40. Vintage Sewing Advertisements & More

40. Vintage Sewing Advertisements & More

 Vintage Sewing

Image result for vintage sewing

For an item to be truly vintage it must be well used and passed down at least one generation, a different era! Do you agree? Anything vintage has always attracted my eye and so I dedicate this post to all things vintage. From notions, books, sewing machines, patterns and advertisements. I’ve also added my own vintage items that have been passed down to my family & myself.

I ran across this article about the history of Butterick patterns. I thought I’d share it with you. I enjoyed this history on Butterick because it took his wife to point out her wish while working at her dinning room table with a sewing pattern, that’s all I’ll say!

https://butterick.mccall.com/our-company/butterick-history

Patterns from 1890s to 1900s, and only .15 cents

I can imagine these might have been quite expensive in their day and the pattern would have made the rounds in a community.

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Dress Forms

I’ve come across some truly horrifying contraptions that were used a long time ago to create the perfect womanly silhouette.

Notions & More

Buttons, spools, wicker sewing baket & WWII sewing kit. While on vacation this summer I found an industrial sewing machines that sew sails and a wooden ironing board.

&

Dressmaker French Curves

Simply elegant rulers to look at but practical for every day jobs in a seamstress work shop.

Tailors Rulers

Vintage sewing machines

I myself do not have the honor of owning a beautiful vintage sewing machine but I have a cousin who has two that were passed down through family. These two sewing machines came from two Grandmothers and will be passed on to their granddaughters, lucky girls.

2 sewingmachines

My own Vintage Thimbles

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Thimbles from my Great Grandmother and Grandmother on my mother’s side.

These thimble are the only vintage sewing items that have been passed down to me through my Aunty Bev. They were used quite a bit as you can see by the holes on top. These thimble came from my Grandmother Gorham and her daughter, my Grandmother Doyle, my mother’s mother. To this day I still pull them off the shadow box my father made for me to hold my thimble collection. I also have a few items my mother has passed on to me, hardly vintage but you have to start somewhere. Over the years my mother has been quite proud she could pass on her sewing book and notions to her daughter. In a way it’s almost a right of passage! From mother to daughter. Most importantly she has passed on her sewing wisdom, that must be said.

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I came across this book: (New Vogue Sewing book, by Butterick Publishing from 1980) in Fair’s Fair a used book store while rummaging for the knitting books. The Costume in Detail by: Nancy Bradfield, first published in Great Britain in 1968, reprinted in 1975. This second book was found in Value Village.

Last but not least

The last of the bunch, I kind of got carried away with this post.

What vintage sewing, tailoring or quilting items have been passed down to you or that you’ve found in rummage sales?

God Bless & Sew on

Jennifer

 

 

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38. My little Black Dress & does a gal really need one?

My little black dress, just a drape over Gillian along with my Icebreaker wool shift dress.

 

I decided to design my own little black dress and as you can see I decided to start playing with different ideas by draping the jersey fabric around my dress form that my son named Gillian.

The Features:

  • The wrap with a slight lift/collar.
  • A-line hem, starting from the knee to mid calf.
  • Cap sleeves.
  • Wrap will fall above the breast line not below
  • A light drape to give the neck line a cowl feel.
  • Gathering on the side seam.

Influential People who I think made this dress what it is today

Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s

This lady wore the little black dress perfectly, and set a standard of dress for a lot of women in her era. Notice the black gloves instead of the traditional white. The designer of this dress is Hurbert de Givenchy for Breakfast at Tiffany’s 1961.

Coco Chanel broke social boundaries’ in women’s fashion.

I won’t even pretend to know everything about this women but I will say I admire her determination to be who she envisioned. She stepped out of the restrictive traditions and did it with style and I’m sure quite a bit of sass as well. She set her standard of dress and lived her life as she saw it and took us with her. Stepping out of the corset that caged women she gave us freedom in fashion/dress. Coco started off as a simple milliner to a fashion icon of women’s attire.

Coco Chanel Quotes that have influenced me

Why is less more, for me Coco stripped women of garish amounts of jewelry/fabric and the corset.  Using chosen pieces of jewelry to accentuate an outfit but not overwhelm the dress, she made life simple but elegant with jersey and threw the corset away.

For what ever reason the little black dress is important, we’ve made it so! It would never have taken off if we had not been so taken with it. Black is no longer in mourning, that was done away with long time ago. The elegant silhouette whether you dress it up or down has made its place firmly our wardrobe and most women have one or two hanging up.

Whether a mother, fashion icon or era. These play a part in what we will wear, so who influenced you?

If you’re interested on the history of LBD here is a great article, 1926 to 2010.

By: Real Simple (A Short History of the Little Black Dress)

https://www.realsimple.com/beauty-fashion/clothing/dresses-skirts/little-black-dress-history#birth-little-black-dress

 

 

 

13c. The Wrap of it! (Now it’s time to Sew it up).

The Sewing is on

Have you ever had the feeling that you’ve done something wrong even though you were scrupulous about everything up until this moment.

sewing-dress

Ready to sew.

Well I had that feeling when I was removing the pins from the pattern for the second front and I just felt a nagging tug on the sewing nerve, well only time will tell. I’m setting up for sewing tonight and will dive into  it tomorrow after mothers group. Incidentally these women are the most amazing friends I’ve ever had who are definitely not afraid to tell me the truth.

I’m also cutting out the back lining/built-in slip. This lining will act like a buffer for movement from behind, which is always good.

All pins are out and I’m preparing to sew. I’ll start with the neck line first, sewing stay stitches and reinforce the shoulders. Sometimes I want to jump ahead, going too quickly and note take the time necessary to finish a garment properly. But I find it’s all the little things that make a garment look great, and something you just love to wear! So, as my mom would say take your time, step by step. A bit like life I’d say!

Now, shall we carry on? As I set about my stay-stitching I realized I had to deal with my sew-in slip. I’ll be putting in a hem before I fix it to the inside-back of the dress. This slip hem. Thank goodness I took the time to write this sentence down because it seems for ever since I was able to tackle this sewing project but I’ve gotten caught up with the knitting side of my life and I thought today was a great day to start sewing again. the first order of business is tidying up the sewing room.

  1. I’ll be using a microfiber needle for the lining hem.
  2. I’ve pinned the hem to some rip (very carefully) away paper to help stabilize the stitches.
  3. I am going to baste the lining to the back of the dress before I sew front and back together.
  4. I’ve bought some clear stretchy binding for the shoulders.

It was a bit tricky sewing the hem on the lining because there was no room for movement for the stretch but I adjusted as I went and manipulated as best I could. I was not pleased with the end result, basically there was no stretch with this hem. I’ll cut and redo the hem and work the stretch as I’m sewing. I wish I had listened to my voice in my head because I knew what needed to be done. I successfully hemmed the lining today using the stretch stitch on my machine and the stretch needle (75/11) and of course it worked out well, meaning I’m happy it stretches and lays flat. DONE! next time listen to yourself.

As you can see the lining is a see through stretch and definitely a challenge to work with.

I have had to prep Gillian for the fitting of the wrap dress.  I was not willing to remove my grain lines  from Gillian that I use for my draping class fashion courses, so while rummaging through my sewing room I found some safety pins I used for a quilting class I took when my children were young. Who would have known they’d come in so hand now.

Chores I’d like to finish this week with my wrap dress.

  • Hem the lining.
  • Hand baste the lining wrong sides facing each other, to the back of the dress.
  • Prep Gillian with the quilting safety pins, so I can keep my grain lines.
  • Sew binding over seam line on the back, wrong side using a baste stitch.

Keep both your and the flat pattern measurements: Of course for prosperity.

Flat Pattern                                                                                      Me

Bust: Front, (19) + Back, (16) = (35) inches.                          36 inches.

Waist: Front, (16 3/4) + Back, (13 1/2) = (30 1/4) inches.    30 inches.

Hip: Front, (20 5/8) + Back, (18 1/4) = (39 1/2) inches.       40 inches.

So, as you can see I’d have to do a bit of altering for this pattern, and even though the discrepancy is slight Id have to adjust if I was working with a no stretch fabric. But since this is a stretchy fabric with the required amount of ease according to the instruction on the back of the pattern sleeve. I have decided to give myself a one inch seam allowance down the side seams to play with, mind you I have not lost the integrity of my arm hole. definitely will not be playing with that.

The chores I was able to accomplish this very short school week (3 days) before the long weekend.

  • Baste shoulder with binding, and I used transparent slightly stretch binding.
  • Reinforce fronts; left & right through collar & shoulder edges.

This will have to wait till next week.

  • Stitch front sections together at back.
  • work on the neck facings.

Well I got on farther than I thought I would. But life has away of interrupting my sewing time. Until next Blog.

I am tidying up my sewing space right now while I’m waiting for some pictures to down load on to WordPress, so I can get down to the business of sewing next week.

Just in case you’ve forgotten this is the pattern I’m working on. I’m sewing dress “B” but with short/cap sleeves, instead of the long. I can’t wait till it’s done!!!!

wrap dress pattern

Pink dress, M7186 McCall’s

Happy sewing everyone.

Question: What is your favorite sewing room notion? I have to admit mine is a LD head lamp, this way the light shines exactly where I’m looking and my hands don’t create a shadow.

Lessons I learned this week. Listen to yourself, it’s worth your time.

Sorry the downloads are not happening I will publish them next week.

 

 

 

13A. The Wrap of It! Dress; Adjusting the Pattern to fit me.

The Wrap of It

 

Step 1:    The first order of business is to layout the pattern on the table and measure the bust, waist and hip lines. This is called flat pattern measuring. Verify my measurements and compare them to the pattern and decide on the size I’ll go with. I do this because even though on the back of pattern sleeve I’m given measurements for each size I find that I still need to compare so I have a better idea of what to do with the pattern, so it will fit me.

Things to do prior to cutting fabric:

  • Launder the fabric. I like to see how the fabric holds up to a normal washing.
  • I like to press the paper pattern on light heat no steam, this takes out the creases in the paper.
  • I’ve spent some time today reading the pattern.
  • Tomorrow I’ll spend time measuring pattern and compare my measurements to it, this will give me a good idea what size I will go with.
  • I like dress (B) but I think that I’ll make 3 1/4 length sleeves. Instead of full length sleeves. Change of mind; I’m going to go with the short sleeve (cap). I don’t want to alter the long sleeve to 3/4 inch as well widen it.
  • I like the gather at the waist and I’ll lengthen the hem a few more inches aswell.

The measurements I’ll check are bust, Waist and hip and back length. I think it’s size 10 for me. with a few adjustments with a hip curve along the way will do. Ok! Instead of adjusting the hip I’m going to add a full inch on side seams so I can play with wiggle room. I want the dress to run smoothly over my hips. So, not too tight and not too loose.

I find I don’t get over whelmed by a project if I split it up into smaller parts:

  • check size of pattern and yourself.
  • transfer pattern to paper to make any adjustment.
  • pin pattern to fabric. Usually I try pattern out with muslin but with the stretchy fabric I’ll baste side seams together.
  • Start sewing. Take time to press stitch line before you open up the seam.

Because I’m not going to do a muslin of this dress, I’m a bit hesitant about what size. In past experiences I’ve gone for the right-side but then found the garment too big, so I am going to the size that’s just a shad too small because there is a stretch. there is no ease with this dress because the stretch takes up the ease but I also don’t want it to be too tight and show all my lumps and bumps in an unflattering way!! problem. Man I am humming and hawing way too much about this, I just hate to have the size too big. This dress is to hug my curves not fall limp on me.

Size 10 is the best I believe because the bust is 1 inch smaller than me and the pattern hip is half an inch smaller than me. I’m going to give myself (1″) seam allowance on side seams this should be good for any adjustments, (usually it’s only 5/8″ S.A.). Then I will baste the side seams first. Then once I have everything the way I want it, I’ll sew a permanent seam.There is no waist measurement on the back of the pattern envelope but I’ve measured the pattern and it is good and besides the gather will pull in the waist and create the waist curve. Ok, I feel better getting that of my chest, size (10) it is. I’m just going to lengthen the hem line a couple of inches. I’m not always keen on the shorter skirt, it often emphasises the wider part of the leg instead of tapering to a smaller area of the leg. Then lead to the curve of the calf. That’s what I like. Clothing one-self is often a deception of sorts. I like to think that it is directing the eye to your best physical qualities. Oh! by the way I’m going with the cap sleeves, I think it will look nicer.

I ran into a bump while adjusting the side seam. Now, usually I only have to work with one side because the center front is on the fold,but as I was working with one side of one front panel (there are two front panels) I realised that I’d have to adjust the other side as well. I will do this for the other front panel as well, glad I was paying attention. Sewing a garment is a bit like life, always full of surprises.

P.S. A few last minute instructions to self, remember to mark each copied pattern piece for future reference. Nothing worse than coming back to a pattern and realizing you don’t know what you’re working on. I always put pattern number, brand, size, pattern piece (front, sleeve etc.) who it’s for, how many pieces to cut out and which version your sewing.

P.S.-P.S. Remember write everything down, just saying.

A few pictures: to show you.

 

Next Post will be cutting and basting: Wish me luck!

 

 

16. My (Ghana) Dress.

I’m very fortunate to have a friend like Rita. I have always admired her dresses from Ghana, where she comes from. The simplicity of the dresses design is it’s very attribute. The fabrics patterns and colours are fun and festive to my eye.

Well, one day while admiring Rita’s dress I expressed a desire to have her seamstress make me one in Ghana, which was her sister. Now Rita being who she is would not hear of me paying, so we soon struck a deal. I would teach her oldest daughter to knit and she get the dress for me. A fine deal indeed.

Her sister is so excellent a seamstress that she made this dress solely on a few measurements from me and some pictures of what I looked like in different coloured out fits. Rita suggested the style and her sister chose the colour. I have to say the fit is perfect. I was so pleased as soon as I saw the dress, I immediately went and put it on to show Rita so she could take a picture to send to her sister. You know I’m still scratching my head, I’m still not sure how this came about. It must be that Rita is simply just great. This Ghana dress makes me the 50’s dresses.

 

These fun fashions’ from the fifties have always attracted my eye. For me this is a timeless fashion. That always makes a woman look and feel beautiful, and personally I think every girl deserves a fun dress in her closet. You know I believe Rita was just as pleased with the dress as I was.

The dress design is beautiful in its simplicity. The skirt is gathered, the bodice is fitted with a princess line in the front and waist darts in the back, the neck line is curved and to top it  all off are the capped sleeves.

I’m truly grateful to have such a generous friend like Rita. I shall enjoy teaching her daughter to knit.

Is there someone like this in your life?

13. A Classic Wrap Dress that doesn’t Wrap! The traditional way.

As soon as I saw this fabric in Fabricland I knew what pattern it was going to be used for. McCall’s M7186. The fabric is a stretchy lycra/poly blend, a blue animal print. I’ve worked a bit with this type of material before, but I am still going to read up a bit before I make the first snip.

I received some great advice from a lady at fabricland who had sewn this pattern already. She advised me first to baste sides seams together. Then useing a curve ruler to merge different sizes together, also I’ll give myself a bit more seam allowance to work with. This will help me  adjust side seams to fit me. Gillian (my dress form) will come in handy when I am smoothing out the the side seams. Then of course, I’ll see how it fits on me.

Like most of us, our bodies are not as straight forward as patterns are. I’d say my bust line is smaller than my hip line; therefore, I’m going to have to draw in a new side seam after I transfer the pattern to paper and ease the two measurements together using a curve ruler.
This pattern has no zippers, so you pull it on like a snug shirt. The first wrap panel fits under from left to right then the top panel is vis versa, and this panel has a gather at the side.

I will be lining the back of the dress in a lighter but similar fabric but I have been debating whether I should line the two front panels or would this be too much? I think I would! that being said, I’m still unsure. Maybe after I read up a bit I’ll find my answer.

This week I will be adjusting the pattern sizes and checking my measurements in the next blog (step 1, of 13. A classic wrap dress). First I’ll transfer the pattern to plain paper, then I’ll show you how I adjust my measurements to the pattern. The paper I will be using, you can find at any medical store. Basically it’s the paper that Doctors use to cover that funny bed/table in their office.

If any of you have worked with this type of fabric, what can you say about it? I’ll be learning how to deal with it soon enough! Fun, always love a challenge.

That all being said! Lets get down to the business of sewing.

 

 

14. My Most Useful Bag Yet! A two hour project.

I am going to sew, yet another bag, because one cannot have too many bags now a days. With people choosing to go green and becoming more environmentally friendly, good sturdy bags are essential. This bag in particular has been the best, all time bag for me and it has outlasted other bags I’ve bought. The original bags I made are still around 16 years later. This above group of bags are just a few of the bags I’ve made over the years.

Early on in my marriage I took a sewing level 1 class from Chinook Collage, Calgary, AB. My first project was a bag.

This is my 2 hours sewing project this weekend, and will post finished bag ASAP.

Things you’ll need:

  • One meter by meter of sturdy fun fabric, the fabric I’m using is flannel. Nice and soft!
  • Measuring tape or meter ruler.
  • A sewing machine.
  • Thread.
  • scissors
  • You’ll just need to know how to straight stitch forwards and backwards.
  • Pins
  • Good music, or audio book.

I’ll walk you through how I will sew this bag. You can adjust this pattern to any size. Over the years I’ve made lunch bags for my kids and medium bags for my kids to fill up with knickknacks, grocery and knitting/fabric projects. You name, it you can do it.

On another note: I’ll tell you something I learned this week about cloth bags and the reason why we as a society started using plastic bags. This being said, I think there are other reasons we went to plastic, mainly  we became too complacent and didn’t see the over all effect this decision would have on our planet. But, let’s go back to what I heard on the radio a couple of weeks ago. Apparently years ago (I don’t know how long) but before my time. Plastic bags were brought in because of bacteria out breaks from unwashed bags. I’m not sure if this is true but I came home and washed all my bags.

Because of what I heard on the radio; I thought I’d share how I make the Sewing level 1 bag with you all, and the few changes I have made to it along the way.

Let me know, if you know the real reason behind plastic verses cloth bags? And when plastic bags came about. Ok! I looked this up, plastic bag started showing up in North America in the late 1970s but in Europe as early as 1965. You can look it up on the internet (A Brief History of the Plastic Bag). After reading this you’ll want to go green.

Step 1: For this project I’ll be using (1 m.) of flannel fabric. Wash and dry fabric.

Step 2: Cut fabric into sections. Do not cut fabric on the fold but instead layout flat. See fabric layout picture below.

  • Cut shoulder strap: 4 in. X 34 in. On the salvage/lengthwise grain. (right side).
  • Cut pocket strip. 8 1/4 in X 35 in. On crosswise grain. (top).
  • Cut 2 bag pieces: each 17 in. X 34 in. On salvage/lengthwise grain. (2 bottom pieces).
Bag layout

  Layout fabric flat.

Step 3: Shoulder strap:  Seam allowance is 1/2 inch.  Fold right sides together and sew down length of strip. Press stitches to set them (this is a bit like blocking a finished yarn project). Turnout to right side and press again. Then top stitch both sides of strip, 1/4 inch from sides. This will keep the shoulder strap flat. Note: This is a good time to play with different thread colours or decorative stitching.

  • Finished strap measurement is: 1 1/2 in wide and 34 in long.

Step 4: Prepare pockets. Cut your pockets to the sizes you’d like them to be. I like my pockets to be deep. These are my measurements.

  • Outside Pocket: Width: 8 1/4 inches by Depth: 10 3/4 inchs. These measurements take seam allowance (1/2 in.)into consideration. And the under fold at the top of the pocket = 1 1/4 in. The (1/4 in.) is a small under fold so you wont have a raw edge, you could also surge this edge.
  • Inside pocket: width: 8 1/4 in. by Depth 13 1/4 in. and use the same measurements for this pockets under fold as well.

On the sides and bottoms of both pockets fold in 1/4 in. and miter the two bottom corners then press folds down, set aside.

Top of pocket: First fold down 1/4 in., press, then fold down 1 in. Top stitch fold down  and press. Do this for both pockets.

Finished pocket measurements are:

  • Outside: width-7 1/4 in., depth-9 1/4 in.
  • Inside: width-7 1/4 in., depth-11 1/4 in.

Set pockets aside.

Step 5: Snip shoulder straps in half. And pin one at each ends of one bag piece. Do this on the right side of fabric, with the loops pointed towards each other. Stitch ends down at the edges. Sewing over the same spot a couple of times, seam allowance is 1/2 in.

Bag 10

Attach shoulder straps at both ends of         1 bag piece.

Step 6: Pin pockets in place at opposite ends on bag pieces, 3 inches from each end, the pocket opening should be towards the ends. Top stitch pockets down.

Bag 9

The paper pieces are where the pockets are placed.

Step 7: With rights sides together and pockets at opposite ends and straps tucked in. Pin and sew up ends.

Bag 5

What it looks like on inside before you pin ends to sew.

Step 8: Now it’s time to sew the sides of the bag. Now put the two tops together, right sides facing and pin together, sew. Remembering to leave a hole on one side of bag so you can pull bag right side out.

Bag 4

Sewing up sides, leave an opening so you can pull the bag to right side out.

Don’t forget to sew hole up.

Step 9: Before you turn bag out, you’re going to have to sew across all 4 corners at right angles. I do a 2 inch right angle.

Step 10: The last step is to top stitch the top edge of bag. This will stabilize this edge and give more strength to your shoulder straps.

Bags A

Top stitch top edge.

Last but not least Enjoy!

Please contact me if you have any questions about the bag.