dinsdag 25 juli 2017

Me-made summer wardrobe: Sewing projects

I've been doing some sewing lately and I thought it would be nice to share my projects. Though not actually vintage, everything was made from old patterns using vintage fabrics.
I'm no expert seamstress, I never really learned how to sew but at about 16 when I wanted a victorian dress I found out I could do it without too much trouble. I had made Barbie clothes as a child and dressed miniature dolls in historical fashions so I had a basic understanding of patterns.
When I started with vintage and did not have that many clothes I made some things for myself but as my collection grew I found it was almost more expensive to buy fabric than a vintage dress, so most of the time I only do mending (which I love).
When I was in Bavaria with some vintage friends in March (see this post) the woman who ran the hotel had a suitcase of old fabrics from her attic and we could take whatever we liked. So incredibly kind! The fabrics were quite old I'm guessing 30 through 60's.
This left me with quite stash of fabrics. Next to that I got all my gran's sewing stuff when we cleared out her closets. In short so much material I could not not do anything with it!

1 Bolero jacket

One of the most striking pieces of fabric I brought home from Bavaria was a metre of bright red rayon crêpe. Not enough to make a dress or even a blouse of but just enough for a bolero jacket. I figured it would be a nice addition in such a bright color, perfect to brighten up boring dresses or to wear over sleeveless summerdresses.

Here you can see the result. I found a small piece of tasseled braid in the same color a few weeks later and added it to the decorative pockets. From leftover scraps I made a hairband and a brooch.  

The pattern is from 1939. I have several years of 'Het Rijk der Vrouw' a Dutch fashion magazine that has lots of patterns. Most of the patterns I use are from these magazines.

Worn over a sleeveless summer dress.

2 Shorts

The next project was a mock-up for shorts I wanted to make from nice fabric.

I used the pattern of the shorts of this sailing costume. I'm amazed at how 40's the hair of the model looks, it's actually from 1937!

The pattern was without pleats or darts but a too big for me so I used the extra room to add pleats at the front and darts at the back because I think this is more flattering, and made it a bit shorter.

This is the result.

I already got quite some wear out of them because the sturdy material makes it a very practical piece.

3 Three piece beach set

I love looking at old pictures and am particularly fond of the photo's the Seeberger brothers made of the beaumonde before WWII. Because they took many pictures in holiday resorts there's a lot of casual beach wear, but in such fashionable varieties! I adore this picture of a woman in a 3 piece beach set walking fierce and confident up the pier of the Carlton Hotel. I wanted something similar so bad! But sets like this, when they are still together, are rare and usually way, way above my budget.

I  had many metres of this shantung-look rayon and figured I could get the three pieces out of it. Though maybe not as spectacular as the novelty print in the photo I think it works very well.
The dark-blue shorts were the mock-up for these. I didn't use a pattern for the top and just went by my body measurments.

I used the look of the top of this 40's set as inspiration.

Here you can see the set on me. I really like the fact that I have a matching button down dress that can function as a beach robe for my bathingsuits too.

I took inspiration from pictures in magazines.

The pattern of the dress is very simple. Because of the bold tripes I used a yoke at the shoulders because horizontal striped optically broaden the shoulders in contrast to the vertical ones slimming the rest of the body.

The pattern I used is actually for a winter dress. I made the bodice and skirt in one piece using another skirt pattern. I also widened the sleeves for more puff.

Dressed up with a hat it can be worn as a regular dress. Insted of buttons (only decoration) I used poppers, not only because I hate making buttonholes but also to be able to take it off quickly at the beach.

4 Dress

After finishing the three piece set I had so much fun sewing I wanted a new project. I had 7 metres of this fluttery pink floral rayon gabardine (price still attached). Only 80 cm broad, but still. I found this blue bias binding tape in my gran's sewing box, a perfect match with the blue flowers on the fabric. I have a fond memory of it because she used this to dress baby Jesus in her nativity, because it would be silly to have a near naked baby in winter and Mary's cloak was blue ;)

The fabric gave me some romantic vibes, like a 19th century insprired late 30's look.

I used part of this pattern I had already used for a dress in 2009. It works well with bias tape.

That was 8 years ago....

Alterering the sleeve pattern: I wanted huge puff sleeves with box pleats at the upper arm.

The yoke was only at the front in the original pattern but I figured it would look nice at the back too. I also added a pointed waistband to maximize the effect of the biasbinding. I opted for a gathered skirt because the fabric is so thin and due to it being very thin gabardine. It works almost like it was cut on the bias.

A very sweet look, but I think it does not look too little girly. I found an old ribbon at a fleamarket when I had just finished the dress that works as a belt.

Some pleated ribbon in the sleevehead to keep it from collapsing (as you see in many old dresses)

Fabric covered buttons.

My mothers contributions:

I couldn't leave out some things my mother made for me.
I don't know how to knit or crochet but I have a lovely mum who makes things from old patterns for me.

She made this for summer:

A sunbathing top from a pattern also from 'Het Rijk der Vrouw' from 1939.
It may look like a very easy thing to make but it turned out to be quite tricky to get the fit right.
For the picture I tried to recreate the photo from the magazine. I combined the top with original 30s/40's white shorts.

To match the top my mother made these espadrilles after an old pattern I got from someone on Instagram (you can buy the soles online from Prym)

When I was in Germany last month I bought blue wool for het next project a warm wool cardigan for the coming cold season.

Not sure what my next project will be. I've been contemplating making this beach dress, but summer could be almost over once I've finished and I have plenty to choose from already.

It might be more clever to make some useful seperates for autumn/winter. What do you think?

See you soon,

vrijdag 7 juli 2017

Catch-up: spring & summer outfits and activities

I've been wanting to do a post for a while but somehow never got round to it. So now I have a lot of catching up to do. As a consequence this post is quite long, has lots of pics and no real theme.

Tweedride Breda

In the end of May there was a Tweedride in Breda. I had the most perfect little tweed suit to wear but alas it was hot (like last year) so I went for a more tropic proof outfit. Last year I persisted, wearing a wool sweater and hat and it wasn't comfy. This year's fluttery summer dress and boater were much better. I almost did not buy this 1940's dress because it looks a bit repro. Ironically many vintage inspired dresses are red with polkadots but actual garments from the period a rare.
I chose tropical accessoiries to finish my look: pineapples and parrots ;)

And a pic of me actually cycling. Whilst the Tweedride is about cycling it is even more of a social event were lots of great people come together.

With a friend. Her outfit was the best ton-sur-ton!

With Angela who was so brave as to wear a long skirt and a wig!  

With Tom and Josephine

Well deserved winners Tom (who made his own outfit) and Charlotte in jodhpurs.

As always many photo's were taken. This might be my favorite. It is not only a pretty picture but it also captures a lot of things I like to dream about. As a child I loved the swing best on any playground, I even had one in the attic. The feeling of floating through the air still has a magic effect on me. I also like that it reminds me of the famous painting by Fragonard, like it is a more modern version seen from the back. There is that same suggestion of voyeurism as it looks like the people in the front might be looking up my skirt like the man in the painting (in reality my skirt was safely held in place between my legs;))

Another good pic

The Tweedride was sold out, here you can see how large the group was!

The next day was even hotter so I fled the city to my parents and swam in the 1930's open air pool near their house. I wore this for travel. A summer fave of mine for years, a modern piece I bought in Florence on a study trip. No pics of me in my wool bathing suit though ;)

Interbellum Camping

Then it was time for the 3rd Club Interbellum camping weekend. This was the first time everybody actually slept in a tent. We were a small group of only 4. It turned out I was the only girl and at first I was a bit apprehensive about how that was going to work out, but it was just fine. It was a great weekend.
I was wearing shorts I have made after a pattern from 1937. This was the mock-up for a pair made of pretty fabric. But these of sturdy dark-blue fabric are so practical, they have quickly become a new favorite.

And for the record all the men had way more clothes with them than me.

And yes even whilst camping I set my hair. Wearing flannel men's pj's though, nice and warm.

The day after was a Whitsun holiday and after a few days of practical outfits I longed for extravagance. It took the form of a hat. I went out for coffee with my friend Noortje, who loves the from 'hat' to toe idea of dressing vintage just like I do ;) She also took the first picture of this post that shows off my hat even better.

The rest of my outfit was in different shades of blue. The shoes have a 40's look but are actually much newer and by the Dutch shoe designer Jan Jansen. The little jacket belongs to a set and has a matching dress. It was made by my gran and all the flowers were embroidered by hand. Blue was her color as it is mine. Because her shoulders were broader than mine the jacket fits very well over boxy 40's dresses.

A few days later I had a photoshoot at my house so I dressed to match my interior.


The next Saturday I partook in a living history event for hab3045 on the Dutch coast: Bunkerdag
On this day many of the old bunkers of the the Atlantikwall are open to the public and we were hired to enliven the experience for visitors.

My friend Jip and I played resistance girls who made the children visiting smuggle secret messages past the 'German soldiers' .

In the evening I had to rush back to be in time for the 'Young patrons Gala' of the National Opera & Ballet. I only heard the day before that I could get a ticket, an opportunity I wouldn't have wanted to miss.
The dresscode was propper black tie. So I had to change dress in the lavatory of the train, the things you do to wear an evening dress ;) I went for an airy 40's/50's cotton dress I had bought on my last visit to my favorite stall at the Waterlooplein, just before it closed. Because I'd been on the windy coast the entire day, curls had vanished and I went for a chignon with a large velvet bow to match the dress.

This is the only full-length photo I have of my outfit. We were a lovely little group: Morschi & Wendeline who work there and made it possible for us to attend, my good friend Annemarie and Tom who invited me :)
Such a special evening, so many people in full-length evening dresses an smokings, very very rare in casual Holland, a good performance and party!

The next weekend I had a day about town with my friend Marinka.

It was the first time I wore this new to me 1940's floral dress I had bought in a sorry state (for next to no money) when it was still cold outside.

Next to quite a bit of shopping we visited the Amsterdam City archive which is housed in a monumental building built for the Dutch trading company in the 1920's. The vault is spectacular and I always fancy it filled with water for an art deco pool party.

Being naughty ;)

The next day I went for a picknick and wore a blouse I found the day before. Between all the cheap machine embroidered examples in a vintage shop was this rayon hand embroidered Hungarian blouse in the best color combo. Not 100% sure but I'm guessing it is pre-50's. I'd been looking for an affordable one for a while so once I got it I had to wear it! 
Also 'new' are my sunglasses. Got them from a friend from Club Interbellum and had them reglazed.
You may have noticed quite a few outfits with shorts. I've never been a big fan of my legs but this year I decided to no longer care and wear those cute outfits anyway.

Summer perfection!

Weekends in Germany

The weekend after I stayed with friends in Germany. The reason was a living history event but ofcourse also a nice visit to friends.

Dressing up: because we can ;) Borrowed the hat and shoes for the photo.

The focus of the living history event was the time just after the war in Germany.
Below are some pics of the displays but for more info you can visit their website: www.lg3949.de

With food being rationed and some products not being available at all many there were many recipies that made do with what little was there. The visitors could literally get a taste of history.

Everything was used from potato peels to nettle soup.


Make do and mend dresses and shoes with wooden soles.

I wore a similar dress to another event with the same group about a month earlier, just some pics:

This event was in the open-air museum Roscheider Hof and they had chicken walking around. They loved the crumbs of mais-bread I fed them (much better than we did)

We slept in the museum houses, quite the experience!

Knitting and another display of make do and mend clothes.

And back to two weeks ago & dressing up in finery again:

The day after the event we went out for a bit and took some pictures. I borrowed a hat again.

We wanted to make pictures in a nice historical housing block, but there were so many cars it was difficurt to find a good location.

And bak to Amsterdam and more days about town:

Went for coffee and shopping with Noortje again. Wore a pale yellow dress that is new to me and paired it with my black pixie hat and a black loose fitting coat.

Somehow Noortje always seems to find lots when she goes shopping with me. This late 40's dress looked like it had been waiting for her.

I left some outfits out because they feature home-made clothes. I wish to dedicate my next post to my sewing projects, my mothers knitting and some clothes made by my gran.

So hope to be back sooner