1930s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

Red Linen Wrap Dress

By on September 3, 2016

nippon5

Seeing as vintage can sometimes seem a little bit prim and higher maintenance, it can feel great to just toss on a wrap dress and be extra comfy. No petticoats or under structure, just a linen rayon blend and an adjustable waist tie!

I’ve made a 1930’s inspired wrap dress before, and I used the same pattern once again, a self drafted number cobbled together from my usual kimono sleeved dress bodice pattern and an A-line skirt pattern. I did change the sleeve shape just a bit to be a bit more square and actually kimono like, as I knew I wanted to take photos of the finished dress in a Japanese garden. The red linen/rayon blend is from Joanns, and they carry this same fabric in several colors in their linen section. I like the addition of rayon, it means the fabric wrinkles a bit less ferociously than a linen would on its own. This fabric also has a nice weight to it and holds a crisp edge well when ironed.

Here is a 1930s pattern image that shows a similar dress, though I think these 30’s numbers are meant to be more casual house dresses and I made mine more formal for wearing out and about.

wrap3c

 

The most tedious thing about making this dress was making, ironing, and stitching on the self fabric bias binding along the edges. The dress is unlined, and has no facings, so the bias binding encloses all of the raw edges including the hem. I sewed the bias along the outer edge by machine (that was a lot of pins!) and then after folding it over to the backside stitched the entire length down with invisible hand stitches on the back. Time consuming indeed, but worth it in the end for a nice finish!

 

 

nippon6

I am so pleased with how the dress came together in the end and I already want to make another version in the black colorway of this same fabric! Perhaps that will be a project for next year 🙂 For more photos of this dress and my day at the Denver Botanical Gardens visit me over on The Closet Historian!

nippon10

Continue Reading

1950s | Dresses | Introduction | Vintage Sewing

Vintage Simplicity 8085

By on June 15, 2016

W00 hoo! Finally getting brave enough to post on the main We Sew Retro blog! Been a huge fan of everyone’s projects on this blog for a long time and wanted to share my most recent make.

I’ve been sewing for about 15 years and originally went to school for textile and fabric design. I am obsessed with using colorful prints!

I made this dress a week and a half ago and have all ready worn it a bunch of times- I’m all ready thinking I should make another version in a linen fabric.

 

Vintage on Tap, Simplicity 8085Vintage on Tap, Simplicity 8085

Vintage on Tap, Simplicity 8085

I was really apprehensive about only having snap closures… so I added at least 3 more than the amount the pattern dictated!

Also, I put in my bias binding detailing a little bit differently than what the original pattern called for. I talk about that a little bit in the video I made for it.

 More details, additional pictures, and video can be found over on my blog.

Continue Reading

1960s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

McCall’s 2440 (1962) back-wrap “apron” dresses, again

By on July 27, 2015

I made this one in 2009 in pink cotton-polyester with pink gingham binding.

Version one used this awesome faintly-Japanese Jules and Coco floral print from Joann’s.  I actually made this, discovered that the bodice was too big (it was too big on the pink dress but I’d gotten used to wearing it that way), tried to jerry-rig a fix, and then gave up.  Then I rallied and took the dress apart, cut a new bodice, and put it back together.  It was worth all that seam ripping:

19612440 19 Japanese flowers done

I went to DSW for work shoes on Saturday and found pink loafers on clearance.  I’m not really a novelty shoe kind of girl but something told me I might need them for my early 1960’s stuff:

19612440 20 pink shoes

I finished another version last week of the same dress but in a yellow atomic print I got at Joann’s a few years ago.  I loved it, kind of, but it was way too modern and the wrong scale for all my 1940’s dresses.  This pattern is 1961 so it’s a much better fit.  You can’t really see them, but it has big black buttons on the pockets.  (I borrowed DSW’s mirror.)

19612440 21 yellow atomic done

A word on fitting this pattern: It runs in small-medium-large-etc. sizes, not individual sizes.  This one is a 14-16 (bust 34-36) and I think the shoulders run a bit big.  I fixed it by taking in the shoulders a size on the upper front bodice (not the lower front, just the upper front) and by taking a wedge out of the back bodice.  I basically took an inch out of the center edge of the back, tapering to the lower side-seam corner, to shorten the center edge without shortening the sides.  This pulled it closer to my back and helped the gapping.

The yellow dress and pink dresses both have buttons added to keep them closed.  I’m not sure I need that now and have not added one to the flowered dress yet; I’ll wear it awhile and see.  (The back button catches on my hair, which is annoying.)

Flickr set: YellowFlickr set: Flowered

Continue Reading

1940s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

A ‘Round the House Wrap Dress

By on June 1, 2015
Simplicity 2275, dated 1948 | Lavender & Twill
Stitching challenge 2015 for a vintage wardrobe | Lavender & Twill
Vintage - around the house - mama style | Lavender & Twill
Hunter green vintage 1940s reproduction heels | Lavender & Twill
Easy 1940s style | Lavender & Twill
Pin curls, vintage, and 1940s frocks | Lavender & Twill
*whew*

Am I ever so glad that this dress is done! I have never had so much trouble putting together a sewing project before ~ not because it didn’t come together easily enough, that wasn’t the problem ~ it was because I just couldn’t get the dang thing to sit right! (┛◉Д◉)┛*rage*

I suppose this is where experienced seamstresses look pointedly at their muslins and toiles, then at me, then back at the neat little muslin sitting on the dress form…..

Yah.  Ain’t nobody got time for that! Least ways, I don’t.

I found out that the bodice of my 90% completed dress was not fitting correctly because of my nursing bust size, even though I’d measured the pattern and thought that it would fit. The design of the back of the neck was not working for me either. It wouldn’t sit right no matter how I adjusted it ~ up or down!

Getting the dress to fit required a lot of what my coding Mister calls “hacking”. In my sewing world however, hacking involves taking a sharp pair of scissors to already sewn seams and hacking the bajeebies out of the fabric along strategically drawn chalk lines.

I cut roughly two inches out from the back of the neck, and lopped off three to seven inches from the sleeves, then hemmed the skirt up by five inches. It was a risk that the whole thing would fall apart if I snipped too much, or in the wrong place, but it paid off as the dress sits much better around the neckline now.
It isn’t all weird and bunchy like it was before. I don’t quite know what was happening, but the back of the dress sat really high up on the back of my neck, and it was making the darts sit in the wrong place, which was making the bodice puff up really strangely above the bust.

Of course, getting it to work took a lot of extra fiddling, which took a lot of extra time, and I ended up taking way too long on this project. Plus, I’ve been sick as a dog for the last week, which means May is officially up and I didn’t manage to get my other project ~ a winter blouse ~ done this month.  (TT ^ TT)

So, only one more project ticked off the great Sewing All the Things challenge of 2015, but at least it actually happened because I was worried there for a moment that I would end up having to toss the whole dress.

The source of much trouble! ~


Next question ~ does anyone want to purchase this pattern?  It will come with all the original pieces of the pattern, the original instructions {taped, because they are falling apart}, the original envelope, and also a copy of the bodice, sleeve, facings, waist inserts, tie, and pocket pattern pieces all traced onto Polytrace {similar to Swedish Tracing Paper ~ it’s a soft, woven fabric-like paper}. Basically, I traced off everything but the skirt, so you can work straight from the pattern copy.

If you would like to buy the pattern, along with the the Polytrace copies for $20.00 AUD, please email me with your Paypal address and mailing address, and I can send off an invoice which will also include whatever the P+P will cost.

~ Project Details ~

  • Year: 1948
  • Pattern: Simplicity 2275
  • Fabric: 2 1/2 metres of red and green sprig floral of poly-cotton{?}. I have no idea about the fibre content of this fabric as my Grandmother gave it to me.
  • Notions: None, is a wrap dress.
  • Time to complete: Three weeks
  • Make again? Nope. I really don’t want to make this dress again. It was just such a hassle to get it working properly that I really don’t want to go through all of that again. I like the dress, but not that much.
  • Wear again? I will, but I think it’ll probably be in my “around the house, running errands, going to playgroup, etc” wardrobe. Which is okay with me because I need more vintage around the house clothes anyway.
  • Total Cost:  $0.00 ~ yay for stash busting!

Have any of you had sewing dramas with almost-but-not-quite-failure projects before?  Would you seam rip to make it work, or try ‘hacking’ it up? Plus, how great are my new shoes ~ right?  (ノ ゜ω゜)ノ

xox,

bonita


༺ ♡ ༻


Find me:
Instagram | missbjvear
Pinterest | bjvear
Ravelry | BJVear
Twitter | bjvear
Youtube | Bonita Vear

Continue Reading

1940s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

A Tropical Wrap Dress

By on June 14, 2013

Rayon is perhaps my favorite fabric to sew with! Love it! And it’s absolutely perfect for 40s dresses!

When I saw this fabulous tropical printed rayon in the garment district in LA, I knew it had to be a 40s tiki dress! And I promptly bought 7 yds. lol.

I used Eva Dress 3863 from 1943. It’s a daring wrap dress and it’s available as a multisize pattern!

 

I did view 2! It turned out so lovely!

I really love this fabric! More photos and construction details over on the blog!

P.S. These photos are from a modeling shoot with a professional so that’s why there’s watermarks.

Continue Reading

1960s | Vintage Sewing

That’s a {Violet} Wrap {Dress}

By on May 7, 2013

5May 2013 4

This pattern has been sitting in my pattern stash for at least a year (probably longer). I fell in love with the violet dress on the front as soon as I saw it, but the only problem was that I just couldn’t seem to find the right coloured fabric! It needed to be a violet wrap dress. No other colour would do. Needless to say, I found the right fabric a few weeks ago, but guess what? It’s actually cotton quilt backing! I know, I’m such a rebel.

The best thing about buying quilt backing for a project? You get twice the amount of fabric for the same price because it’s folded over double on the bolt. You really can’t lose folks.

5May 2013 5

While the dress itself was relatively simple to make up, I spent so much time on hand sewing I could cry. I really really didn’t want to lose the clean lines down the front of the dress by top stitching my facings in place by machine, and so I did it all by hand. If I didn’t know how to do an invisible hand stitch before, I sure do now. But just look at that hand stitching! Oh wait, you can’t…

5May 2013 6

I also added some purple hem lace to the front line of the skirt. This was actually lace left over from our wedding and I still have a bunch of it in all sorts of happy colours. I really love the result and think my next few garments will probably all have lace detailing of some kind on them.

Last but not least, I swapped out the arm facings for bias binding. I have a tutorial on how to make your own bias binding here and will have a tutorial on replacing arm facings with bias binding on my blog on Friday!

A little bit more on my blog here 🙂

xx Jen

Continue Reading

1960s

Floral wrap button back dress

By on May 8, 2012

I made this dress using a vintage floral cotton that was given to me. I also used a vintage sewing pattern that I acquired for free: Simplicity 8827.

So this dress was essentially made for free, except for the cost of thread.

I made a few adjustments to the pattern (neckline, waist and length), but the overall style is the same.

If you are interested, more details, pictures and information at my blog.

Continue Reading