A Jacket for Belle

Late 50s, early 60s Butterick 9563

Late 50s, early 60s Butterick 9563

So this is it, Belle’s cropped, portrait collar jacket. Butterick 9563 dates from the late 50s or early 60s & has proven popular! I’ve made the jacket 4 times now! This one though, is not for sale. I found the fabric, a cotton canvas, at the NEC back in March on the Doughty‘s stand. They have a large selection of ex-Paul Smith fabrics & this piece was accompanied by a couple of shirt weight cottons – either for me or for the other half!

Butterick 9563 in ex-Paul Smith cotton

Butterick 9563 in ex-Paul Smith cotton

As it was for her she got to make some design decisions. She picked the big baroque style buttons instead of some more in keeping vintage black buttons, but all came from the stash so at least I didn’t need to buy anything. She also suggested the colour scheme for the Hong Kong finish inside. I’d offered the cerise pink initially, but only had 3m of the stuff. I couldn’t remember where I’d got it, so matching it would have been nigh on impossible. Belle emptied my bindings box & found a bit of yellow, pale pink & lilac. What about mixing them up? Hmm… What the heck – ok!

Design decisions!

Design decisions!

I really love this pattern, fitted at the waist with that lovely big collar accentuating the shoulders.  It’s not a hard one to make up either, once you’ve got up off the floor after sewing 10 darts…  Finishing the seams with the bias binding was what took all the time.  If you used a different seam finish this could be made in an afternoon.

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I used a fine sheer polyester fusible interfacing on the facings and the collar, both the upper & lower collar.  I didn’t want either to become too heavy with a canvas & the fabric has enough body.

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So another successful make, I haven’t decided what my next item will be – there is still that pile of fabric & patterns that I blogged about earlier in the year.  I think so far I have only managed to make two of them!!  Nevermind, I’ll get there in the end.  :)

Seam Finishes – Hong Kong or Bound Seam

I’ve been working on another version of Butterick 9563 and am using this technique on all the seams and raw edges.  It’s a fabulous method to use on unlined jackets and works well on trousers and skirts too.  It’s best suited to medium to heavy weight fabrics.  The binding consists of bias strips, either shop bought or self cut.  The opportunities to play with colour and print here are endless.  You can introduce an interesting colour play or bring some pattern in with a floral, stripe or check binding on a solid colour garment.  If you’re going to use this technique, bind each seam allowance as you sew the seam.  Waiting until you have loads to do isn’t always a good idea as the bulk of the fabric/garment can really get in the way.  Also, make sure you have more than you think you’ll need!  I used 12m on one knee length dress earlier this year!!

If you’re cutting your own bias strips, make them 3-3.5cm wide.  You can always cut off the excess but there’s nothing worse than the binding being too narrow to be caught by your stitching.

Start by sewing your usual 1.5cm seam.  Press the seam open and lay the bias strip right side down on the seam allowance, raw edge to the edge of the seam allowance.  Stitch either in the prefolded ditch, or 5mm from the edge of the allowance.

Step 1, sew the binding strip to the seam allawance, 5mm from the raw edge, or in the prefolded ditch

Step 1, sew the binding strip to the seam allowance, 5mm from the raw edge, or in the prefolded ditch

Press the binding strip away from the seam line, over the raw edge.

Step 2, Press the binding.

Step 2, Press the binding.

Now wrap the binding around the raw edge, press & pin in place.

Step 3, wrap the binding over the edge, press & pin.

Step 3, wrap the binding over the edge, press & pin.

Stitch in the ditch – that is to say, with the needle right up against, but not on, the binding.  If you have an edgestitch foot this will be easier to do, but keep the needle in the centred position and stitch slowly, that way you have more control.

Step 4.  Stitch in the ditch

Step 4. Stitch in the ditch

If you have used a binding that is a little wide, now is the time to turn the seam over & trim off the excess.

Finished!

Finished!

Have fun playing with different colours & prints with your Hong Kong finish, I’ll be showing you the finished jacket in a day or so.

The Big Three

1975 Style 1429

1975 Style 1429

Instead of the Big Five, this shirt offers up elephants, cheetahs and zebras.  Belle spotted the fabric on the same shopping trip to Fancy Silk Stores when we bought the elephant print cotton of the little boy’s shirt.  She loved it immediately & decided it would make a fabulous shirt.  We’ve made view 3 of this pattern three times now, I say we because I made the first one in a Paul Smith striped cotton and she made the second in a blue Liberty lawn.

Style 1429 in wild animal print cotton

Style 1429 in wild animal print cotton

It’s a simple shape with darts for shaping, a straight hem & one piece collar.  The sleeves have a turn-up that could be left down if you wanted them a little longer.  I used flat fell seams throughout & interfaced the facings & collar with a fine sheer polyester fusible.  The buttons are from a local charity shop, where I was able to buy a couple of bottles full of vintage buttons for £2!  Absolute bargain!

big three CollageApologies for all the wrinkles, Belle was determined to wear this to school today & we had no time for photos in the morning.  She also decided to wear a t-shirt under it, so it doesn’t hang quite the way I’d like.

DSC09757-1There really isn’t a lot to say about this pattern, if you’re in the market for a simple shirt pattern that’s got a great shape – this is it!

DSC09760-1I still have a large pile of dresses to make, but I think my next vintage project will be a jacket for Belle.  Although I’ve made Butterick 9563 three times, none of them have been for Belle to keep.  I have a piece of ex-Paul Smith cotton canvas bought at the NEC earlier in the year that is destined to be one of these jackets.  With Autumn well and truly here I had better get cracking! :)

Going on an Elephant Safari

New York Gold Seal Pattern 1581 in elephant print cotton

New York Gold Seal Pattern 1581 in elephant print cotton

I finished another vintage boy’s shirt this week.  It’s the same pattern that I used for the plaid Irish linen shirts made earlier in the year and will also be a gift.  I found the fabric, elephand print cotton (!!) at The Fancy Silk store in Birmingham at the beginning of July & had to have it!  The colours are quite muted but hopefully will suit the little fellow.

It’s such a quick pattern to make, but I made one very large mistake.  I broke my cardinal rule never to sew when tried, hungry, cross or full of headache.  A headache had been brewing during the day & I’d ploughed on, but the crux came when I was happily sewing the buttons on in a darkened room.  I was sewing them on the right side for a girl’s shirt, not a boy’s shirt!!  Of course, by this time I’d already made the buttonholes!  Man was I cross with myself.  That’s when I gave in & took myself & some medication off to bed.  I can’t change it now so I just hope the little man won’t get too confused that this shirt buttons differently to his others.

DSC09614-1I pinked the seam allowances this time as the cotton was quite soft, bound the sleeve hem with a strip of hand stitched self bias and pinked the long edges of the facings.  The buttons are little wooden ones from the stash.  I still really wish the little dungaree pattern pieces had survived, I’ve not had much luck finding replacements in the right size.  So this will be heading off in the mail next week & will have to wait a few months until the recipient is the right size, but that’s another project done! :)

Details

Details

Please don’t ask what’s next, I cannot for the life of me decide!  It’ll be pot luck so you’ll have to check back.

Fourties Summer Beach Outfit

1940s Simplicity 2208

1940s Simplicity 2208

So this was meant for the beach.  And for summer.  So why have I only made it now – at the very end of the summer?  Because the pattern only arrived in my sticky paws recently and only more recently did I snap up the perfect fabric!  It was one of the patterns I took with me on holiday to cut out.  I decided against trying to persuade the other half to take the sewing machine so took a pile of fabrics & patterns instead.  I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one!

Simplicity 2208 in rose print linen

Simplicity 2208 in rose print linen

This is Simplicity 2205, dated somewhere in the 1940s, I wish I could be more precise, but the date is on the instructions, which did not come with my pattern.  Never mind, thankfully it wasn’t too difficult to figure out how to put it all together.  The fabric I chose is a pretty red rose print linen.  Of course I bought the fabric without the pattern and only just had enough to fit everything on.  I am really happy with how it worked out.

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Handstitched lapped side zip

Handstitched lapped side zip

The top is really simple, the back has shoulder darts, the sleeves that typical fullness that 40s tops have.  I used French seams for the side & shoulders and bound the entire edge with self-bias.  The sleeves are finished with self bias too.

The shorts have mock Fench seams and a hand stitched lapped zip on the left.  The two pleats in the front as well as one pleat in the back ensure a good fit at the waist and a looser fit over the hips.  The hems of the shorts are finished with bias tape.  Even without the instructions this was not a difficult make.

The details

The details

This is the last of the very summery makes for a while, I do have the most wonderful peacock feather print cotton that I cut out during the holidays.  It’s going to make a fabulous early 60s Vogue pattern, so maybe that’ll be the next item you see here – or maybe I’ll get distracted with something else!  I do desperately need to get my new pattern purchases sorted in proper storage.  The longer they hang about, the more I cannot decide what to make next!

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Flirty Fourties Seaside Shorts

 

1949 Simplicity

1949 Simplicity 2836

How cute are these??  Another pattern sourced on Etsy last month!   The pattern is a very tattered Simplicity 2836 dated inside to 1949.

Perfect turn-up shorts.

Perfect turn-up shorts.

I knew I wanted to make a pair of these cute shorts for Belle & was hoping her sister would love them too.  They’re nicely fitted on the natural waist and despite being lose at the hem, they’re not baggy.  They’re perfect!

Vintage Simplicity 2853 in striped linen

Vintage Simplicity 2836 in striped linen

I made a toile using the plain pattern (no turn-up).  It was so quick to make, the curved seams on the pockets look great and I’m tempted to highlight those in some way on the next make.  The pattern allows for a placket and poppers on the left side seam, but does have the “insert slide fastener according to manufacturer’s instructions” note as well.  This is good, because I think a row of poppers could be slightly dodgy on these shorts!  For Belle the waist was quite tight, this is unusual  because her waist measurement is exactly 25″, the right size for these shorts.  Anyhow, I graded the side seams only from the hip line up to the waist, going out 5mm at  the top on each side seam.  This meant lengthening the waistband too, but it did the job.  Belle’s hip measurement is usually a size up from her waist so I had wondered about needing to enlarge the whole thing, but the ease was enough to accomodate the larger measurement & I’m confident she can get away with them like they are.

DSC09530-1With no other adjustments needed, I was ready to cut!  I’d been given a linen tablecloth a couple of weeks ago to make the most fabulous 1930s sundress (which had a tablecloth on the envelope as suitable fabric!!).  Unfortunately there were a couple of markings that just wouldn’t come off which meant the dress wasn’t going to be made from that.  But I had a brainwave and tested out the pattern pieces for the shorts instead.  Bingo!!  The tablecloth is white with classic blue stripes along all four sides.  I positioned the pattern to take full advantage not only of the stripes but also the stable selvage edge to use as the hem.  I pinned all the stripes together so they had no chance of movement while I was cutting, placed the pocket pieces on the remaining non-marked white parts and cut the waistband on the paler blue stripe on the other side of the cloth.

seaside shortsAgain, the construction was pretty straight forward.  Pinning every stripe on the side seams to match made 100% sure those little blighters weren’t going anywhere (to be honest, the fabric helped – no slipping with linen!).  The pocket edges were topstitched in matching white – fancy stuff next time, to keep the look classic and crisp.  For the seam finishes I opted for the humble zig-zag.  This linen is tightly woven and gets bulky when doubled up.  I felt this was the best finish – apart from overlocking, & I was too hot & lazy to drag the overlocker outdoors!  I used an invisible zip in the left side seam, not worrying too much about keeping proper period details here as they are for Belle to keep.  She chose the sparkly blue button from my stash, not a vintage one!  The belt carriers were cut on the pale blue too and make good vertical breaks in the horizontal waistband.

Construction details

Construction details

Who knew an old tablecloth could look so good?

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She loves these new shorts & I can’t wait to see them on the beach in Cornwall in a couple of weeks!  Of course, once she saw how fabulous they looked on Belle, her sister was convinced to try the toile too.  Again, the waist needs to be a little wider, only about 1cm this time, but the length in the crotch is too much, so I’ll shorten the shorts in the body and get started on another pair!  :)  I’m glad they both like these shorts – now to convince them to have the clam digger length!

Beach ready!

Beach ready!

And just a few more photos, because I have them!  :)

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The “looking seriously into the distance” pose. Although I think she was watching the birds on the bird feeder.

And the "Does my bum look big in these?" pose.  :)

And the “Does my bum look big in these?” pose. :)

Now to find a suitable piece of fabric in the stash to make another pair for Belle’s sister.  Enjoy your weekend, hope the sun is shining as nicely as it is here.  :)

An Elegant Blouse

1950s Advance 9815

1950s Advance 9815

I bought this great pattern from Eleanor Merriwether on Etsy last month, and once it arrived, I knew I had to make it up.  It has jumped the long queue of dresses and other blouses in my “make me now” pile, mostly because it came with a parcel from a friend who supplied the fabric!  She sent me this white cotton with blue pinspots, & I really wanted to use it for this pattern.

1950s Advance 9815 in white cotton pinspot

1950s Advance 9815 in white cotton pinspot

The pattern was in great condition, used but whole.  I decided to make the 3/4 sleeve version, because I had enough fabric!  So often my choices are made for me because of lack of fabric.  Or pattern pieces.  It was a quick pattern to make.  There are no darts, tucks at the waist create the shape.  It looks fabulous tucked into a high waisted wiggle skirt!

I chose pale blue buttons to compliment the spots instead of white ones.  I had hoped to find enough suitable buttons in my stash, but the only ones that there were enough of came from Husband’s John Rocha shirts.  In the local haberdashery we started a bit of a debate about the colours for the buttons.  While I was picking the right size & shade, another customer suggested I stick to white.  She felt the blue stood out too much.  I really didn’t feel that way & eventually went with my gut, but what do you think? Do the blue stand out too much or do they give this blouse that little extra “oompfh”?

The details

The details

I love the shaped cuff, I have to confess that this was the main reason why I wanted to make the longer sleeved version of the blouse!  I interfaced the cuffs with a crisp cotton fusible, while keeping a softer interfacing on the collar and fronts.  This means the front of the blouse is maleable, while the cuffs stay nice and sharp.

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I used flat fell seams throughout, they give a great finish and the topstitching helps the blouse to feel less formal.  I can see it looking just as fabulous with a pair of jeans or cropped trousers as it does with this wiggle skirt.  The blouse will be in my Etsy shop tomorrow.  It is made for a bust 34″ or 83cm and has a decent amount of ease.  The blouse is roomy enough for Belle to feel that it may be a little too big for her, so someone with measurements a little larger than the envelope sizes should still be able to fit into it.

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I am working on another vintage pattern that jumped the “make me now” queue!  A Simplicity shorts pattern from 1949 caught my eye, also on Etsy - SloCrafty (don’t let the other half know how much I spend there!!!) and Belle was very keen to have a pair for the summer.  As she is now on her summer holidays, I recon it’s about time to make them quickly!  I toiled the pattern today and only have a minor adjustment at the waist to make, so tomorrow they get made!  Photos soon, promise!

vintage pattern goodies for sale

I have a confession.  I have more vintage patterns than I can currently store safely and properly!  I snapped up a large, and I mean LARGE box of vintage patterns from the fourties to the nineties a couple of weeks ago and have been slowly sifting though them all, trying to decide which are definitely to keep and which I can bear to part with.  This has been a hard job!  They are all gorgeous and special in their own way, but there is really a limit to what I can keep right now and how many coat patterns of a similar style do I realistically need to keep??

So, with that thought firmly in mind, I have identified 35 patterns, so far, that I can sell.  Here are 8.  They are in my Etsy shop with full details and costs.  If you’d prefer not to buy via Etsy, let me know by email or tweet and we can make an arrangement.

Vintage patterns for sale

Vintage patterns for sale

  1.  1949 Simplicity 2949 Topper/Coat, Bust 34, used & complete.  £7
  2. 1951 McCall’s 8604 Dress, Bust 42, UNCUT, FACTORY FOLDED.  £8
  3. 1950s Style 1001 Coat, Bust 36, UNCUT, FACTORY FOLDED.  £20
  4. 1950s Style Print 629 Blouses, Bust 36, UNCUT, FACTORY FOLDED.  £20.
  5. 1956 McCall’s 3902 Nightgown, Bust 36, Used & complete.  £5.
  6. 1950s Simplicity 2312 Robe, size Large, used & complete.  £5
  7. late 1950s early 1960s Simplicity 3908 Sundress & jacket, Bust 36, used & complete.  £5
  8. 1960s Vogue 6345 Skirt suit, Bust 34, used, blouse front missing.  £5

Also added are these two

patterns for sale

patterns for sale

9.  1960s Vogue 4286 Coat, Bust 36, UNCUT, FACTORY FOLDED.  £20

10.  1960s McCall’s 6785 Skirt suit, Bust 35, Used & complete.  £5

I’ve added these three now too!

3 Vogues from the 1960s

3 Vogues from the 1960s

11.  1960s Vogue 6052 Chesterfield Coat, Bust 36, UNCUT, FACTORY FOLDED.  £20

12.  1960s Vogue Special Design 6667 Dress and Cape, Bust 36, dress used & complete, cape unused.  £7

13.  1960s Vogue Special Design 4300 Skirt, Jacket & Blouse, Bust 36, used & complete.  £7.

 

For postage costs the following applies.  Each pattern will be individually  packaged in a plastic envelope, surrounded by card and placed into a padded envelope.

To the UK, 1st class post costs £2.00

To Australia & New Zealand airmail costs £5.00

To Europe airmail costs £4.00

To the rest of the world the cost is £5.00.

If you want more than one pattern, the postage will go up, but I’ll have to check with the Post Office before confirming the cost, it all depends on weight and envelope size.

I hope you can help me out making more room for the patterns that will be left.  There are more to list, it takes a while to get them all checked and photographed!

A Little Birdie Told Me

1950s LeRoy

1950s LeRoy

Well, what do you know, I have finally made this gorgeous bell skirted dress from a 1950s LeRoy pattern.  I’ve wanted to make the pattern up since I got it in Tewksbury at the beginning of the year, and once I’d found the cute grey bird print cotton I knew it was meant for this dress!  But it’s taken a long while to get it made up as other things kept jumping the queue.

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I love how it looks, the simple front totally belies the pleats and the open back.  It has an interesting closure – no zip!  There is a deep pleat in the centre back & two hooks & eyes and a sewn on snap to hold it all together.  At first Belle thought this was a reather dodgy idea, but after twirling about for a bit realised it wasn’t going to open & she wouldn’t be showing off her knickers to all and sundry!

The back is cool with the open top & big pleats in the centre.

The back is cool with the open top & big pleats in the centre.

I stitched & pinked the bodice seams, turning under the raw edges on all the facings to keep it neat and used a mock French finish on the skirt side seams.  The centre back seam has a clean finish because it has to open at the top.  The raw edge at the hem is bound with white cotton bias binding and hand stitched with herringbone stitch.  I had wanted to bind all the seams with the white bias, but the seam allowance is only 1.25cm which is just too narrow to apply the bias sucessfully.

The details

The details

The popper and hooks were sewn on with buttonhole stitch and the loop for the outer hook was made with buttonhole stitch too.  There is an underskirt (which I have forgotten to photograph!) which helps the skirt to keep its bell shape.  It’s a simple a-line skirt with darts at the waist and topped with bias binding which forms a tie to close with at the side.  It’s amazing that such a simple underskirt makes quite a difference to how the skirt of the dress sits.

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Belle loves this dress, mostly because of the bird print.  She is hooked on watching the little birds in our garden at the moment, the sparrows, tits,little robin & blackbirds.  Luckily I have enough of this fabric to make another dress, so I may use it for a modern pattern for her.

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I have also finished the brown satin wiggle dress, but I need a model for it!  If anyone in the South Warwickshire area would be interested in modeling it for me, give me a shout!  This pretty little number will be in my Etsy shop soon, if you’re interested…  And now I need to decide which lovely piece of fabric to make up next.  That “make me now!” pile isn’t getting any smaller.  ;)

 

 

vintage pattern scoop

You never know where you’re going to spot vintage patterns.  They may be in a charity shop, an antiques barn or your local fabric shop.  I dropped into Fred Winter in Stratford on Avon this afternoon to grab a couple of zips & some thread for a new project and on heading to the till noticed a box on the table where they display their cotton batiks.

There was a sign on the side of the box that read “Donations to charity” and peeking out the top were some patterns.  Interest piqued, I headed over to see what was on offer.  I spotted the first vintage pattern very quickly, then flipped through the rest of the box, hauling out pattern after pattern!  I left the 70s, 80s & 90s for someone else – I’m not completely selfish!  At the counter paying for the legitimate purchases, the shop assistant pointed to the Shakespeare Hospice charity box and said:  “Just put some money in there for them.”  So I popped a fiver into the box (the only cash  I had on me at the time) and left very happy!!  Do you want to see what I got?

1960s Butterick 2452 & McCalls 6785

1960s Butterick 2452 & McCalls 6785

1960s Vogue 6892 & Simplicity 7319

1960s Vogue 6892 & Simplicity 7319

1957 Vogue 9239 & 1960s Vogue 6385

1957 Vogue 9239 & 1960s Vogue 6385

1960s Vogue 3021 & Vogue 5455

1960s Vogue 3021 & Vogue 5455

None of them are completely unused, but Mrs Addis, their previous owner, hadn’t used all the pieces.  There are jackets unused in some envelopes, dresses or skirts in others.  She sketched some ideas for dresses & left them in a couple of the envelopes.  She could draw!

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I love finding these little treats in vintage patterns, whether they be receipts, sketches or sometimes even scraps of fabric.  They make the patterns that bit extra special.  Thank you Mrs Addis, your patterns have a safe new home with me, where they’ll be loved & made up in beautiful fabrics – eventually!  :)