Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Sew For Victory – project finished!

Two weeks ago I joined the Sew For Victory sew-along, and I finished my project, a 1940s day dress, right in time!

Pattern: Vintage Simplicity 3417, bust 34”
Fabric: Printed synthetic fibre
Haberdasheries: Three buttons, a belt clasp, fusible waist band and a zipper

The fabric was a bit nasty to work with, mainly because it pulled. I really had to keep all the seams stretched as much as possible to get them to look alright, and some I sewed with pattern paper in between, which worked well. The fabric’s quite thin, but the even thinner cotton I used for my Teens blouse, for instance, didn’t pull at all. I do really like the leafy pattern, though.
The fabric appeared to be rayon, that is, until I melted a hole into it with my iron :s. Strange, as I actually ironed the fabric several times before, but maybe I used less heat those times. Of course the hole was at the centre front, but luckily, besides having a layer of facing behind it which made it less visible, it is also covered entirely by the overlap from the other side of the front.

At first I found the sleeve design for the short sleeve rather peculiar, but I quite like it now. The instructions said to sew all seams at 1/2” except the underarm seam, which should be sewn at 3/4”. I took that to mean both the sleeve underarm seam and the bodice underarm seam, but the sleeves would have hugged my arms if I had made the seams that big, which I didn’t think looked very nice, so I didn’t. Maybe I also shouldn’t have made the bodice side seam that big (but then the bodice would have become wider than I liked), because now the sleeves were too big for the arm hole! So I gathered the tops, which already had three in-sewn pleats. But then I found them too puffy at the top, so I pulled the fabric down and hand-sewed it down lower on the sleeve, which actually looks nice.

The skirt would have been very long if I had followed the pattern exactly! That’s odd, since I’m 1.74 m tall, which would have been very tall in the 1940s, and the picture on the wrapping shows the skirt ending right below the knee. To achieve that, I actually had to shorten the skirt by about 7 cm.

I made a belt of the same fabric, using fusible waistband to make it firmer. This was in my mum’s stash and had a very old logo of the favourite Dutch shop Hema on it, but it still worked very well. I picked the belt clasp to match the buttons.

I also almost finished a blouse in time for the Sewalong; I only need to put the sleeves in, but I’ve got some issues with the pattern. It should be my size, but I had to take it in a lot, and now the shoulders are still really wide. So I could probably have finished it by tonight, but I prefer taking a little longer and doing it right.

I’ll add some detail photos later!

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Sew For Victory

I’m joining the Sew For Victory sew-along organised by Lucky Lucille! I was on holiday for the first two weeks of April, but there’s still time to make something 1940s-style this month, which is the goal of the sew-along.

In June, I will be going to Normandy for the commemoration of 70 years after D-Day. We will be wearing period clothing for four days, but as I’ve still only got the one outfit I made for my first WWII event (skirt, blouse, knickers and a knitted cardi and turban), I need to expand my wardrobe a bit! Which coincides nicely with this sew-along.

I want to make:
- A dress
- A jacket to match my skirt
- Another blouse
- A pin-stripe skirt
- Suspenders
- Two more pairs of knickers

I certainly won’t be making all of this before the end of April, but some of these should be manageable! My first project will be a dress:

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

1940s blouse

Pattern: Vintage Simplicity 1430, size 16 (bust 34”)
Fabric: Printed cotton
Haberdasheries: Four cover buttons

I made this blouse for my first 1940s event, along with my brown skirt and yellow knitted cardigan. However, I didn’t have time to make the bound buttonholes at the time. Also, when I wore it, it peeped out of my skirt, so I decided to lengthen it.

The blouse pattern I used is from 1945 and unprinted. However, I didn’t find it difficult to understand what the holes in the unprinted pattern meant (it was all in the instructions), so working with it didn’t pose any problems. The difference with printed patterns from ‘40s isn’t great at all, as they mainly have printed signs instead of the holes and notches, so the principle is the same.

The fabric is old; not quite 1940s, but probably from the 1980s. I thought it looked nicely 1940s-like because of the bright floral pattern. This cotton fabric was easy to work with.

I don’t think I’ll be making bound buttonholes again any time soon. They’re fiddly, and, though they do look neat, they’re almost entirely covered by the buttons once the blouse is closed!
Here’s where I lengthened the blouse. I added 6 cm.

A close-up of the bow. I love this. My Grandma used to wear clothes like these! Both in the 1940s and later ;).