Friday, September 27, 2013

Finished Outfit : Advance 7869, Men's Shirts, circa 40s/50s

It Jakk's birthday today, and she specifically asked for two rayon shirts as her present. Her Hawaiian/40's shirt collection is out of control, but she was missing some basic colours.

How can a sewer say no? Of course I procrastinated, and I just finished the last shirt today (that's ontime, right?)

The pattern she chose was Advance 7869, a late 40s/early 50s men's shirt with long and short sleeve options.

The first version is View 1 - long sleeved, but without the contrast front.
(please welcome my partner Jakk, modelling clothing on my blog for the first time)
boi dyke vintage lesbian 1950s 1940s butch shirt rayon
I've never made proper sleeve plackets before, so it definitely was a learning experience. I referred back to some of her vintage shirts and Sunsurf reproductions just to check what I was doing looked 'right' as the instructions were a little bit mystifying.
The second version is the much simpler short sleeve shirt, without the chest pockets.
Jakk says she prefers the pockets, so I'll make sure I remember that for next time.
Fabric: white and black rayon shirting, Spotlight.
Pattern: Advance 7869, circa late 40s (probably 1949).
- pinched out half an inch from the shoulder width.
- didn't do flat felled seams, but did do two lines of top-stitching so you can't tell.
I wouldn't call this pattern easy at all - Advance has "...the easy printed pattern!' on the front cover - lies!
The white version was pretty easy, but once you add that long sleeve with placket into the mix, I would call this a hard-intermediate.
I'm not sure why the pockets and flaps had to be cut on the bias - it made them very hard to get straight. I will cut them straight next time.
The fabric is brilliant! I'm surprised to get such an inexpensive fabric that feels this good, so I've bought extra for myself.
Jakk's review - she loves the shirts (especially the black) and thinks the fit is really good. The rayon drapes well and is just the right thickness.
She's asked me really nicely if I will make her another one in dark green as well.
Calamity loves photo-bombing...
And now, I won't feel sewers-guilt when I start another project.
Have you ever sewn vintage for your partner/family? Did they like it?

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Sydney Moderns and Art After Hours

If you're in Sydney I'm sure you've already heard about the 'Sydney Moderns' exhibition currently on.

The exhibition is showcasing over 180 works from the 20s and 30s - highlighting the transformation and exuberance of Sydney and the art scene during those years.

Every Wednesday night they've also had a free entertainment program - and last night was Swing Dancing!

I've never seen so many people learning to dance in one space before - I think there would have been three hundred at least.

The band were really good - Dan Barnett and The Swinging Blades - we'd never seen them before but the crowd loved them.

 Please excuse the quality of the photos - the lighting was really dark and everyone was a bit sweaty from dancing.

If you haven't see the exhibiton yet it's only for another two weeks so you'd better hurry!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Finished Outfit : Victory Jumper, Patons 876

Knitted Vs for Victory!

Let's wave at the pretend returned soldiers marching down my street!
Size: Pattern was for 38 inch bust - my finished size was 39 inches.
Yarn: Brown Sheep Nature Spun Sport.
The Review:
This pattern is super easy, but as you can't see the finished jumper in the picture you really have to trust the process. I was a bit stumped as to how the sleeve heads were supposed to look (confusing instructions that probably made sense to a 1940's knitter) so I just folded them into a box-head. I think it was right anyway.
Added more rows to the body as I wasn't sure what the row-gauge was meant to be (I think they were getting 9 rows per inch - I was getting 11).
Added a button closure to the neck as I felt the neck opening was a bit small for my big head.
Overall - I love it! The yarn is soft and a touch fuzzy, the 'V's look great and the box-head sleeves are pure 1940's styling.

It's probably not something I would knit again (it's pretty distinctive) but it was definitely an enjoyable knit.

Jumper - knit my me!
Skirt - repro, Simplicity 3688, 1940s suspender skirt without the suspenders.
Shoes - 1940's heels from VintiqueVixen on Etsy
Scarf - op-shop
Bracelet - Diva
Earrings - 1940's carved roses, Etsy
Brooch - 1940's novelty sailor brooch, Etsy
Lipstick - Besame 'Carmine'
Flag - vintage Red Ensign flag.

And thanks for the patience to those who asked for photos!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

A Novelty Turban Hat, circa 1940s

You really have to hand it to women in the 1940's - they liked their suits tailored, and their hats different!
Carmen Miranda

From Etsy

Wouldn't life be a touch more whimsical if we got to wear amazingly over-the-top hats everyday - and get stared at in admiration instead of curiosity?

Today's free vintage knitting (crochet) pattern comes from an unknown source - the pattern book is missing it's cover. I believe it was made by 'Dritz', probably in 1946.

The crochet hat/turban requires Dritz Knitting Worsted (not Corde for a change) and i'm still not sure what those decorations are? Either way, I would love to wear something like this to Viva Las Vegas next year.
Do Santa's elves know how to crochet?

I hope you like it!

free vintage knitting pattern hat 1940s turban novelty

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Breaking News - Miss L Fire Autumn Winter 2013 is up!

I need all the things - excuse me while I pick myself up off the floor...

 This season's collection shows a lovely cross section of inspiration from 1920-1950 (there's a definite 'Gatsby' influence, but also a bit of showgirl/burlesque too, in my opinion)

I love Cinderella - and they have the 'springolator' inside, just like proper 1950's heels.

1950s lucite miss l fire 2013 new collection autum winter aw2013

Pandora makes me think of a 1940's Femme Fatale - the heel has gold laser-cut baroque details. So lush!

Cleopatra makes me think of 1930's Art Deco styling - geometrics, snake skin and shocking colours.

The Gatsby influence really shows with Eltham - the shape is just pure twenties glam. They come in silver too - amazing!

 I would love to get a pair of all of the above, but I think I'd need to sell a kidney to finance those purchases! I don't begrudge the price of the shoes (the quality is worth it) but postage to Australia is a killer. (plus I have two pairs coming in the post already from their sale a couple of days ago).
So, what do you think about the latest collection? Is it totally wearable, or not your thing at all?

Smooth Sailing ePattern launch

Have you seen that Lauren from Wearing History is now converting some of her more popular patterns like Smooth Sailing, to download?

Out of every vintage and reproduction pattern that I've used, I keep coming back to the Smooth Sailing Blouse - it's just the easiest, most 40s-looking blouse around around!

1940s sydney war blouse1940s scarf blouse suspender skirt
1940s jumper blouse sweetheart sewing pattern bakelite
I've made this in seven different fabrics (some un-blogged) and have plans to convert the short sleeve to a full length 1940's bishop sleeve for a more 'swing' style.
My only recommendation with this pattern is to check your armhole! This shirt is cut from a vintage block, so the arm holes/sleeves are tiny, and I had to cut my arm holes about 3/4 of an inch deeper.
Has anyone else used Smooth Sailing before? What do you think?

Monday, September 09, 2013

A quick update

Phew, do you know how it feels when your life is a whirlwind and there's just not enough time in the day for the small things?

I've currently got a few projects on the go (plus an extreme work schedule) but here's a sneak peek of what's been on my plate:

- Test sewing an awesome vintage-inspired pattern for another blogger. The styling is great, and it's killing me that I can't show you yet. Be prepared for polka dots and ric-rac trim coming soon.

- My 'V For Victory' Jumper is nearly complete. Only one sleeve left, and of course the temperature has jumped to 28c so I may not get to wear it until next year.

1940s knitting pattern vintage jumper sweater

- Cowboy has asked that I make her two vintage shirts for her birthday in a couple of weeks. We were lucky and spotted 100% rayon shirting in Spotlight, so I'll be using Advance 7869 (view 2).

And of course she'll model the finished shirts for us.

- Do you like the two new Vogue Couturier patterns I found last weekend? I'm swooning. It's like the holy grail of Pattern Collecting to find 1940's Vogue Couturier patterns in a market.

vogue couturier sewing pattern 366 1940s

vogue couturier sewing pattern 343 1940s

- I've been busily experimenting with the perfect way to set my hair. Wet sets give me poodle fluff, hot sets don't last more than two days without curling the ends every night.
At long last, I think I've found the solution - a combination set!

It starts like a wet set - wash your hair, and wait until its 95% dry.

BUT THEN instead of just curling the hair on sponge rollers, use your hot tongs to set the hair for about 5 seconds per section. Wrap the section around the sponge rollers like normal, in fact, it will be easier because your hair is already curled.

Spritz with setting lotion, wrap in a head scarf and sleep on them overnight.

My wave is lasting for a good four days now without need to re-set each night - here's what Day 3 looks like (wearing the same jumper from Retrospec'd, oops!).

vintage short hair style lesbian red 1940s set setting

Well - hopefully I'll have a more coherent post coming up soon but in the meantime I'd love to know what everyone else is up to!
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