So far this year has been the year of sewing 1930s patterns. I guess to make up for the one or two I have made so far, I've been sewing almost exclusively 1930s things since 2016 turned the corner, with a few 1950s things thrown in for good measure. Here I'm going to show you three of my latest projects, which I created both to fill needs in my wardrobe and to mix and match for different and distinct looks.
This skirt is one of the few times I've used a modern or reprinted pattern - I'm sure you'll recognize it as McCalls' MP384. I believe it's out of print but still easy to find.
It's a quintessentially 1930s skirt, with the yoke and pleat detail. I have to confess...I skipped the lining instructions for the yoke, so the inside looks kind of untidy, and I cheated when doing the waist so it's not as high as originally intended. But I figure if I don't care, it's all good.
When I was deciding what to do about a skirt pattern, I remembered Lily's amazing 1930s outfit and decided to check out which skirt pattern she had used. Here it was McCall's MP384, which I already owned and had been thinking of making anyway! So I went ahead with it and while it wasn't the easiest to put together it wasn't too bad and I was very pleased with the style lines when finished.
I used a short vintage metal zipper for the closure, and did a narrow hem and it still ended up shorter than I expected, so next time I think I'll lengthen it a bit. Classic 1930s styles were fairly long.
The blouse is from a 1950s pattern, but I have an almost identical one from the 1930s so I decided to make it up so I could hopefully wear it with both eras. The bow on the neckline and the gathered yoke and puffy sleeves do look 1930s! What do you think? Does it work?
The pattern I used...
...and a similar one from the 1930s...
It was a fabric hog. I was hoping to get 2 blouses out of this length of white rayon, but after cutting out this blous there isn't much left. But on the other hand, I like it a lot and badly needed some tuck-in white blouses for my closet!
These sleeves are flattering and very non-restricting but not very handy to wear inside a coat!
And to insert a short rhapsody here, oh how I love my serger! To take a mess of gathering threads and fraying edges and turn it into a neatly bound narrow edge is like magic.
For these photos I pulled out a pair of petal pink gloves with the cutest cuffs to add a touch of spring, and wore a belt from another project using this fabric.
My vintage button and rhinestone earrings from a favorite Etsy shop are the exact same shade of teal, too.
But when I want to wear a 2 piece dress, I can wear my 3rd piece - a matching blouse from a 1940 pattern.
It was very easy to make, with just three pieces to cut out plus the bias facing. Just lots and lots of tucks to do all the shaping!
(And lots and lots more tucks!)
The pattern had a Peter Pan collar but I decided to leave the neck plain so I could get a chance to wear some of my little used vintage collars.
Of course I can remove the collar and wear it plain as well, so it has options.
I have to say how very much I love wide fabric! I got 4 yards of 60 in. teal rayon suiting, and out of those 4 yards I got the dress I posted about earlier, and these two pieces, and still have enough left to use as contrast on something else yet.
I've often thought how funny it is that sewing used to be the cheap way to get your own clothes, but usually it doesn't work out that way for me since we exclusively shop at thrift stores. I might pay $5-$7 for a dress at a thrift store, but the fabric to make it will cost between $12-$15, so it's a lot more about the love of sewing for me than budgeting.
On the other hand, when I can get 4 yards of rayon for only $3 a yard and can get 3 garments out of it, that is thrift store prices! So once in a while sewing is still actually the economical way to go.
I know this 2 piece is actually a mix of styles, with a classic 1930s skirt and a later style of blouse, so while I may not wear them together as a costume, I like the ability to wear them together and separately. Solid color skirts are needed in my closet, as well as dark solid blouses, so this outfit scored on several points.
I love the way the skirt pleats play when walking. Oh, and the double buttons! I've been wanting to do something with buttons grouped in twos, and finally got it done. I like how it looks, so I'm sure I'll do it again on future projects
This was a trial and I overcorrected my usual problem with too long of a torso and made this waist too short. I'm hoping it looks okay anyway because of the style, and now I know for next time.
And...one last picture because I like my hat so much and it went so well with my outfit.
I don't know...even with the mixed styles I'm hoping it looks pretty 1930s anyway!