Saturday, March 28, 2015

Bad Girl goes Western - plus mods for Curvy Gals

Thanks for all the nice comments on the blog and Facebook - the BG pants are definitely getting a lot of loving, and I had to make one last pair (for the moment).

Meet the Bad Girl Western Jeans.

My inspiration was this pattern (View 1), Advance 8341 from 1957.

I wanted something with a slim fit, but more authentic pockets than the original Butterick 5895 version (I still think their pocket isn't the most attractive option).

western vintage jeans 1950s plus size denim bakelite candy butterick 5895

The western pockets were VERY easy to add to the pattern, and I love them.

The denim only has a small amount of stretch (less than stretch twill) and I think they hold their shape much better. (Denim came from Fabric Remnant Warehouse in Alexandria)

These pants just fit in all the right places, but it wasn't always the case.

I did warn you.

Anyway, as promised, here's what the first cut muslin of what the pants looked like in cotton stretch sateen. I'm frowning because they dip dramatically at the front (waistband not attached at this stage).

See the blue line? That's where they should be sitting.

And now the back - much more noticeable, and the sateen makes any smile lines really stand out.

Time for a Curvy Gal adjustment for booty or belly.

1. Figure out how much you need to raise the back (or front) to even it out to match where it sits on your hips. (Lets say 2 inches)

2. Draw a line across your pattern, about 4 inches down from the top (doesnt have to be exact, but around the middle is good).

3.  Cut along line, from centre back seam to side seam, leaving a tiny bit attached. Hinge the top part of your pants pattern upwards, the amount you measured before (the 2 inches).

4. Fill in that new gap with paper, retrace and you have a new piece that will actually meet your waist.

Yes, it's really that easy.

I hope the booty and belly mod helps some of you! If you get stuck, let me know.

Monday, March 23, 2015

FO: Everyone loves a Bad Girl! (Butterick 5895)

I feel really late to the party sewing up Butterick 5895 - better late than never though!

I normally hate sewing pants.
I mean, technically they are easy to put together but I have a heck of a time getting them to fit properly. And fitted pants? On my pear shaped booty? Hmm, they could look like a train wreck.

The first fitting of these were cut with a waist between size 16 and 18, with the hips graded out to what would have been a size 22 (based on the finished measurements and zero ease at the hips).

The front and back both dipped down, and the back of my calves and knees had some shocking 'smiles' going on due to the tightness.

butterick 5895 b5895 gertie pants trousers 1950s cigarette pants plus size vintage repro xl

After making some mods (explained below) this second pair fit like a dream. In fact - these black pair were just meant to be a muslin too, but they're perfect!


  • No pockets, I wanted a smooth line for these
  • Taken in half an inch again at the waist
  • Curvy adjustment - that is, cut a line from the centre back seam across to the hip leaving a tiny bit attached. Hinged the top of the pants upwards (2 inches for my booty) to create extra room in the back. Did the same by 1 inch for the front for my tummy.
  • Slightly lower crotch for comfort
  • Added a bit of extra room on the inside seam of the back of the pants leg (big calves)
  • Hemmed the pants slightly lower in the back to allow for my big calves.
butterick 5895 b5895 gertie pants trousers 1950s cigarette pants plus size vintage repro xl

Fabric: stretch chino drill.
I'd recommend something slightly heavier than the stretch cotton sateen they sell at Spotlight and Lincraft - it shows every lump and bump. I don't remember where I got the stretch chino from, but it's perfect!

Verdict: when I die, bury me in these pants. They fit perfectly and are so very comfortable, and scream 1950's bad girl. I can't wait to make an ankle length pair, and some denim ones.

butterick 5895 b5895 gertie pants trousers 1950s cigarette pants plus size vintage repro xl

I'm very glad to be proven wrong with these pants - curvy gals, give them a go - you won't be sorry!

Pants - Butterick B5895
Lurex top - Review (thrifted!)
Gold flats - Asos
Bakelite - Etsy
Glitter confetti necklace - Rock and Roll Markets
Hair clip - Mimco
Lipstick - Illámasqua 'Rockabilly'

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Mardi Gras, knitting-mojo and a free Pattern book for you to enjoy

Apologies for the blog silence everyone. For the past few months I've really struggled to knit or sew anything - I'm assuming it's work-stress-related.  My mojo still isn't back yet, but fingers crossed it's soon as my queue is out of control!

Add on organising our part in the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras and I'm just plain exhausted.

Even though I didn't ride in Dykes on Bikes this year (I was in Geelong for my Uncle's 90th birthday) Jakk did - and she had a blast riding my bike instead.
gay mardi gras sydney dykes on bikes 2015 army marine vintage motorcycle motorbike butch lesbian
Photo Credit : SBS

Isn't she adorable? She was going for a vintage US army look this year.

In the meantime, I've been lusting over a few new patterns that you might like as well:

Mary Mead by Andi Satterland
Photo Credit: Andi Satterland

It's vintage fabulous! Sport weight, fitted and cropped. Love it, and had to buy a copy as soon as it was released.

Vintage Vogue V9083 (circa 1951)


Now, I'm not a fan of the strapless dress by itself (or the swing coat) - but that button on sailor collar just makes this dress pop.

And the new Simplicity Pattern 1155 - this is actually a repro of Simplicity 4704

I used to own 4704 but sold it as it was too small for me to use! 
I really like the Simplicity repro (and that they styled it on a 'larger' model) but I think it needs some tweaks to make it look more like the original. Have you noticed the the straps (that go over the shoulders and under the bust) are one piece in the original, but different in the repro? It's a shame they didnt include the sleeved version too.

I bet it's a lot easier to sew than Gertie's one from Butterick (5882), as Simplicity's instructions are normally easier to follow. It would be interesting to mash the two together and take the best bits from both patterns.

And finally - I did promise you a full, complete knitting pattern booklet from 1948.

Back in January, when I asked what patterns you would like to see, YarnForwardKnitPast said she'd love to see knitted everyday gloves.

Well, I spent a bit of time today scanning the whole of Patons Knitting Book No. 232 into a Flickr Set for you to download and enjoy.

This 24 page booklet is circa 1948 (advertised for sale 10 March 1948 in the Burnie Advocate), and is full of gloves and mittens for women and children.

I hope you enjoy it and, remember, if you're after something in particular let me know!
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