A few months ago I was very generously gifted not one but two Lutterloh pattern books from 1940 and 1941. That very same week on eBay I bid on a Summer 1949 supplement being sold from France. Amazingly I won it for not too much. So completely and utterly spoiled for choice and unable to decide which design to start with I photocopied a number of my favourites and randomly drew this one to be my first Lutterloh make. That fine cotton hummingbird fabric I posted about back in April was used for it – and going by my self-imposed ”one out-one in” stash rule I can now buy a new fabric 😉
I resisted the impulse to edit my pics to make my waist look as small as the illustration… or to make the illustration look as realistic as me.
So without more ado here is my Lutterloh 1949 make:
Lutterloh was started in Germany, 1935, and is still going strong today. It’s similar-ish contemporaries were a French system called Eclair Coupe Paris and The Haslam system which I think was American. This is a YouTube video of the Man From Lutterloh demonstrating with a simple waistcoat how it all works (14 minutes long if you have the patience). Continue reading Uh-Oh Lutterloh→
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. Continue reading Oranges & Lemons, Almost A Miss and Summer Fabrics Waiting.→
I actually haven’t sewn anything since before Christmas which for me is almost like not breathing but a break every now and then is good even I admit. Instead over the hols I baked like crazy (umpteen batches of biscotti and a Baked Alaska) and just this past Monday returned to the UK from a couple of weeks in southern New Mexico- though I did finish a blouse while I was there but that doesn’t really count and it still needs buttonholes. So yesterday, after tidying up my workroom which suffered from family invasion while I was away, I wanted to make something simple that wouldn’t tax my jet-lagged brain and would get me back in the sewing groove.
This little 1948 French beret pattern from Mrs. Depew was just the ticket.
The pdf contains the instructions for drawing out the pattern for the simple, nicely proportioned small beret and the cute bird ornament. Sewing instructions are very minimal but really it isn’t hard to construct.
The two things I changed were making the head opening a few centimetres larger (maybe french women had little heads in ’48 or maybe I just have a big one) and I shortened the length of the birds body by 1-1/2 cm so to my eye at least it had more of the same proportion as the illustration. I also lined my beret. The birds wings are two layers of suede fused together so not to be floppy and I wish I’d done that for the tail too. If you make this hat yourself doubling up the bird fabric is something to bear in mind depending on what you use. The edge stitching is also something I decided to add just to make it a little more tailored in feel to go with my newest Miss L Fire shoes ( 🙂 on sale)
Now my suede-trimmed tweed suit (a version of a vintage late 40’s suit which I had to copy for a film in November and that just happened to fit me too- occasional perks of my job) that I made just before all the baking started is accessorised and ready to go … just as soon as my Christmas waist goes away and I can button the skirt again that is.
Will I make this beret again?
Most certainly. This first one took about four hours to make with my messing about some but will take half that in the future. I have some red velvet lined up for a loopy bow one and some turquoise suede to make a second bird beret in. A black felt one with a sequinned or beaded bird could be fab too I think. All in all a successful make.
Now I’m going to whizz up a little black satin dress based on my 30’s PJ top free pattern to wear tomorrow night to a White Mink evening…. because of course I haven’t got a single frock to wear!
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 KnickersatLessonsInScarlet (sorry blog is now gone). 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 .
The editor has kindly said I may post the instructions and patterns on my Patterns&Tutorials page for SewVeraVenus readers.
And almost last but hardly least the Palace Party.
OK, not strictly speaking a party but something I am SO EXCITED about… Caravan Palaceare 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.
So that’s what I call a post of many Ps. I dePart leaving you with a picture of my Pampered Pooch.
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.
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 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 🙂
I’ve used the cut-out embroidery technique before on this georgette and velvet kimono I did for Making Magazine (a UK craft mag I do sewing projects for quite a lot)
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.
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) Continue reading French Knicker Sew-Along: Day 2→
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.
-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. Continue reading Bows into Darts. A Mini How-to→