Monday. 3pm. And I might as well face the fact that the work I should be doing (1910 outfit for up coming TV show) is just not going to get a look in today. It’s snowing!! Like the railroads here, a bit of weather and my day goes to hell. That’s my Monday excuse and I’m sticking to it. So a good day instead to catch up on blog bits and pieces and post a few little items that had been shunted aside and that I do feel a little guilty about not getting back to. So in no particular order-
1: I have redrawn my 30’s PJ pattern in Illustrator and now it looks all lovely and ‘professional’ and is clearer to use than the original hand-drawn and scanned one 🙂 The cover illustration and included Sewing Instructions got a bit of a makeover too. If you had down-loaded this pattern previously please do replace it with the newer one.
2: Remember the 3 skirtsfrom September -my, how time flies! Well a very nice reader (as I’m sure you all are) contacted me a few weeks back to ask when was I actually getting back to the skirt drafting tutorials I had started as she really wanted to make herself this 50’s style one with the ‘bucket’ pockets. I re-checked the tutorial and all the info you need to draft a pencil skirt is there. And now today I’ve posted a pdf for the bucket-pocket pieces. It is a tiled pdfso you can either just use it just as a reference for how the pattern pieces are shaped or you can adapt the pieces to fit your own pencil skirt patterns, self-drafted or otherwise. As always just drop me a line if you need help.
3: A GIVE-AWAY 🙂 The second half of my Second Year Blogaversary celebration (the LBD being the other).
ONE copy of my Bloggin’ Bluesdress pattern. It will be the complete pattern, hand copied onto pattern makers spot & cross pattern paper, posted to wherever the winner lives. Size is a UK12 (89-73-96cms/35-29-38ins) but will easily work on a figure either a bit smaller or a bit larger.
I gotta be honest now, this is not a “beginner” project… the bias draped sleeves take a certain amount of finessing (read hair pulling) to get them to hang nicely, the multi-rows of shirring take ages to do and the rouleaux loops down the front are, well, rouleaux loops and the hassle they always are. But it is a fab dress, dare I say so myself. I’m about to make another in a rayon floral print which will look very different. I’m still debating whether the sleeves, yoke and pockets should be in a plain fabric to contrast or to do the whole dress in the print… watch this space.
Annnnnyyway, if you haven’t been put off now by my saying what a fiddly dress it is to make and you would relish the chance to have a go yourself leave a comment saying so and next Sunday the 17th before I shut down for the night I will post an Entries Closed comment and randomly draw a winner to be announced a couple of days later. Until the Entries Closed comment is there the draw remains open.
So, short of explaining how to move darts around and split them as needed for that bow skirt I think I’m fairly caught up. With blog things at least. Everything else is another story…
“Just-below-the-knee 30’s inspired bias dress. It fits snug over the hips and the lower skirt then flares out into a 1⁄2 circle. The V-neck bodice is cut on the straight grain and finished with a facing. There is shirring under the bust and across the back waist which also has a 2 piece belt. The entire skirt and the fluted 3⁄4 circle sleeves are cut on the true bias. All seams are best simply pinked and pressed open though french seaming the long side seams of the nightgown worked well. Sleeve and skirt hems are finished with either a hand or machine rolled hem. Armholes are bound with bias strips. This 10 piece pattern (all seam allowances included on the pattern) is sized to fit a UK size 10/12, 162-167cm/ 5’4”-5’6”height person. “
So, after making my LBD dress first posted about herelast month I thought it could be adapted to also make a sweet 30’s style nightgown…and in some soft embroidered cotton lawn it did. The instruction pdf I just posted suggests tells how the adapt the dress pattern to make this style too along with pattern/body measurements, fabric suggestions, notions and a cutting layout even 🙂 I think by following the Threadsgrading guide it would not be difficult to grade this pattern up a couple of sizes.
However I should warn you the tiled pattern is a whopping 28 pages to print and tape together! If you know of a CAD print service (cadtoprint.co.uk for instance) to whom you could email the full A0 pdf (edited to add: 33.1 x 46.8 inches) and have them post you back a full size printed sheet drop me a note via my VV contact form and tell me you would very much like a full sized pdf. For the brave and patient among you the sewing instruction pdf and tiled pattern pdfs are now all up on the VVFree page…in both A4 and US letter tiled formats 🙂
If someone could give me suggestions of similar digital printing services in the US, Canada Europe etc I’d be grateful as I’d like to list them on the blog because it’s a question I get asked from time to time and I only know the UK possibilities.
My next post will be for a draw to win one printed pattern of that other dress now known as the Bloggin’ Blues dress even though my blog blues are long gone. As soon as March begins the year ahead feels full of promise even though the weather here is still perfectly miserable.
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.
Spent yesterday trying to drown my head-cold in Beechams Cold & Flu blackcurrant (tastes like medicinal Kool-Aid yummmm) and ignoring how vile I felt by trying out 3 new knicker drafts Ive been developing based on the bottom half of the Dorothy Lamour inspired swimsuit pattern I made this last summer … success! and 4 new pairs of “granny-pannies”; three pairs in a lovely soft pink viscose jersey and daisy lace from Ditto fabrics (they don’t sponsor me – it’s just a great fabric shop close to home) and one in a stretch silk satin from my stash.
I think high-waisted 1950’s style pants are great for occasions where French knickers are too airy …
And yes, I totally agree that it would have been nice if I’d changed the bobbin to pink…
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.