Category Archives: Accessories

Handbags and Gladrags

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.

photo of brocade party dress
VeraVenus 1950’s party Dress

small black suede evening bag by Veravenus

Continue reading Handbags and Gladrags

Uh-Oh Lutterloh

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:

VVlutterloh dress2 VVlutterloh dress1Lutterloh 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 so into 2013

we go…
Into 2013

The New Year walk was walkedGlynde, the locals were wished all the best for the 2013,

the neighbours

2013portraitand the official beginning 2013  portrait was snapped.

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.

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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.

IMG_1608BiscottiBaked Alaska

 

 

 

 

 

 

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:

1947 Complete Book Of Sewing by Constance Talbot

Keeping calm and carrying on…. fur stole pattern posted

(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??

30’s
40’s
50’s
last of the summer sweet peas

And aren’t these sweet peas the most amazing colours! That’s half of my autumn/winter palette right there.

Some women do…

…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.

Upcycling, so now I know!

“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.

some of the bags I like from the current Accessorize collection and the decade I imagine they’d work with style-wise.