A sort of copy…

18 Jan 20151128_180232

So wearable though! Which was the bit I was trying to copy the most. The result:

The inspiration. Doesn’t it look just so wearable?

new ivy style linen dress:

I pleated the neckline up on my dress from memory. The results were 3 big pleats instead of many small ones. (As you can tell I’m hopeless at taking selfies – I hardly ever take them.)

I love the back.

I am most pleased with my dress. It’s made with beautiful, thick but very breathable heavy linen that just falls and falls and falls. Mmmm! A $5pm special from Spotlight I’ve forgotten how long ago. Looking at that inspiration picture though I suddenly have the urge to dye it charcoal. uh… Let’s move on from that thought, shall we? (thinking of the yellow polyester thread I used to stopstitch. Hey hang on! That could look awesome! Uh….)

I know I know I’m sidetracking myself. Right, so the Important Stuff.

  1. It’s very wearable.
  2. It’s made using this TNT pattern, McCalls 8108. Lost count how many times I’ve used this pattern and how many variations I’ve made from it.
  3. I put little cap sleeves on to keep the sun from burning my shoulders.
  4. Mum’s observation on the dress was ‘It’s very loose…’ Which I think was her polite way of saying it’s rather sacklike. Yup mum! That’s what I was after. I made it at the beginning of the build-up (our hottest, humidest, yukkiest time of year, Oct/Nov) and have worn it and worn it and worn it.
  5. Technically it looks lovely with a belt, especially a mid-blue thin belt I found in an op shop a while back. But that adds degrees of heat to the dress so I never actually do wear the belt. And certainly wasn’t going to stand outside in the heat getting photos taken of me wearing this dress with a hot belt on. Nope. No way!

Alterations to the pattern were simple. I cut both front and back out with an extra 20cm or so added along centre front/centre back. I did the same with the facings, then sewed it up into a very wide dress, then pleated the front and back neckline back the normal width of the dress and sewed the pleats down about an inch from the neckline edging. Then wore it and wore it and wore it. You get the idea ;-P

I really do think it would look great overdyed with charcoal…

 

Style 4890, butterflies, poincianas and a beautiful house

6 Jan IMG_20151101_145250

Just look at that poinciana. How beautiful? I love love love flowering trees, and from mid year till christmas, Darwin gets one flowering tree after another after another. The poincianas flower during the worst weather of the year (Oct/Nov), so you get a very typically Darwin-like dichotomy of horrible weather and glorious colour.

Oh yeah, sorry, forgot to mention: I made a tunic-dress from Style 4890. See the little butterflies on the fabric? So sweet. (That’s my mum on the right, wearing a dress from Burda 8379)

If you’re not into the orange-reds of the poinciana, perhaps the cooler reds of this frangipani are more to your delight?

Oh yeah, sewing. I wanted something to test the pattern before I used it on this gloriously vibrant blue and white butterfly fabric:

,

This sweet green butterfly fabric jumped (flew?) out of my stash and volunteered for the job. I had enough for a tunic. Nice and cool to wear round the house, but works well with my bloomers for streetwear.

I love all the reds in this picture.

I love how easy it is to fit my back with the help of some shoulder darts so common in vintage patterns. Modern patterns should routinely have them too I reckon.

I sized the pattern up from the vintage size 12 to fit my modern size 12(ish), including an FBA, and am pleased with the result.  I didn’t have enough fabric for the pattern’s sleeves so I used my ubiquitous cap sleeve from the Amy Butler Lotus tunic pattern.

(I’ve never actually gotten round to making this pattern up, but I’ve used the cap sleeve on it more times than I can remember, so hey, it was a great buy, right?)

Amy Butler Lotus Tunic & Cami AB031LTC

I’ve subsequently sewn the blue and white butterfly dress, just need photos of it. Another post for another time.

The photos were taken at Burnett House, a National Trust property built in1938, during their sunday afternoon tea. Burnett house sits on the cliffs of Myilly Point overlooking Darwin Harbour. The architect, Burnett, designed houses especially suited to the tropics. Rows of louvres rather than windows and walls, roof cavities that let the hot air escape, and building at treetop level to catch the breezes that are cooled as they go through the trees are just some of his innovations. Apparently he was involved in designing the Raffles Bar in Singapore too.

My experience is that the more of his features a dwelling has, the cooler and more liveable it is, and (these days) the less aircon you er, ‘need’. (When I was a kid only really rich people had aircon and even then not usually throughout the entire house, nowadays everyone ‘needs’ it ;-P).

Imagine sleeping in this room. What this picture doesn’t show are the views of the cliffs overlooking the harbour, and the cool breeze stirring through the room even though it was a still hot day outside, in the hottest, yukkiest time of year. Definitely no aircon needed here!

I’ve never done a mirror-selfie in such a pretty setting before.

Well-loved sewing gear. (Remember those patterns, they’ll appear in another post.)

How special is this? The reverse is almost the same as the front. Certainly wasn’t done by an embroidery ham-fist like yours truly…

Another try at capturing the floral beauty of October/November in Darwin

Vintage pattern pledge makes

7 Dec

I’ve been diligently sewing vintage patterns all year, but have barely blogged about them. I want to include pattern reviews in my posts about them, but at the moment I’m so confused as to what I’ve sewn, I’ll just line them all up here. That way too, it’s easy for me to pin the pretty piccies to the pinterest vintage pattern pledge board.

Taking it from the top: Folkwear Russian Settler’s sarafan, blogged here.

Folkwear Russian Settlers' dressFolkwear Russian Settlers' Dress | Jumper, Blouse & Apron Sewing Pattern # 128 #Folkwear #RussianSettlersDress:

This blouse is a vintagey style pattern from a Burdastyle mag. Not sure if it counts for the vintage pattern pledge or not.

Folkwear’s Edwardian Underthings camisole (in silk/cotton Mmmmm!!!! With hand-crochet edgings too Mmmm!!!!)

Folkwear's Edwardian Underthings camisole Folkwear's Edwardian Underthings camisole

A nightie in a pattern I just HAD to get, because my mum had it when we were kids and she made my sister and I nighties and a robe to go with it. Simplicity 8198 The grey smudge is my new kitten, Ma’at :-)

Simplicity 8198Simplicity 8198 Misses' Nightgown and Robe in two lengths Size 12 UNCUT

And a top from the same pattern…

Simplicity 8198

Burda 7977 Not sure this counts either, as it’s more historical than vintage, and again, from a modern pattern. However I’m so glad I finally made it up, having long wanted a surcoat. Here’s my tropical version. I throw it over my dance or pilates gear going to and from the studio.

Burda 7977 surcoatBurda Misses Medieval Dress Costume 7977

 

Why yes thankyou! I do indeed have an ongoing love affair with vintage nightie patterns. This one is Simplicity 6047 made into a top.

Simplicity 6047 Vintage 70's Sewing Pattern Mod Babydoll Pajamas, Puff Sleeve Micro Mini Dress, Blouse, Panties, Nightgown, Maxi GownSimplicity 6047 Vintage 70's Sewing Pattern Mod Babydoll Pajamas, Puff Sleeve Micro Mini Dress, Blouse, Panties, Nightgown, Maxi Gown

And this one is Style 3010

style 3010 sewing patternstyle 3010 sewing pattern

Yet another version of Style 2172 which I’ve decided after goldilocking so many vintage nightie patterns, is my most fave of all…

Style 2172Style 2172

A lounge-dress out of Style 2363

Easy Nightdress 80s Sewing Pattern Style 2363 Vintage NightgownEasy Nightdress 80s Sewing Pattern Style 2363 Vintage Nightgown

A top made out of Simplicity 5030

Simplicity 5030 Vintage 70's Sewing Pattern Lace Yoke, Lacy Hem Shortie Babydoll Pajamas Set, Bloomers Panties, Nightgown, Long GownSimplicity 5030 Vintage 70's Sewing Pattern Lace Yoke, Lacy Hem Shortie Babydoll Pajamas Set, Bloomers Panties, Nightgown, Long Gown

Another version of the retro repro Burda 7109

Burda Misses and Women's Sleepwear 7109 Burda Misses and Women's Sleepwear 7109

(Not a nightie this time :-P) I’m so pleased I made this, too, even though I don’t like it and have plans to redo it into shorts. My version of the 1920’s 1 hr dress, with some pockets inspired by Tina Givens Marcella sewing pattern.

Tina Givens Marcella Dress sewing patternTina Givens Marcella Dress sewing pattern

Style 4890 for me in a wearable muslin, and my mum in Burda 8379 (not vintage!)

Burda 8379 and Style 4890

I’m still working on a few, such as this top from McCalls 4574. Goodness me, that isn’t a nightie pattern!70s Smock Top or Dress, McCalls 4574 Sewing Pattern70s Smock Top or Dress, McCalls 4574 Sewing Pattern

Finish off this version of Style 4890 (not the purple bit at the bottom – that’s the skirt I was wearing the day I was checking the fit.)

Style 4890

Finish off these knit wearable muslins of Wearing History’s sunkissed sweetheart shorts, and the actual shorts themselves.

Wearing History Sunkissed Sweetheart tropical separates - shorts wearable muslinWearing History Sunkissed Sweetheart tropical separates

Hopefully get a picture of the couple of pairs of undies I made using this Vogue 9230

Vogue 9230

Finish these gorgeous trousers from Decades of Style in an olive green linen.

illustration for 1930s sewing pattern for trousers from Decades of Style with wide, gently shaped pant leg

And last but not least a pair of shorts and maybe even a matching bra using Anna Depew’s Pauline tap pants and bra pattern.

Vintage Sewing Pattern Tap Panties Pdf Printable Copy 28 Waist Depew 2005B -INSTANT DOWNLOAD-

Oh, oops that isn’t the last one. That reminded me I started the Anna Depew bra sew-along (hoping I’ll have enough remnants of the silk/cotton of the Edwardian camisole to make into the final bra. Mmmm!)

THIS is the last vintage sewing plan, honest! Honestly honest!

2013 new art

 

*phew* That’s quite a lot there! (Maybe some of those things I want to finish might end up in the 2016 Vintage Pattern Pledge :-)

A Plantain jumper in purple crushed velvet

2 Dec

Stretch velvet in a rich dark purple Mmmm! I bought this and a coral pink of the same fabric on special at Spotlight a while ago, intending to sew it into jumpers for my next trip down south. But it was so hot and staticky and icky under my hands here in Darwin that I couldn’t bear to touch it.

I carted both lengths down with me on a trip to visit a friend on the Gold Coast of Queensland. It was really cold, the middle of their winter. Suddenly I was really keen on sewing it up!

Deer and Doe Plaintain as jumper

I used the Deer and Doe free t-shirt pattern, drawn by the gently body-skimming silhouette, and a curiousity about Deer and Doe patterns, which all look rather pretty.

Plantain t-shirt

 

To adapt the pattern to an overtunic thingy, I used the guidelines my friend’s sister in law, a now-retired professional seamstress, gave me on how to create an outerwear pattern from an underlayer pattern. The suggestion on the Deer and Doe website was to sew a size bigger, but that doesn’t allow enough room to go over the top of another item of clothing. I’d end up with too-tight armscyes. Ugh. (Discovered this years ago when I was trying to survive a Canberra winter, rendering unwearable some yummy fluffy blue fabric *sad*). My solution back then was to forget sewing warmer clothes and come back home to Darwin :-P)

Here are the guidelines:

  • Add to the height of the shoulders 2cm or so.
  • Add to the width of the sides 2cm or so.
  • This extends the underarm out 2cm or so, so add to the edge of the underarm on the sleeve a corresponding amount.

It worked, and is very comfortable including under my arms. In the picture it looks like it’s not quite long enough in the armscye but I am pretty sure that pulling is a result of needing a bit of an FBA. The Deer and Doe website said the Plantain is sized for a C cup, but I might not be their version of a C cup. Meh.

Or I might need to add a bit more height to the shoulder seam, or cut away the underarm a bit, AND add in a bit of an FBA.

I redrew the neckline higher, and added a turtleneck for warmth. Looking at the pictures of the tunic I think I should have made the turtleneck a bit longer/looser, I think it’s pulling in the body of the tunic a bit much. It was guesswork, I’m not that experienced at working out how much neck binding I need to fit a knit top.

I also added to the sleeve length to make sure they fit my apparently longer than normal arms. Yay warm wrists!

To be honest I don’t really care about the little fit/construction issues, I’ll wear it so little, only when travelling, and the fabric is just so pretty and the colour so gorgeous the issues just aren’t a big deal. However I’ll probably play around a bit with the pattern a bit more when I sew up the coral one – next time I’m visiting someone with a sewing machine somewhere cold!

I had a conversation recently about how useful pattern reviews are to other people who sew, and the consensus seemed to be that they were well worth it. I’m sure many many people have already reviewed this pattern, but here are my thoughts on it:

It’s a beautifully-styled t-shirt pattern, a real staple, and if I didn’t have too many t-shirts in my wardrobe already, I’d be sewing up some of these. It’s also well-drafted, things match up as they should etc. I think the C cup is a bit on the modest side of C. I totally ignored the patches on the elbows, I can’t see the point of them, but hey, ymmv!

I can see from a google search many other people have had the same thought of this pattern – it would make a lovely dress. One day I might give that a go, in normal t-shirt fabric using the pattern’s original scoop neckline, the short sleeves, and measure myself carefully to do just the right amount of FBA, and just the right armscye height. Made thusly, it would be perfect for Darwin’s climate.

I’d definitely buy a Deer and Doe pattern based on my experience with this lovely t-shirt pattern, if $$ weren’t a factor. (Ouch!) These sweet shorts being my first choice!

Chataigne shorts

Last but not least, my friend crocheted me a gorgeous hat and scarf. The hat was a 1920’s-ish cloche, and the scarf has very cool twirly strands as a ruffle. I love it! Thanks Kathy :-)

All pictures taken at my friend’s local surf club overlooking the beach, but with big perspex wind-breaks to shelter me from the nasty wind. Great place! Good tea. Can’t ask for much more than that right? I am still a bit bemused by the surfers rushing out into the icky-cold ocean in barely even shorty-wetsuits. Crazy! (Looks like so much fun though. Maybe I need to go to Bali or Broome to learn to surf one day. *dreams*)

And before the subject is lost forever I took this photo to show my daughter, vastly amused. In Darwin our beach warning signs are all about box jellyfish and crocodiles. Nothing so fancy as that shown below!

Vintage nightie collection, Simplicity 6047

9 Nov

Ok so I have a bit of a thing for the babydoll with bloomers style of nightie. This make, however, is simply a top.

I was inspired greatly by Amanda of Bimble and Pimble‘s Alice top make. So pretty, yet so cool and comfortable. I made three tops from vintage nightie patterns as a result, two more yet to be blogged about.) It’s become one of my favourite tops.

As you can see I cut the neckline out a bit for coolness, making sure the lines of the neck opening worked well with the shape of the yoke.

I kept the very puffed sleeves, of course – as explained before, it’s an Anne of Green Gables thang :-) The first time I wore it I kept seeing the huge puffs out of the corner of my eye and felt quite self concious. But I decided not to adjust them because, well, puffed sleeves! Now after the nth time wearing it I adore them.

MOMSPatterns Vintage Sewing Patterns - Simplicity 6047 Vintage 70's Sewing Pattern SWELL Mod Babydoll Pajamas, Puff Sleeve Micro Mini Dress Blouse, Panties, Nightgown, Maxi Gown Size 10:

I couldn’t get a shot that showed the very pretty yellow trim around the edges of the yoke, but rest assured, it’s there :-)

I’m stoked by the back. I am definitely improving at adjusting for my short back. (More than just a sway back. I’m very short, or maybe just flat, in my middle back.)

The skirt is my basic skirt pattern I’ve made a million times before, this time in denim based on a skirt I found in an op shop from Glassons years ago. Such a classic style, like the original, I’m wearing it frequently. Long splits at each side make it beautifully cool, even for denim.

One last photo, showing the top with a sash at the waist, my favourite way of wearing it. And sleepwalking is my favourite way of taking mirror-photos ;-P

Like my garden? I’m so happy with the lime in the left of the outdoor pictures. It is giving a steady crop of little Tahitian limes. Half a lime in a glass of cool water. Mmmm!

 

Vintage nightie collection: Style 3010

1 Nov

Last year I joined the Vintage Pattern Pledge, which got me finally using some of my coveted but never sewn vintage patterns. It was so much fun this year I just kept sewing up vintage patterns. Most of them so far this year have been nighties. Well, variations on a vintage nightie them.

Apart from the appeal of living in one’s jammies or nighties, the general lack of figure-huggingness makes up into clothing just perfect for the heat and humidity that characterises my home, Darwin.

Style 3010 vintage nightie pattern dress

Teal butterflies! What more can a girl want? Well, enough fabric left on the roll to make a dress. Lacking that I just bought what was left, and realised when I shopped my stash it went beautifully with this turquoise linen. I was a bit worried the linen would be hot but it’s loose weave so it’s actually quite breezy.

I used Style 3010

style 3010 sewing pattern - Google Search

It’s a bit of a coffin-nightie. The back is a basic shift dress, not empire line like the front. Not sure if the designer thought it would be more comfortable in bed? The back of the negligee was empire-line however, so I used that instead. The sleeve has a smooth head but I always need to increase in the bicep, which usually ends up accidentally increasing the sleeve head. Rather than adjust it back out, I usually just gather it up. It’s an Anne of Green Gables thang ;-P

Style 3010 vintage nightie pattern dress

The skirt’s a bit wider than the pattern too. I’m not as skinny in the hips compared to waist and bust as the pattern seemed to think a woman ought to be, so I just used double the width of the fabric. I think it came out looking close to the original style.

My only real issue with this is the bust dart. Creating my usual FBA, I decided to split the dart into two. I had considered rotating some of the extra out at the side-front of the bodice. That’s very easy in an empire top but the pattern had hardly any of the bust shaping there and I wanted to stay true to the style out of curiousity more than anything.

The two darts were very hard to get sitting just right. In the end I went for ‘the best I can achieve while keeping my sanity’. The sides just kept puffing out. Faffing with it after it was finished revealed it’s due to being a bit big across the front, rather than having two darts being the problem. But hey, it’s a nightie-dress. Loose is good! And I’ve learnt something for next time.

Here’s my favourite picture. No I wasn’t doing ballet (not then anyway ;-P), I was picking a black thread off the skirt I’d noticed as my picture was being taken!

Style 3010 vintage nightie pattern dress

A christmas vintage nightie

20 Oct

My sister in law Sandra has long been a fan of my vintage nighties. I’m planning on making her a christmas present of  a pretty floral vintage nightie of her own. And as she wants to learn to sew better, but hasn’t had much chance to learn, as part of her present I’ll give her the nightie pattern and a tutorial on how to sew one herself.

My main issue is fit – she lives some thousands of kilometres away. Badly organised of us, isn’t it :-( Sandra’s sending me a top that fits her to help me get the size right. I’ve been trying to figure out a pattern for her – my go-to vintage nightie pattern is originally a vintage (ie tiny!) size 10. I’ve upsized it to fit me, but I don’t feel confident it can upsize further (She’s a tad bigger than me) while keeping the integrity of the pattern. You know how it is! Patterns can be sized up or down approximately 2 sizes, but usually not more before the fit gets so warped you have to start over again with a bigger or smaller draft.

I’ve been looking for a solution… and I found this in a local charity-run op-shop.
Isn’t it deliciously hideous???

Simplicity 7944 womens nightgown and robe by RavensNestPatterns, $8.00:

It’ll probably be too big (given it’s modern sizing, thus huge …) But between it, my go-to pattern, and her nicely-fitting top, I feel confident I can create a decent nightie pattern. Here’s my tiny-sized vintage go-to nightie pattern, isn’t it pretty?

It makes up like this:

And this:

I reckon I know how to turn Hideous into Pretty. There are two big differences between the patterns:

1)Hideous has a very full, straight skirt, Pretty has a gently-gathered, moderately-full at the top, a-line skirt.

2)Hideous has a yoke that comes across from the front of the armscye, Pretty’s yoke goes just underneath the armscye. I know from a pattern similar to Hideous but much prettier (also, sadly a tiny size) shown below, a yoke finishing at the mid-armscye can look Pretty, and is also roomy for sleeping in. My go-to yoke under the arm pattern can be restricting across the upper bust when wriggling in your sleep like I do. Mid-armscye yokes have their merits.

Hmm…. I notice this pattern’s skirt is also a moderately-full A-line.

A minor difference between Hideous and Pretty, is how the gathers are arranged. Hideous is gathered evenly across the yoke. Pretty has them gathered where the fullness is actually needed – above each bust. The back gathers are concentrated in the centre, which also looks pretty.

Then there’s the pattern art. Pretty’s pattern art uses Very Pretty Fabrics. Hideous’s pattern art uses, well, hideous fabric. I can’t imagine that blue fabric being anything other than ugly, staticy harsh nylon stable knit of the type my Granny would be very familiar with. Ugh.

But that needn’t bother anyone as, of course, Sandra’s nightie is going to be made in Very Pretty Fabric!
T2Xv57XchaXXXXXXXX_!!20371978

Oh, and the Hideous pattern cost 20c. The woman at the counter tried to charge me only 10c.I said ‘Oh it said patterns were 20c.’
‘Oh! … Well I’d better charge you 20c then!’
‘Yes I think you ought to!’

:-)

ETA: My beloved partner proofreader seemed to think the Hideous pattern wasn’t all that Hideous, really. Well, each to their own, I think it’s Hideous :-P

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