1930s | 1940s | Dresses | Modern Patterns | Vintage Sewing

Modern & Vintage

By on August 30, 2017

This Dress was a long time coming.  I started working on it in November of last year. Originally, I intended to make it from a wool crepe and that the red rayon would be a wearable muslin.  Using the Colette Patterns Oolong Dress pattern (purchased for 1/2 price, when they were discontinuing the pattern), I decided to make one modification – add godets to the skirt in the princess seams to give it a little flip and flare.  That version was not so exciting, in fact, I was so disappointed with the fit,  I put the dress back on rack to wait for some inspiration or divine intervention, whichever came first.

 

Earlier this summer I needed a dress to wear to a tropical themed Art Deco party, so I pulled the dress and pattern out of storage and decided to see what I could do.  Necessity is the mother of invention, right?  Well I ended up combining 3 patterns to make this one look – the Colette Oolong, Colette Parfait and the 1930s Ladies Afternoon Tea Frock – Reproduction Sewing Pattern #T3221 from Vintage Pattern Lending Library.

Here is a closeup of the finished dress!
And a view from the back

In the end, I’m pretty happy with the results.  I don’t think I will make it up again, but If I did, I would fit the skirt a bit differently and make the godets come up higher.  I’ve worn it twice now – once to the tropical event and once to a local production of Castle Happy, a play about William Randolf Hearst and Family.

If you are interested in seeing HOW I worked with the fitting and the patterns, visit my Blog for the full post.

Until Next Time….Happy Sewing!

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1920s | Dresses

From 1929

By on March 27, 2016

voor1Today, I finally finished this dress! Tracing out the pattern for it was the first sewing related thing I did this year but it took me three months to actually finish it. Normally, I sew pretty quickly but this time, I kept being held up by other things, other sewing and the need to find the right fabric.

And in the end, I think it is for the best that I had some time to let the toile “marinade” on the sewing room table. The dress was way too sack-shaped initially and I think the solution I came up with in the end is much better than anything I considered back in January.

2This was the pattern. A wedding dress from Gracieuse magazine nr. 16 from 1929 (this magazine was published twice a month). I shortened the skirt so it would not be a wedding dress.

1This was the toile. Very, very baggy.

In the end, I adjusted it by simply taking out 10 cm at center front. This meant sacrificing the cowl-neck (one of the features for which I chose the dress) but fixing all the other issues.

zij1

 

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I am very pleased with the finished dress. 1920’s styles are always tricky. Their loose shapes are just so far removed from anything we are used to. I think this one is a happy medium though: I think it can still be recognized as a 1920’s look but it also looks sleek and elegant to my eyes which are attuned to more modern styles (usually starting in 1947…)

As usual, there is more about the dress, including more pictures, on my blog

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1920s | Blouses | Downton Abbey Inspired | Giveaway | Skirts | Vintage Sewing

1920s Silk Blouse and Pleated Skirt

By on March 11, 2016

After admiring everyone else’s achievements last year for A Stitching Odyssey’s Vintage Pledge I decided that this year I was going to join in. My own pledge was to challenge and push myself with my sewing. I’ve just finished my first outfit for the pledge, a 1920s silk blouse and pleated skirt. I created the pattern for the blouse by tracing around a simple silk top I already had and then making my own adjustments. The pattern for the skirt was McCall’s M7022 pleated skirt which I lengthened to a more suitable 1920s style.

1920s blouse, skirt and cloche hat

I used a beautiful Pre-Raphaelite inspired green and purple floral silk for the blouse which I bought from the fabulous ClothSpot and this was my first challenge. I’d never worked with silk before so was really, really nervous about starting it and I put it off for about four months. The Vintage Pledge was just what I needed to force myself to be brave and just get on with it. As it turned out there was nothing to worry about!

Pre-Raphaelite inspired silk fabric

I added vintage, probably early 20th Century, jet buttons to both the front of the blouse and at the side to close the band around the bottom.

1920s blouse, skirt and cloche hat

The skirt is in a black cotton twill that I dug out from my stash. I’m not overly happy with it, mainly because the fabric is all wrong for the style of skirt, it’s way too stiff. I’m not sure if I’ll try and adjust it or just make a different one.

If you would like to read more about how the whole outfit and see more photos feel free to pop over to my blog. And while you’re there why not check out my latest post where I’m running a giveaway of £40 to spend on fabrics at ClothSpot. (Giveaway ends midnight 20th March 2016)

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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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1960s | Shirts

Call The Midwife Inspired Top

By on March 30, 2015

I planned on making this top before I signed up for the vintage pattern pledge but by the time I found the perfect fabric it seemed like fate had stepped in and now I’m amending my pledge to include vintage inspired as well! For my vintage pattern pledge I vowed to sew up at least six of my vintage or reproduction sewing patterns. Since Coco says right on the pattern envelope that the optional funnel neck is sixties inspired and my inspiration came from a show set in the 60’s, I think its acceptable to count it as one of my 6.

saint-james-striped-interlock-knit-ecru-and-grey-7I decided to keep checking some of my favorite fabric resources regularly and eventually I’d get my Patsy Coco. I got really lucky and found this interlock knit from Hart’s Fabric just about a month after making my pledge! I would have preferred a slightly larger white stripe but come on, look at this fabric, how could I say no when it was roughly a 98% match?

Now that I had my fabric it was time to get serious about construction. I knew I would be using the Coco top with the funnel neck but there were a few considerations to be made. From the screen shot I took and watching the scene over and over, I decided to make the 3/4 sleeve version of Coco because some of Patsy’s arm is clearly visible but I don’t see any bulk that would indicate long sleeves pushed up. There is no indication that the shirt is cuffed but I really like the look of the Coco cuff with the funnel neck, I think it adds more vintage flair, so I decided I would use that pattern piece. There is never a point where you get a good shot of the sides so should I do the slits of not? Since I had never done them before I seriously considered it but was more concerned about pattern matching my stripes and opted against it. Sometimes I surprise myself with the level of detective work that I put into the things I sew.

To read more about the construction (and see the finished top!) head on over to my blog.

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1950s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

A New Frock for the Kurri Kurri Nostalgia Festival

By on

If you live in the Hunter Valley region of NSW in Australia, you know about the Kurri Kurri Nostalgia Festival. Chances are if you are into the classic car scene and live anywhere in Australia you’ve heard about it. Those of you who don’t know about it, it is a whole weekend full of 1950’s goodness. There’s a show ‘n’ shine, lots of bands and dancing, heaps of market stalls selling vintage and reproduction clothing, accessories, homewares and gifts. It is probably the one weekend a year when I really love living in the area I live.

I always make at least one new Outfit for Nostalgia Festival. In fact, my very first 1950’s style dress that I sewed was for this festival. So I guess you could blame it for my obsession now? As I will be in my work uniform for one day of the weekend, I only needed to make an outfit for the Sunday (which is the biggest day of the weekend)

I recently came to possess this 1956 Australian Home Journal, and I knew I had to make the pink dress. So I found some divine pink rose cotton from my stash and set about grading up the pattern. As this is a true vintage pattern, and fabric from my stash, I’m also counting it towards my Vintage Sewing Pattern Pledge, Yay!

Pattern and Fabric
Pattern and Fabric
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Bodice minus the sleeve cuffs
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Pleating the Fabric for the skirt, goodness there is a lot of fabric!

I did modify the pattern slightly, by adding bust darts at the side of the front bodice, as it was quite gapey in the armscye. I also hemmed it a bit shorter than the pattern says to, as I am not too tall myself, it is still quite long though. I used a solution of 1 part white vinegar to 3 parts water in a spray bottle to help set the pleats. No, I didn’t smell like vinegar, and the pleats stayed lovely and crisp all day

On the Saturday night, after working all day at the festival, I made a last minute decision to make a new petticoat for this dress, as I didn’t like how it hung with any of my other ones. I put it together nearly completely with my overlocker, only using my sewing machine for a straight stitch on the elastic casing. Then I put everything on my mannequin and admired my work.

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Unfortunately I didn’t get a good full length shot of me wearing the dress, so here is a quick shot of my Mum and I before we headed out for the day. She came and raided my wardrobe and had me do her hair

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Please feel free to head over to my blog to see more of my sewing. Parts of the initial construction of this dress are included in this post, and this post has a few more photos of the Kurri Kurri Nostalgia Festival

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1960s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

Simplicity 3345 redux – Some vintage maternity wear for the Vintage Pattern Pledge

By on February 23, 2015

Hey there! It’s been a hot minute since I had a sewing project to share with you all, but today I’ve got my first finished project of the year to show you! It’s actually also my first finished project for the Vintage Sewing Pattern Pledge of 2015, AND as just a little icing on the cake, it’s also a 100% pure stash-buster. I did not make any further financial expenditures for this project. Every single thing on it, from the fabric to the notions (and the pattern) was stuff that I already owned. While it’s not “technically” true, I am telling myself that this dress was consequently a “FREE” dress, which makes it even better and totally fits in with my attempts at stash busting and project budgeting this year. All good things.

Anyway, this is the second version of Simplicity 3345, the first of which can be seen here.

I made a couple of minor changes, mostly taking the side seams in slightly, in order to get a little better fit on this one. I think by rights I probably should have done a full bust adjustment as well to get the fit really perfect, but that’s more work than I wanted to put in on something I was only going to wear for a couple of months (and be changing sizes the whole time anyway). I shortened the hem (from the pattern length) by about 5 or 6 inches, so it hits me just at the bottom of my knee like the illustration. I’m not all that short, and even with a three inch hem allowance you’d have to be 5’10” for this to hit you where it does in the illustration. I intended on getting pictures of this one on myself so you could see how it looks on a legitimately pregnant human, but my husband is never up during daylight hours and the tripod is broken, so Tabitha will have to suffice yet again.

The bow is actually a pin that goes on the playsuit from which I scavenged the red fabric (it was from the skirt portion of the playsuit, which I think I maybe wore once and decided needed to be put to better use), so I can move it around, which is fun. It looks pretty cute at the neck, too. The back sash pieces don’t perfectly line up with the front since I was working with the width of the previous skirt’s ties, but my usually super anal retentive self was ok with it because I was doing some awesome stash busting/recycling.

You can see where I had to piece the ties to get the length I needed for this, since the skirt ties were much shorter. I hand-picked the zip like I normally do, since it’s actually one of my favorite bits of hand finishing. I think they just look so much nicer, too. The zipper and waist elastic were also things I had in my stash already, which is why I went with a bright red zipper instead of a matching one, but I think bright zippers can be fun sometimes anyway.

Just so you can get an idea of what these dresses look like on a real person, here is a picture of version 1 from Derby two years ago. I was about 36 or 37 weeks.

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