1950s | Coats | Vintage Sewing

2015 Sew-tember Sew Along Vogue 1083

By on September 10, 2015

Hello We Sew Retro readers!

I’m so excited that this month is September, because if you haven’t heard already September is National Sewing Month. Which means this is #Sewtember, as I call it.

This year for #Sewtember I’ve decided to host my very first Sew Along and would like to invite all who are interested in joining the fun.

For this fun month long Sew Along each participant will be working on Vogue pattern v1083. This is a reproduction of a Vintage Vogue 1953 ladies coat.

If you’ve had the chance to read my blog (Akram’s Ideas), you may have seen a few coats I made in the last few month.

The first coat I ever attempted was back in March, of this year. It was a lovely pink fleece coat I made from my toddler niece using McCall’s pattern 4647.

Fleece Coat, McCalls 4647
Pink coat made for my niece, Layla.

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I made this coat, because I had heard that coat construction can be rather difficult. However, the coat seemed to come together rather nicely. No big hiccups and I loved working with fleece.

After getting my feet wet with in coat making I decided to make a coat of my own. I ended up making a vintage swing coat using, vintage Simplicity pattern 4191 from my stash.

The coat was made in part of the Your Fleece Fashion Contest, hosted by Your Fleece, an online Fleece retailer. I ended up making this coat out of red fleece, provided by Your Fleece, and finished the lining using some red statin from my fabric stash.

I entered the contest purely for fun, I still consider myself a novice sewer, besides I had planned to make a swing coat anyways. Despite what I thought about my sewing skills, somehow or another I managed to win the  Your Fleece Fashion Contest.

red swing coat
Posing in my swing coat.

I can’t say how much I love this coat it’s fantastic! It’s not only a great fashion statement it’s so cozy soft thanks to the fabulous fleece.

While I adored my first attempt at making a swing coat, I decided I’d like to make myself another. This time around I wanted to make a longer coat and while I’m at it , I thought why not share my sewing journey on this project as a Sew Along.

When planning the Sew Along I decided to choose a pattern that would accessible to others who might want to join the fun. Vogue’s vintage reproduction pattern v1083 was exactly what I was looking for. It had the class 1950’s swing coat style and it is still readily available for purchase.

The plan for the Sew Along is pretty simple. I’ll be posting once a week (typically on Saturday) my progress along with tips and tricks about sewing the coat.

I’ve also created a Flickr group (:https://www.flickr.com/groups/2015-sew-tember-v1083/) for all participants to join and share photos, discussions and comments on their own and other’s makes in the Sew Along. At the end of the sew along (in early October) I’ll be compiling a video montage of all the coats of participants in the Sew Along.

Akram's Ideas 2015 Sewtember Sew Along
Akram’s Ideas 2015 Sewtember Sew Along

So, with that said. I’d like to once again invite all you wonderful lovely vintage sewers to be apart of this Sew Along and join the fun in making Vogue pattern v1083. The first (getting started) post will debut this Saturday (Sept 12) over at Akram’s Ideas.

Hope to have you join the fun.

–Akram Taghavi-Burris
Bringing Creative and Crazy Ideas to Life.

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1950s | Rompers / Playsuits | Vintage Sewing

Flirty Flamingo Playsuit

By on April 27, 2015
This month I decided to join in for #SpringForCotton hosted by the lovely Rochelle over at Lucky Lucille.
 http://luckylucille.com/2015/03/spring-for-cotton/
Then I stumbled onto The Monthly Stitch and saw that the challenge for the month of April was “Put a BIRD on it!”  I hadn’t written for The Monthly Stitch at that point, so I thought I’d give a challenge a go!

So, since flamingos are, in fact, birds, I decided to stitch up and use this flirty little play-suit to complete both challenges!
As you know from my last post I spent the last two glorious weeks in the Sunshine State enjoying some lovely times with my family. I just managed to get this finished up in the last few days of vacation and had the chance to have it photographed with the lovely palm trees. I miss palm trees so much. But I digress.
This play-suit is a mash-up of McCall’s M6969 and the skirt from Vogue V9000. I did view C of the romper and just used the skirt pattern as a template for the gores.

My fabric for this project is this lovely,vibrant, flamingo print, 100% cotton, shirting and a solid pink quilting cotton. I’d been eyeing the flamingo print for about four months and happened to go in with a 50% off coupon and snagged 5 yards of this for only $25! That’s a huge bargain as far as I’m concerned.

I also settled on self-covered buttons for this project.

For the construction of the first part, the romper, I decided that I wanted to do a solid color top and use the flamingo print on the bottom. I wanted it to look as if it were two pieces without actually being so. I also liked the idea of being able to wear the romper by itself with a belt and have it still look like a two piece set.

I added the white bias binding on all of the hems. I really liked how the contrast of the white played against the brighter colors.

Due to the long trip and baggage regulations, I was only able to bring limited supplies with me to my mom’s. Luckily, she is also a sewist and was willing to share her sewing room with me during my stay.

That also included getting to sew it up on her Husqvarna Viking Designer 1!! This thing sews like a dream. Seriously, it’s worth every very expensive penny. While I hope my mother lives forever, I also hope she leaves this to me in her will… unless she decides one day to upgrade and feels the need to pass this on to me. I wouldn’t complain one bit.

Lovely woman that my mother is, she also played my photographer for this project. Usually I just photograph my makes on Millie, my dress form. Unfortunately, she was still at home in Ohio and my mother doesn’t have one. So that meant, I had to get dolled up and get outside and in front of the camera. We are by no means professionals, but they didn’t turn out to bad for cell phone pics.

So there you have it. This is #vintagepledge make number 3 for me! I’m over half way to my goal of 5 for the year. I guess it’s time to unpack, clean up and figure out what my next project will be!! Find more of my work at www.shessewbettie.blogspot.com!!

Much love!!

blognametag

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1940s | Dresses

Vintage Vogue 2569 – A 1943 Wool Dress

By on December 4, 2014

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Although I’ve worked in theatre for years, I’ve recently started acting – and when you do community theatre, you are often asked to scrounge up your own costumes for shows.  Especially when the director knows that you are a costume designer professionally. 🙂  So when my husband and I were cast in a local production of ‘Miracle on 34th Street’, I got busy!

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Although we’re setting the play in the later 40’s, this 1943 Vintage Vogue pattern really jumped out at me as being perfect for the character of ‘Shellhammer’ – a Macy’s department store employee.  I THOUGHT I was going to have to do a lot of drafting the pattern up (based on the size chart on the back of the pattern), and since the pattern is out of print I couldn’t just go out and buy the next set of sizes.  But knowing that there’s a lot of ease in these things, I decided to just cut the largest size and do a toile, to see what happened.

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Glad I did the toile – because the dress ended up actually almost fitting perfectly, straight out of the box (so to speak).  I had to take in the shoulders a touch (I always have to), nip in the waist (my waist to hip ratio is above average), and raise the bodice seams a touch – but otherwise, perfect.

I’ve been VERY pleased with the pattern – it’s not an easy one, but the directions are excellent.  If you follow step by step, and do exactly what they tell you to do (even if you’re scratching your head while you do it), it all falls into place beautifully.  I decided to under stitch the bodice detailing rather than topstitching it – but that’s the only thing that changed.  Lots of vintage sewing techniques – pattern pieces topstitched on top of other pieces.  It’s more like building a dress than sewing it together!

Done in a lovely tweedy brown wool.

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More photos in my blog, here!

 

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1950s | Accessories | Mens | Vintage Sewing

The Super-Secret Christmas Robe from 1951

By on January 7, 2014

A couple of years ago, I found an amazing vintage Mens’ robe pattern on Etsy and fell in love. I snapped it up, ordered some gorgeous rayon fabric and some ultra-soft micro fleece to line it with. When the pattern arrived  I was so excited… and then somehow I never made it. You know how it is, projects pile up, work gets too busy and then before you know it, it’s two years later – no robe.

So this year I was determined to sew it for my husband for Christmas, and I was determined that he wouldn’t even know I was sewing something for him. In the middle of finals project and a really busy month at Mrs. Depew Vintage I was sewing this robe like a crazy person. And let me tell you, lining rayon with micro fleece is about as easy as getting a puppy to hold still during a cat parade.

I sewed between assignments and studying, before and after work, at midnight while he was working night shifts (gotta love the military) and every time my husband rode his motorcycle into the driveway I madly dashed to stash everything into my studio closet and delint the threads from my clothes to hide any evidence of my undertaking.

Vogue 8753 Robe Front

 

Vogue 8753 Robe Lining.

 

Vogue 8753 Robe Cuff Embroidery

The work paid off though and it came out perfect –  and he loves it!

If you’d like to see more pictures (I didn’t want to bore you with too much) you can read the full post on my blog A Few Threads Loose.

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1950s

Plaid and Velvet

By on December 26, 2013

This was a last-minute, impulse project – that’s the only way I sew anything for myself, to be honest. The pattern is Vogue 9059 – one of my favorite Vogues of all time. It took me the better part of two years to find it in my size for a price I could afford – I ended up getting it for under $25, yay! Even better, the fabric for this dress was totally free. My sister found a bolt of this gorgeous Ralph Lauren tartan sateen home dec fabric at a thrift shop and bought the whole thing. She’s made a few projects for herself and she also cut off a generous dress-sized hunk for me. Everything else, from the velvet to the zipper to the vintage belt buckle, was scrounged from my stash. (Know what this means? It means I get to buy some more fabric.)

My first thought was that the elegant yoke bands should be a contrast fabric – maybe solid white.  However, as you can see from the line drawing, the bands end at the shoulder seam; using a contrast color would have caused awkwardness there. (Design elements that end abruptly at a side seam = my absolute biggest fashion pet peeve. Remember all those awful Nineties blouses with the vest attached on the front only?) 

So the yoke bands were plaid, but I eliminated the button overlap and cut them in one piece so they wouldn’t be too busy. Totally unintentionally, the plaid on the top and middle bands matched perfectly. Nice! The bottom band didn’t match and I needed something there to break up the yoke seam, so I cut the bottom band out of some black cotton velvet instead. (The bottom band doesn’t reach the shoulder seam – as you can see, it peters out around the high bust area.)

This pattern wasn’t really intended for a plaid – I don’t think it was intended for a print material at all, actually – so I knew I was going to have to fudge it on the skirt. So I decided to worry about matching the plaids on the skirt front seam only and let the others fall as they may. This was my first attempt at matching plaids, and I was clearly affected with some sort of beginners’ luck, as it came out pretty good. We just won’t even talk about the other skirt seams, particularly on the zipper side!

And here is the dress in action on Christmas morning, complete with red lipstick and pearls and my new chiffon petticoat!

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