1940s | 1950s

1940s honky tonk shirt

By on November 29, 2016

Hello fellow seamstresses !!
I post here to show you my first 40s-50s western project : a honky tonk shirt !
I don’t know if some of you like this style, but personaly I am completely crazy about it !

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Trying to get some class like those country singers had

(such as the great Charline Arthur in the picture below)

charline-arthur

 

I used a recent pattern, not vintage, but inspired by this era. (The magazine is the french BURDA , july 2010).

I changed it a bit : I drafted “pistol” western cuff instead of the straight ones proposed, and removed a part of the front, to keep just one piece of yoke. And I hand embroided it, yes ma’am I took patiently the time to do it ! haha

I used burgundy gabardine, and beige plain cotton (I won’t again, I don’t know why I did it, I forgot my previous mistakes : wrinkles, everywhere, only on he beige parts, always …)

And yes, I am planning on making the pants matching the shirt, of course 🙂

 

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Here is a front view of the shirt.

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It is not perfect but I am really happy with it and wear it a lot ! I can’t wait to make me others !

Oh ! By the way, I need your precious help : if some of you know a website where I could buy  good quality light rayon gabardine (any colour, plain would be better) it would be so great ! (And I know many of you here are some serious fabric experts 😉 )

Thanks for reading !

Here’s he link to th post on my blog : https://wildchildsophie.wordpress.com/

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1950s | Dresses

Capper’s Weekly (1950’s) 2875 Western dress

By on September 14, 2015

Capper’s Weekly (an agricultural magazine) 2875, 1950’s. I was outbid on this ages ago but then stumbled across another copy relatively recently. The copy I have is a vintage 10 (bust 28) and I’m . . . not. I know that two sizes is considered to be the maximum safe grade, but when you can’t just pop out and get another copy in your size, what do you do? You suck it up, grade three sizes, and make a lot of test muslins.

Cappers 00 dress

(Actually, I think there is a bust 34 for sale on Amazon, but I have enough duplicates, and I was going to have to personalize the fit, anyway.)

I really, really, wanted to wear this to a concert on Friday night so I graded and sewed like crazy all Labor Day weekend, most of the evenings last week, and all day Friday (which I had off from work). I didn’t quite make it and ended up pinning myself into it, but it was dark and nobody was going to notice that I didn’t have buttons.

The fabric is green plaid homespun with, yes, gold lamé running through it.  It had to be a cowgirl dress.  I got 1 yard + 3 yards, which was all my Joann’s had, and never did find any more. That’s a lot of fabric but not for a 1950’s dress so I had to make it count.  I didn’t trust snaps to hold a whole dress closed so I went with white pearl buttons instead:

cappers 2875 02 fabric

I cut the yoke on the bias and made self piping to play up the Western-shirt look. The lamé only runs in one direction so I had to piece it.

cappers 05 bodice back

Since homespun is comfortable but kind of flabby, I went overkill and lined the whole thing (this meant I had to alter the pattern pieces into a lining that was in single pieces, front and back, to avoid the bulk of the yoke seams and gathering). The bodice is lined in green sheeting scrap and the skirt in muslin. It’s heavy but I sort of like the feel and body of it.

Cappers 2875 lining

I finished the armscyes using the 19th-century neckline method of whipstitching the piping seam allowance to the lining. Worked great.

cappers 06 armscye

I chickened out on grading the skirt and used a “pattern” I’ve been messing with in small scale, for a gathered quarter-circle skirt. Basically between a circle skirt and a dirndl–lots of sweep but more forgiving to fit around the waist than a circle, but less bulk than a dirndl. It worked beautifully, although it took every inch of three yards, and I wish I had had enough to make it an inch or so longer.

I LOVE this dress. The only issue is that it still has a bit of “side boob” going on–it’s poochy around the front dart. Not along the dart, though; it’s not a dart issue. I made a copy of the bodice front last night, slashed it diagonally from center-front-waist to side-armscye, then perpendicularly from that slash to side-waist, and rotated the quadrants inward a bit.

Cappers 01 comparison edit 650

That left the waist, side, and front measurements the same but took up some slack in the side front (around my ribs, basically) and made the dart shorter and shallower.

Cappers 02 comparison edit

I made a really ratty test of it last night and I think it’s what I want. It’s not meant to be tightly fitted but it’s less baggy without spoiling the softness of the gathers into the yoke.

Cappers 03 bodice refit

(Link in comments to the Flickr set, which has pictures of what I did to fix the bodice piece.)

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1950s | Jumbo Ric Rac | Notions | Skirts

Half of a Patio Dress

By on July 15, 2013

Do you ever get a really crazy idea? About a week before I left for vacation, a friend gave me some old curtains left in their new house by the previous owners. They were a bright sunny yellow and I just knew it would be perfect for a 1950s patio dress. And I decided that I just had to have it done before vacation so I could wear it on vacation.

Now, the basic pattern for the skirt is pretty easy-it’s just three long rectangles gathered together with an elastic waist band. But vintage patio dresses take heaps of trim!

Aside from hours sewing on ric rac and other trims, my sewing machine decided it needed to break down. Thank goodness all it needed was a new bobbin shuttle but I lost a few days of sewing time waiting for it to arrive.

So, in the end I was only able to get the skirt portion finished, but I do have a vintage blouse pattern cut out to match. Luckily, I had a Mexican peasant top that worked well too!

I ended up wearing this outfit to a bird sanctuary and one of the ladies working there said it reminded her of the outfits she wore growing up in Mexico which just made my day! More photos (and photos of birds!) over on the blog.

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1940s | 1950s | Applique | Blouses | Embroidery | Shirts | Vintage Sewing

Gingham blouse with western appliqué!

By on January 19, 2013

Hello fellow sewers!

I just finished sewing up a fun little project that I want to share!

I used Simplicity 1093 to make a simple cotton blouse. I chose “style 3” because I wanted the most basic shape as I planned on adding an appliqué.

simplicity 1093simplicity 1093 style 3

The blouse was a fairly quick project to sew up, mostly because there were only five pieces to work with! The front and back bodice pieces are both cut on fold and the sleeves are part of the bodice, so there are only the two big pieces to worry about. The remaining three are a neck facing and two sleeve facings.

The blouse opens by a tiny side zipper that runs from about the bust down to the hem. I inserted the zipper by hand with a pick stitch, which is a technique I’d been itching to try for a while. There are also two buttons at the neckline which aid in slipping the blouse over your head.

hand sewn zippergingham buttons (close-up)

As you can see, I liked the hand picked look so much that I did all of the topstitching by hand as well!

gingham 3

I paired my new blouse with a red button-front skirt and tooled leather belt.

gingham 1

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Now for the appliqué…my favorite part!!

gingham 4

I cut this little design out of felt and attached it to the blouse with a blanket stitch. Next, I embroidered the details (horse’s bridle, mane, etc.) with a variety of  embroidery stitches.

horse appliquéhorse appliqué (close-up)

I’m really happy with this project, it was such a fun one!

Now I leave you with an “out take” in which my dog Herby decided to make an appearance….

that's my "excuse me....tryin' to take photos here" face.
that’s my “excuse me….tryin’ to take photos here” face.

xoxo,

Tina

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1940s | Mens | Shirts | Vintage Sewing

Men’s Western Shirt 1949 (simplicity 3054)

By on May 2, 2012

I just finished sewing up this fun western shirt for my honey (the handsome model in the photo below) from Simplicity pattern 3054 from 1949.

I used dark brown & tan lightweight wool and a plethora of cream colored piping for this project. I also added pearl snaps instead of the buttons which were suggested for a more traditional western look.

the finished product!

I’m really satisfied with the result aside from a few tiny details that no one will ever notice except me.

back view

While sewing this up, I learned how to do these nifty arrowhead tacks on the pockets…aren’t they fun? Of course they are and guess what? They’re easy too! I referred to an awesome tutorial that I found on the Coletterie website ( http://www.coletterie.com/tutorials-tips-tricks/arrowhead-tack-tutorial ), which i love!

hand sewn arrowhead tacks & tricky welt pockets!

My honey loves the shirt & even wore it for a recent show with his band! 🙂

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