BondaWeb on the back to stabilise it. Then I trimmed very close to the embroidery, lightly ironed it in place on the velvet yoke and pockets and lastly blanket stitched all the edges in place with silk buttonhole thread. I did try a sample first without the BondaWeb but the  embroidery started to fall apart as I was edge sewing it so some kind of stabilising was definitely needed. This is my version:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Making it didn’t go entirely smoothly. I had to reset the left sleeve three times before I got it to hang the way I wanted. Then a certain amount of messing about with making different size shoulder pads and what best to round out the sleeve cap with (felt in the end, rather like in some jackets) was needed. The hem has been done twice. After the first time it was an inch too long to wear with a particular coat so knowing it would really bother me I did it again. Doing the multiple rows of shirring was a bit tedious too. Even so I’m intending to use the pattern again soon with some rayon flower print fabric as the shape is very flattering to wear. It should all go much more easily second time around!

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1930s | Vintage Sewing

Lounging 1930s Style

By on April 29, 2012

Pyjamas for lounging only because there is so much fabric in this 1930’s style that I’d get very tangled if I were to actually wear them to sleep.

                         

 

I took my inspiration from this Simplicity pattern image. I find myself using the illustrations as inspirations rather than actually using the fragile tissue originals. By the time I’ve traced a pattern off and sworn blue over the folding back into factory folds  I may as well have found a likely basic block in my pattern boxes and just got on with drafting a pattern myself. I stay much calmer. I like drafting my own anyway. So that is what I did.

 

The fabric is a thin silk. The side seams and shoulder seams are french seamed and the armholes, under bust and hems are finished with bias bindings. The pant legs are a very wide 28″. Dangerous on stairs I discovered. I made the pants waist 4″ bigger than my own and put elastic only across the back as I didn’t want too much gathering at my waist so a side snapped placket was also necessary to get in and out of them.

The top just pulls over my head. The lower part is cut on the bias and the upper on the straight. Doing the V neck in the contrast silk satin was fiddly and could have been a mess except that I used a very light weight knit iron-on interfacing on that piece which helped control it. It’s basically a facing done to the outside rather than the inside. There are super light weight fusings made for silk fabrics but a very lightweight one for knits works just as well. I did try a rolled hem on the sleeves at first but as they are almost a full circle a pin-hem made them stick out just too much so I recut them with a little less fullness and the bound edge keeps them hanging softly.

I have put a free pattern for the pj top as a pdf download on the VV Free page on my blog.

Would I make this again? Yes, I am intending to try the pattern in a cotton jersey . I’m curious to see how that will turn out.

Do I enjoy wearing my PJ’s? – Yes, really fun to wear 🙂

 

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