Monday, August 18, 2014

Make Do and Mend: Wartime Crafts, Australian Maritime Museum (Darling Harbour, Sydney)

I've just heard the news - the ANMM is holding a three-part series on wartime crafts and 'making-do' in Australia during WW1 and WW2.

The first talk is on 14 September, and is called 'Knit for Victory':

"Celebrate History Week as we look back over life on the home front one stitch at a time. ANMM Curator Kim Tao shares the story of the amazing “flying knitting needles” of Australian’s across both world war eras- from millions of socks for the troops to scarves, vests and mittens, uncover the story of craft for the war effort. Join in a workshop in knitting from vintage wartime patterns and craft your own creations to keep. "

The second talk on 12 October is called 'Thrifty Fashions' - no blurb yet, but just from the title I know it will be right up any vintage-lovers alley.

The final session is Wartime Foods and Recipes, but it's been post-poned for the moment.

The cost is $30 for a session, and you can book by calling +61 2 9298 3655 or emailing (it's definitely in my calendar!)

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Why not knit your Swagger? Free pattern c. 1930s

Why not indeed?

I really adore this Swagger Coat pattern, its from the Woman's Journal 11th Book of Knitting (early 1930s) and the styling is amazing!
"Extremely smart, and really simple to knit is this short swagger coat, beautifully shaped with the fashionable back swing."

free knitting pattern 1930s swagger coat swing knitted 30s 1940s war era feather hat blouse polka dots smart 34 36

I'd have no issues rocking the above outfit, it's such a wearable 1930's ensemble.
The pattern is sized for a 34-36 inch bust, but it's pretty free-size and would probably do up to a 40-42 easily.

Requires worsted/10 ply weight yarn  on 5mm needles.

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Tutorial 2: A new pocket variation for the Smooth Sailing blouse

Do you love pockets? Even just decorative ones that don't hold anything?
Well, I have the pocket pattern just for you!

Simplicity 4094

I spotted this pocket design on a vintage pattern, and knew that it would work really well on the Smooth Sailing blouse (or any blouse pattern, honestly).

Here's what it looks like in the flesh...

smooth sailing wearing history mods sleeves pockets silk sewing pattern 1940s 40s plus size
The long sleeve version Tutorial is coming soon!

The pocket is purely decorative, and really simple to make - I've made the pattern piece available to download at the end of the Tutorial. I drafted it to fit the SS blouse, but you could use it on any pattern you like by just adding some placement lines.

Step 1: On your Smooth Sailing pattern, square out the bottom corners of the pocket placement lines, and transfer the placement to your fabric. (It's easier to attach the pockets before sewing darts, seams etc).

Step 2: Cut 4 of the pocket pieces on the fold.  With right sides together, stitch down the curved edge only (yes, I did stitch the wrong seam and had to unpick them, ouch). Seam allowance is 1.5mm or 5/8". Clip the curve, and turn right-side out.

Step 3: Press! You can also add any trim if desired at this point.

Step 4: Lay two of the pocket pieces together matching the bottom edges and corners. Pin in the centre to hold them together.
Turn up the seam allowance on the bottom edges, pin and press. Trim the corners diagonally.

Note: I like to have my pockets opposite each other (one opening left, the other right) and this is where you would decide how you want them.

Step 5: Pin the pocket piece to the blouse, matching the bottom corners to the placement lines. Stitch carefully around the outside approx 1mm in from the edge (i.e. very close).

Step 6: Finish sewing up the rest of your blouse!

As you can see, it's a piece of cake!
To get your own pattern piece, right click on the below image and select 'Open in a new Tab or Window'. You'll need to print at a size that matches the measurements in the test square for accuracy.
I hope you enjoyed this Tutorial, and I still have some more to come!

Saturday, August 02, 2014

FO: A Tuscan Summer Dress (Vogue 8789, c. 1957)

I'd been saving this 1950's border print fabric for exactly one pattern - Vogue 8789.

vogue 8789 plus size 1950s rockabilly sewing pattern review novelty border print fabric

And it's perfection!

Initially I was really scared when I was cutting up the fabric - no going back to get more from the store... The printed cotton seems to be farmers in Tuscany (I think?), lots of sheep, fields and manor houses.

The pattern is very easy, although I do recommend making a muslin of the bodice first - the bias allows a lot of ease. I ended up cutting a 16 bust and waist - normally I'd taper out to an 18-20 at the waist.

And don't forget to stay the waist! I disregarded the pattern instructions for a loose petersham ribbon stay, and opted for a sewing down a ribbon in the seam allowance instead. All my vintage dresses have this kind of stay, and it's less fiddly to do in my opinion.

Stitched belt carriers

Besides cutting the skirt in one piece, the only 'mod' I made was a small sway back adjustment (pinching the back out slightly) - easy as pie! I think it took me 3-4 hours to sew the finished version.

I can't wait for the weather to warm up so I can wear it dancing!

Dress: Vogue 8789 (fabric from Stella Dallas Living, NYC)
Shoes: Miss L Fire Norma
Jewellery: various, all from Etsy
Bamboo Handbag: present from Jakk

miss l fire shoes review norma red mexican 1950s 50s bambhoo handbag retro vintage novelty print fabric

If you've been thinking of making it up, you won't be disappointed!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Curvy Month Pattern: White Wings Jumper, c. 1930s

Welcome to the final pattern of Curvy Month - I hope you enjoyed the larger size patterns. I'm back to knitting, sewing and vintage from next week!

I'm sure we all love an easy knit, and this jumper pattern from Paton and Baldwin's Style No. 7 is rib-tastic.

Rib is the all round, easy to knit and flattering stitch - perfect for those larger figures.

free vintage knitting patterns online 1940s 1930s jumper sweater

This design has such a jaunty air, I'm seeing it in a very patriotic white, blue and red - but any three complimentary colours would work well. It has a cute pocket on the chest, puffed sleeves and a little sailor collar.

To fit a 34 and 38 inch bust, knitted on fingering weight yarn using 3.75mm and 2.75mm needles.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Curvy Month Pattern: Knit it for Ski-ing jumper (c. 1930s)

Schiaparelli had a fantastic influence on knitwear during the 1930s - and this design is very in her 'pour le Sport' taste with it's sporty aesthetic and faux military styling.
(This free knitting pattern is from the Woman's Journal 11th Book of Knitting and Crochet, early 1930s).

I really love all the little details, and the matching dark buttons and belt are a nice touch.

Isn't the little fashion illustration divine?

The pattern calls for Patons 'Sea-Urchin' which I have never hear of before - based on the tension, I would say it's a DK-weight yarn. Sounds intriguing!

To fit a 36-38 inch bust, and requires 3mm and 4mm needles.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Curvy Month Pattern: A Favorite Dress No. 1077, circa 1937

I realise I haven't shared many patterns from the Thirties during Curvy Month - but that's about to change with the final designs coming up (promise).

I couldn't wait to share this lovely dress with you, from 'Handmade Fashions to Knit and Crochet (The Spool Company)', c. 1937.

The airy stitches, the cross over lace bust, the bishop sleeves - so perfectly act deco!

This dress is sized to fit a 38 inch bust and 42 inch hips. (This one would be a good candidate to up-size as the top has a lot of ease, and the skirt would just need extra stitches added).

Light fingering yarn is required, on 3mm needles.

free vintage knitting pattern 1930s plus size xl 38