Where did that summer go? Cold, wet and nasty here in the UK now… where I am at any rate. But tomorrow morning at some hideously early hour I start the 18 hour long trip that lands me in still warm and sunny southern New Mexico to visit my mum for two weeks. A very welcome break from work and crummy weather 🙂 So this post is a quicky Hi y’all with a free 50’s style dress pattern AND a cute bag to make. I did these two projects for the Christmas issue of Making Magazine that hit the newsstands yesterday. The patterns can be downloaded from my free stuff page. The dress pdf is 33 pages! I’ve put the full size A0 & A1 pattern pdfs up too for those of you with access to large format printers. I expect to be making quite a number of the bags myself soon in tweed, fake leopard fur, sequin- fab to give as Christmas presents I thought.
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
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.
The Christmas tree is now on the recycling heap and ornaments have all been lovingly packed away. Every year there are loud protests ( SOooo embarrassing Mum!) when The Angel of ‘Happinosh’, Bad Santa and the Rude Rocket are brought out and hung on the tree but they are among my favourite Christmas decorations and will always have pride of place… secretly I suspect the offspring are rather pleased that their toddler-art is still cherished.
And finally the last crumbs of the holiday baking mountain have been consumed and I can but hope my waistline returns soon to its pre December measurement.
Do I have a New Years Resolution? Not really other than something safely vague about doing more exercise …..
With one thing and another this season seemed very subdued. Toning down Christmas commercialism is certainly welcome… and maybe next year even the perfume manufacturers will get the idea that less is more and we won’t be treated to the likes of Brad Pitt droning on for Chanel in the hands-down absolute winner of worst perfume ad of 2012! It was good for a laugh the first couple of times I saw it but by NYE the entire family could recite the words. Not good.
Anyway I do wish SewVeraVenus readers a Very Happy New Year and leave you for the moment with this helpful idea from 1947 for brightening up your January outfits:
(Fake fur of course)
The Mad Men style furore seems to have died … or maybe it’s just off the radar until the next season starts? If a bit of 50’s/60’s glam is on your things-to-make-list the pattern for this stole is now up on my Free Stuff page… finally got around to digitizing it. Until my broken foot is healed computer work is about all I can do for a while. Which means I’ll get to those 3 skirt drafting tutorials sooner rather than later too.
Which tutorial shall I do first: 30’s, 40’s or 50’s??
And aren’t these sweet peas the most amazing colours! That’s half of my autumn/winter palette right there.
…take pictures of their new shoes.
Well I do when I’m really pleased with them like these from Poetic Licence that arrived this morning. Pretty box and lots of tissue, well made and yes, on sale too
The wide-leg striped linen trousers based on my french knicker block came into being… complete with sailor style front placket openings. Next time I make trousers with so many buttons to do and undo I will put a sneaky invisible zip in the side seam as this many buttons is a pain.
Did a 12 mile cycle around the tiny lanes of Romney Marsh in Kent on Bank Holiday Sunday. It was gorgeous. Didn’t take much in the way of photos as I was concentrating on cycling…staying on the bicycle that is.
On the drive home made a little stop at Pett beach for an ice-cream and soggy chips (french-fries) and we could just glimpse Dungeness across the bay. That’s our next cycle destination apparently as having finally got me on a bike at long last Mr.Outdoor Activity insists we do more! Honestly, though more of a walker, I did have a fab time. Need my own bike , borrowing my daughters un-comfy off-road bike wasn’t ideal.
Hay rolls always signal the end of the summer to me. Getting to the last of the garden posies too.
So this was just a little catch-up post… I do sometimes do things besides sew. Some costume work has just come in so I’ll be busy and quiet until it’s time for the French Knicker Sew-along. See you then.
I have found my absolute shoe heaven!
Sadly for me it’s in L.A….. but they ship internationally 🙂
I’m having palpitations…
and those San Miguel sandals are on sale…
“Upcycling is the art of reusing unwanted items by converting them into something better.”
SOooo, that’s what I was doing when I made this evening dress from a second-hand silk chiffon sari I bought at a market for 30£ a few years ago!
Though I wouldn’t say ‘better’ I’d say ‘something else’. It’s all relative, the better-ness or not of things isn’t it.
When I bought the sari I had no immediate plans for it, it was just a lovely fabric and appealed to the magpie in me …. I love a bit of sparkle n’ shine.
However the bias dress possibilities were immediately apparent once I began wafting it around and draping it against myself and this dress was made in a day. Careful cutting out to get the motifs well placed on my pattern took the most time and a couple of extra motifs needed to be cut out and hand appliqued in place to fill gaps as well as the edging which I cut off and hand sewed on the seam below the bust.
The bodice is on the straight grain and the two piece skirt on the bias with a side zip up to the armhole. I machine pin-hemmed the neckline and armholes and that was it. A very simple make as the wonderful fabric does all the work. And enough left to make a large stole.
While looking at it the other day to do this photo I realised that the chiffon around the neck and shoulders is now so fragile it’s finally coming apart. So some backing with flesh colour chiffon or complete replacing with new black is in order but not very high on my list at the mo.
I made a couple for friends after this one out of sequined thin cotton saris as nylon ones just won’t hang well and the dealer had no more silk chiffon ones. Very pretty as well but more ‘bare foot & festival’ in feeling whereas this one actually passed perfectly as a 1930’s evening gown when all dressed up with the right hair and accessories. The local sari dealer is unfortunately gone now and I’m not happy to buy from the internet as I like to actually feel the weight of fabrics and see how they hang before I get my wallet out. I know if I ever make it to India what my suitcase will be stuffed with when I come home.
The little bag in my photo is from Accessorize a couple of years back. A good place to find vintage style accessories… especially bags.