Each year in April there is a flea market in the old city of Berne. Not only the people living there are selling the stuff they found in the attic, but also many of the shops. This year a tailor sold many fabrics he didn’t use anymore and also scraps that were left from custom orders for next to nothing (if you commission something tailor-made, you of course need to pay the fabric used. To prove that the fabric you bought was really used for your commission, the tailor will give you all the scraps together with the finished garment. As most of the clients don’t need them, they don’t take them with them).
I resisted and didn’t even look at the bolts of fabric, but had a quick glance at the scraps bin. What I took with me was some grey merino wool fabric and burgundy virgin wool fabric, both in amazing quality and I think I remember paying something like CHF 5 for the two. It wasn’t enough left of them to make complete garments out of it, but I combined the two and turned most of the grey merino wool into a skirt with burgundy accents. The skirt had been on my want-to-sew-list for a while, it is a pattern from Burda Magazine 9/2010 and still available for download (as it is a modern pattern I won’t go deeper into it).
To use the last bits of the grey dream that calls itself merino fabric (it is amazing to sew with it!) I went through some of my magazines and found some tutorials for boxy handbags. I always connected these casket-like, solid handbags with 1950s fashion, but obviously they started getting popular in the late 40s. In fact, they are presented as a novelty in a crafting magazine from May 1948, from which I took the tutorial for this purse.
Besides the two fabrics this handbag contains the remnants of a deep-frozen food cardboard package for the bottom, a chocolate box for the top frame and the lid and some stabiliser in the bag’s body, not the worst reincarnation if you lived as a chocolate box, don’t you think?
Jedes Jahr im April lädt die Berner Altstadt zum grossen Altstadt-Flohmarkt. Neben den Bewohnern beteiligen sich auch viele der ansässigen Geschäfte und verkaufen, was sich im Keller so findet. In diesem Jahr war unter anderem ein Schneider dabei, der zum einen seinen Stoffvorrat etwas dezimierte und ballenweise Stoffe anbot, aber ebenfalls Reste von Kundenbestellungen verkaufte (Wenn man etwas beim Schneider bestellt, bezahlt man auch den verwendeten Stoff. Um dem Kunden gegenüber transparent zu bleiben, übergeben Schneider mit dem fertigen Kleidungsstück auch die Reste. Die meisten Kunden wollen diese aber nicht und lassen sie doch da.).
Ich blieb standhaft und würdigte die Stoffballen keines Blickes, warf aber doch einen kurzen Blick in die Restekiste und kaufte ein Bündel grauer Merino-Reste sowie dunkelrote Schurwolle. Beides sehr gute, sehr feine und sicher einmal sehr teure Stoffe für zusammen etwa 5 Franken (genau weiss ich es nicht mehr). Es war jeweils zu wenig für ein ganzes Kleidungsstück, aber aus der Merino-Wolle bekam ich mit ein paar roten Akzenten die Jupe aus der September-Burda von 2010 genäht, ein Projekt, das schon länger auf meiner Liste stand (Der Schnitt ist weiterhin als Download erhältlich. Da es ein moderner Schnitt ist, werde ich zur Jupe nicht ins Detail gehen).
Um auch die Reste dieses grauen Traums von einem Stoff zu verbrauchen (wenn sich doch alle Stoffe so nähen liessen…), suchte ich nach einem kleinen Projekt und stiess auf eine ganze Gruppe von kastenförmigen Handtaschen in einer Handarbeitszeitschrift. Bisher hatte ich die immer mit den 1950er Jahren in Verbindung gebracht, aber sie scheinen bereits etwas früher aufgekommen zu sein. Im Mai 1948 werden sie jedenfalls in dem Handarbeitsheft, aus welchem ich die Anleitung habe, als Neuheit präsentiert.
Also wagte ich mich an eines der Modelle und bin mit dem Resultat sehr zufrieden. Neben den Stoffen und Garn verbergen sich in dieser Tasche eine Kartonverpackung von tiefgekühltem Backkäse, eine Pralinenschachtel und etwas steife Stickunterlage. Also ein nettes Projekt, um den Altpapierstapel zu reduzieren :-D.
or: how to nearly ruin a promising project despite knowing better.
My stash is full of fabric, much too full. So I really was trying hard not to add anything new to it. The last had been a yard of Star Wars-fabric I bought at Walmart during my Florida holidays last june. And then the new year dawned and The monthly stitch announced a new challenge – not stashed. Well, if you don’t have anything not stashed and you want to participate, doesn’t this make the perfect excuse to…well…just keep your eyes open?
In the end, I added some printed cotton fabric from the thrift store and two pieces of wool fabrics from the odds-and-ends-box in a new to me fabric store to my stash. One of them, a forest green, pure wool cloth, just screamed to be turned into a dress and as 1.6m are not that much fabric for a dress, I turned to a 1940s dresses-from-little-fabric-booklet I had already purchased in 2011. In 2012 I had made one dress from it (oddly enough from a fabric I had plenty of) and since then it lay silent between all the other patterns.
The booklet is undated, but I found the same patterns in a pattern magazine from 1944. Apart from the designs themselves, being made to need as little fabric as possible, the pattern also shows you how to arrange the pieces on your fabric to need as little as possible. I haven’t seen this often in pattern from that period. This for example has one very wide skirt panel for the back an the sides, so the narrow one for the center front can be placed beside the bodice pieces on the fabric (talking about a fabric width of less than a yard, 90cm).
Because it was one size too large, I measured the single pattern pieces and took some width away as well as some length from the sleeves. Note: if the bodice is too wide and the skirt fits, don’t take away width from all pattern pieces (and don’t do it over-ambitiously). Also note: remember that gathered sleeve cups need additional length.
Apart from this alterations it….well, fits. The issues I have with it are a direct result of my alterations: The sleeves are too short and the slit in the upper back tends to gap because the shoulders fit a little snug. The skirt was way too narrow, I had to remove it and add another panel to the center front (from the multiple seams you can see in the drawings, only two are actual seams, the others are just pin tucks to look like seams, now I don’t need these but have four real ones.).
To add a little detail I used black wool fabric for the bow and the belt (as well as a black vintage buckle), used black thread for topstitching and black buttons on the sleeves. Of course I didn’t manage to finish it in January, so the Monthly Stitch challenge was over. To compensate, I decided not to rush it, but finished the hems and details by hand, it was the first time I used Hug Snug for the hem, following this tutorial.
I am very happy with the result, though I really shouldn’t exercise too much in the shoulder region. At the end, there is one question left: is the bow too much? My boyfriend doesn’t like it and currently it is just held by a safety pin. Maybe I could leave it like this to be able to remove it when I’m not in the mood for bows?
Auf Deutsch: Noch ein Kleid (weil ich ja keine habe)
oder: wie ich ein vielversprechendes Projekt fast ruiniert hätte.
Mein Stoffschrank ist voll, zu voll. Daher habe ich mich in letzter Zeit brav zurückgehalten und keinen neuen Stoff gekauft, der letzte war ein Star-Wars-Stoff, den ich vom Urlaub im letzten Juni aus dem Walmart heim brachte. Dann kam das neue Jahr und mit ihm eine neue Monthly-Stitch-Challenge: not stashed (=nicht gelagert). Die Idee war eigentlich, Weihnachtsgeschenke sofort zu vernähen. Da ich so etwas nicht hatte, hielt ich dezent mal wieder die Augen auf, nur für den Fall.
Nach wenigen Tagen hatte ich einen bedruckten Baumwollstoff aus dem Trödelladen und zwei Wollstoffe aus der Restekiste eines mir neuen Stoffgeschäfts in Singen neben der Nähmaschine liegen. Das sollte für’s erste reichen. Einer davon, ein dünnes Wolltuch in Jagdgrün, schrie förmlich nach einem Leben als Kleid. Da 1.6m nicht gerade viel sind, griff ich auf ein dünnes Heft mit Sparschnitten aus den 1940er Jahren zurück, welches ich 2011 gekauft hatte. 2012 hatte ich ein Kleid daraus genäht, seitdem lag es unbeachtet im Schrank.
Das Heft ist undatiert, Beyer hat jedoch diese Schnitte auch in seiner Zeitschrift veröffentlicht, 1944. Neben den an sich auf wenig Stoff ausgelegten Schnitten, beinhalten die Anleitungen auch Zuschneidepläne für einen sparsamen Zuschnitt, ein seltener Anblick zu dieser Zeit. Bei dem von mir genähten Kleid wurde beispielsweise die hintere Rockbahn bis auf die Vorderseite der Oberschenkel verbreitert, so dass das schmale Rockteil für die vordere Mitte neben ein Oberteil-Schnittteil passt (wir sprechen von einer Stoffbreite von 90cm).
Der Schnitt war eine Nummer zu gross, daher mass ich erst aus und nahm dann von den Schnittteilen etwas weg. Merke: Wenn das Oberteil zu weit ist und der Rockteil passt, nimm nicht von allen Schnittteilen etwas weg (und halte dich auch sonst zurück). Merke ebenfalls: Puffärmel müssen länger sein als Ärmel mit glatter Armkugel.
Nach all den Änderungen…passt es ganz ok. Die Passformprobleme sind auf meinen Übermut zurückzuführen: die Ärmel sind zu kurz und der Schlitz im Nacken springt etwas auf, weil zu wenig Weite in den Schultern da ist. Der Rock war viel zu eng, ich musste die Ansatznaht auftrennen, einen Keil in die vordere Mitte einsetzen und den Rock wieder ansetzen (von den vier bzw. fünf Linien in der Zeichnung sind nur zwei Nähte, der Rest sind Biesen um die Nähte zu kaschieren. Die brauchte ich nun nicht, weil ich auch so vier Nähte hatte).
Um ein wenig Leben reinzubringen entschied ich mich nach Rücksprache mit meinem liebsten Nähforum für schwarze Kontraste: Schleife und Gürtel fertigte ich aus schwarzem Wollstoff (das war das zweite Stück aus oben erwähnter Restekiste), Steppnähte, Gürtelschnalle und die Knöpfe an den Ärmeln wurden ebenfalls schwarz. Natürlich wurde das Projekt nicht pünktlich zur Januar-Challenge fertig, daher beschloss ich, es danach ruhig angehen zu lassen und nichts zu überstürzen. Säume und einige Details habe ich mit der Hand genäht, wobei ich für den Rocksaum nach diesem Tutorial einmal mit Hug Snug, einem Viskose-Webband gearbeitet habe.
Ich bin sehr zufrieden mit dem Ergebnis, auch wenn ich im Bereich der Schultern nicht allzu viel zunehmen sollte. Am Ende bleibt eine drängende Frage: Mit oder ohne Schleifer? Mein Freund votiert für ohne, mir gefällt sie ganz gut. Derzeit ist sie nur mit einer Sicherheitsnadel festgesteckt, vielleicht lasse ich das so, dann kann ich nach Laune entscheiden.
best wishes, alles Liebe
PS: We have a new camera and my boyfriend was distracted by all the filters and modes it offers and took some photos only with filters. So this post contains a variety of built-in modifications I wasn’t aware of until I saw the results.
More than three years ago I published a post. It was about a 1942 culottes pattern I made from green linen I had bought at IKEA. As the pattern was one to enlarge at home, I offered it for you on my blog. When my blog moved to its current webspace, the post and the pattern moved, too, while the photos stayed on the old webspace. Now some time ago the host of my old domain quit business and the photos hosted there were not available anymore. Since then, the tutorial is pretty useless, hence picture-less.
I had planned to make myself a new version for long, also because the old one doesn’t live anymore. And as you see in the drawing, the pattern is not only for the culottes, but also for a matching cape. So when I came across this blue-black wool-blend(53% wool and different artificial fibres) bouclé I decided this was the fabric to turn into a culottes-suit.
As wool is not the comfiest to wear on bare skin or with thin tights, I decided to completely line the two pieces, using a white lining with a tiny flower pattern. The fabric was given to me as part of an unfinished men’s jacket and therefore already cut. This resulted in a lot of seams inside the cape and one frankenpieced leg, but after all it did work and I used all of the fabric left, so hooray for that!
I changed the upper part of the cape, instead of the hood I went for a small stand-up collar.
The original tutorial asked to sew upper fabric and lining together and then turn the whole thing over. But I didn’t want to make a quick rain cape from oil cloth, but a pretty wool cape. So I added facings and properly inserted the lining. And I added bound buttonholes.
For the slits I used a velvet ribbon leftover and little leather triangles to secure the ends.
For a reason I don’t remember anymore I moved the zipper from the side to the centre back. Maybe I did it because of the thick fabric, maybe because I lacked enough seam allowance for a zipper at the side seam, I have no idea. It is a little on the short side and a longer one won’t fit due to the v-shaped seam below it (you have the crotch seam and in the front and the back an additional seam to give the culotte-look), so I won’t advise you do to this.
While the first version of the culottes had an added waistband (as the pattern suggests though it is not shown in the drawing, but only mentioned in the text), I didn’t have enough fabric to realize one on this one. Instead I added an invisible waistband inside that is now hid by the lining.
Well, a new suit for me, for you a pattern made available again:
Please check your measurements, as they seem to be quite special. I had to remove only 0.5cm width on the waist, but a lot more at the hips, so it was made for a completely different body-shape than mine, but still with a small waist.
Please note: As some of the measurements are cut in the scan, here are the missing numbers.
Vor über drei Jahren habe ich einen Post geschrieben, über einen Hosenrock nach einem Schnittmuster von 1942. Genäht hatte ich ihn aus grünem IKEA-Leinen und da der Schnitt sowieso zum selbst vergrössern war, habe ich ihn auf meinem Blog zur Verfügung gestellt. Als mein Blog dann auf seinen aktuellen Webspace zügelte, nahm ich den Post und damit den Schnitt mit. Nur das Bild blieb am alten Ort und als der alte Provider dann vor einiger Zeit seinen Dienst einstellte, verschwand es ganz still und heimlich. Seitdem ergibt ein Link zu den Tutorial mangels Bild aka. Schnittmuster nicht mehr wirklich Sinn.
Schon seit Langem hatte ich eine zweite Version geplant, zumal der Schnitt ja nicht nur einen Hosenrock, sondern auch ein Cape beinhaltet. Und als ich dann einen schönen schwarz-blauen Woll-Misch-Bouclé (53% Wolle gepaart mit verschiedenen Kunstfasern) fand war die Sache klar: Ein Hosenrock-Kostüm!
Nun ist Wolle auf nackter Haut oder auch nur auf Perlonstrümpfen nicht gerade angenehm, weshalb sowohl Cape als auch Hosenrock gefüttert sind. Als kleinen Kontrast habe ich mich für ein monochrom geblümtes weisses Futter entschieden, welches mal als Teil eines halbfertigen Herrensakkos in meinen Fundus kam. Daher war es natürlich zerschnitten und ich musste etwas puzzeln. Das Futter im Cape ist in schmalen Bahnen zugeschnitten und eines der Bein-Schnittteile musste ich dann komplett aus den Resten zusammenstückeln. Aber es hat gepasst und der Futterstoff ist auch komplett verbraucht.
Anstelle der Kapuze entschied ich mich für einen schmalen Stehkragen, schnitttechnisch gesehen ist das nichts anderes als ein Streifen, längs gefaltet.
Die Anleitung sieht eigentlich vor, Futter und Oberstoff des Capes zusammenzunähen und dann zu verstürzen. Aber ich wollte ja kein schnelles Regencape aus Wachstuch, sondern was hübsches. Also habe ich Belege angeschnitten und das Futter ganz brav eingesetzt. Die Knopflöcher sind Paspelknopflöcher.
Die Armschlitze habe ich zuerst an den Kanten mit Zick-Zack-Stich gesichert, damit der eher grobe Stoff und das fisselige Futter nicht ausfransen, und dann mit einem Rest Samtband eingefasst. An die Enden habe ich kleine Dreiecke aus Leder gesetzt, das gefiel mir und schützt davor, dass die Schlitze ausreissen.
Warum ich den Reissverschluss von der Seite in die hintere Mitte gesetzt habe, weiss ich nicht mehr. Es ist nicht authentisch und er ist auch noch zu kurz (aber länger geht nicht, weil die Naht sich darunter in die Schrittnaht und die “Rocknaht” aufsplittet und wie ein auf dem Kopf stehendes V auseinandergeht, da kann ich keinen Reissverschluss mehr einsetzen). Meine Theorie ist, dass ich entweder zu wenig Nahtzugabe für einen Reissverschluss an der Seite hatte oder dass mir der Wollstoff zu dick war und ich Angst vor einer dicken Naht hatte. Also falls ihr das Ding nachnäht: Lasst den Reissverschluss wo er ist.
Im Text zum Schnitt steht, man solle einen Bund ansetzen. Da ich aber keinen Stoff mehr hatte, war das leider nicht möglich. Also habe ich stattdessen einen unsichtbaren Bund innen angenäht und diesen dann mit dem Futter vollständig verdeckt. Niemand wird je wissen, was für ein schrecklich hässliches Band das war. 😀
Und weil es ja unfair wäre, wenn nur ich jetzt einen neuen Hosenrock habe, bekommt ihr den Schnitt noch einmal hochgeladen, hoffentlich diesmal dann dauerhafter.
Bevor ihr euch ans Nähen wagt: kontrolliert die Zahlen! Ich habe beim Bund nur 0.5cm pro Naht weggenommen, an der Hüfte dafür eine ganze Menge. Die Proportionen sind also komplett anders als mein Körper und möglicherweise auch eurer.
Da ein paar Zahlen am Rand abgeschnitten sind, habe ich sie euch hier nachgetragen.
Yes, it’s been a while.
And to be honest, at some point I wasn’t sure I really wanted to keep on blogging. I am still not entirely sure now, but at least I am writing a post, I assume this is a good sign.
These gloves I bought already years ago, I don’t know if I paid anything at all for them, if I did, certainly it wasn’t much. I really like them because they are sewn from a woolen fabric, normally you find either sewn leather gloves or knitted wool gloves, but I haven’t come across gloves from wool-fabric too often.
Unfortunately the fabric is very worn and so I decided to embellish them in some way. Because of this they lay in my UFO-pile for a long time until I rediscovered them last year. As they were bleak but perfectly wearable, they moved into my glove box and this was the move they had needed, as they couldn’t be forgotten again and only a few weeks later I had an idea what to make out of them. I can’t remember where I saw this kind of decoration, but I liked the idea of lace paired with wool to face the cold, I assume it was some kind of 40ies advertisement or film. These were all lace-leftovers from my stash so this project cost me next to nothing but an hour of hand-sewing.
Ja, ich gebe zu, es ist ein Weilchen her. Und ganz ehrlich war ich zwischenzeitlich kurz davor, das Bloggen an den Nagel zu hängen. Wirklich entschieden habe ich mich immer noch nicht, aber ich schreibe einen Post, das ist doch kein schlechtes Zeichen.
Diese Handschuhe habe ich schon seit Jahren. Ich weiss gar nicht, ob ich überhaupt etwas für sie bezahlt habe, wenn dann sicherlich nicht viel. Ich mag sie sehr gerne, da sie aus Wollstoff genäht sind. Normalerweise findet man ja genähte Lederhandschuhe oder gestrickte Wollhandschuhe, aber genähte aus Wollstoff habe ich persönlich noch nicht so oft gesehen. Leider hat der Stoff schon bessere Zeiten gesehen, weshalb schnell klar war, dass ich sie in irgendeiner Weise dekorieren wollte. Daher lagen sie lange auf dem UFO-Stapel und gerieten in Vergessenheit. Irgendwann im letzten Jahr fand ich sie dann und legte sie zu meinen anderen Handschuhen, sie waren zwar alles andere als schön, aber doch immerhin tragbar. Durch diesen Umzug hatte ich sie dann ständig vor der Nase und offenbar hatte es genau das gebraucht. Nur wenige Wochen danach hatte ich eine Idee. Ich weiss gar nicht mehr woher, aber mir gefiel die Kombination von zarter, heller Spitze und wärmender, schwarzer, grober Wolle. Gut möglich, dass ich die Vorlage aus irgendeiner Werbung oder Film aus den 40ern habe, irgendwie erinnern sie mich zumindest daran. Genutzt habe ich ausschliesslich Spitzenreste aus meinem Vorrat, mal abgesehen von etwas Handnähen hat mich das ganze Projekt also nichts gekostet.
Despite some warmer days in between snow and frozen rain, the northern hemisphere can’t deny that we will have to face another few weeks of cold and wintery weather, although we grew tired of our pullovers and wool scarfs and the other stuff our winter wardrobe consists of. Maybe one of the sweaters even caught a little hole or stain during the Christmas dinner, but buying a new one feels like asking the winter winds to stay even longer, what is the last thing we want.
Below a page to help us out of this misery. Wether we grew tired of the old sweaters or are just bored because the grey outside seems not to have changed since the middle ages and we need something to brighten our day as long as the sun is on holiday. Or if we need to cover a little accident on an otherwise perfectly loved garment 😉
This page I found in the “Marie Claire”-issue from november 8th 1941, a french fashion magazine that is still published today (though they don’t include DIY-ideas anymore, maybe because this category has its own spin-off today, the “Marie Claire idees”)
(clockwise from the upper left)
Add ribbons or strips of felt to the sweater, make large stitches with buttonhole- or embroidery thread to attach them (the original advise is to use cord, but I imagine this being a little too thick to work with. And when you use felt keep in mind that the felt is either washable or that you won’t be able to wash the pullover anymore).
Cut sleeves, shoulders and the letters of your monogram from old socks with a tartan pattern or use a piece of jersey fabric in a contrasting colour for this, attach to the sweater as shown (no advice, but I love the idea of giving old patterned socks a second life).
Use an old piece of knitting, a jersey fabric leftover or some wool to turn into an inset, add a white collar.
Crochet a cord to attach to the sweater as shown. Put the pullover on to pin the cord in place before sewing it (to use a crocheted cord is not a bad idea considering the pullover to stretch when worn. Elastic lace could maybe serve as an alternative. If you want to use ribbon, try first if it really works when worn).
The little bows:
Arrange little bows made from narrow ribbon in different colours on the front of the sweater and sew in place (isn’t it too cute?).
I hope you like the ideas, let me know if you try one of them,
see you soon, love,
When my father visited me back in october, he asked if we could visit the local antiques shop together. I hadn’t been there for months or even more than a year because the last visits there had been quite unsuccessful and it was quite far from our old flat. Now, from our new home it is less than ten minutes by foot.
And whilst my father didn’t find anything this time, I found something, to be exact two things. The better preserved one I am showing you today, when the second one will be ready to be presented I don’t know, could take some time, so you need to be patient.
This dress hung on a coat rack next to a 60ies ladies suit that didn’t appeal to me at all. But this one did. I would date it around 1940. It has been reworked, it seems as if someone re-used the black silk from an older garment, some seams are oddly placed and you still find remnants of previous ones. The skirt as well as the front part is made from black silk satin, the upper part of the bodice and the sleeves are made from blue silk satin, overlaid with black lace. Small parts like the collar and the cuffs are worked in black silk crêpe.
There is no label to be found and judging from the seams and the fact that an older garment was re-used I assume that this dress was homesewn. The front and the belt as well as the cuffs close with press buttons.
Unfortunately the silk crêpe of the collar has discoloured, maybe caused by light. I plan to hand-wash it with ivy leaves, which can not only be used as a mild detergent, but also helps dark colours to refresh (that’s why you shouldn’t wash light colours with it, it doesn’t only refresh, it obviously kind of dyes), I hope this will help a little.
Only on the way home I realized it had a large tear on the right side of the skirt, beforehand I had thought it was, apart from the collar, in wearable condition. To fix this I arranged a scrap of silk-organza on my embroidery hoop, pinned the tear onto it and darned it with silk thread, which I had splitted in three very thin strands beforehand.
Please note, this is very important for me: I am not a conservator, I have never learnt how to conserve and repair old and antique textiles. This is NOT how you should conserve an antique dress, the main premise of museums today is that a manipulation should be reversible. The darning above surely doesn’t accord to any museum practice. I bought this dress and planned to wear it, that’s why I did what I did, not to make anything according to museum standard!
Here you see the outside and the inside of the top part.
A close-up of the skirt. You see the traces of the old seams and that the hem used to be folded on a slightly different position. Below some thread remnants I removed from the old seams. The brown parts are the ones that were exposed to light, the black parts stuck in the fabric, this is what light does to textiles!
I really managed to take not a single photo were the tear is really visible. You can maybe make it out in the one below, it sits at half height.
Unfortunately the sleeves are a bit on the small side, I really have to keep my shoulders pulled up to wear them as long as this. If I should ever really wear it (I maybe won’t dare at all, it is quite delicate), I will maybe try to roll them up on the inside and wear them as 3/4-sleeves, so I won’t have to change them.
Side note: The shoes look pretty authentic, but date in fact from the 1970ies. I know for sure because the seller had bought them for herself back then. It was the Bonnie&Clyde-Great Gatsby-mania and the revival of 30ies-fashion that made shoes like this so very popular and close to the original 30ies ones. I own another very similar pair from the 70ies and they are not only very comfortable, but it is also a relief to know that they are not that old and delicate as they look. Oh, and they are cheaper, too 😉
Somehow I like sewing and working with fabric more than working with yarn, knitting or chrocheting. Funny thing is, I do crochet from time to time, always smaller projects and I do like it. I like to embroider, too. So maybe it is not because I don’t like it, but that I do it too occasionally to fall in love with.
All I can say is that passion hasn’t struck me yet, I hardly know how to knit and I don’t see me learning it properly in the near future.
In consequence this means that the majority of tutorials in my antique crafting (not sewing) magazines remain cryptic to me, as an estimated 95% are knitting tutorials.
To find a chrocheting project that is not toddler-sized or toddler-related is quite hard, if I recollect correctly I counted two or three projects in a whole stack of magazines. So my choice was quite limited.
in the end I went for the one I liked best, though I can’t say it intrigued me.
To make this cardigan you are asked to enlarge the pattern scheme on the top left to its original size and chrochet after this drawing so that it fits the pattern, decreasing and increasing as needed. Sounded as if I could handle that.
Because it was measured to fit a size 46 (way too large for me) I altered it quite heavily. And maybe I exagerated a little with the waist circumference and the waist-hip-ratio, you’ll see later.
In hindsight I should have foreseen that this project was doomed. First, the only wool I had enough of (I didn’t want to buy new wool for this test run) was a structured cotton-viscose-wool in white and bright green. This meant I had to make stripes because otherwise it wouldn’t suffice. A white and green striped jacket, I mean…seriously?
Second, the cover. Sorry, but this baby freaks me out (relieving it isn’t staring at me and points its gorgon-eyes at someone else). And this naked doll plunging upside down beside it, oh dear…evil.
Mh, and there is this hilarious crocheted pullover, I am not sure I even want to complete.
Well, what should I say. I kept on working on it until a couple of months ago. Now in the new flat I stumbled over it and put it on my dress form.
ummm…any questions left? Hilarious hits it, doesn’t it? Or would awkward be a better word for this?
Here you see what I meant with a too sharp waist-hip-ratio. First it looks odd with the ridges and second it seems to be too large at the hips, the hem is dropping quite poorly on the sides (not to mention that this is in no way a 40ies waistline).
The shoulderseams are very (read too) narrow stretching the armhole into a very pointy shape on the shoulder and the sleeves aren’t even started off with.
So this is the biggest appearance this dissipation of (admittedly ugly) yarn has ever had and will ever get. Because I have come to the conclusion it would be the best to simply throw it away.
And to draw at least something positive from this project, I searched for better tutorials in this Frauen-Fleiss-issue to share with you.
First, a cute idea for children, a bowling game made from waste. The pins on the left are made from empty cleaning powder packages, today you could use the ones from Pringles eg. (at least here in Europe the vast majority of cleaning products is liquid and doesn’t come in cardboard tubes anymore). The pins on the lower left are made of empty thread spools. A shame these wooden spools aren’t that common anymore, they look great as pins.
What I find most interesting is how the balls are made. One is an old stocking filled with wadding or sawdust and completey covered with large buttonhole stitched to stabilize it. The other one is made by covering a little rock with wet and scrunched up newspapers. Smooth the surface and let it dry in the bright sunlight. Afterwards cover it with yarn as the drawing shows. This sounds as it could be a pretty heavy and painful ball, depending on the rock’s size and how hard you scrunch the paper.
And the second one, handbags to fit your suit or coat, made from leftover fabric. Though I always thought the handbag doesn’t have to match the coat, but the shoes 😛
So much for today, hope the next crocheting project will be more successful,
Though I do of course sew other things as well as do and love other things besides sewing, I decided at one point to limit this blog to textile history and sewing projects made after historical patterns. Like this I hope to give my blog a clear silhouette, knowing well that this also means I can only show you a part of my personality.
HSF challenge #20 (“Alternative Universe”) now enables me to show a passion of mine that hasn’t been mentioned on this blog. First you should know, I am a little nerd. I love science and technical history and I always put my two cents in whenever I know something about biology or astronomy (oftentimes embarassing half-knowledge, I fear). Influenced by my boyfriend I love old and new Video games and can name a frightening number of Marvel or DC heroes.
I am however not a big fan of science fiction though I have some favourites. I had a phase watching a lot of Doctor Who (though this might have been caused by David Tennant, I haven’t watched a single Matt Smith episode, I’m afraid). I love the Stargate movie (and hate the series) but have never watched a single Enterprise-movie (only the first J.J.Abrams Star Trek-film and I may have a look at the second, it is said that B. Cumberbatch is brilliant in this one 😉 ).
But, BUT, I love, love, love, adore….Star Wars. Don’t ask why. My father doesn’t like it, he couldn’t even remember having watched the old movies before Episode 1 hit the cinemas.
It seems as if I watched them pretty early. I can remember me, being maybe 10 or 12 years of age, pacing through our flat in black leggings and long sleeved shirt, using a black shirt from my father’s wardrobe as a cape, my chest adorned with a sheet of paper, on it the poor attempts of a little girl’s crayons to copy Darth Vader’s control panel. Of course I had no helmet because I couldn’t think of anything to improvise it with.
At this point it should be clear that my choice of what to sew for this challenge was set, it had to be something from the Star Wars-Universe. In hindsight I could have chosen any pattern I wanted because it is common knowledge that Star Wars is set
a long time ago in a galaxy far far away…
so any recreation of a costume from these movies would have been historical.
Pattern: Burda august 2013, altered Year: a long time ago
But no, just kidding, I followed the rules and picked a historical pattern for this challenge, too.
As most Star Wars-enthusiasts I love the old movies, dislike Episode I, despise Episode II and consider Episode III as the at least best acceptable of the three. But because the book about the old Star Wars costumes is only published at the end of the month I had to work with the one I had, the book about the costumes in Episodes I to III: Dressing a Galaxy.
While some of the senat’s members wore beautifully Belle Epoque-inspired robes, I knew I wouldn’t have neither time nor fabric to copy these.
Then I saw the costume photos of Christoper Lee’s charakter, Count Dooku:
Yes, that was the inspiration I needed! I had planned to do a cape anyway, so why not make a suble Star Wars-inspired one.
Maybe another reason that made me pick this costume without any reluctance was a sewing pattern in a women’s magazine I had found only one week earlier on a flea market.
A cape pattern for a fur cape from January 1945. See? Front, back, side parts, sleeve cap, all I need. And the striped pattern of the fur gave me the rest to consider this pattern absolutely perfect.
I did not want to make a mid-calf-length cape, this would have been a little too much super-hero-attitude for everyday-wear, so the length was perfect, too.
I love the five small darts on the shoulders. They add something harsh and uniform-like to it.
Because it was a little too large for me (made for 92cm bust circumference) I pinned it to my sewing mannequin and cut away all the excess. Additionally, I reduced the collar to a narrow band collar.
Whilst searching for fabric in my stash I had to realize that I 1) would never wear a brown cape as much as a black one and 2) that I did not have any matching brown fabric I could use for it. And as I already stated, Episode II really isn’t my favourite film neither is Count Dooku my favourite character. Maybe you might already have noticed, despite my long brown hair my first poor attempts in cosplaying did not aim at representing Princess Leia, but Darth Vader. At this point I should confess: I am drawn to evil characters. I am a Vader-, Snape, Lecter-girl, that’s what I am. Sorry, Rebel Alliance, sorry Harry and friends, sorry Clarice.
So when I unearthed a (what I thought was) black gabardine and a Sith-light-saber-red silk-satin, my choice was clear. To make it a cape to wear in cold autumn weather, I decided to add a layer of wool fleece, connecting this to the silk to create a custom-quilted warm lining.
Now some of you may ask ‘wool fleece, never have seen something like that?’. Well, in a fabric or haberdashery store, I have neither. But I came across this in…a garden centre! Pure wool fleece, made to cover your plants to protect them in winter. Because of this, the wool is of a comparably poor quality and quite dirty (many seeds and dry plants in it), but I considered it to be very interesting and presumably warmer than a polyester fleece of comparable thickness.
To avoid shifting I hand-quilted the silk onto the wool fleece before putting together the lining. I cut away the darts and seam allowances so it wouldn’t be too thick at the seams.
Sewing the pieces together was really easy. First you close the shoulder seams, then you insert the side pieces. Before I added these I tested if it fit me and was strongly reminded of Luke’s black outfit.
I hand-stitched the seam connecting the outer and the inner fabric as I did the hems (I hemmed them both seperately.
The side seams as well as the front edges are top-stitched with the sewing machine.
As I said, I thought the gabardine to be black. In some moments I doubted so I held it near a black fabric ‘yeah, it’s black’, held it near a dark-blue fabric ‘yes, that’s really black’ and went on. Only when I wanted to wear the cape with a black dress I finally had to realize: it is a very, very dark blue (or maybe a blue-ish black?)
A little side note: This means I still have not a single piece of black outerwear. My wintercoats and -jackets are orange, brown, grey, dark-grey, dark-blue and now, another dark blue member. Seems like a good excuse to sew a coat, doesn’t it? 😉
You may remember the topstitched shoulders on Christopher Lee’s costume. Well, the pattern I used was slightly more fitted and thus needed shoulder darts. These are much longer than the topstitching of the costume is. First I planned to make the topstitching anyway, using the dart as the given length. But while working I had to observe the dart changing from a straight seam to a very slightly curved line. Because I feared this would look odd with straight top-stitching, I decided not to add any top-stitching at all.
But there still are two small imperial features.
First I had to decide what closure to chose. Count Dooku’s cape closes with a silver chain and a decorative clasp on both ends. This was too extrvagant in my opinion to go with this cape as an everyday-garment, so I turned once again to my favourite villain: Darth Vader’s coat closes with a simple black chain and I happened to have a very similar still in my stash. Without the helmet it looked weird to place it too close around the neck, so I made the ends lie with the shoulder darts. To one end a tiny hook was added to close it with the matching eye on the shoulder seam.
The second feature: Well, I told you I quilted the lining. While I used radial lines on the side parts and the lower back, I thought the shoulder region could use something more impressive and topic-related:
What is left to say? I love this cape. First because it is my Darth-Vader-Star-Wars-cape from now on (the assistant of my Professor called it a ‘veritable Dracula-cape’, I can life with this, too) and because I had wanted a cape to wear this autumn. Double-win!
There is only one little downer: The wool fibres keep pricking through both fabrics. I don’t mind that much on the inside (it’s not scratchy, though of course it impairs the effect of the imperial coat-of-arms-quilting), but the outside is looking horribly messy, as if I cuddled a white Persian cat only seconds ago. Anybody experienced something like this and can tell me how to at least reduce this?
Without further ado, here it is, my “what-would a Sith-lady wear when going for a walk on Endor”-cape:
The Challenge: #20 Alternative universe
Fabric: dark blue gabardine (55% wool, 45% polyester), red silk satin
Pattern: from “Meyers Schweizer Frauen- und Modeblatt”, issue 4 (january) 1945
Year: a long time ago in a galaxy far far away
Notions: wool fleece, fusible interfacing for the collar, red and black thread, a short piece of black metal chain, a piar of hooks and eyes
How historically accurate is it? The pattern is authentic, though I doubt it would be suitable for a fabric like this, normally all the darts would have been hidden because of the fur. For the Star Wars universe it would be too short, but maybe as a travelling cloak?
Hours to complete: lots, maybe 10?
First worn: Tuesday, 21st Octobre
Total cost: I don’t know for sure but comparably expensive. The wool fleece cost 20CHF, the silk 10-15 CHF and the gabardine maybe a little more. So something around 50-60CHF, though I already had the two fabrics in my stash.
I hope you like it.
Wish you a lovely weekend and may the force be with you,
It’s been more than three months I last uploaded a HSF-project, oh dear.
After all the messy times I had this summer I was very keen to join the challenges again.
A little summary: I planned to make at least half of the challenges when I started to join. The last project I finished was my #10-ballerina-outfit, my fifth finished project, so I was right on track. Now we are already close to challenge #18 and I my counter is still at five projects. I need to do all coming challenges but one to eventually reach my goal of at least 12 completed challenges, puh…
In fact I did try to make something for #13 “Under 10$” but it became evident in a very early state that it was completely unwearable and so it never made it to the finish line.
Challenge #17 was “Yellow” and I am a few days late, I know, but please, I am so proud having at least finished it, so don’t let it rain on my parade, would you 😉
Now you have to know, yellow really isn’t a colour I like. I own very few yellow garments, somehow they never appealed me. Additionally, my boyfriend works at an international furniture-selling enterprise using the blue and yellow colours of the swedish flag as their trademark, so naturally he doesn’t fancy yellow after closing time.
Therefore the title. I am not sure if I would have made that project without the challenge, this applies as well to the aforementioned ballet-costume and the 19th-century-fabric-box, this explains the “part 3” 😀
The search for some yelllow fabric in my stash wasn’t very fruitful. I found a small piece of mustard-coloured cotton-velvet (too small to make a garment of it), an equally small amount of white cotton printed with yellow flowers and two metres of a light yellow polyester fabric I bought on sale when one of my favourite fabric shops closed. Don’t ask me why, normally I tend to ignore artificial fibres and yellow coloured fabrics.
The fabric has a little stretch and is quite solid so I thought it could become a nice dress for the approaching autumn days.I picked a dress from the march 1940 issue of “Beyers Mode für Alle”, one of the magazines I bought in Gotha last year.
The pattern itself came together quite quickly. A 88cm bust tends always to be a little on the large side for me, but the waist was fine and so I changed nothing and started cutting (as you see, the bust is ruffled, no use measuring this, if you ask me). I skipped the pockets because I couldn’t see the use of two very narrow pockets getting bulky right between my legs, there are few easier ways to ruin a dress.
Only during my sewing some problems began to show up. First, the construction of the shoulders hadn’t been thought through. The shoulder seams lie behind the highest point of the shoulders. That itself is not a problem, but the front part was ruffled and so the sleeve tended to fall off the shoulder in the front. In total the shoulders were slightly on the large side. So what I did was I attached a wide grosgrain ribbon to the shoulder seam, the ends connected to the sleeve cap and the collar. The ribbon itself was 2cm shorter than the non ruffled back, so I gathered the back part a little at the same time, making the shoulders fit better (besides the size being on the upper end of what fits me, the stretch of the fabric and its weight added to this dropping effect. So the ribbon prevents the fabric to stretch as well).
The centre front is far far away from the front edges. This makes the right front edge disappear below the collar and, if you don’t want your buttons to be far away from the edge, it places the buttons off-centre unless they are gigantic. Unfortunately I realized it too late, after I had already finished the two front edges. To solve this I attached the buttons and press fasteners on the right front edge, but only the lowest two counter parts of the press fasteners I sewed as far from the centre as the pattern had wanted them to be. The topmost one I placed as far away from the left edge as the button was from the right one (what means much closer to the edge), the two buttons in the middle I placed accordingly (additionally it looked so very severe with the collar’s edges touching).
Third issue was the very blousy fit. I have no before-photo, but I removed a total 14cm underbust-circumference to make the dress fitting as it is now, before the whole bodice part fit very loosely. Another 6cm circumference was removed at bust-height and the upper sleeves.
The sleeves are puffed and have a dart in the lower half. If I wear long sleeves I want them to be a little more on the long than on the short side. So I decided to keep the length, though it caused a few wrinkles when letting the arms drop. Because the dart was very narrow it was impossible to close it completely. I left the 7cm open and added buttons and press fasteners as well, not at the hem, but 3cm above. Like this the sleeve can slide down a tiny bit more and wrinkles less but is still as long as I like it to be.
A flaw you wouldn’t have noticed but I see at a first glance: the collar! Do you see that slightly darker colour? That’s because my interfacing is green. Wouldn’t have thought it could shine through, but obviously it does.
The length is a little short for 1940, I know. But the dress is so high-necked and well behaved, I thought it needed this length to look less severe.
The Challenge: #17 Yellow
Fabric: light yellow synthetic fabric
Pattern: magazine “Beyers Mode für alle”, march 1940
Notions: various cream and yellow threads (got rid of three different small spools^^); interfacing for the collar, grosgrain ribbon to stabilize the shoulder seams and a narrower one for the waist seam; seven burgundy buttons and different coloured press fasteners, short zipper for the side seam, fusible interfacing
How historically accurate is it? I fear the material of the fabric isn’t authentic, nor is the length of the dress and the interfacing. The pattern and the changes I made are accurate, the buttons and the zipper are old, though not that old, but both plausible for the time (plastic buttons and coloured metal zipper).
Hours to complete: Maybe 6-8. Sewing itself went quite fast, but all those adjustments and the handsewing (zipper, buttons, hem, shoulder stabilization) took their time.
First worn: for the photos today, still too warm outside to wear it all day long
Total cost: I know I bought the fabric not long ago, but I have no idea what I paid for it.I assume not more than 10CHF/m, otherwise it wouldn’t have been appealing to me. All notions enlisted came from my stash and were bought with haberdashery convolutes, so different to tell. Only the interfacing was bought new, I think I paid 2€/m.
Though I said yellow is not my favourite colour, I am really happy with the result and looking forward to wear it a lot as soon as it gets colder. 🙂
A long time ago, back in 2011, I bought some sewing patterns while being on a study trip to Dresden.
One of the was this 40ies pattern with different projects in “traditional dress”-style.
Popular belief thinks that these traditional dresses once were the festive costumes of peasants, but the traditional dress as we know today is majorly a 19th century invention, based on traditional and simple peasant costume, but entirely constructed. The ‘why’ can be discussed rather controversely. You can call it a longing for tradition and history, an attempt to picture the past and the “good old times”, you can see the construction of a national identity, maybe of something called patriotism.
Well, nobody needs to have studied politics to guess that all these reasons made traditional dress a very popular style in Nazi-Germany. These costumes helped to form an image of the german nation, the rural life and peasants as the fundament of the nation’s unity and strength. To make this clear: I still have issues using this pattern, because apart from “normal” fashion, that could be political, but didn’t have to, this “traditional”-style was without a doubt used in a propagandistic and therefore very political way.
Being born German, having Grand-Parents who had to live under this regime, who suffered from and survived the war, the last thing I want is to romanticize this time and you will never hear me utter a word like “I love the 40ies” or me speaking of WWII-reenactment. I like 30ies and 40ies fashion, internationally seen, because aside from regional differences you can observe the same cuts and styles in pretty much the whole western world. I work with german patterns because I lived in (and still close to) Germany, so these are the patterns most easily accessible for me.
And one last note before we come to the project itself: I don’t like the other patterns of this set very much, so I don’t think I will be tempted to sew myself a 40ies-dirndl-style-dress in the nearer or farer future. And I try to convince myself that the woman who owned this pattern in the 1940ies didn’t like much of them, either: The marks on the pattern sheet show, the only garment that had ever been made from this sheet (or let’s say that left marks of its creation, surely I can’t say if other patterns were traced without a small ridged wheel) was the spencer, the jacket in the far right. And that isn’t very dirndl-like at all, in my opinion.
The reason why I bought this pattern (apart from its very low price) is the pattern second from the left, the coat. I already planned to sew it right after having bought the pattern and when I went to my hometown later in 2011 I went to the fabric store I used to work at and bought fabric for this project. An anthracite coat fabric, not made from wool, but from cotton, burgundy bias binding and matching lining.
Because it was already late autumn I didn’t manage to finish the coat to wear this 2011-winter season. In 2012 I spent the autumn months in France and came back home only in mid-december, to late to be motivated to finish this project. In autumn 2013 we moved and there wasn’t much time for sewing at all. But it brought the project back to my mind and because I really didn’t want to have it lying unfinished in my fabric-cupboard another summer, I forced myself to finally end this in early 2014.
The coat was one of my first attemps to use historical patterns and I made all the mistakes I could make. Even with modern pattern, sizing often tends to be too large. Today I know that this gets even worse with vintage patterns, but I didn’t know back then, so I cut the fabric according to the 88cm-bust-circumference without any alterations. I closed the seams in the front and attached the bias binding by hand. Only after having closed all the other seams to form the corpus I saw, the coat was far too large.
I managed to make it a little bit smaller shifting the side- and shoulder-seams as well as the seams in the centre back. Still it was far too wide, I had to add the diagonal darts in the back you can see in the photo above. What is really missing is an adjustment in the front. Only thing I was able to do there, was to cut back the front edges a tiny little bit, but because of the applied bias binding I had to leave the pricess seams as they were. Of course all those adjustments made the seam allowances very bulky and they were a pain even beforehand. The fabric floats very nicely, but at the same time it is kind of stiff, so I had to hand bast all the seam allowances to make them lie flat.
The armholes were a little too large after all the adjustments, but the sleeves themselves were just massive and very wide. The puff sleeves looked ridiculous and I had to remove a lot of fabric from the width of the sleeve itself as well as from the sleeve cap.
This fabric fringes horribly and I had to undo the sleeves three times and still the left one looks terrible.
Now, if these were all the problems I had faced, it would have been ok. I still longed to finally wear the coat and loved the colours as well as the pattern.
But the hem looks terribly crumpled, I re-did it a couple of times, the stitches still show and ironing just made it worse. The collar isn’t very flat either, normally I wear the coat with a large scarf so that the collar is hidden.
The worst flaw I only saw in this photos. The waist flounce isn’t on the same height left and right. When I looked at the pictures I was like “no, it only looks like this, can’t be”, but in fact, it is even worse when looking at myself in the mirror wearing it.
Surprisingly enough, the lining made no problems at all. You can see a button sewn onto the facing, it’s my spare one.
The buttons were another disappointment. During the two years it took me sewing it, I bought two different sets of buttons, both burgundy coloured, they both looked terrible when pinned on. So I used this ones I still had in my stash. They do not function at all, but hide the press fasteners beneath, I really didn’t want to sew buttonholes into this fabric.
I am still a little unsure what to do. The coat is somehow wearable, but I know I can do better and I know that this proof of my sewing skills is not what I want to be judged by. Additionally, it does nothing for me. It makes me look way larger than I actually am, the waist is not as accented as I would have liked it to be. So it really doesn’t improve my figure at all. This winter I will wear it, but it is nearly over, I can’t say if this coat will live another season. I planned to sew a matching hat, having a little leftover from the fabric as well as from the bias binding, but what for if I will never wear it because I don’t like the coat?