16 Nov 2012
in 1930's, Accessories, DIY, How To, patternmaking, Patterns, sewing, skirts, Tutorial
Tags: Christmas stocking, Christmas things to make, drafting skirts, Hotwater bottle cover, Making magazine, patternmaking, pencil skirt, sewing
You -”What exactly is a post of many Ps?”
Me – “Promised Patterns, Pretty Pants, Phabulous Presents, Palace Party, Pampered Pooch & a Professional Project in a Pear tree of course!”
First up the promised pattern drafting tutorial for the 8 gore 6 godet 1930′s style skirt I posted about in September…and the pdf isn’t a squillion pages long this time . While writing and diagramming it I realised it made perfect sense to show how to make a basic Pencil Skirt and an A-line skirt pattern along the way. The big plus is not only can the A-line pattern can be cut on the straight grain as for a simple 1940′s tailored skirt but can be cut on the bias too! So all in all a good start to pattern designing your own skirt collection. In my next tutorial effort I’ll show how to split darts and move them around to add the bow detail for the 40′s skirt and drafting the ‘bucket’ pocket to add to the 50’s pencil skirt.
I do want to point out that my tutorial doesn’t at all intend to replace in-depth pattern drafting books. I’ve tried to keep it simple enough for anyone to follow to get the feel of creating patterns for themselves without getting hung up on too much technical stuff. I loathed taking flat-pattern classes way back when- the instructor was a dragon and nothing I did ever came out right …unless I was making patterns styled for Quasi Modo (he’s my knitting muse now instead) Draping on a stand was my idea of heaven however and that was how I created patterns for years. Slowly though I conquered my fear of set squares, fractions and precision points and started to absorb information from the flat pattern cutters I worked along side. Some books, the Natalie Bray series and the 1942 Harriet Pepin in particular were very useful. Now I work back and forth between draping and flat pattern designing equally at home in both. If I can’t figure out how to do something by one method I turn to the other.
Anyhow enough rambling. I hope you get something useful from the skirt tutorial and please come back & show me what you make. Download the skirt drafting pdf here.
Pretty Pants up next: Using VV patterns Abigail of FarmhouseGarden made a very cute pair of ‘Grannie Pannies’ and Ruth shows off her rather cheeky pair of French Knickers at LessonsInScarlet. Have a look and my thanks to them both for showing off their scanties :)
On to Phabulous Presents: because that time of year is fast approaching. I’ve made myself two promises regarding presents: first- NO internet shopping. Though it is convenient and I do my fair share I also think it’s important to support small local retailers and sitting in front of a computer is not so much fun as going out and about looking at things (and getting tired feet and banged shins and a short temper… ok well just a little internet shopping maybe). Second- get it done in a timely fashion. Oh-hoho no, that won’t be me running around on Christmas Eve this year 15 minutes before the shops shut. Famous last words.
And of course who doesn’t like to make things to give as gifts? These are two projects I did for the most recent issue of Making Magazine .
Pearly Elf Christmas Stocking
Holiday Hottie Cover
The editor has kindly said I may post the instructions and patterns on my Patterns&Tutorials page for SewVeraVenus readers. I hope you enjoy them.From the Making website (projects>sewing)you can also download the Sleeping Beauty nighty project and also a super easy Sari Tunic tunic by yours truly as well. I’ve done quite a few Making Mag projects over the last year and they will all be on this site at some point too (when I get the page done)
And almost last but hardly least the Palace Party.
OK, not strictly speaking a party but something I am SO EXCITED about… Caravan Palace are playing Brighton next week and I have tickets! Their Electro Swing music never fails to make me want to dance and it definitely feels like time to party when ever I hear it.
I won’t be dancing at the gig, my foot still isn’t mended enough for that but I’ll be jigging about a bit ( in a sedate ladylike manner of course) that’s for sure.
Have a look and listen to Caravan Palace -
So that’s what I call a post of many Ps. I dePart leaving you with a picture of my Pampered Pooch.
Too Pooped to Post More
Ah, just still one more P after all-
I nearly forgot the Katie outfit I recently designed that was made for her most recent promo.
Couldn’t let you go without a peep at that now could I.
Price in Boots
09 Sep 2012
in 1940's, How To, It's in the Details, lingerie, Sew-along, sewing, Vintage Lingerie
Tags: 1940's, French knickers, how to sew vintage style french knickers, Making vintage style lingerie, sewing lingerie
So diving straight back in where yesterday left off todays post covers attaching the waistband, hemming your knickers with and without lace and (with reservations, you’ll see why) how to do a hand made button-hole as well showing a thread-loop. (By the way any picture will open full size in a separate window when clicked) More
08 Sep 2012
in 1940's, How To, It's in the Details, Sew-along, sewing, vintage reproductions, Vintage style
Tags: 1940's, how to sew vintage style french knickers, lingerie, Making vintage style lingerie
Day 1- today covers cutting out, hand sewing on lace motifs, sewing french seams and how to attach a continuos side seam placket with either a hand or machine finish.
Day 2- tomorrows post covers adding a waistband with either a fabric or elastic (ha, didn’t expect that did you!), machine appliquéd lace hems and motifs, machine pin-hemming, hand-made button-holes and other closing options. More
27 Aug 2012
in 1940's, Free pattern, How To, Sew-along, sewing, Vintage Lingerie
Tags: 1940's, French knickers, sew-along, sewing french knickers, sewing vintage lingerie
Over the weekend of September 8 & 9 I’ll be hosting the first ever VeraVenus sew-along on making 1940′s style french knickers! More
23 Aug 2012
in 1940's, dressmaking, How To, It's in the Details, sewing
Tags: clothing, sewing skirts, skirt darts, skirt detail
In the post before this one Holly commented that she’d love to know how I put the bows into the darts on the skirt I made for myself a few weeks ago (and as I’m always ready to avoid what I am really meant to be doing) here is a mini how-to do just that.
1940′s style silk crepe Bow Skirt
-Basically the ‘bows’ are sewn into pair of parallel darts creating a centre strap effect. If you only have one front dart divide it into two darts. They can be very shallow. (when I do a more in-depth tutorial on drafting the complete skirt, I’ll show how to divide one dart into two) The darts on my skirt are 2cm apart and finish parallel to the centre front skirt seam.
- Stay-stitch a fraction inside the dart ‘legs’ and iron on a 2.5cm strip of light weight interfacing from the top edge to 2/3rds of the way down in the ‘strap’ area between each pair of darts. It will cover the stay-stitching you just did and be caught in with the final dart stitching.
- Make 2 pairs of bow ’ears’. These are simply strips of fabric bagged-out into a tube. No interfacing was used as they would probably have been too thick. The finished dimensions of my ‘ears’ are 4cm wide and 4.5cm extending out from the darts. I coaxed each into a centre box pleat with some hand stitching. More
14 Aug 2012
in 1940's, DIY, How To, lingerie, patternmaking, Vintage Lingerie
Tags: 1940's, free french knicker drafting tutorial, French Knicker pattern, Making vintage style lingerie, vintage lingerie
DIY French Knicker Draft ….
10 page ( don’t panic, it’s because of pics and largish print ) PDF takes you through the drafting process… no diploma in pattern-making needed.
Includes information on fitting and a brief sewing guide.
Slightly flared 1940′s style French Knicker
A couple of weeks ago when some nice weather arrived I decided I had Absolutely Nothing To Wear
and fixated on making 3 new skirts as the solution. Of course couldn’t find my custom skirt block anywhere so did a quickie draft and after I’d made a 30′s, a40′s and a 50′s style skirt…
26 Apr 2012
in 1930's, dressmaking, How To, Inspiration, vintage reproductions
Tags: 1930's lingerie, 1930's style silk pyjamas, free pattern, sewing, vintage inspired
“Yes, ok, you can come to the pyjama party too!”
‘Lounge Lady’ pyjamas sounds so much nicer than ‘Lounge Jockey’ pyjamas
(what my family has dubbed them because of the print on the fabric )
What ever you’d like to call them, they are finished!! More
14 Mar 2012
in 1920s, 1930's, How To, Inspiration, It's in the Details, lingerie, Vintage Lingerie
Tags: House of Wenger
…for now anyway.
A few months back a friend very generously lent me these gorgeous pleated silk knickers to photograph for my reference files. Going by period illustrations and saucy photographs of the time I would date them as from 1925-1930. (clicking on any pictures will open a large version)
Think of the ironing. Though I imagine the woman who originally bought these hand-made silk undies from the House of Wenger in Philadelphia in the 20′s had someone to do it for her…. More
14 Mar 2012
in 1950's, Free pattern, How To, lingerie, Vintage Lingerie, vintage reproductions
Tags: 1950's, free pattern, granny-pants, lingerie, stretch silk
100 SewVeraVenus blog followers as of today, a nice round number
Thank you all so very much for your interest in SewVeravenus!
So to celebrate I thought I’d put up the super-easy version of my ‘Grannie Pannies‘ the big-knickers that I was making patterns for a couple of months back.
A printable-cut-it-out-and-stick-it-together-with-tape pattern.
(UK size 10/12 , that’s hips 36′ to 39″, but easily grade-able to bigger/smaller sizes by following the Threads Magazine grading advice.
The pattern can be downloaded from the VVPatterns & Tutorials page.
Fabrics: one or two way stretch jerseys, stretch silk, stretch lace, cotton lycra…
Have at it- cut ‘em out, stretch-stitch together…. zig-zag stitch some elastic at the waist and legs and presto your very own big-yet-ever-so-sexy-knickers.
Bridget Jones eat your heart out.
16 Jan 2012
in 1930's, 1940's, dressmaking, How To, sewing, vintage reproductions
Tags: 1930's caplet, dressmaking, free pattern, short cape
Halfway through January already…. so hows that New Years Resolution working out for ya?
The papers have been merrily trumpeting the fact that most of us, if we even made one, will have given it up by the end of this month!
Well I made two and so far so good:
1st: Don’t Over Complicate Things aka Keepin’ It Simple
This can be applied to just about everything in life from sewing to relationships.
2nd: Finish What I’ve Started….. This applies particularly to the backlog of projects I started last year- that rouleaux shouldered dress (still love it and really want it to be ready for Spring), still more lace needing hand-whipping onto this black satin kimono and My Big Project: SewVeraVenus Lingerie. Yup, really fell behind on that one…. my apologies to all of you patiently waiting for the1940′s bra pattern I mentioned in the Autumn. Anyway I now have graded sizes from 30A-DD through 36A-DD and will be running a Birthday Give-Away of five patterns at the end of January to celebrate both a year of (very sporadic) blogging and another year of my life. If you are a subscriber you will be the first to know
2011 wasn’t all unfinished business though: in November I moved all my working equipment down from a London studio into my home. A major undertaking as I hadn’t realised quite how much stuff I had amassed. Anyway took a month to settle in but all put away now and a nice work-room to be in. I think my husand has just about gotten over losing his study… and now I have the option of working either home or away and it’s a huge improvement when working on my personal projects as the kitchen table really wasn’t great for sewing especially when family was making cups of tea around me.
Also VeraVenus™ is now officially trademarked so I can add the little™ letters after it, woohoo!
But back to sewing matters: the day before New Years Eve I decided I needed a new dress and whipped up this one:
New Years Eve dress
It’s based on the 1930′s bridal dress I made last spring and a project that had been lurking in my mind for some time and I had to get it in before that ‘finish the old before starting the new’ resolution kicked in. Setting a tight time deadline usually gives me the needed shot of adrenaline to stop messing about and get on with things. I had some pale lavender-grey fur scraps leftover from a costume job which I pieced together to make the square shouldered 30′s/40′s style shoulder cape to wear with it… just what the velvet needed.
Blue felt 1930'3-1940's style capelet
Lastly for now, as a Happy New Years gift to SewVeraVenus readers this other cape pattern, as seen in this blue felt version, can be downloaded by clicking on the picture. It could look great made in wools, felt, fake fur, even linen or heavier cottons… leave it plain or embellish like mad.
(NB:It is a pattern only, no instructions are included… but easy to make!)
Happy 2012 sewing!
12 Sep 2011
in 1930's, DIY, Free pattern, How To, patternmaking, Vintage Lingerie, vintage reproductions
Tags: 1930's lingerie, free pattern, how to draft vintage French Knickers, how to sew vintage style french knickers
Just what it says on the tin: how to draft and make knickers like these.
A few weeks ago while digging in a scrap bag for a bit of fabric to trial a 1940′s bra pattern I’ve been working on (more on that later) I unearthed a very fragile and disintegrating pair of 1930′s black chiffon French Knickers …. I don’t think they’ve seen the light of day for 25 years and it’s anyone’s guess why I ever stuffed them in that bag in the first place as I usually keep study pieces in a more accessible place. However, a timely rediscovery as they’re simple to draft and make, so perfect for this ‘long time a comin’ post .
The style I’m demonstrating has a flat waist and is based on a full circle pattern and cut without any side seams. There is a left side opening finished with a straight grain continuous placket and the waist is finished with either a bias or straight grain binding. Inserting the crutch gusset is the trickiest part if you’ve never inserted a pointed piece into a slash opening .
As the style is full and fluted making them in very soft thin fabrics like silk georgette, lightest weight crêpe de chine or cotton batiste or lawn will work best.
I used a silk mousseline (satin faced chiffon) for this first green sample and the apricot fabric in the pdf pictures is a light weight c. de c.
Theres a 5 page PDF *How To* with all pattern drafting and sewing instructions.
I’ve included some helpful (I hope) pictures incase my text isn’t clear enough.
Have a read through the PDF and if you are inspired just download it and have a go.
I’d really love to know if you make a pair
About the bra in the photo above: More
26 Jun 2011
in Beading, dressmaking, How To
Tags: beaded collar, beaded decoration, hand beading
I’ve had this coral pink silk blouse for at least 8 years now. It was one of those garments you were supposed to hand wash and twist tightly into a ball while it veeeerrrry slowly dried so it came out like Fortuny pleats.
It did… but long before end of the wearing day, being silk, all the crinkle pleats dropped out. I really just couldn’t be bothered with all that after a few times and ever since it’s just been thrown into the regular wash n’ dryer and ironed flat.
I’m amazed it’s lasted so long. Being such a survivor maybe it deserves a little TLC now.
And it just happens to be a perfect vehicle for demonstrating how to do a beaded collar edging as a few people were curious after seeing the turquoise wedding blouse I made last week.
So without any more waffle here’s how to do a beaded edging in a pdf you can download.
I’ll be looking for some little glass buttons to replace the shell ones currently on it.
No more throwing it the washing machine now…
I checked out a local bookshop yesterday to see what books are available.
Mostly they are more about jewelry making than beading on clothes.
I bought this one by Dorothy Wood as a good all-round beading reference book.
It covers beaded tassels, beaded netting, tambour beading basics, shoe decorations and button ideas even … as well as tons of jewelry instructions of course.
23 Jun 2011
in dressmaking, How To, sewing, wedding
Tags: beaded edging
A bright little Bridal outfit: turquoise silk blouse with a beaded collar and a short coral silk skirt; four tiers of pleats. Finished just minutes ago and waiting to be collected and will be married in on Saturday.
And I’m posting about this because why exactly you may well be wondering…
A few new people have recently subscribed -Hello there and thank you!
yet I haven’t made a new post in weeks… though a few are pending; for instance I’ve been working on those promised instructions for drafting and making 30s/40s style French knickers. Honest.
But mainly been spending most recent weekends in the garden instead of in front of the computer even though the summer so far here has been pretty wet.
And remembering how easy and fun it is to do.
Years ago I’d seen some instructions on Victorian edging beading techniques and though I’ve long since lost those exact ones some of it obviously stuck in my head and after a few minutes of messing about a number of possible beading patterns came flooding back to me.
Since seeing even the simple pattern I did on this collar a few people have asked “how?”
And this weekend I will do a how-to post, I promise, hand on heart!
• And lastly I really wanted to see how doing a post from my iPhone worked.
Quite well actually
04 Apr 2011
in Accessories, dressmaking, How To, Inspiration, sewing, vintage
Tags: bags, Fashion, scarves, sewing
Collar & shoe appliques made from a georgette scarf
The idea is about treating scarves as simply another fabric and using them to spark up what could otherwise be a rather plain sewing project. Uses for scarves: cuffs, collars, frills & ruffles, applique´s for spot adornment or to create an all-over-print, bindings, facings, yokes and plackets. I’m sure I missed a use or two there but you get the idea. AND it’s a good excuse to go diving into huge boxes of vintage scarves the likes of which Beyond Retro and To be Worn Again are so fond of. The ones you don’t cut up you can wear. Anyway I think it’s a great way to stretch a remnant of a solid colour fabric that isn’t quite enough to make with on it’s own into something much more fun and unique.
I added .pdf’s to download on how these two tops are made here.
Circle ruffles & bindings cut from a scarf
The Green Skirt From Hell
This skirt was one of those projects where if something could go wrong it certainly did. It is a side shoot of this project. I simply wanted to proof the skirt pattern before cutting out the full dress and as I can always use another skirt in my wardrobe it seemed like a grand plan to whizz it up in a remnant from the stash.
1)pattern incorrect. Check. (hip shaping bad, godets not long enough)
2)fabric problematic. Check. (silk marocaine quite shifty, cut edges fuzz like mad, if there’s a teeny speck of oil from the sewing machine it absorbs it into a spot 10 times bigger)
3)me having a totally bad day. Check.
Not an auspicious beginning. But the professional in me triumphed over my tantrum-ing inner child and I fixed the pattern issues, un-picked and re-sewed seams as many times as necessary to get the hip shape right, the hand picked zip flat and the seam edges from fraying away. The triple top-stitching lines I did on either side of the seams will stay as they are… I’m not proud of them (that’s why no close-up pic) and wish I’d done them on my trusty Bernina Minimatic (which though more than 50 years old sews like a dream) instead of my monster Brother industrial. Even the hem is left down & topstitched multiple times as a finish – the silk was just too spongy to turn up nicely with the 6 godets it has and when all else was done I hand washed it and all the oil marks came out. So yay me and I won’t be polishing the furniture with jade green silk rags after all.
PS- I ♥ my new bag, it cheered me up a lot and I can always hold it protectively in front of the bad topstitching if anyone gets too close.