Archive for October, 2010|Monthly archive page

current project: mccalls 5777 from 1961

In 50s clothing, clothing, current project on 21 October, 2010 at 9:45 pm

a friend of mine routinely clears out things she doesn’t use. i don’t grasp this concept at all, but happily, i’m the recipient of some of the things, such as this pattern. i love this style of dress, especially as it can be made up as an evening dress, but also as a day dress when made in cotton with a collar detail. now, the pattern’s a bit small (not sure i ever had a 33″ bust, never mind a 20something” waist), and it doesn’t have the skirt pattern pieces for the four-gore gathered skirt. no worries, this is the easy pattern piece to make.

i love the kimono style sleeve as it is just that much looser and more comfortable, but most of all, i love the neckline. it’s like a grown up baby-doll neckline. i might make my pattern a bit deeper on the cleavage, but that’s just me. i’m very excited about making this dress, i’m going to make a test one out of cheap fabric, and will then take my time choosing just the perfect one for the final product.

i’ll make the slimline version when my winter weight has gone to wherever winter weight goes . . .


current project: maternity dress for sam – finished!

In clothing, maternity on 21 October, 2010 at 8:13 am

here it is, finished and sent off to london. i’m very happy with this, apart from the facing; something went wrong somewhere, and my pattern didn’t fit the garment. weird, and this doesn’t normally happen to me. anyway, i was very short of time, and i know that sam loves me regardless of whether i face her dress or not, so i decided to go with bias binding, which works just fine. it also needed the two rows of top stitching, which i think creates a good late 60s / 70s effect. i put the pink ric rac around the sleeves to create some detail in an otherwise quite plain dress. bonus about the dress is that it has inset pockets. women’s clothes should have pockets if at all possible.

current project: maternity dress for sam

In clothing, maternity on 14 October, 2010 at 8:13 am

my oldest friend is pregnant, and seeing as i can, i’m making her some pregnancy clothes. sam is petite in the truest sense of the word. so probably even at her most pergnant, her waist measurement will be smaller than mine; she’s getting UK size 12s, and they fit her just fine at the moment.

i’m basing her dress on the butterick pattern in the picture – i’m not sure of the year, but it must be post 1960, as the price is in cents, not pence (south africa moved over to rands and cents in 1960). the dress is going to be made from da gama shweshwe, mostly because blue is a great colour on her, but also because it’s 100% cotton, and gets beautifully soft with age, and because it’s 100% south african.

the outer shell has been put together, as soon as i’ve put the zip in, i’ll pop another picture up.

sunday session: open-back blouse

In 14+, 50s clothing, sunday sessions on 12 October, 2010 at 10:44 pm

by way of introduction, sunday is my only day off during the week, so i do whatever i damnwell want to on sundays. i’m allowed to sew anything i want to, watch anything i want to, and sleep as much as i want to. i generally end up sewing something for myself, or working on a pattern.

this blouse is the result of work i started a few sundays ago. i’ve seen the open-backed blouse in the late 50s and the 80s; i had one as a child in the 80s – although it might have been a dress. the purpose of this blouse is to be a relaxed beach / garden tea type blouse which is cute and comfortable – i wasn’t particularly concerned about being sexy or flattering, i just didn’t want it to be unflattering.

the pattern is simple enough, with a bust dart only, and the back cross over happening at the waist line. in the prototype, i made the cross over too high up, and the waist line wouldn’t sit well. i also adjusted the hip measurement from the original pattern; the angle between the waist and the hip was too sharp, and i ended up with a drapey / skirt look which just didn’t go well with the blouse – my original pattern had 3.4 cms taken off the hip measurement on each side. i also shortened my original pattern to keep with the 50s look of blouses to the tummy rather than to the bum. the shirt has interfacing along the armholes, and the neckline and back.

the fabric i chose for this is a pure cotton print, and is called: ‘topsy turvy’ a stonehill collection by donna wilder for fabric traditions.