Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Popped Pocket Pattern

As promised, here is the instructions (and pattern pieces) for making the popped pockets on my 1940's wrap dress.
These would be really easy to add to any existing pattern you had, and are a nice 1940's touch (especially with the ric-rac).

The pockets themselves are very to make:
1. Cut pieces out.
2. Transfer guide dots to the skirt.
3. Attach facing to pocket piece (clip curve) - seam allowance of 1/2 inch.
4. Turn facing to inside, hand stitch in place (make sure top of facing lines up with top of pocket).
5. Attach pocket to skirt, following guide dots.

To print, right click on the images and open in a new tab.
Save the images, and print portrait at 100% (i.e. actual size). The pieces should fit A4 and US 8.5" x 11'.

Good luck and enjoy!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

FO: Anne Adams 4705, a floral 1940s wrap dress

Recently I saw this pattern pop up on Etsy in a size 36, and I knew I had to have it!
Cute pockets, gathers and ric-rac trim? Yes please!

I believe it dates to the late 1940s, possibly even 1950 due to the font and hair style.

I've started to get patterns in a 36 inch bust instead of 38 or 40, in the hope i'll grade them up a size or two. This dress begged to be sewn up in some smashing floral quilting fabric, so deep breath in...

miss l fire Pompeii green 1940s wrap dress novelty print plus size xl anne adams 4705

And the re-sizing worked! (because not much was needed, hehe).

When I made the muslin, I realised there was a heck of a lot of ease in the bust, so the only places I needed to enlarge were the hips (to enlarge, split the skirt piece from hem to waist line, and spread the pattern apart the amount you need - re-trace a new piece and viola).
I also did a sway-back adjustment to stop any gaping on the wrap back.

My favourite element is the cute little pockets with ric-rac trim - I'm sure you all know about my current obsession with that beloved trim by now.

The fabric is quilter's cotton (DS Quilts 2011) that I bought from Spotlight last year on sale. (I ended up buying all this print I could get my hands on).

The back button is a vintage mother-of-pearl button from the stash.

Would I make this pattern again? Possibly, but I have a few other house-dress patterns I'd like to try first.

Would I recommend it? Of course! Make a muslin first... I promise to post really soon about some pockets, and I'll include the instructions for making these ones.

Were there any issues? Nope.

Did it meet my 1940's Wearable Wardrobe criteria? It might be a bit casual for work, but it's great to run around in on the weekend - so I vote yes.

Did I stash bust? Yes! At last!

Dress, me!
Shoes: Miss L Fire Pompeii green.
Bakelite Bangles: Etsy

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

New Release Repro Pattern Round Up from Butterick, Vogue and Simplicity

I love getting the New Release emails from the big-four, and this season there are some definite standouts and some definite fails (in my opinion) this time around.

Let's start with Butterick...

Butterick B6018 (circa early 1950s?)

I'm thinking... yes. This works, and looks to be a good choice for sewers who want the versatility to make a day dress and and fancy cocktail dress. The shaping is interesting and who doesn't like pointed cuffs?

Next cab off the ranks is B6022 - a wedding dress from the late 1940s? I think.

I'm thinking... not so much. The pattern isn't selling itself to me (the blue ones look like a 1980's taffeta prom dress) but the illusion neckline is interesting.

B6019 - Patterns by Gertie Sarong Dress.
Yes, yes, one hundred times yes!

This dress is the Alfred Shaheen style that vintage lovers are searching for. Structured bust cups, side back shirring and option for a circle skirt!

Butterick - two of of three aint bad!

Moving onto Vogue's offerings...

V8974 - A sundress and bolero, I'm guessing late 1940s/early 1950s?
What' really interesting is that the dress has 10 snaps to close, instead of zip.

I'm saying yes to this one. The bolero looks interesting enough to sew up on it's own as well, and I like the cross straps of the back of the dress.

And their other offering, V8973, a 1950's day dress with with bodice pleating and large box-pleated skirt.

Hmm. I'm not sure if it's the fabric choice, but their sewn up version isn't doing it for me. I think this would look better in something a little less drapey?

Ok, well let's have a look at Simplicity...

Pattern 1460 - a vintage peplum and tunic from the 1950s.

There is so many things wrong with this version, but my main concerns are:
1. It's paired with a mini-skirt, why?
2. The lace is too soft and loses the dramatic appeal of the original (version A I assume).
3. Out of all the patterns in your back catalogue, you picked this one? Really?
We need to have words Simplicity.

OK, well what do you think about 1459? I think this is very late 1950s - probably 1958-1959.
The dress has a wide collar, and pleated skirt.

Interesting - if you have a look at the original pattern models, their skirt is different to the current version - the repro is a dirndl but the original just has pleating on the sides.
This pattern isn't something I would personally make, but I can see a lot of retro-enthusiasts sewing it up.

So, what do you think - is there anything you'd make?
(also Butterick/Vogue are on sale for the next few days if you want to stock up).

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Lady Luck Festival 2014

On Saturday, Jakk and I thought we might be able to escape the heat (40c or 104F) up in the mountains at the Lady Luck Festival in Katoomba. No such luck - it was still stinking hot up there as well!

I slathered myself in sunscreen, but still managed to get a little bit burnt (as you might be able tell from the above photo). The heat kept the crowds away too - the numbers were way down this year. We love the LL Festival, it's pretty low key but they always have great bands playing - this year they had Pat Capocci and The Twilight Rhythm Boys.

Plus the Blue Mountains is awash with vintage and retro stores!

We met up with our pal Christine (from Classic Vintage), and spent the afternoon eating cake and dancing. No photos of me dancing, but here are some of Jakk and Christine... They're so cute!

My desert-scene skirt felt like an appropriate thing to wear with the heat!
The fabric is true 1950's border print (from Etsy) and I just hand pleated the fabric instead of making a gathered waist dirndl skirt. There was also enough fabric to make a pocket in the side seam.

vintage 1950s remix vintage shoes wedges vogue yellow border print skirt novelty

Outfit details:
Skirt - vintage 1950's fabric, handmade
Blouse - Simplicity 2118
Shoes - Remix Vogue, in yellow
1940s Monogram Brooch - Etsy
Stretch Raffia Belt - OpShop
Bakelite - Etsy.

Jakk's Outfit:
Shirt - Sun Surf from Rakuten
Jeans - vintage-cut Levis
Shoes - Converse

I hope you had a great weekend, and the weather was kind to you!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

2013 In Review, and planning for 2014

Wow, I think 2013 has been my most productive yet! And thank-you, dear readers, for hanging around.

My goals this year were to make 'wearable' pieces - things I could wear to work or dancing.
Specifically I wanted forties clothing (my personal Wearable Wardrobe Challenge) but I seemed to have made a lot of fifties influenced pieces!

2013 started with a bang - three dresses in the first two weeks...

Left to right - Gertie's Sultry Dress, Butterick 6815 and Gertie's Dress as a jumper.

A steady pace was set for the rest of the year...

Yarr Pirates Skirt, McCall 6717 a 1940's Blouse, and Gertie's Tattooed Sweetheart Summer Dress

Bell-Patterned Jumper from 1944, McCall's PolkaDot Shirtdress and BlueGingerDoll's Billie Jean

1940's Lumber Jacket, Scottie Dog Sweater and a 1940's Jumper (with Smooth Sailing Blouse)

1950's Western Blouse, Victory Knitted Jumper and Advance 7869, Men's Shirts

The Peggy Skirt, 1950's ClamDiggers and the Xmas Peggy Skirt!

Cowboy Print (Smooth Sailing) Shirt, Simple 1950's Blouses, and lastly 'Made So Quickly' knitted blouse.

That's a total of 21 sewn garments, and four knitted jumpers. Looking back:

  • I think I was on target in regards to wear-ability but still need to focus more on the 1940's aspect. 
  • Of the seven patterns I planned to sew last year, I only made one. Fail!
  • I'm averaging one jumper every three months - that's great!
  • Can you tell I lost 5 kilos?! Hehe.
  • I spent WAAAY too much money on Miss L Fire shoes.

This year I'm continuing the 1940's Wearable Wardrobe Challenge, and am going to use a To-Sew folder on Flickr to remind me what to make.

So, what's lacking in my Wardrobe?
  • 1940's cotton day dresses. Smart enough for work, cool enough for summer. This one and this one.
  • A knitted 1940's vest for winter.
  • Navy swing pants - why don't I own you?
  • A playsuit for Viva Las Vegas.
  • Some slightly fancier 1940's dresses, with gathers and pleating oh my!
  • Novelty jumpers.
And finally, plans for the house:
  • We need a paved area for entertaining
  • Work on the veggie patch.

So, that's 2013 and my plans for 2014 - how did you go? What are your plans for 2014?

An Elegant Suit, from Glamor Knits c.1955

There's a nice story behind today's free vintage knitting pattern (it's from Glamor Knits, a Supplement to the Australian Women's Weekly March 9, 1955).

Another blogger called Kathlene contacted me a few weeks ago, trying to track down a knitting pattern for a suit her mother used to wear during the late forties/early fifties. After searching through my entire pattern collection, this was the closest we could find to what she remembered. How lovely to try and replicate something your mother used to wear!

This knitted suit pattern has some really elegant detailing going on - faced button holes, knitted buttons, a mitered collar and dolman sleeves. I can't wait to see Kathlene's version of it.

The pattern is knitted in Paton's May Queen, a fingering weight yarn that's twisted with a thread of artificial silk to give a boucle finish. It could easily be knitted in just plain fingering.

In two sizes, to fit a 32-33 inch and 34-35 inch bust.

pinup rockabilly free vintage knitting pattern 1950s suit knitted twin set 1940s dolman raglan boucle

Thursday, January 09, 2014

The Last Finished Knit for 2013 - Made So Quickly from ASIT

Phew. This one just snuck in for 2013, I sewed the last button on the morning of New Year's Eve.
(and please excuse my face - it's 6am and I'm still asleep!)

The pattern is Made So Quickly, from A Stitch in Time Vol 1. I wanted something quick, and knitted in cotton for summer - this seemed the likely candidate, but I knew there would be some serious modding on the horizon based on the photo below.

Can you see how loose the arms are, and the blousing effect just above the waistband?
It's definitely very thirties in styling, and I prefer a more tailored and fitted forties look.

Firstly, I knit the size 36 as there is massive amounts of ease in this pattern (my bust is about 39 inches around). Then came two easy design changes to forties-ify this pattern:

1. To achieve a fitted body without changing the stitch count I simply changed needle sizes.
This meant knitting the waistband on 3.5mm, and the first inch of the body on the same. Then knitting the next two inches on 3.75mm, and finally the rest of the body on the 4mm.

2. Changing the sleeve to make it more fitted, with a puff head.
When I looked at the stitch count around the widest part of the arm, I realised the finished sleeves would be massive and droopy (that was the intent of the pattern though).
Instead, to make a fitted sleeve with puffed heads I cast on 38 sts. Increased every 4th row until 60 sts. Then increase every knit row to 68 sts. Knitted the sleeves from the top down until they were long enough.

The complete list of Mods are here on Ravelry.

The yarn is 8ply Cotton from Bendigo Wool Mills, in Regal Purple. I promised myself to never use that yarn again, but then they went and bought out a gorgeous, rich purple colour. Darn.
It took less than two balls as well!

The deep purple buttons are vintage (from Etsy) and took me ages to find the right ones! Do you ever struggle over choosing the right buttons? These took three weeks to decide on.

a stitch in time made so quickly 1930s 1940s pattern cotton purple vintage knitting pattern

Pretty happy.
I admit I was doubting this would look good on a bigger busted gal but with the right pants/skirt it looks OK.
I do like the multiple buttons along the front, and I'd love to knit something in the future with that pattern detailing.

Well... how did your crafting year end?
Has anyone posted a retrospective on everything they made for 2013 yet? I would love to see!

Saturday, January 04, 2014

FO: 1950's Summer Tops (Simplicity 2118) and Christmas Tablecloth Skirt.

Well, as promised here is my Christmas outfit, made from a 1940's tablecloth!

The fabric is from Etsy (of course) and is made by Spring Mill, probably in the late 1940s. It feels a little bit funny to wear a Christmas print with pine and snow designs, what with the heat we get here during December!

I used my all-time favourite skirt pattern, Enid Gilchrist's box pleat skirt, and it literally took me an hour to whip up. I can't stress enough how flattering and easy this skirt pattern is!

1940s novelty christmas skirt miss l fire fiftth avenue shoes review

The blouse pattern was made from Simplicity 2118 - 1950's bra tops (View 1).

It was also another easy make, and fills a blouse gap in my wardrobe nicely. You can never have too many comfortable vintage blouses! I used some random 100% cotton poplin from my stash.

Removed some of the excess gape at the centre front and back of the neckline by angling the pattern slightly.
Cut the underarm slightly deeper.
Traced off a facing instead of using bias binding.
There's enough ease in this pattern that a 38 inch fits my 39 inch bust perfectly, no FBA required.

Skirt - 1940's tablecloth, sewn into a skirt
Blouse - Simplicity 2118
Shoes - Miss L Fire Fifth Avenue
Brooch - 1940's Xmas Novelty Brooch, Etsy
Flamingos - Bunnings!

But wait... there's more!

That's right, Simplicity 2118 is just so perfect for 1950's skirts that I had to make another one (this time in goldenrod yellow).

Yellow is a pretty hard to get right, but Spotlight has just released some new mercerized quilter's cotton in fantastically retro colours. I normally avoid homespun as it's a bit rough, but these ones have a smooth hand, and are a great weight.

1950s lobster brooch novelty plus size skirt nelly de grab red

Take a look at the close up of the Nelly De Grab skirt I'm wearing - what looks like a folk-style print is actually risque pin up girls flashing their legs!

I wasn't sure this was really a 1950's broomstick skirt, but Nelly De Grab only designed until the late 1960's so it must be authentic.
The original skirt only had a 28 inch waist band, but there was enough length for me to cut a new waistband out of the hem allowance and let out a pleat for more width.

Skirt - Nelly De Grab, Etsy
Blouse - Simplicity 2118
Belt - Opshop
Shoes - Miss L Fire Fifth Avenue
Hairflower - me, orchids from IKEA
Lobster Brooch - Brooklyn Flea Markets

Well, that's nearly my outfits for 2013 finished... I have one more, a knitted jumper from A Stitch in Time, but i'll post that one tomorrow.

I'm pretty sure this year was my most productive yet - how did you go?
Did you make everything you wanted?


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