Sunday, February 19, 2017

Free Knitting Pattern: Golden frills jumper, Stitchcraft Magazine May-June 1947

Today's free vintage knitting pattern is a lovely little number from a late 1940s Stitchcraft Magazine.

free vintage knitting pattern 1940s sweater jumper 40 34

I'm not sure if you can see it in the above image, but the yoke has a great lattice pattern on top of a body of ribbing. The lattice is edged with a frill, which I find frilling haha.

To fit: 34-36 inch bust
Yarn: Fingering weight
Needles: 3.75mm and 3mm
(right click on images to open full size)





Saturday, January 14, 2017

FOs: 1950's Lamè Bombshell Dress (using Gertie's Ultimate Dress Book)

I'm sure that I'll never get bored with the Faux Sarong Dress in Gertie's Ultimate Dress Book!

gerties ultimate dress book review faux sarong dress 1950s lame lamè dress plus size vintage sewer

These photos were taken on a 40C degree day at the Sydney Opera House - so please excuse my face while I'm trying not to melt into a puddle...

After the success with the leopard print version I made last year, it was time to try a totally different look using the same pattern mashed up with Butterick 9629 (I have an old repro by HappyScissors).


This time around, I added a sarong over skirt to the front, a mock tie, shoulder straps and bust detailing.

gerties ultimate dress book review faux sarong dress 1950s lame lamè dress plus size vintage sewer
I love this photo as it looks like i'm being attacked by a seagull!
Fabric:
This is Xmas lamè fabric - I kid you not. 
I found it in the Xmas section at Spotlight, and bought everything I could get my hands on.
It's thick like vintage lamè and holds it shape really well. The only downside is the strength of the fabric weave - it's a tad loose and pressure on the seams show up. I would recommend overlocking the edges of every piece before sewing too as they frayed like you would not believe. 

The whole dress is lined in matching gold cotton homespun.

gerties ultimate dress book review faux sarong dress 1950s lame lamè dress plus size vintage sewer

Construction:
I used spiral steel boning just like last time, but left off the sprung steel as I wanted to be able to sit down (and the shoulder straps would hold it up).

Surprisingly, spiral steel was enough to hold everything up - so much so go I could bra-less in this dress, the first time in my life! 


To get the sarong overskirt to fit, I laid the sarong pattern piece over the existing skirt front and added and subtracted from the side until it matched. Very easy.

The bias strip around the upper edge is completely handsewn to the edges.



Mods:
  • Added another inch to total length (that's 2 inches total)
  • Sarong skirt addition
  • No other mods that weren't mentioned last time I used this pattern.


Overall:
Once again, really happy with this pattern and how the dress turned out. It looked so fabulous that the MC Murray Hill gave us front row seats at the show Club Swizzle when he saw us walk us (win!).

I can't wait to use the rest of the lamè in another dress, but I think I need some easy projects before I tackle using it again.


2016 in Review

I know that 2016 was pretty rotten for a lot of people (not to mention a lot of inspirational people passing away) - but 2016 was a pretty fantastic year for me.

Jakk and I had an amazing two-month holiday in the USA, and got see a tonne of people we love, plus the bison, Yellowstone National Park and Hawaii.


I was getting emotional just looking at old photos - we'll probably be heading back in 2018.

On my personal life side, the project work I've been doing has lead to a new senior role at work. You've probably noticed a drop off in my posting - apologies, I have a lot less spare time than I used to so I'm aiming for quality over quantity.

I've also just found out that I got accepted into University for this year, starting an MBA (squee). This is the girl who didn't really finish high school, and hasn't done any University study before.
To those in a similar boat I say don't give up, there's other ways to get into University and experience really counts.


Finished Outfits for 2016


Knitting
No finished knitting for 2016 - but I have a lot of projects that should be finished off this year (hopefully).

Sewing
While not hugely productive this past year, I really did focus on making tricky or time consuming clothing (including finally using metal boning).


From the left:







Now these blouses might not be tricky to make, but I've definitely turned out a lot of them (eight versions and counting). I think the pattern is my new go-to for blouses, and a great example of not trusting the envelope picture - it looks much better in real life.

Well, 2017 will hopefully continue in the same vein - and I hope you had a swell New Years!

xxx
Bex

Thursday, December 01, 2016

FO: The Universal Blouse (Simplicity 3288, c. 1950)

With the heat kicking in down here in Sydney it's definitely time to start summer sewing - and what's better than a blouse that can be worn with anything?

I've had Simplicity 3288 in my stash for ages and actually thought it was a dress until I took a closer look just recently.


It's actually a top and skirt pattern. The pattern envelope didn't look very inspiring but I thought I would give it a go - and I'm sure glad I did!

The blouse is bias cut and has little winged sleeve cuffs - plus two versions of collar and collar-less.

The collar-less version (2) is a cinch to make, and I went for pink cotton homespun version with ric-rac trim to match the pattern picture.



To enlarge it to fit me, I added half an inch across the top of the shoulders, and half an inch width on each side seam. It worked perfectly.



The ric-rac trim on the sleeves are definitely my favourite bit.


But you can't stop at one right?
So here's the same blouse (Version A), but with a collar in white rayon.

1950s vintage sewing patterns pattern blouse simplicity 3288

novelty cigarette brooch 1950s

The white rayon is definitely my favourite version of this blouse - the fabric is nice and cool to wear and perfect for summer.


And finally, Version A in minty green cotton homespun.


I chose this colour to match a 1950's John Wolf border skirt, and the colour is so close that a few people thought it was actually a dress.

1950s bakelite western brooch 1940s lucite jewelry vintage

And the perfect colour to show off my new lucite and bakelite vintage brooch!

Fabric used:
Cotton prima homespun, and pure rayon

Difficulty:
Very easy. Takes about 1-2 hours to make one.

Pattern Mods:

  • Added half an inch across the shoulders and at the side seams. Enlarged sleeve cuff to fit/
  • Shortened bust dart length by an inch to stop pointy boob. 

Would I make this again?
Yes, definitely! I need one in navy rayon, and mustard cotton.


I think the lesson I learned is perhaps don't judge a patten by it's envelope?


Sunday, November 06, 2016

Free Vintage Knitting Pattern: A Fair Isle Jumper from Bestway (2132 c. 1940s)

Oh my, I've been so remiss and havent shared a vintage knitting pattern for ages - apologies!

This one is actually called 'A Jersey to Remember' and comes from the Bestway 2132 pamphlet.


free vintage knitting pattern 1940s sweater jumper bestway

This sweet little jumper has a gorgeous fair isle yoke, with matching fair isle designs on the arms.

It will give a finished bust measurement of 37 inches,
It uses fingering weight yarn on 3.25mm and 2.75 mm needles.




Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Camperdown Cruise happy snaps

It's October, and that means Camperdown Cruise time!


I totally forgot to bring my camera, but luckily I can share photos from Instagram with you.

This year we tried something different and drove down from Sydney to Camperdown - a trip of over 2,000 kms return! It did mean for some great site-seeing - starting with the Big Merino in Goulburn.


Aussies have a tradition of making 'big' thing tourist traps - there's even a list of them on Wikipedia here to plan your next roadtrip.

Next up was Holbrook - home to the inland submarine HMAS Otway.


A photo posted by Bex Hulands (@bexthefemme) on

The submarine is a must-see on the trip from Sydney to Victoria.

A photo posted by Bex Hulands (@bexthefemme) on

We decided to stop at a little hotel on the way - it had an amazingly kitsch sign from the 1950s out the front.

A photo posted by Bex Hulands (@bexthefemme) on

Does anyone else choose their accomodation based on how retro or vintage it looks?

Our accomodation for the cruise was 15 minutes down the road from Camperdown - a boutique hotel in Mt Noorat.

A photo posted by Bex Hulands (@bexthefemme) on

We loved this place! Full of old wood and antiques, and a brilliant restuarant downstairs that has great vegetarian food.

This photo waas from the Friday night of the festival - I went for an 'easy to dance in' outfit of Avanti Tea-Timer, swing pants and re-mix wedges.

A photo posted by Bex Hulands (@bexthefemme) on

The Cruise itself was fun as always! Jakk got to meet Jai Malano (one of her favourite singers) and I got to drink cocktails in the Tiki Lounge.

A photo posted by Bex Hulands (@bexthefemme) on

It was really great to get away from the hustle of Sydney and spend some time hanging out in rural Victoria listening to amazing bands.

A photo posted by Bex Hulands (@bexthefemme) on

Fingers are crossed we can also make it for 2017, we can't wait to see the band line up!
xx


Saturday, October 15, 2016

Vintage 'grammers you should check out on Instagram

So I somehow stumbled across this Buzzfeed list of 19 Women With Vintage Style You'll Want to Follow on Instagram - and you know what my first thought was?

Where's the diversity?
While I love the people they profiled, I did get a feeling of  'sameness' from those photos.

The Vintage Community around the world is wonderfully diverse and gorgeous - let's expand those stereotypes about who is rocking vintage.
*Buzzfeed did include @norafinds (she's great), but I still think we can work on their list.

So in response, here's my:
10 More People Who Rock Vintage That You Should Check Out On Instagram

1. @theblackpinup



Angelique is an amazing pin-up model with the most gorgeous sense of style. Immaculate!


2. @vtgesther

A photo posted by ⠀⠀⠀🌟 VinTaGe Esther🌟 (@vtgesther) on


I have a not-so-secret girl crush on Esther - I mean how can you not love someone as cute as her? She's an LA-based stylist, and lovely person in real life too.


3. @bygumbygolly



I love Tasha's take on vintage style - fun and wearable. Chicago-based, she makes a tonne of her own vintage reproductions, knits beautifully and even sews amazing things for her wife @melmakesart.


4. @miss.mari.mambo


Warning, some of Mari Mambo's photos are NSFW, but her style is killer. She's a fixture on the LA Vintage scene, and I really love her pachuca outfits.


5. @blakebuehl



Blake posts some really dapper looks for guys/masculine peeps, and is a great example of someone living the 1920s-40s lifestyle. I love his vintage ties!


6. @chronicallyvintage



Jessica hales from Canada, and looks like perfection all the while battling chronic illnesses. I particularly love her sense of colour.
On a side note, Jessica's house just recently burnt down and she's lost everything - here's a link to her GoFundMe if you'd like to help.


7. @vavoomvintage



Brittany is on this list for showing us that you don't need to have a million dollars, to look like a million dollars. She's always showing her followers how to make their own vintage accessories to save money - proving you don't need to spend thousands on floaty evening dresses to fit in the scene.


8. @jazzy1955

A photo posted by jazzy1955🍪 (@jazzy1955) on


I just want to squeez Jazzy into a million pieces, she looks like a vintage cherub.


9. @jennyrieu



Jenny is a curvy model living in LA, and has a seriously stunning wardrobe. I like her glamorous outfits, and that she's not afraid to show us what she looks like in underwear.


10. @greyhoundvintage

A photo posted by GreyhoundVintage (@greyhoundvintage) on


Lori is darling - and looks amazingly like Lucille Ball. I'm always jealous of her 1940's rayon crepe dresses, and love her crazy sense of humor.


Well, that's my list of 10 more people to check out - now tell me, who should I be following?
:)

xx
Bex


Friday, September 09, 2016

FO: the Ultimate Leopard Dress (from Gertie's Ultimate Dress Book)

Hi guys!

The Dykes on Bikes Ball is rapidly approaching, and this year I thought I'd make something a little bit different to wear...


I'm calling it my Ultimate Leopard Dress - you can't get much more ultimate than silver lurex leopard print!


The pattern is from Gertie's Ultimate Dress Book - based off the Faux Sarong Dress.


There is one major difference - a removable 1950's Kikepa Stole! I've always wanted a dress with a stole.


Fabric: The silver fabric is from Lincraft, and I'm sorry to say I'll never use it again - it was terrible to sew with and the slightest pressure on the seams show due it's loose weave. I've had to double stitch the zipper in to add some extra reinforcement.
The lining is plain black broadcloth.

On the upside, the pattern only took two muslins to get it fitting correctly and was very easy to put together. I didn't experience any of the sizing weirdness some of the blogosphere has been talking about (luckily).

gerties sarong dress faux sarong ultimate dress book 1950s lurex stole kikepa

The amazing thing about this dress - it actually STAYS UP! I have never, ever, ever worn a strapless dress that stays up (I need tonnes of support).
The secret is two kinds of metal boning - spiral steel (left) and spring steel (right).

Get the pre-cut spring steel if you can, it's a lot easier. Spiral doesn't matter so much.
Spring steel is solid metal boning that you would find in proper waist-shaping corsets.
I used four pieces (one in each side seam, and one in each side-back seam) and it makes a huge amount of difference. The other seams have the spiral steel boning as per Gertie's pattern.

I buy my corset supplies from A Rare Notion, but you can also buy it from Metro Fabrics in Sydney.

And I know how much you like to see inside, so here she is (fully lined in cotton broadcloth). You can see the press studs I added to make the stole removable and the waist-stay.



Mods:

  • Cut the sweetheart a bit deeper (I think I would go deeper again as I like more drama)
  • Did a sway back adjustment on the skirt
  • Added an inch of length to the skirt - next time add more as I like my dresses longer
  • I pleated my waist swag instead of gathering it like the pattern - my fabric was too bulky.

Overall:
I can't wait to wear this dress! I'm not sure how I'll go rockabilly dancing in it (or bending over), but I feel really glamorous in it. I'll definitely use the pattern again, it's a great base for other ideas and design elements.

gerties faux sarong dress 1950s lurex pollys shoes


Thanks for reading, and see you soon! 
 
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