Saturday, August 13, 2016

FO: Bleeding heart sweater top (Gable review)

A few weeks ago Jennifer from Jennifer Lauren handmade asked if I'd like to try out her latest pattern Gable - a 1950's inspired slash neck top.

I'm really enjoying sewing with knit fabrics at the moment, and love slash neck tops so I immediately said yes. But you know I can't make anything plain, so here's my novelty version!

bleeding heart sweater vintage 1940s loretta young repro modern novelty

My inspiration was taken from Loretta Young's bleeding heart sweater, c. early 1940s.

bleeding heart sweater vintage 1940s loretta young repro modern

But back to Gable.
The pattern itself was a cinch to put together (it only had three pieces) and Jennifer's hints for sewing with stretch knits are really useful. I like her assumption that most people wouldn't be using sergers (although she does talk about them) as they're very uncommon down here in Australia.

I choose a 16 bust, graded out to 18 waist and 20 hip - and it fits perfect. Not too tight, not too loose - Jennifer indicates how much ease is in the pattern which is really helpful when deciding what size to choose.

For sleeves I picked View 3 (without the added long cuff), but ended shortening them to elbow length.

I personally love PDF patterns - you can draw all over them without fear, and save money on postage etc by printing at home. Jennifer's are beautifully drawn, and I found them to be 100% accurate to the notches etc.

The fabric was quality stretch cotton jersey (the good stuff) from Spotlight.

I literally whipped this up in a morning, and spent the same evening sewing the heart appliques to the front.

Would I use this pattern again? Most definitely!
I love quick and easy patterns that turn out exactly how they're shown on the pattern envelope!

bleeding heart sweater vintage 1940s loretta young repro modern gable review

As for the appliques, they are made from acrylic felt and hand-stitched very carefully to the top. I used some gold thread for detail on the arrow as well.

bleeding heart sweater vintage 1940s loretta young repro modern
Excuse the cat hair, it's a constant battle

My tips for sewing felt appliques to stretch fabrics:

  • pin them into place while your garment is on (I pinned mine on while I was wearing it)
  • if you're using wool or viscose felt, make sure you prewash it or it might shrink

I also made the skirt too! It's from a 1950's suit pattern, but I used stretch double knit (ponte de roma) to get a figure hugging fit.

Long Live the Knits!
And thanks Jennifer for letting me try out your latest pattern, I love it!


  • Shoes: Miss L Fire Rosita
  • Bakelite: Various
  • Hat: Viva Las Vegas 2016
  • Glasses: Modcloth

Thursday, August 04, 2016

FO: Joanie Sheath Dress (Butterick 9465, c. 1960)

When I think of Mad Men, my mind always runs to Joan and her dresses from early in the season.

I'm not normally a fan of early sixties style, but I have to admit that stretchy sheath dresses are a great way to keep the vintage vibe going at work. 

Enter in Butterick 9465 - circa 1960s. It came with a bundle of other patterns, and I always kept it aside as the drawing really spoke to me.

butterick 9465 1960s dress

I really love batwing sleeves, and there's just something elegant but casual about this dress.

butterick 9465 1950s mad men 1960s curvy redhead vintage style wiggle sheath dress miss l fire mildred

My version is match from thick and stretchy double knit - forgiving and washable, perfect for work!

two metres of double knit jersey (ponte roma from Lincraft).

As well as being easy to sew, it doesnt take a lot of fabric which is a win in my books.

I cheated a bit with this one, and didn't make a muslin first (shock! horror!) as the fabric was fairly forgiving. The only thing I was concerned about was how tight the skirt was so I wrapped the fabric around my hips first, matching the finished size, to make sure it would fit there.

A matching belt from an old belt kit finishes it off!

Only one mod, and that was to remove the tucks on the front of the skirt and turn them into darts. I don't like the effect tucks give when you have a bit of a tummy.

Would I make it again? 
Yes, I'm pretty sure I would if I found some more nice double knit somewhere. It's definitely an easy to make dress that looks perfectly retro.

Outfit details
Dress - me made
Shoes - Miss L Fire Mildred
Monogram brooch and gold earrings - Etsy
1950s charm bracelet - Viva Las Vegas

And finally, I have to share what I found in an op-shop (thrift store) on the weekend - a 1950's beach hat!

It folds flat for travelling, and has cute green raffia trim around the edges - bring on summer!
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