I made this 3 piece outfit back in August. It was special enough that I wanted to make more of an effort with the photo shoot instead of a quick backyard background, so that was part of the delay on getting to the blog. But so worth the wait, since once the photo shoot eventually happened we got the most beautiful golden leaves and evening sunlight!
This ensemble was a ton of fun to make, and I am so pleased with how well my mental vision transferred to fabric and form - not always a success!
This outfit idea was born when I was reorganizing my fabric shelves (maybe to fit more fabric in, but we'll let that pass...;-) and came across this vintage green and white striped cotton I've had for ages and ages. I took a closer look at it and was struck by how lovely it was; plus there was at least 2 yards of it - plenty for a blouse and trimmings!
The sheen and weight and weave of it is just gorgeous - oh, why don't they make cotton like this anymore?? I quickly matched it with a blouse pattern and then ideas for the coordinating pieces fell into place effortlessly.
I knew I wanted white for the other color, despite the impracticality of a white skirt - it's just so 1930s. Pretty much my only suitable white fabric was corduroy, but I thought that could work especially to make this outfit appropriate for several seasons.
It was a bit confusing cutting everything out, with 3 different patterns in 3 different sizes. Thankfully I remembered in time (unlike my red winter coat from last year) that corduroy has a nap! I only had 3 yards of it, and there was just no way I could cut both skirt pieces and the jacket back all on the fold, even with shortening the skirt pieces considerably. So I ended up cutting the jacket back with seam allowance and putting a seam up the back. And even so, it was a tight squeeze to fit everything on.
The blouse is actually from a 1940s pattern, but it looks very 1930s to me when styled this way. That big bow element is just so classic. But I suppose since it is a 1940s blouse I can also wear it for outfits from that decade, which makes it more versatile!
I stripe matched as much as I could, and was really pleased with the results. I flatlined the blouse, and overall it was a fairly quick and easy project despite the stripes. I love the waist points in the front and back!
The sleeves were untrimmed, but since it was for a 1930s outfit I decided they needed at least a little trimming, since sleeves were often a dramatic part of 1930s clothing. I added a simple touch and bound the edge with some small white buttons.
The skirt I took from a dress pattern, since I wanted 2 vents in the front and none in the back and only found those specifics on a dress skirt. The vent pieces I cut from the striped cotton, and added covered buttons above them for trimming, inspired by an image on Pinterest if I recall correctly. When I am standing still, the stripes are mostly hidden by the skirt pleats, but sitting and walking displays the interest.
It went together very quickly since these skirt styles are pretty basic. I had plenty of length even with cutting it shorter to start with, so instead of a belt I made the waist fit me and just folded it over. Which is not entirely cheating, because my yellow cherry 1930s skirt called for the same construction!
The jacket is again super basic, and closes at the waist with a hook and eye hidden by inserted ties in the front darts. The corduroy makes these ties kind of bulky, but I think it still works. I really wanted an all-white jacket that I could wear with other outfits, so I decided not to use any striped cotton for trim, despite my original idea of striped cuffs.
But it did look very plain-Jane, so I began to toy with the idea of dressing it up with some shoulder or front decorations. After playing around with ideas, I settled on white-on-white appliqué wool felt leaves, with a touch of embroidery and beads. It's not really noticeable from a distance, but adds subtle dimension and close-up appeal that I really like. It didn't take long to do, either. Hooray for handwork!
The shoulders looked too big to me when I was making it, but worn with the other pieces it really has the perfect silhouette for the era.
Now I have a set of 3 mix and match pieces that I can wear together or separately. I don't know how much wear it will get since white is not practical for a toddler's mommy, but honestly - once in a while a gal just has to go all-out flamboyant just for the fun of it!
Because of how big a statement the clothes make, I kept accessories simple. Dramatic 1930s gauntlets, and a touch of darker color in the hat, which is unfortunately a bit too small for my head, and my Royal Vintage spectator heels (which do 1930s perfectly!)
I also managed to get a bit more of a 1930s hairstyle this time instead of my usual brush-out - score!
This beautiful teacup is a favorite. I bought it, along with two other fine English bone china cups, at a yardsale this summer for $10 for the lot. I'm not sure how old it is, but it looked 1930s-ish to me. A perfect photo prop, as well as useful for tea parties!
Thanks to my sister for taking the lovely photos! She is always my patient photographer. And I had a terrible time even narrowing down the photos to the ones included here! :-)
I've said so many times that a particular new sewing project was my favorite. But I really think this one tops it all! Wearing it makes me happy, and I feel so elegant and poised. It's amazing what power clothes have, for good or ill.
Now I just need a vintage event to attend or an excuse to really dress up, to give this outfit an outing!