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Issue 58/March 2015 of Making magazine was released in the UK yesterday and in it is this simple front buttoning bow tied blouse pattern and tutorial by yours truly Now the issue is on the shelves I can share this version with you- available on my Free Patterns Page
27 Feb 2015 16 Comments
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04 Feb 2015 20 Comments
in 1930's, Blouses, DIY & How To's, Free pattern, Kimono, sewing, upcycling, VeraVenus Patterns Tags: blouse, free pattern, making shoulder pads, VeraVenus pattern, vintage dressmaking, vintage inspired
Left over from my recent adventures in vintage Japanese kimono deconstruction I had enough of one to also make this simple magyar/kimono blouse.
The definition of magyar blouse says that ‘…the sleeves are cut in one with the body.’ I’d also call that a kimono style top. I’m not sure of or even if there’s much difference between a magyar and basic kimono cut …if anyone does know a distinction please enlighten me.
In any event the magyar style of dress bodice & blouse seems to have been around for a long time in western fashion history from before WWI through the 30’s, into the 50’s and pops up beyond though in more recent decades maybe that’s when it began to be called a ‘kimono’ cut. Really I’m just making a supposition on that, don’t quote me. More
14 Apr 2014 18 Comments
Well hello from southern New Mexico where ostensibly I’m on holiday visiting my mum. But not to sew for two whole weeks??
I m p o s s i b l e.
Weeks before my arrival I’d been lurking on USA ebay and won some lovely vintage patterns and had them sent to my US address. It was nice to be able to buy a few Hollywood patterns particularly which I don’t come across on UK ebay that often. Believe me when I say I wasn’t planning at all to sew on my visit, honest I wasn’t!
I lasted a mere 6 days. The vintage patterns were whispering to me. I shouldn’t have been left alone in the house! More
26 Mar 2013 28 Comments
and round and round and round in my head went that song the entire time I sewed this dress. GaaaH!!! I’m about as far from being a London cockney as a transplanted-to-Brighton ex-New Yorker could possibly be. My children learned the lyrics in school and I learned from them as we marched around the South Downs singing this at the top of our lungs. Gave the livestock quite a fright.
The other week a local fabric shop gave me a couple of meters of this lovely citrus fabric in exchange for having pics of my results to show off on their FB page. (as I checked the link worked I saw some fab new dalia patterned cotton just in…. look away now!) But anyway, fabric in exchange for pics is a win-win situation in my book. I even have a glass necklace of oranges bought on a long ago trip to Venice to accessorise with. But now I cannot get that damn song out of my head.
I haven’t sewn from a vintage pattern for a while. This was nice quick dress to do and helps justify my growing pattern collection, sort of. Yeah ok really not at all but I do better with my fabric stash… that is a fairly constant one fabric in to one out. Vintage patterns are roughly ten patterns bought to one used. Not so good. Thankfully the often silly prices of vintage patterns do help me keep a check on myself. Catherine of The Makings of an Urban Rustic has recently been making herself some pretty full skirted summer dresses and they reminded me just how much I like this silhouette. And even though, baby, it is still really cold outside some new summer clothes seem the way to sew. I’ve been trotting out the same ol’ dresses for a few years now as the English summers make their half-hearted appearance.
Now jumping back to the 1940’s, the second version of the Bloggin Blues dress is underway (pattern corrected, copied out and in the post tomorrow Villblomsten ) This time in a rayon challis print. It’s very different than my original effort isn’t it?! At first I was seriously not loving it & had to leave it for a bit. The fabric is very limp and the print is a little too reminiscent of a flannelette nightgown I once had. But I soldiered on as I had to at least check the pattern was in good working order. But then styled with a red buckle, a scrap of red velvet for buttons, a red handbag and visions of a dash of red lipstick on the day- and no miss but a hit! It needs its back belt, red buttons and loops, shoulder pads, a hem and she’s done. It hasn’t quite got the punch of the first BB dress but is very wearable and I’m sure I will.
Here are three highlights from the big pile of fabrics I’m determined to use soon: the hummingbird fabric, quite new, is destined to become another full skirted sundress. That’s easy. The embroidered raspberry chambray has been brought out 5 years running but I still haven’t used it- a bit of an eyeful colourwise?. Maybe the slim skirted version of the 60’s style I just sewed or possibly just a shirt. Which ever, it’s crying out to be worn someplace sunny to keep it from looking too garish… so not surprising if it ends up back in the fabric cupboard for yet another year. And then there is the crazy daisy punched linen I bought a couple of years ago. That’s gonna be a tricky one. Not least because it’s white so a guaranteed Pimms spillage magnet. Also the construction techniques will be difficult regardless of the style it gets used for. But when I’m next up for a challenge it’s the fabric I’ll reach for.
Some of you may well be wondering “where does she wear this stuff?” Well, what can I say… I’m the best dressed walker on the South Downs and you’ll certainly hear me coming-“…when I grow rich say the bells of Shoreditch. When will that be say the bells of Stepney…”
12 Nov 2012 25 Comments
Had a bad case of the blogging blues these last couple of months and had to just walk away and think for a while. Blogging was supposed to be an enjoyable thing but became a stress and an obsession instead. I have enough of those already. It got so I couldn’t make anything without thinking about whether or not I ought to be photographing my progress, jotting down the steps and writing a tutorial. And how often did I check my stats?? Sheesh, talk about a creativity killer. Can’t say I’ve come to an understanding with myself about what I’m doing here on WP or why or for whom… but hey I didn’t hit ‘delete this site’ so even if not exactly back in the saddle at least I’m walking alongside the horse. And I have been sewin’ up a storm while singin’ those blues and at the end of the day making clothes is my passion and I just have to keep sight of that.
A while ago while idly perusing vintage dress sites looking at pix of dresses hoping for some inspiration I came across this red beauty on FabGabs.com (site now under reconstruction) and it was love at first sight!
So I made a version for myself. It’s made from a heavy silk crepe I’ve been hoarding for years just waiting for the perfect moment to use it and has a velvet yoke, sleeves and pockets. The embroidery is cut out from an upholstery sample, first BondaWeb-ed to stabilise it and help stick it in place on the velvet and then blanket stitched with silk buttonhole thread all around the edges. The pattern itself is a cobbled together job- draped bias sleeves from a 1940’s style evening dress I made a private client a couple of years ago, skirt, also bias is a lengthened version from the 30’s pj top I put a pattern up for (DIY page) and the bodice was adapted from a fitted shirt block. The 4 rows of shirring at the top and bottom of the bodice to control the fullness is a technique I really like and don’t use enough. In a panic I discovered I was down to my last fabric buckle covering kit and they are so hard to find these days… Vogue Fabric site has them in USA and Amazon.com. But they won’t ship them to the UK for some reason so had to warn my Mum in New Mexico a packet of a dozen is headed her way which I’ll collect in January. Phew, panic over
That’s a pic of one of the 18″ square upholstery fabric swatches a friend who works in a posh interior design shop gave me and the image below shows how I machine stitched it on. Going around all the edges with blanket stitch is somewhere on my to-do list….. someday. Anyway I think it’s a good cheat for adding embroidery onto clothes for those of us who don’t embroider.
10 Aug 2012 14 Comments
from 73 years ago this month!
It has these lovely illustrations of men’s holiday fashions in ice-cream colours which really caught my eye.
Just one month later WW2 was declared.
In the same issue is this article of ideas on using lace as appliqué on ‘bibelots” (I’ve always loved that word)
Serendipity in the form of some lovely soft turquoise-y blue silk broadcloth I bought only the week before.
To make lace appliqué bows you tie a length of lace into a bow and fiddle about with it on your ironing board sticking pins in here and there until it has the shape you like and then you press it very flat.
Carefully re-pin it in place on whatever you will be sewing it on. Flat fabric is easier than an already sewn garment because of having to turn it every which way while sewing.
You can either hand baste it in place first (the methodical way) or go straight to sewing it down (the impatient way) though the pins will really get in the way.
I used a small size 2 straight stitch and was very grateful my machine has a presser foot knee lift!
You could cut some sections of the backing fabric away after sewing which would look lovely and airy- in which case either a tiny machine zig-zag or close hand-whipping the lace edges down would be better.