Monday, September 22, 2014

Vintage Fall Wardrobe Inspiration · Coats

The other day my mom picked up a couple wool coats at a thrift store, so I am planning on re-fashioning one of them. It is long, big, and rather intimidating, but with a few changes, I think it will be very nice indeed. 
Here's some much-needed vintage coat inspiration:

I just *love* this blue wool coat that Lily of Mode de Lis remade. It is so pretty, and that collar is to die for! I like those side-belts too...

Many 1940s coats had tie belts, so that's another thing to consider.

I like the big patch pockets on that red coat! They would add some needed character.

I don't know if it's possible on a thick, black coat, but a contrasting binding looks really pretty around the edges.

Once again, I'm not sure if it's possible, but making an asymmetrical closure would be perfect. Mmmm. And those biiiig buttons. And cuffs.
I am inspired!

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Friday, September 19, 2014

Vintage Sewing for Little Ones · 1940s Floral Dress

While I was sick, I didn't even feel like sewing, but when I started to be on the mend, I decided to try a miniature-sized project. I intended to make a different pattern at first, but I soon found out that I didn't have enough fabric to make it. This adorable little dress didn't take much fabric, and when you're working with scraps, that's just what you need.

The pattern is Anne Adams 3807, which I haven't been able to find online anywhere. It is not dated, but I'm guessing it's from the 1940s.

I didn't realize it at first, but this is actually a wrap dress! The back buttons to the front, and the front ties around the back. I just love the design - it is incredibly adorable!!
The construction was really unusual (I thought so anyway) in that the front is all one piece, which you then slit on the sides, gather, and sew back together. It's actually a really nifty design!

I happened to have some cute little purple buttons in the stash. I wanted to bring out the purple color that is in the middle of each flower. A gray button just wasn't up to the mark.

I ended up varying my version of this dress a little bit from the pattern. For one thing, I lengthened it an inch, and then narrow-hemmed it, rather than doing a 3 inch hem like the pattern says. I like dresses to be longer than they were back then, which you can see from the pattern picture were above the knee. Ideally, I will make little dresses like this with a 3 inch hem in the future so that they can be let down as the child grows. This time though, I didn't have ample fabric to do so.
Another slight variation is, I made the neck binding continue into ties, rather than sewing on a separate bow. It seemed more logical somehow (and I didn't read the pattern until I finished sewing that step).

All in all, I'm really pleased with how it turned out. I can't wait to sew more vintage dresses and stash them away for future use. It's so fun!!

Meanwhile, I'm working on a dress and long-sleeved jacket from Vogue 8767. It should be a really nice fall wardrobe staple, and the dress, being short-sleeved, will be nice year-round!

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P.S. I'm going to try (emphasis on try) to start posting regularly on Monday and Friday, rather than spottily blogging like I have been doing. We'll see how it goes!

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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

· Wearing History Clothing ·

A few months ago, I discovered the Wearing History blog where Lauren posts about all things vintage. I was thrilled to hear that she has started a vintage clothing business! And the best part is - it's all made in USA. She is starting her business right now, and she needs your help. She has raised the initial amount needed to cover costs, but if she can raise more, it means a wider range of sizing, more great styles, and even a collection of vintage menswear.
You can support her by ordering a Wearing History sewing E-pattern (or two), a super neat tote bag, or any of her cute clothing styles! Or, you can pledge any amount you choose.
So head over to her page on Kickstarter and support USA business!!

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Monday, September 15, 2014

· Yellow 1940s Housedress ·

*Note: I have had this dress done since Thursday, but I've had a horrible cold/flu ever since, so I haven't been able to take pictures of it on me. Thelma Lou graciously volunteered to take my place. ;-)
 The Historical Sew Fortnightly challenge for today is "Something Yellow." So of course, when I saw that, I naturally thought of my yellow flowery fabric. Buuut, what would I make out of it? Since the deadline is 1945, I was at a loss for what to make. Most of our patterns are from the 1950s, and the few we have from 1945 or earlier are not much to write home about. So I thought and thought, and then it came to me; I would use my new old Hollywood Pattern that I just got as inspiration for my dress!

The original pattern has accent panels on the sides, which I liked, but since I wanted this to be an everyday dress, I figured a solid yellow panel would be impractical. I got the idea to sew ricrac on in the same shape as the panels, to create the illusion of a separate panel.

I got this fabric a few months back at our local fabric shop on clearance for about $4 a yard. I didn't love it at the time, but I just wanted something inexpensive for a housedress. Now that it is made up, I actually do love it!

I used the Vogue V9000 bodice front and back for the top of the dress, and then just cut the skirt to flare out to the full width of the fabric. Then I drew the vertical darts on, making the widest part of the dart at the waistline, tapering it back in at the bottom. I cut the neck a little higher (1/2"?) because I wasn't adding a collar. I actually cut the sleeves like the pattern piece and cut them shorter when I tried it on later.
I put a little piece of interfacing on the inside of the dress where the ties would be placed. The ties were then zig-zagged on, and the ricrac was sewed over them, hiding the seam.

The ricrac was sewed on following the shape so that it would stay flat. That was the hardest part of the dress just because it took FOREVER. It was definitely worth it though because it lies flat even after washing.

All in all, this dress was a great success, and it has given me confidence in "inventing" my own patterns! (And, I've tested it's comfort by laying around in it for four days. It's comfy, I promise!)

The Challenge: Yellow
Fabric: 5 yards cotton. (Probably less would do just fine, but I had 5)
Pattern: Self-drafted, based on vintage Hollywood pattern 1801, using Vogue V9000
Year: 1944
Notions: 5 yards ricrac, 16 buttons, thread
How historically accurate is it? 95%.  I serged a couple edges.
Hours to complete: 12-15
First worn: Friday, and ever since then around home!
Total cost: $35. 
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