Saturday, April 22, 2017

Wide leg pants and making a pants sloper!

So, I've been keeping busy, even though the blog has seen little of it!

One thing that my wardrobe has been missing is well fitted high waist pants. I've had a couple that I made in the past but sadly the last six or seven pounds I put on are stuck right on my belly... so I can wear them... but I can't breathe at the same time.

I decided what I needed most of all was to make a basic sloper block, a pants pattern fitted just for me that I could use to alter other patterns for a great fit every time!

It took quite a bit of time but resulted in these great wide leg 1970s pants! (See below for more about the sloper!)

Pattern is Simplicity 6773, year is 1974
Making the sloper, I decided to use Simplicity 6572, which I had used once before, making the "Awesome Hippie Pants" which fit me fairly well... back then. This pattern is also from 1974! (And how cool is that jacket? I really have to make it someday!)

As you can tell by the first trial run of unaltered pattern... not a good fit at all. 

All I did was to grade one size up. 

After a long good gathering of knowledge courtesy of circa five different vintage sewing books, I went ahead and changed quite a bit.

I altered a few things: lowered the curve of the crotch, both front and back. Added more fabric to the inseem, a little bit more on the front than the back. Curved the center front seam a tiny bit to make room for my belly (not pregnant, just chubby - would work nicely for fitting early preggers tummy too though!)
And in the end, they turned out quite good! There is still some wrinkling in the front (going the opposite direction - I altered the crotch curve a bit too much!) but it looks lots better than before.The zipper is a little bubbly because the fabric is lightweight cotton and doesn't hold its shape all that well. But overall, a good start. And it did really help when making the wide leg pants pictured above! I can see a lot more pants, jeans & trousers happening in the future! I sure do have a bunch of fun sewing patterns to choose from!

Monday, April 3, 2017

1960s mini dress for easter

So, I have not been very active here for a while, but here goes!

There has actually been quite a bit of sewing, some small mending projects and some bigger things - here's the latest!

Swedish "Stil"-pattern from circa 1967-1968

Vintage fabric

One FBA (still not perfect)

Loosely woven fabric that unravels by basically just looking at it

Lots and lots of zigzag and rolling of hems

And it's done!

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Gingham Dress

Latest sewing, a variation of the classic 1950s Brigitte Bardot style gingham dress.

Decided to go with the Stil 9743 pattern from my stash, I've never used it before so of course it needed a whole bunch of tweaking (because tall + big boobs). It took circa seven fittings to get the fit quite right (and now the dress looks good but I can't breathe wearing it!)

The fabric is a vintage find from the local thrift store and I had just enough to make the dress... as long as I omitted the sleeves and the belt... but this simple variation looks fine too I think!

Monday, March 21, 2016

1930s inspired grey pencil skirt

I got something done! Yay me!

I decided to pull myself out of the "omg I have too much fabric and patterns and don't know where to start panic" by going for  whatever would be the answer to: What do I need most right now? Well, a simple but great skirt to wear at the office! So, pulled out the grey vintage mystery fabric from the pile and begun! (I remember buying the fabric in a thrift store waaayyy back, and it feels like a wool/cotton mix of some sorts... maybe. Hence - mystery fabric.)

Of course I was about 2-3 inches short of fabric for using any of the skirt patterns I've been longing to use - surprise! So, decided to draft a super simple, fairly long straight skirt /pencil skirt design based loosely on these inspirations:

1930s fashion plates. Source: NYPL.
More 1930s skirts, source: 

Unfortunately, since I took the pictures right when I got home from work, in the hallway... they are not so fancy: weird light, skirt looks a bit wonky (my face looks more than just a bit wonky) and my shirt is all creased from two hours on public transportation... But I am now in my sweatpants and don't want to change back, so you'll have to live with it, heh! ;)

Next time (when I have more fabric, perhaps!) I'll give it a bit of flare at the bottom, since the 1930s skirts often did... I just didn't have enough fabric for that this time! Anyway, my favorite part about the skirt is the detail I added with the vintage trim sewn into the waistband.

I really wanted to do a good job this time so I french seamed as much as possible. Takes a bit of time but seriously why don't I always do that, it looks so neat!?

I also folded in the waistband - along with that awesome white vintage trim - (sorry for gushing, I love it) to make the zipper as invisible as I could. The seams look all crooked on the inside... as usual. But it gets better with more sewing, and as long as the outside looks great, who cares?

...and although I sewed the zipper on the machine I hand stitched to make the fabric lay flat on top of it. (It still doesn't - especially not in this picture -  but I tried.)

Also I hemmed the skirt by hand. Not my favorite thing to do, so mark my surprise when that was a quick and easy procedure! And no it's not super uneven, it just looks like it in this picture... perspective...

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Spring fabrics, patterns and more plans...


Days go by so fast and still no sewing! Instead I've spent hours upon hours of looking through my patterns, pattern magazines and trolling Pinterest for even more inspiration (like I need more...? I need less! Don't know where to start...)

Anyway, since I promised little over a week ago (in my inspiration collages post, here) I would share what fabrics and patterns are in the plans for spring, here goes!

Grey, beige and brown with a hint of pink for skirts and pants.
Light, bright and cute cotton and polyester in stripes, florals and gingham for tops, shirts and dresses.
Pops of color and more luxe fabrics for even more tops and such. From top: black peachskin polyester, blue crepe georgette, hot pink silk charmeuse, bright red chiffon and then one more silk (that is much brighter orange irl than in the picture!)
Late 40s to 50s skirts. I also really want to make a more 1930s type of slim skirt and I have no pattern for that but I think I will make a pattern myself referencing some pattern envelopes and fashion plates from the period.

Adorable 1950s blouses!

Wide pants to wear at the office... patterns from early to late 1970s

And a dress maybe... don't really need anymore dresses but... yeah. I most of all want to make the McCall from 1949, love love love the look!

Also there's the pile of new and semi-new burda magazines... I think these are good for relaxed tops, patterns where I get to use stretch fabrics and some current ideas.

Aaaand of course the pile of old burda and neue mode magazines, the ones I've got span from 1969 to 1982 so lots of reat ideas there as well...
You see why I can't decide where to start right?

Have a great week, hopefully next time I post I will actually have sewn something!

Friday, March 4, 2016

Inspiration collages for spring 2016

So, I've been spending some time planning what I want to make for spring! I realized that even if making dresses is great fun, what I really need is separates. Something that works an ordinary day at the office or just when I want to look great for a date with the husband but not wear a dress! Blouses, shirts, skirts, dressy pants... All those things that are a bit more tricky to sew than just another shift dress. But I figured, if I pulled off making the wedding dress last year, a buttoned blouse couldn't possibly be any worse.
I have some great "new" sewing patterns from the 1940s and 1950s that I am coosing between, and some old and new issues of Burda Style for more current fashion ideas... (and perhaps one or two 1960s/1970s patterns as well) so um, lots more than I actually need and have time for...
I managed to snag some absolutely fantastic fabrics from the thrift store located next door to my current workplace... I have never been so tempted to compulsively shop everyday in my life! Have to stay at work long enough to make sure I more or less have to run to the train to make sure I don't "just pop in for a quick look"... Plus everything is embarrassingly cheap! Also I just bought some new fabrics online that are being shipped right now, cant wait too see them!. 
While waiting for fabrics and deciding which patterns to use, I thought I'd share some inspiration from my newly acquired Pinterest account and boards, here:
(All following pics are (c) their respective owners and found on Pinterest.  Had the "embed function" still worked on Blogger I would have done that, but sadly, I tried and nope.)
White blouses galore!
Office wear, suits and more
All kinds of great skirts
Gingham, blues, yellows, corals, reds...
This is where I'm at right now, but it'll most likely change a bit here and there, and then comes summer and I'll probably want even more colours and prints. But anyway, finding inspiration is great fun!

I'll be back to show you my new patterns and fabrics soon! Until then, have a great week and hang in there, spring IS coming!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Peplum blouse (wearable muslin)

So, for a very long time I've been wanting to make a late 1940s style peplum blouse. I just love the look and I do have a few store-bought ones but they really don't fit so well on my tall and big-boobed figure. The waistline ends up too high and/or the bust pulls up the fabric in the front... Guess how often I use them...? Pretty much never. 

I drafted a pattern based on my standard bodice and this picture i found on Pinterest (here: ). 

A quick Google search and I found the front of the pattern envelope. Really cute, right?

I used those pattern pics as a guide and made a simple boat neck and nothing extra on this first attempt, mainly because I wanted to test the basic structure but also since I chose a busy fabric. Also I decided to put an upside-down zipper in the back. You can see the layout from the inside:

I learned a few things from this muslin! For one I hate zippers (ok I admit I knew that already. I need practice.). The old synthetic fabric scrap I used for the project (some rayon-ish thing) is very stiff and loves to make strange folds and puckers everywhere. Very obvious in the picture below.. (and that's the best pic from the back out of the six I took!) Also I really should have put on some more structured underwear (like, a corset or shaper of some sort) before taking these pictures... but anyway, could have been worse.

I need to adjust my pattern in the upper back (I am not quite as hunchbacked as I seem to think) and below the waist in the front (to make it even more hourglass shaped). But overall, not bad for a first muslin!