This past summer I participated in a concert as part of the choir. Our outfits were supposed to be black skirts and white blouses. Not having any white blouse suitable and/or that fit me well, I promptly used the opportunity to make a blouse long on my to-do list, using fabric I've had stashed for just such a blouse for a while - a lovely linen blend with subtle silver metallic roses woven throughout it, found at JoAnn on their Red Tag sale. I have enough for another blouse yet - I wish I had gotten more of it!
This was the pattern, view A - another one long on my to do list. (I also like the other views, but that one is the one I bought the pattern for a while ago.) From the graphics I would assume it's late '30s.
Incidentally, don't you just love the deals packed into vintage patterns? I mean, for one price for one pattern, you basically get three different blouse or jacket patterns. A great deal compared to many modern pattern where the only variations might be a skirt or sleeve length options.
Anyway, since I had to size it up 3 in. or so, I wanted to make a trial version first before cutting into that lovely linen.
The trial was not an unqualified success, but it did what I had hoped - helped me figure out how to enlarge the pattern, and smooth all the details of making it.
The main problem was that my trial fabric was too lightweight and it just didn't lay properly at the hem. I know, I should have interfaced it. But I only interface when I have to, or are in the mood for it!
However, I knew the heavier linen would fix that problem, so I went ahead with the final version, adjusting the fit based on what I had learned from the trial version.
I was very pleased. It fit me well (though it is pinned on the mannequin *ahem*), and the upscale fabric really takes it up a step. I love the details of puffed sleeves, peplum, and the unique neckline. As I expected, the peplum lays much better in this fabric.
I picked out the silver roses in the fabric with silver buttons from the stash.
It was actually quite intuitive to make, despite the very brittle and old-fashioned instructions. Because it is a princess style, it really was easy to put together and to adjust for a good fit. My one regret is that I made it before our serger was set up, so even with my zig-zagged edge finishes, it is fraying a bit.
I don't know how much the trial version will get worn, but I am certainly glad to add a good white formal blouse to my wardrobe staples!
Last week, when I posted about my Labor Day outfit, I showed you the skirt and matching 1950s style scarf and holder I had made. Now I'm going to tell you how to make a scarf like it - perfect for coordinating or using up leftover fabric. Also perfect for adding a little 1950s western style flair to your ensemble, like the picture below!
You'll need about 2/3 yard of your choice of fabric. I used a boring navy blue cotton, needing a solid blue scarf in my wardrobe, but you can go flowered or paisley or whatever you want!
1. The first step is to cut two sides of a square 22 in. long.
2. Make a little mark at the 22 in. spot, then stretch your yardstick or measuring tape across from mark to mark. It should be 32 in. across - this is the longer neck edge of the triangle.
3. Mark along your measuring tape and then cut along the line.
4. You should have a triangle with two sides of 22 in. and one side of 32 in. If you weren't working on doubled fabric, cut out another one. You want 2 triangles.
5. Put the triangles right side together, and start sewing at 3/8 in. (presser foot depth) about halfway across one of the long sides.
Sew all the way around, leaving a nice space open to turn it right side out.
6. First though, trim the edges and clip the corners.
7. Turn it right side out, making sure the corners are poked out, and press, holding the open edges together and pressing them.
8. You can hand sew the opening shut if you want an invisible closing, but for this one I opted to do the faster and more western way of top stitching close to the edge all the way around.
Now you have a completely reversible triangle scarf.
Of course you could play around with this, doing a scarf that has two different fabrics so it is reversible coordinates, or using a contrasting thread for the top stitching.
1. Now, to make your own holder, cut one piece of fabric 4 x 5 in. One long edge should be on the selvedge, if possible.
2. With right sides together, hold the short sides together and stitch.
3. Turn right side out and press, with the seam in the center. This will be the back.
4. Now insert the cut end inside the selvedge end and stitch together. You may have to do it by hand since the circle is small enough it won't fit in the sewing machine.
When you're done you should have a tube like this:
So now your scarf has two pieces:
There are several ways you can wear it! Pass both ends through the holder for an old-west bandanna look.
Or place the tube horizontally and pass one end through each side of the holder.
You can also wear it off to one side.
Or you can wear it with a purchased holder or brooch.
It only takes about 15 minutes and it's super easy! A fun way to use a little fabric and make your outfit special, 1950s style. Let me know if you try it!
Till next month,
~Kristen - Verity Vintage Studio
Look for my new tutorials posted sometime during the first full week of every month. Hairstyles, crafts, repurposing, project journals, do-it-yourself vintage or alterations, etc.
After working through a bunch of 1940s sewing projects in preparation for attending a reenactment - including an elaborate-for-me cocktail dress using some very slippery crepe-back satin that was a pain to work with - I found I still had enough time Saturday afternoon to whip up a skirt for Labor Day.
I've had the skirt of this late 1940s/early 1950s Mail Order dress in mind for a while as a stand-alone skirt, and thought the fabric would be a perfect fit with white buttons down each side.
I like the way it isn't very wide and has waist darts front and back, but has some front fullness with the pleat.
After I had it finished, it reminded me of the vintage western split skirts (only of course it isn't actually split).
I had three yards of this cotton, and after cutting out the skirt, I debated trying to squeeze a matching vest or perhaps contrast for a matching blouse, but decided instead to do a triangle scarf and holder, similar to one I had seen on another 1950s pattern.
The result paired perfectly as an ensemble with a western flair!
So I paired it with a western belt and buckle (since we are Idaho-ans now I can dress western with a clear conscience) and a white 1940s eyelet blouse I had made earlier this summer to fill a need for some basic staples in my wardrobe.
Our beautiful Idaho hills made a good backdrop for photographing a western outfit.
I studied this fabric for a while, trying to decide if it could be considered a polka dot fabric and thus be part of my Polka Dot Project I've been working on this summer. After consideration I decided that since the print was mostly tiny rings, it wasn't technically polka dot - but it's still definitely dotty!
The skirt buttons completely down each side, but since I was making a skirt instead of a dress, I did a once piece waistband that fastens on one side so the opening on the other side is just for show. But the overlap and double row of buttons look nice!
There are other ways to wear the scarf too - keep tuned for a this month's delayed tutorial next week on how to make your own scarf and holder!
The outfit was quite fun to make - I loved working with cotton again after the crepe-back satin project - and was happy that it went together easily and fast enough that I could cut it out at 4:00 on Saturday and still have it all finished by bedtime. Which meant I could wear it for the Labor Day holiday, shared with family, grilled hamburgers, and a trip to a favorite antique mall.
Quite by accident, here's another striped dress to show you - this time from the 1950s.
This is one of my earliest sewing projects when I started sewing with vintage patterns - in fact it has one short French seam among the *ahem* unfinished other seams which was my first French seam ever. But this is its first airing on the blog.
Needless to say, it has some issues since it's an early sewing attempt - but hey, we all have to start somewhere! And I still find it quite wearable.
This was before I realized I had to always shorten the torso of a dress, so the waist is too low, but the wide belt hides that flaw quite nicely. Also the fact that I didn't get the stripes straight at the top of the skirt. :-)
It has a classic wide skirt - a rectangle gathered into the waist.
And other 1950s style elements are shown in the cap sleeves cut in one with the bodice, the wing collar, and the top stitched yoke interest.
The wind was being a bit of a problem!
Although sometimes it gave my too-limp crinoline a boost. :-)
Partly because of the colorful stripes, I think of it as a picnic dress so I had to get some lawn photos...minus the picnic. (It was starting to rain.)
Along with the picnic theme, I paired it with my big basket style purse with embroidered strawberries.
I'm a sucker for straw purses.
And I must say, I hope this hat goes with the dress despite the fact that it is neither red nor white, since it was the only one in my large collection that came close to matching! (That's a good reason for a large hat collection - and why it never stops growing!)
I made this dress for my birthday a while ago and haven't worn it for over a year since then, but am finding a new interest in it since today's outing!