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.
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.
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,