Thursday, December 11, 2014

Vintage cheeky christmas cards - just for you! (free downloads)

It's time to send your Christmas cards - and if you have vintage or kitsch loving friends these would be right up their alley!



Fairly innocent on the front, right? Well, except for the card on the far right.

But have a look inside!

1940s risque christmas pinup cards sexy photos



 I think the one on the left is my favourite.

To download them and make your own:
  • Right click on the image, and select 'Open in a New Tab'
  • When the image opens, either Save it, or Print picture.
  • When printing, make sure you print it to fit on a whole page or it might turn out tiny.
  • Cut around the edges, and fold down the middle. Then fold again.
  • Send to all your friends! 


Monday, December 08, 2014

A sewing-inspired festive wreath, c. 1952

Isn't this wreath the cutest! It's from Needlework Illustrated No.215 (Dec 1952).

It's suggested as a way of giving the sewer in your life the gift of threads (who doesn't need more haby supplies) but I think is a great way to make a sewing inspired wreath too!

Thread the reels onto fancy cord, knot between the reels and finish with some holly trim - voila!

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Mexican Summer... (Just a quick outfit post)

Oh my the weather is hot at the moment! And muggy too..
In the search of something to cool to wear, I found one of my favourite outfits in the back of the wardrobe.. A Mexican tourist set, made from tomato-red rayon.

Love, love this oufit. So much so, that I had to share it with you.
Although it's quite 'blousey', the top and skirt combo is really flattering on a larger figure.
I even had vintage dealers try and buy it off my back when I was walking around a vintage fair.

If you're in Australia, I hope you managed to keep cool this weekend as well! (And if you're in the northern hemisphere, I'm very jealous of your winter right now).

Mexican tourist set - HipsMcGee on Etsy
Shoes - Miss L Fire Tijuana
Glasses - Long Beach, somewhere
Carved bone jewellery - Etsy

Saturday, November 29, 2014

FO: A Christmas Pinny-dress, c. 1944 (Simplicity 1212)

Ahhh.... nothing like spending a hot Aussie Xmas in a comfortable cotton dress!

The pattern is Simplicity 1212, a pinafore-dress from 1944. Not much to look at, but very easy and very comfortable.

Photo: Vintagepatternwiki

Did I mention the pattern has little pockets?

The fabric is an adorable christmas border print, with 'Merry Christmas' in different languages written across the white background. I was really lucky to nab this on eBay, and had plans for a gathered skirt (similar to last year's Christmas outfit) but there was just over three yards...

Hmm... A frantic search through my pattern collection came up with Simplicity 1212, and I was sure with some careful laying out and mods it should work.

  • Added half an inch to each side at the waist
  • Cut the back on a fold to elimate the facing needed (save fabric), and...
  • Added side zipper so I can get into it!
  • Shortened the length of the underbust dart to avoid pointy boobs
  • Drafted a facing for the neck instead of using bias
  • Used leftover red hem fabric on the back belt tie as I was running out of fabric
vintage 1940s shoes pinafore dress sewing pattern miss l fire norma plus size christmas novelty print dress

Really happy! I would definitely use this pattern again. It's very comfortable to wear and will be great for Christmas day when I'm running around cooking.

novelty print christmas border print fabric 1940s dress

  • Dress - Simplicity 1212, me!
  • Shoes - Miss L Fire Norma
  • Bakelite bracelets and earring - Etsy, various
  • Bakelite brooch - GingerJindo , Etsy
  • Hairflower - Diva

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Knitted Christmas Booties, Stitchcraft December 1944

Hold onto your hats - these booties are a tad psychedelic!

Lets blame wool rationing, shall we?

These Christmas booties would make a fabulous present for someone - not to mention a great way to use up remnants of yarn.

You'll need oddments of fingering weight yarn, 4mm needles and some leather for the soles and ties.

(For size reference, the heel piece measures 6cm high along the fold line)


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

FO: Such Flattering Puff Sleeves, c. 1938

Wow -  a marathon 10 months of knitting, but it's finally done! And just in time for our Summer (eep).

vintage knitting jumper sweater plus size 1930s 1940s knitwear a stitch in time puff sleeves

The pattern is 'Such Flattering Puff Sleeves', from A Stitch in Time Vol 1. The original was published in My Home, 1938.

ASIT is being re-released before the end of November, so if you missed out on getting a copy the first time head on over to Susan's website to order yours now. I cannot recommend her ASIT books enough.

I kept falling in and out of love with this jumper - sometimes I would think the yarn wouldn't work, other times I thought I should have made it in a larger size.

It worked out perfectly in the end though.

Yarn: Holst Garn Samarkand (wool/silk) in Cherry Red, held double throughout.
I wasn't keen on this yarn as a single strand (it's a bit rough and snaps) but held double it gives a nice firm, yet soft, fabric.

Size: Small (I wanted the ribs to be stretched out to avoid too much bulk)

Mods from Ravelry:

  • Only knitted the first 1.5 inches of the body on the smaller needles, then upsized to 3.5mm for the rest.
  • Sleeves were only knitted on 3.5mm
  • Increased body length by 1/2 inch
  • Increased sleeve cap height by 1/2 inch

You really have to look at the original 1930's pattern to get an idea of how the sleeves will look once it's made up. They’re not 1940's sleeves that sit high on the shoulder - they’re meant to puff out more from around the arm.

If you wanted something with more of a 1940's look I would recommend increasing the amount of stitches you cast off, across the neck - and lengthening the sleeve.
Overall - pretty darn happy! Now to just finish my Giftmas knitting so I can work on the next project.


Thursday, November 13, 2014

The first annual Vintage Secret Santa gift exchange at Chronically Vintage

Jessica at Chronically Vintage is running the first annual Vintage Secret Santa gift exchange - if you'd like to sign up, just visit her blog here.

vintage secret santa gift present blog chronically vintage
 I think this is such a lovely idea to meet other vintage enthusiasts.

The gift exchange is open to all vintage-lovers around the globe, with some simple rules:
  • Gifts must be to the value of $15USD
  • Gifts should be vintage, vintage reproduction, vintage inspired or vintage appropriate, handmade or similar
  • Gifts need to be send by 12 December to arrive in time for Xmas day
Thanks to Jessica for organising this, I can't wait to be a secret santa.
(And don't forget to hashtag #vintagesecretsanta)

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

A Knitted Fairy Topper for Christmas - c.December 1952

A knitted fairy topper for the Christmas tree instead of an angel? Why not?
(And did you know it's only 6 weeks to Christmas  - I've just had a mild panic attack thinking of all the things I need to make between now and then).

This pattern for a Christmas fairy doll comes from Needlework Illustrated December 1952, and is one of a few Xmas-themed patterns I'll be sharing between now and the 25th December.

The fairy is knitted in 3-ply fingering weight wool, on 3.75mm needles.

Sunday, November 02, 2014

FO: Fish Trap Tiki Dress (Design by Clotilde 3170)

We're having some crazy hot weather at the moment (37c/98F), so it's definitely time to start sewing some summer dresses.

1950s tiki shaheen dress vintage plus size hawaiian repro

The pattern is a 'Design by Clotilde', No 3170, purchased from CymbalineVintage on Etsy.
The original mailer was included with the date stamped 12 May 1960, don't you love that?

At last, another dress down from the To-Sew List...

Now, you all probably know my feelings about sewing with patterns later than the mid-1950s, but that crossed neckline really spoke to me.

The fabric is an aboriginal design called 'Fish Traps', another Babbarra Women's Centre print from Spotlight. Thank goodness I got it for $7 a meter on sale, as this sucker took five meters! (The fabric was originally $20/m).

I think it looks really 1950s/tiki!

This one was a lot easier to pattern match than the mock-Shaheen dress I made a few months ago. Check out the pattern matching - it's definitely getting easier to match those seams!

  • Enlarged pattern from a size 36 bust, to a 40 bust (just added an inch to each side)
  • Added an extra dart above the bust to make the top fit really tight across my boobs.
  • Side boning
  • Changed skirt to box pleat as the original would be impossible to pattern match
  • Completely lined the bodice
  • Self fabric belt, using a belt kit
Probably one of the most important mods I made was shaping the under bust dart, so the bodice hugged my rib cage and gave me that slightly pointy 1950s look. The shaping looked like below, in red (original dart in black).

Now, I ALWAYS wear a bra. Always.
But with the extra bodice lining, side boning and shaped dart I am bra-less in all these photos.

I did of course sew little bra-strap clips into the bodice of the dress to attach a strapless bra, the same as my mock-Shaheen
While I'm excited about the possibility of being able to go bra-less, I do not trust this dress to continue it's support while I'm rockabilly dancing!

And that's it!
I hope all your sewing projects have been successful too!

This pattern can also be downloaded as a print-at-home pattern right here in my Etsy store if you'd like to make it as well!

miss l fire review 1950s tiki shaheen dress vintage plus size hawaiian repro tijuana


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Tutorial 3: Adding a 1940's tuck to your Smooth Sailing sleeve

Sorry for the blog silence.
I've been busy at work and feeling so drained that I haven't had the energy to sew or knit - let alone blog.

Now I'm back on my feet it's time for another Tutorial... this time, making the Smooth Sailing blouse feel a bit more Forties by adding a sleeve tuck (like below).

And here's a close up of my version with the modified tuck sleeve.

smooth sailing blouse wearing history novelty print 1930s 1940s
Fabric is 'April Showers', by Moda

This is a really simple way to adjust the sleeve, and it saves about 20cm on the overall yardage requirement for the pattern.

Step 1. Trace your sleeve pattern and all markings. The SS sleeve is puffed at the top, so we only need to add volume to the middle, and a tuck at the bottom.

 Draw a line from centre top to bottom.

Step 2: Add depth to the bottom (optional). I wanted an extra inch in sleeve length.

Step 3: Draw a line horizontally across the sleeve, from the armscye to armscye (widest points).
Cut up the vertical line to the top of the sleeve, stopping just before the edge.

Cut from the middle of the sleeve, along the lines to the base of the armscyes, stopping just before the edges.

Lay the pattern down, and separate the vertical split by the amount you want. I wanted 1.5 inches for a moderate tuck, but 2-3 inches would look great too.

Pin the top half of the pattern down. The cut should be making a V shape.

Step 4: Swing the bottom half of the pattern up, until the cut sides are equally opposite each other - this is the tuck.

Measure how far 'up' you moved the bottom half, and mark the distance to the centre bottom of the sleeve.

Step 5: With a curve, gently redraw the bottom of the sleeve to align with the marks you just made.

Draw around the pattern piece, and mark how high you want your pleat to be (mine was 3.5 inches, not including seam allowance).

Step 6: Done!

Just sew your pleat/tuck before adding any cuffs/hemming, press, and set it in the blouse as you would the normal sleeve.
1940s smooth sailing blouse novelty fabric shirt wearing history moda fabric april showers
Would you believe this is the 15th time I've sewn up this pattern?

I hope this Tutorial proves helpful to some adventurous sewers, and I'll see you again soon!

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Noontide jumper-cardigan, from Style Volume 3 circa 1930s

I'm ever so slowly increasing my collection of Paton's Style booklets (only missing a couple now), and when I saw this pattern in my new Volume 3, I knew I had to share it with you!

free vintage knitting patterns 1930s cardigan 30s 32

Puffed sleeves, a decorative yoke, cute collar and even mock darts!

It has so many great details, except, it's a 32 inch bust size - ouch! Well, maybe some of you petite and talented knitters will make it up - it should be a quick knit in Totem 12-ply

To fit: 32 inch bust. Knitted on 5.5mm needles, on Bulky (12ply) weight yarn.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Free Pattern: Fiesta Jumper, Patons Style Vol. 10, circa 1944

I love a simple cardigan with an interesting stitch - and as a plus, this cardigan is knitted in 5-ply/sport yarn for a quicker knit!

free vintage knitting pattern 1940s 40s 36 bust wwii ww2 australia patons cardigan

This lovely knitting pattern is from Patons and Balwins Style, Volume 10.
Have you come across Trove, the digitised collection from the National Library of Australia? It's very easy to get lost in there, reading old newspapers and finding old knitting patterns - but an overlooked resource are the advertisements.

After a bit of a search, I found a reference to an advertisement for Style Volume 10 in 'The Mercury', dated 30 May 1944. Definitely another great resource for dating your own collection!

Fiesta is knitted with a diamond pattern formed from knit and purl stitches, with a finished size of 36 inches. Pattern requires 5 ply/sport yarn, plus 3.25mm and 4mm needles.

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