Tag Archives: 1920s

How to combine colours – table from 1924

I found this interesting table in a 1924 Dressmaking book. Actually the “Women’s Institute Library of Dressmaking” consists of multiple books, but I only own Volume 2 which covers “Harmony in dress – Beautiful clothes, corsets and dress foundations, silhouettes, colors, fabrics, good taste in dress, millinery and accessories, the dressmaker and tailor shop, european shops”.

This table gives you hints on how to combine different colours in street and evening wear, arranged according to wether they can be used as a second major colour, for accents or only in small doses as trimming. I wouldn’t agree with all the given advises from my modern point of view, but it is very interesting to see what colour combinations were modern and considered interesting  90 years ago. And it can provide help when choosing fabrics and colour combinations to recreate a garment as correctly as possible.

click on the image to see it in full size
click on the image to see it in full size

 

See you soon, love

ette

Somebody found my sewing-mojo?

No?…Well, was worth a try…

This week’s or better yesterday’s agenda:

Oah, jetzt aber schnell!
Nur noch der Saum!
Ich könnte hier nochmal nachbessern
Ich bin fertig, zeige aber noch nichts
Ich bin ein Streber und nähe jetzt noch ein Tüdeldü für meine drei Weihnachtskleider

Ohoh, I should hurry!
Only the hem left!

I could  retouch this and that
I’m done but won’t show
I’m way ahead and will add some accessory to my three dresses

my motto could be summarized with the first line only, I am far from being finished…

I am stuck! In many ways.
First, time is working against me. I have to work a lot (christmas + bookshop, well, you get it), I had a conference last week, went to the last lecture before christmas, had to discuss a lot of things with my professor and am working on my PHD-project. When I come home all I wish for is a glass of wine and Downton Abbey in the Blu-Ray-player.

Second, this project is so…demanding, claiming. Not that is is overly difficult, in fact it is fairly easy. And cutting large rectangles isn’t a challenge, even in plaid. But I hate all this concentrating on lines and patterns and grain when the pattern pieces are so simple. It feels like a lot of boring work. To pair things I don’t like (=all this tripple checking for matching lines) with a boring pattern doesn’t seem to have been a good idea. I am sure it will get better when i have finished the basic seams and can finally add the velvet but all this pressing and pleating and cutting and blaaahhh…it’s just not mine….
Still I am determined to finish this project. Not only because I still like the concept and want to sew a 20ies dress,also because I hate to be defeated by something as simple as that.

Third, there are things I would love to sew at the moment, other things. I had a wonderful idea for the HSF-challenge that is due today, it wouldn’t be much work either. And I planned to make my boyfriend something for christmas, I did this every year earlier in our relationship but somehow in the last couple of years I fell off.
But the plaid dress is clouding these projects and vice versa.

Now, enough complaining. What have I done?
I cut the skirt and pleated it. Admittedly that wasn’t as easy as I had thought it would be. Modern patterns usually have two marked lines, one marks the fold, the other the place where the fold will lie. These pattern pieces only had one line. Now was I supposed to make knife pleats? And with two lines close to each other that where visible as two pleats in the image? Should I make box pleats, inverted or standard? And how deep? And I had to consider this before cutting, because my pattern repeat had to be followed as well and the pleat depth adjusted to it.
In the end I made inverted box pleats on the side seams, one standard box pleat in the centre front and something that could be defined as a very wide box pleat with narrow walls or simply as two knife pleats facing the sides in the back. All pleats perfectly match the pattern, at least this was a success.

the pleat in the centre front
the pleat in the centre front
inverted box pleat at the side and one of the pleats in the back
inverted box pleat at the side and one of the pleats in the back

As you might remember, I removed 8cm circumference from the paper pattern because the size was too large for me. When I had finished pleating I had to realize it was still very very large, I think the hip circumference was something like 107cm (I didn’t measure beforehand because I always want to see how the original pattern was meant to look like before I adjust it). Yes, 20ies fashion is supposed to be non-fitted, but it isn’t supposed to be that wide. The magic of this fashion lies in how it hugs the figure without really touching it. So the dress shouldn’t be much wider at the hip as the hip itself, otherwise it would of course look baggy. As a consequence I doubled the depth of the rear parts of the box pleats on the sides, removing 11cm circumference (and before you ask, yes, 96cm is still more than my hip circumference. But first the skirt is going to be gathered at the waist seam a little and second I don’t want to stretch it too far, it should be snug as little as baggy). To stick with the pattern I could only increase the depth of one half of the box pleats at the side. So now they are not only asymmetric (the rear half is deeper than the one in the front, maybe I will at least sew close the excess to make it fall better) but they also shifted from slightly behind the sides to right at the sides. I am not content with this by now but can’t think of anything to change it. If the skirt will still be too large I plan to add a seam in the centre back. Like this I can remove only one pattern repeat (=5,5cm circumference, the pleats are always mirrored on the other side, so I always have to remove 11cm) and the side pleats will at least shift a little towards the back, too.

The top is in progress. I made a mistake when cutting the front parts so the pattern doesn’t match the way it should at the shoulder seams, but I think I am able to ignore that. More annoying is the fact, that the diagonal darts in the shoulder seams look like rubbish. Not because I did something wrong, it just looks weird with the plaid. Well, my hair is long, hopefully it will cover it or maybe it won’t look too bad when worn, we’ll see. At least the side seams look good and the whole thing is remotely resembling a dress.

the front. You see the weird darts?
the front. You see the weird darts?
the side seam. At least this went well and the fit seems to be ok.
the side seam. At least this went well and the fit seems to be ok.

Now I am facing the difficult decision to wether use this evening to finish the button band in the centre front or to spend it in front of the tv watching Downton Abbey as I have done already the previous nights. I’m afraid one of these alternatives is far more tempting than the other….

that's how it looks now. Not very elegant but it could be worse I suppose.
that’s how it looks now. Not very elegant but it could be worse I suppose.

Auf deutsch:

So richtig komme ich nicht voran. Die Falten im Rock sind gelegt und sehen schön aus, auch wenn das Schnittmuster mehr als kryptisch war, was die Verteilung derselben angeht. Allerdings war der fertig gefaltete Umfang weit davon entfernt mir zu passen, weshalb ich die Faltentiefe teilweise anpassen musste. Jetzt ist es zwar immer noch nicht ganz passend, aber zum einen soll es am Bund etwas engehalten werden und zweitens, sollte es gar nicht passen nehm ich was in der hinteren Mitte raus und setze dort eine Naht, denn die Falten kann ich ja immer nur passend mit dem Rapport verschieben. Das Oberteil ist vom Sitz her ok, allerdings sehen diese schrägen Abnäher recht merkwürdig in dem Karomuster aus. Aber das kann ich einfach nicht ändern, also bleibt es so. Der aktuelle Stand ist weder interessant noch elegant aber ich hoffe einfach, dass was nicht ist noch werden kann, auch wenn mir nicht mehr viel Zeit bis nächsten Sonntag bleibt und die Motivation zu wünschen übrig lässt.

So much for today, see you soon, love

ette

slow, slow, slow as you can go (Christmas dress pt. 3)

Depeche Mode found the right words to describe my progress, I am just hesitating with everything.

 

The agenda:

Ich bin in Stimmung, erste Nähte sind gemacht!
Endlich hab ich angefangen
Probemodell sitzt, ich kann den richtigen Stoff zuschneiden
Ich bin ein Streber und nähe jetzt mein zweites Weihnachtskleid
Plätzchenessen ist doch irgendwie auch Nähen, oder?

I’m in the mood, the first seams are done!
Finally got started
Toile is fine, off to cut the real fabric
i’m a nerd and start my second Christmas dress
Eating bisquits can be considered sewing, too, right?

 

As I already told you I wasn’t sure on how to arrange the plaid on the dress. Should I leave it as plaid (=changes the look of the dress significantly, could look a little boring), should I cut it on the bias (=would look like the pattern, but could cause problems with the pleats, fabric on the bias acts different), should I combine both (=bias cut the bodice, straight cut the skirt)? I was confused, somehow scared to ruin anything, close to completely shutting down. So I decided to take on step away from the project and sought for advice.

All fashion prints shown in this post were published in 1920ies issues of "Le petit echo de la mode". I only own single pages of these issues so I can't give you exact dates.

Le petit echo de la mode - parva sed apta

I searched for plaid- and lozenge-patterned dresses or garments in 1920ies fashion plates to see how it was done back then. First thing I had to learn:

The pattern is always treated alike in the whole dress. If the bodice is cut in straight grain, the skirt is, too. At this point I said good-bye to my half-straight-half-bias-idea.

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The only thing that can indeed be cut differently are little details. Facings, pockets, collars and things alike.

 

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But because I had already decided to use the pink velvet for these parts, this was of minor importance for me.

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But what I did learn was that it didn’t look at all weird to have a complete dress cut in plaid in straight grain and that it even seems to have been more common than bias cut dresses.

 

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Indeed I found dresses with lozenge pattern as it is shown in the pattern I’m using, but it is quite unclear if these used woven plaid (what would cause the fabric to stretch) or if they used printed fabric whose pattern was completely detached from its weaving structure. This one for example could most likely be a printed fabric:

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Whereas this one looks like a standard woven plaid fabric. Obviously the pleats don’t seem messy at all (my fear when cutting it on the bias). But grey, dear friend, is all theory. Until today fashion magazines show us dresses and patterns that look so different when seen in real life. So maybe I should not use a fashion plate as a reference for fabric behaviour.

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So let us come to the most important part of all this chitchat: What did I make of my little plaid-roundup?

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Nothing yet. All I have done is marked the velvet parts. But I was somehow busy, somehow lazy this week and didn’t manage to do anything to the plaid at all. So my motto this week was really all about nibbling bisquits.

Auf Deutsch:

Weil ich mir ja doch recht unsicher war was den Karo-Zuschnitt angeht (schräg, gerade, teils-teils), habe ich mal ein paar Modezeichnungen aus den 20ern zusammengesucht und verglichen. Es gibt eindeutig mehr gerade Karos als Rauten und wenn etwas schräg geschnitten wurden dann Taschen, Belege u.ä., aber es wurde der Rock immer im gleichen Musterverlauf wie das Oberteil gearbeitet.
Mal abgesehen von dieser Erkenntnis und ein paar Markierungen auf dem rosa Samt habe ich diese Woche nichts gemacht. Ich halte es also mit der letzten Zeile des Mottos und sinniere bei einer guten Packung Plätzchen über dieses Projekt nach.

See you tomorrow, I will show you my newest vintage sewing haul, love

ette

Patt(ern)y Page (Christmas dress pt. 2)

it is supposed to be a pun, I fear. Pattern … Patty …. Betty Page

mh…ok…never mind…

Before I will show you my Christmas dress progress I want to announce something:

Since yesterday my blog has its own Facebook-Page!
If you want to be updated about new posts, informed about things to come or just want to see what I came across in the world wide web that is related to this blog’s and blogger’s field of interest, just like it! All you need to do is to press that little blue button on the right.

But now, the Weihnachtskleid!

I was asked to do this Sew-Along partly in german. And I gladly will. At the end of each post you will find a german summary from now on.
Ich wurde darum gebeten, diesen Sew-Along zumindest teilweise auf deutsch zu schreiben. Dem komme ich gerne nach, daher findet ihr am Ende jedes Posts eine deutschsprachige Zusammenfassung.
Today’s schedule:

Oh, so ein schönes Schnittmuster wird da genäht, ich entscheide mich schnell um
Ich habe mich für mein Traumkleid entschieden und bleibe dabei
Ich nähe mal lieber erst ein Probemodell
Schnitt kopieren, zuschneiden, wer sagt eigentlich, dass Nähen Spaß macht? 

Oh such a lovely pattern, just changed my plans
I found my dress of dreams and’ll stick to  it
Better to do a mock-up first
Pattern tracing, cutting, who said sewing was supposed to be fun?

 The last line is especially fitting. I can’t think of anything I like less in sewing than tracing a paper pattern and transferring this to the fabric (well, maybe unripping seams).
But working with old pattern sheets is at least a little more appealing to me than modern one.

Only to remind you again, my pattern
Only to remind you again, my pattern

Tracing the pattern from the sheet went without any surprises or accidents. Only the skirt length gave me a lot to think about. I seemed as if the pattern asked for a centre front length of 58cm, but a side seam length of 68cm. This looked pretty weird and not at all like in the scheme. But after having compared every single number related to the skirt length I discoverd that the print was blurry and that in fact all “6” were “5”. After this rocky passage I was left with 9 pattern pieces (2x skirt, 2x bodice, sleeve and cuff, jabot, collar and belt). Because the pattern was sized for a 96 bust circumference I had to adjust it, my first proper adjustment ever! The bodice length seemed ok (skirt length will be discussed when everything is done except for the hem), so I only had to change the width. I did this by reducing each bodice pattern piece by 2cm, this makes 8cm less circumference in total. Hope this will be enough (maybe you remember that 40ies patterns for 88cm bust circumference tend to be a tiny bit too large to look good, so I am not yet convinced. But because I fear to make it too small, it’s 20ies after all, I will leave it like this for now).

it is quite small compared to younger pattern sheets, as you can imagine this leads to problems with larger pieces.
it is quite small compared to younger pattern sheets, as you can imagine this leads to problems with larger pieces.

I will do a separate post in the near future on how to work with such an old pattern, but today I will leave it at the project. This is what my final pattern looks like. You can see that it has two darts in the shoulder seams.To avoid shifting their position I moved each of them 1cm to the side. One of them was still in the “to be pleated away for adjustment”-line, so I cut it open, adjusted the pattern and the dart moved as a whole. Afterwards the two darts stil had the same distance from each other and remained somewhere in the middle of the seam.

light lines =old dart position, blue lines= new dart position, red arrow shows you the dart I cut and let overlap while adjusting the pattern to my size. You see that the dart is not distorted though the fold is running through it.
light lines =old dart position, blue lines= new dart position, red arrow shows you the dart I cut and let overlap while adjusting the pattern to my size. You see that the dart is not distorted though the fold is running through it.

Because I changed the bodice, of course I had to change the skirt as well. The rest of the pattern pieces looks like in the image above, I am sure you can imagine this in tissue paper.

bodice and skirt pattern pieces, already adjusted
bodice and skirt pattern pieces, already adjusted, 20ies skirt patterns really aren’t interesting at all…

Next step will be to transfer the pattern onto the fabric. This means plaid matching, wish me luck (haven’t yet decided what to cut on the bias and what not).
And no, I won’t do a mock-up. Most patterns tend to be too large, so my standard solution is start cutting and shifting seams like mad. Somehow it was wearable most of the times. Additionally, a 20ies pattern with so many straight seams is not a coat or a close fitting suit and I have so much of this darn pink plaid that I could make three dresses without any problems. So if this is really going to fail, I’ll just start anew 😉

Auf Deutsch

Da mein letzer Post noch keine Zusammenfassung hatte, ein kleiner Rückblick:
Den Schnitt, für den ich mich entschieden habe, fand ich Anfang des Jahres in einem Buch über Stickerei aus den 20ern. Ich bin nähtechnisch gänzlich unerfahren mit Mode dieser Zeit, zudem habe ich dank eines missglückten Projekts vor fünf Jahren eine Abneigung gegen karierte Stoffe entwickelt. Beide dunklen Flecken in meiner Vita möchte ich mit diesem Projekt also ausmerzen.
Stoffe sind daher ein rosa-braunes Karo (synthetisches, gab es mal günstig bei Butinette) und für die Details rosa Baumwoll-Samt (aus einem Trödelladen).
Sobald ich verstanden hatte dass die Rocklänge in der vorderen Mitte nicht 10cm kürzer ist als an den Seitennähten (58<>68cm), sondern der Druck so verlaufen ist dass er aus den 5en lauter 6er gemacht hat, ging alles ganz problemlos und aus dem Liniengewirr wurde schnell ein Schnittmuster.
Der Schnitt ist für 96cm Brustweite angegeben, viel zu viel für mich. Habe daher sowohl beim Rock als auch beim Oberteil, vorne und hinten, 2cm Weite pro Schnittteil weggenommen, das macht 8cm total, sollte langen (hoffe ich doch). Das komplizierteste war noch die beiden Abnäher in der Schulternaht zu verschieben, aber sonst sieht es so aus, als hätte ich meine erste vernünftige Schnittanpassung erfolgreich bewältigt (normalerweise näh ich einfach enger und schneide weg bis es passt). Die Länge des Oberteils schien zu stimmen, wo der Saum schlussendlich endet entscheide ich sowieso erst ganz am Schluss.  Dank des Gürtels der die Ansatznaht bedeckt und des Saumbesatzes habe ich da ja recht viel Spielraum, sollte es doch zu lang sein.
Als nächstes heißt es nun, den Schnitt auf den Stoff zu bringen. Dafür muss ich mich aber erstmal entscheiden, was im schrägen und was im geraden Fadenlauf geschnitten wird. Und dann gilt es, Dämonen  Karos zu bändigen.

See you soon, love,

ette

Weihnachtskleid <-> A Christmas dress

Yes, it’s been a while….First problem I have is that our roof is being renewed, it must have been three weeks now since the last weekday without hammering  sounds from above. Hope they will finish soon. And two weeks ago the men up there made a terrible mistake by underestimating the Swiss November rain which led to a massive water shower from above…half past five in the morning in our bedroom! You can easily imagine me being awake quite quickly, though I am usually not a morning person. 😉
And by the end of this unfateful week we left home a few days, not only to flee the noise, but to visit our family and friends in Germany. The rest of last week passed in a wink, as usual when its your well-earned vacancy. Yesterday I had my very first lecture in university, I mean, me giving a lecture. Only half an hour, the rest was  done by my professor, but it still felt very cool. Maybe a university career could be an alternative to the museum-job I always dreamed of?

Anyway. What’s new in my sewing world? I finished last HSF-challenge, but it took me until this morning that found all photos related to this project, so please give me some days to get it all done (it’s not that big a deal, though).

But already a couple of days ago an annual sew-along was anounced, for the fourth year in a row, the  Weihnachtskleid (=Christmas dress)-Sew Along. After I saw the amazing dress Beswingtes Fräulein had sewn for last year’s sew along I was eager to participate this year.

First official post was due last sunday, so as always I am a bit late. But I am positive to get better, for sure!

This weeks agenda (because it is hosted by german blogs the tasks are as well. I tried to translate it):

Ich bin 1a vorbereitet und habe schon alles zusammengesucht
Weihnachten ? Ist nicht noch Sommer ?
Ich such nach Inspiration und guck mal, was die anderen machen
Schnitt da aber kein Stoff oder andersrum ?
Kleine Rückblende : mein Weihnachtskleid 2013/2012/2011

I am very well prepared, all supplies are gathered
Christmas,  isn’t it still summer?

Searching for some inspiration, let’s see what the others are planning
Got a pattern but no fabric, or the other way ’round?
Flashback: my Christmas dress 2013/2012/2011

Well, in this case some things came together:
1st: This year’s christmas will be very quiet. We will stay at home and won’t be able to visit our families in Germany. So no big party, nothing glamorous, no big festive attire needed. But something elegant yet comfortable is desired, Christmas in pajamas doesn’t feel right.

2nd: Maybe some of you remember the 1920ies pattern sheet I found in an embroidery book I bought earlier this year. Somehow the wish to sew something from this period grew stronger and stronger in the last weeks, so why not finally do it?

3rd: I love plaid. But I am also horrified to sew it. Already a couple of years ago I bought two lovely plaid fabrics for a steal (synthetics, that’s why they were that cheap I suppose). One, a light green one, remains untouched until today. The other, pink one was the fabric I used for my very first plaid project back in 2009. It was a desaster, but here, to amuse you:

Photo is even worse than the fabric placement...
Photo is even worse than the fabric placement…

A high-waist skirt made after a 1950ies pattern, one of the first vintage patterns I ever worked with. Unfortunately, although it was quite well sewn, the plaid made the pleats appear dropping, as if I hadn’t paid attention to keep them in place. I wore this skirt maybe twice before it had to leave my wardrobe forever.

4th: As I said, I love plaid and  this post of a friend of mine made me think of this vast yardage of unknown terrain in my stash AND made me want to wear plaid immediately.

Now, when I finally found a pattern meant to be used with plaid fabric on this very 20ies pattern sheet everything just popped into place and the plan was set.

My pattern:

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As you see, it asks for trimmings in a solid colour and the fabric looks more like a woven lozenge pattern than a  plaid. This makes me wonder if I could use my fabric on the bias.  This was actually pretty common in the 20ies and bias-cut skirts are available still today. But I fear that the upper dress-part would look weird. Maybe I will cut this straight and only the skirt diagonally?
And the pleats will give me the very same issues I had with the Bette-Davis-dress. This time I want to pay attention to the depth of the pleats so the pattern will match at the edges.
The pattern is too large for me, so this will not only be my first attempt with a 20ies pattern, I will also have to resize it, fingers crossed!

Here are the fabrics I am planning to use:

left: light pink cotton velvet, right: light pink and brown plaid (poly-something)
left: light pink cotton velvet, right: light pink and brown plaid (poly-something)

You might remember this pink velvet, it is the same I used for my ballerina-fancy dress.

The velvet is comparably thin, but I still fear it could bulk at the hem with all the pleats. That’s why I plan to make a false hem, facing the velvet with a thin lining fabric or a silk leftover:

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two lining leftovers in pink and champagne and a little bit of white silk

I don’t know which of them I will use, most likely the champagne one, but maybe there is too little of it left to use it for all the facings (I don’t want to use them only at the hem, but also for all the other velvet details, belt, cuffs and collar)

And the lining:

the light one is not as champagne coloured as the other, but darker and has a pinkish shade
the light one is not as champagne coloured as the other, but darker and has a pinkish shade

Maybe green because I like contrast where nobody can see it, maybe the other one because it is as least remotely pink, though it is impossible to photograph.

So far, I hope you are with me?

See you soon, love,

ette

chocolates and silk

It has been months since I participted at Beswingtes Fräulein’s Getrödelt gefunden gefreut.


First because the date always collides with the due date for the HSF-challenges and I didn’t manage to write two posts in such a short time, second because sometimes I can’t decide what to show you and plan too large posts in my head I never even start to write.

And since we know that we will move again in a few months, this time into a smaller flat, I suffer from a total flea-market-ban. I already have too much things to move into the new flat, it really wouldn’t be wise to buy much more (though it is so hard!).

But a few days ago when having a close look at old books and some incunable pages my favourite antiquarian bookshop had put out for me I couldn’t help dropping into a lovely antique shop just next door. The owner knows me and knows in what kind of stuff I am interested in.  When I asked him if he had something for me he said no, only a pin cushion box he would assume I am interested in. But I thought being already there I could as well have a look. Unfortunately I had to tell him that it wasn’t a pin cushion at all and the sight of the pins in the already very damaged silk really hurt. But it was so lovely I had to buy it.

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It is quite large, maybe 25cm diametre. The motif is flocked or maybe painted onto the satin, which is, as cleary visible, very fragile and damaged, much of the warp thread is disappeared. On the bottom left you can see a small signature (it is hard to decipher, I assume it says “Chembine” but I can’t find anything online)
The bottom is covered with a patterned paper I am pretty sure is not original but was added in the 2nd half of the 20th century.

The inside of the lid proved my assumption it being not a pin cushion at all, but some kind of chocolate or praline box.

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“Au Vieux Gourmet” in Nancy, a french city appr. 300km north of Berne.

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I love love love this Robe de Style motif and the cute little doll the  woman is holding in her hands. This may be the main reason I couldn’t pass on this one, even if it was quite expensive with 30 CHF (appr. 25€).

And because this was really the only thing I bought this month I thought I could show you its little brother, another chocolate box I already bought over a year ago in another antique shop only a few metres away from the other one.

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Silk, again. This one in a dark red and ruffled, topped with a tambour embroidery in silk and (fake?) gold thread, a golden lace attached to the side.

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You see, the silk is damaged, too. The seller assumed it to be a little younger than the new one above, maybe from the 1930ies. And she gave me the hint of it being a chocolate box.

The inside is a little more interesting because there is some paper lace still in place, though very torn and dirty.

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While the 20ies box looks great inside (but as I said, I assume it being changed later), this box doesn’t look as nice. Maybe this is the reason the seller asked only 10CHF for it (appr. 8€). I have to admit I never searched for these boxes, so 10CHF being cheap and 30CHF being more on the expensive side is a very subjective evaluation, I have no idea what these things cost elsewhere.

 

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And now you might ask how I use this box without completely destroying the paper lace (because I do use it, I try not to collect things I can’t use because I have neither enough room nor enough money to buy everything I like).

I use it to keep some of my jewellery. To protect the paper lace I covered the whole inside with a sheet of acid free wrapping paper. Like this nothing touches the inside and the lace and the material doesn’t harm it either (if I would use standard, acid, paper it would make the old substance brown and brittle, it would disintegrate sooner or later as you can see with old books, who sometimes just fall apart because of the acid in the paper itself)

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Though I do already have so much boxes and old tins I really love these silk covered ones and I can’t promise that I won’t buy some more if I find some.

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And I really hope the next post will be about some sewing project again. 😉

See you soon, love,

ette

 

 

 

 

from topmost to lowermost

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Now, back to topic:

Finally I am able to participate a HSF-challenge again. Not that I didn’t sew the last month, but I had to make a christening robe for my niece and a baby quilt for my boyfriend’s cousin and his wife, whose baby arrived in january. Both patterns were modern, so nothing to show on this blog (ok well, we could argue that the quilt was made after a 1984 pattern, so according to wikipedia this would have been at least “vintage“. But it’s too late now, because I forgot to take photos anyway).

I had already written most of the post for this month’s challenge when I had to realize, that the project I was working on was doomed and that all I tried to save it only made it worse. I tried to sew a hat, using the scraps from my 40ies coat, to wear with it. But the pattern didn’t work at all with the fabric and now I have no fabric left for a second try (and no motivation, either). I don’t suppose I would have worn it a lot, anyway, so I don’t mind.

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With only a few days laft to complete the challenge I adapted an idea I had already had a few weeks ago: embroidered stockings. I love antique patterned stockings, some are preserved, most aren’t. The final idea came when I saw a portrait of Richard Sackville by Isaac Oliver, wearing blue stockings with gold embroidery.  I don’t know if it’s because of the lack of detail of the painting itself or its reproduction, but it looked very flat and plane to me and so I decided to paint the stockings instead of embroider them.

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I owned a pair of white tights, I don’t remember for how long. What makes them special and predestined for this project, is that they are pure cotton. No elastic or artificial fibres in them, they don’t fit very snug, but always wrinkle a little, so they always reminded me of antique stockings. Now, a few months ago I managed to damage them in the topmost part, there was a hole in them, it didn’t not run, but it was a hole. I don’t know about you, but I hate to wear something damaged, even though I know nobody can see it.
I was already close to throw them into the waste bin, when I finally decided to use them as my test object. And because they do have a certain age I wouldn’t have liked to embroider them, fearing that they won’t live very long anymore.

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To stick with the colour ofSackville’s stockings, I used golden fabric paint. As a pattern I chose an embroidery motive I found in the “Unterhaltungsblätter” I showed you in the last post.

9 May 1925, I used the ornament on the left
9 May 1925, I used the ornament on the left

To avoid stretching the motive when wearing the stockings, I cut a piece of cardboard according to the measurements of my lower leg (it is more difficult than it sounds, gauging the circumference of your lower leg with a tape measure, wearing a corset. And please do not ask why I am wearing a corset on a saturday afternoon at home, I simply wanted to. But I hope that in circles, where people sew and wear corsets, girdles and crinolines I do need neither explanation nor excuse 😉 ) and put it inside the tights. Beforehand I had put them on and had marked where my ankle was.Unfortunately I didn’t measure again before painting, so the pattern on one leg is taller than on the other, but I don’t think anybody will see this.

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To transfer the motive I simply used a stencil I had cut out of a thin plastic register page. After letting it dry completely I added a second, thicker layer as well as some silver to give it as least a slightly plastic look.

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The Challenge: #7 Tops and toes

Fabric: white cotton tights

Pattern: no pattern for the stockings, I just cut the legs off the tights. Pattern for the motive from 1925, found in “Schweizerische Unterhaltung-Blätter”, may 9 1925

Year: motive from 1925

Notions: gold and silver fabric paint, white cotton thread to hem the upper edge of the stockings.

How historically accurate is it? Well it was inspired by historical embroidered stockings, though you can’t call them historical at all.

First worn:  last weekend, after finishing and washing it.

Total cost: I bought the tights years ago in a second-hand shop, they can’t have been very expensive. The paint cost 2€ each, years ago, too.

I was so happy seing this project finished I couldn’t help but improvise a little 20ies inspired photo session with things that I found in my closet (being aware that this is far away from being authentic).

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headband: old, don’t know anymore; bracelet and 1900s barrette: antique stores in Lyon; pendant and 20ies shoes: flea market; shirt: yes or no by manor; skirt: 2nd hand; stockings: 2nd hand/altered by me

The reason why I am sitting, besides that I wanted to show the stockings: the shoes are too small and really fragile, I fear standing on them. So I sat down on the dresser, put them on, had me photographed, put them off, stood up 🙂

Now, having talked about corsets and holes in tights and having posted photos wearing a skirt that can’t conceal that I am really wearing stockings rather than tights, I will leave it with this before it gets even more scandalous 😉

See you soon, love,

ette