Tag Archives: Beyer

Another dress (as if I needed one)

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.

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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.

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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.

dress: 1940s Beyer pattern, sewn by ette – boots: Vintage skates with new soles – perfume: Alexander McQueen: McQueen (P)

best wishes, alles Liebe

ette

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.

things I would never have done without Leimomi part 3

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.

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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.

Drawing of the pattern pieces. I used the upper, long sleeve
Drawing of the pattern pieces. I used the upper, long sleeve

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).

left: the dropping sleeve, middle: the improved version, right: a look at the ribbon
left: the dropping sleeve, middle: the improved version, right: a look at the ribbon

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).

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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.

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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.

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yes, a ding at the zipper, I see this. But because it will be worn when it is colder I hope enough underskirts will fix it. If not I can still change this.

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.

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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.

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The Challenge: #17 Yellow

Fabric: light yellow synthetic fabric

Pattern: magazineBeyers Mode für alle”, march 1940

Year: 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.

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dress: Beyer/made by me – belt: mango – handbag: flea market – shoes: cube

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. 🙂

See you soon, love

ette

Long term project No 2 – My 40ies winter coat

Now, let’s see what I got for you today…

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A long time ago, back in 2011, I bought some sewing patterns while being on a study trip to Dresden.

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One of the was this 40ies pattern with different projects in “traditional dress”-style.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

DSC_1811b(cap: Globus, brooch: H&M, scarf: heirloom/my grandaunts, gloves: flea market, shoes: pointer)

Now, I would love to hear your opinions, I’m off, love,

ette

 

Getrödelt, gefunden, gefreut #4

As each month, SwinginCat is hosting “Getrödelt, gefunden, gefreut” at her blog “Beswingtes Allerlei”. Thank you so much for this series!

I haven’t been to one single flea market in november. First because I was pretty busy, second because it is cold (ok, that doesn’t keep me from going normally) and third because I was stunned discovering what loads of stuff I have while moving. Buying antique patterns on sundays and working the rest of the week is fine, but this doesn’t give you any chance to work with the things you purchased. So I decided to reduce my fleamarket-sundays and increase my sewing-sundays, let’s see how long I will be able to stick to it. 🙂

I’m not sure if I mentioned it, in november I spent a whole week in Gotha, a city in Thüringen/Germany. We visited Schloss Friedenstein, a rather unimpressive baroque castle from the outside, but with an amazing interiour and a lovely textile collection in storage, which we (some fellow art historians and students along with our professor) were able to see and examine.

And there I found, what is to become this month’s find:

maybe the trained eye is already able to discern some characteristic features?

On one of the evenings I went to an antique book shop, as I always do when finding the time to do so. Having dicovered the shelf with handcrafting and decorative arts I was first a little disappointed, because nothing was really interesting. But directly next to the shelf I found a whole stack of pattern magazines, some in great, other in deplorable condition.
The seller refused to say what he asked for one magazine, but forced me to give him a prize for the whole lot. I, knowing what those magazines can cost today and knowing that I wasn’t willing to spend this amount of money that one evening, declined to make an offer. So he did, unfortunately one that I wasn’t able to resist.

The lot consists of 19 Beyer pattern magazines, dating mostly from 1938 to 1942, there is  each from 1937 and 1944. Instructions and patterns are almost completely included (only one magazine misses one of the pattern sheets).

Included in the stack were some other things as well: A 1939 zipper promotion (all those little arrows point to where they used the zippers on the garments)…

…some fragments of other handcrafting magazines (and a cover of another Beyer issue), two pattern sheets of now lost Vobach-magazines and lots of so-called “Abplättmuster”. These are patterns, mostly for embroidery, printed in a special blue ink, that can be ironed onto fabric. So you don’t need to transfer the pattern by drawing, but simply by ironing. Some of those patterns are Vobach ones as well, but the majority belongs to the Beyer-magazines. Because those patterns had to be ordered mostly seperately, they are not dated, but only marked with a number. I am pretty sure that those numbers will match many of the ones given in the magazines.

On the one hand I think we are all aware of the fact, that those magazines are a product of their time. On the other hand they had a life afterwards and they still have. This becomes very obvious when looking at the patterns that have been used. They where traced onto old newspapers, sometimes years after publishing (as today, I still use my 1990ies patterns). In the 1937 issue I found a 3rd Reich newspaper from 1939 right next to a socialist one from 1950. We don’t know if the owner changed between those two dates or if it was the same person, but it is quite interesting that the older pattern wasn’t thrown away as well as those are both mute witnesses of two very different totalitarian regimes, used in a completely unpolitical way after they had fulfilled their original purpose.

And something a little more funny to end: I don’t know if you, but I happen to stumble across patterns that I own printed in a Burda-magazine and that are also available as a single pattern, published afterwards. While looking at all those patterns in the Beyer-magazines, every now and then I had the feeling, that I had already seen that particular pattern elsewhere. First I thought “well, it is similar to another one” or “maybe you saw it earlier when flipping through the pages”. But then I found one pattern of that I was very sure that I had already seen it, even made it.

Does somebody remember that dress I wrote about in august 2012?

I made it using a 1940ies pattern-booklet I had bought in Dresden in 2011.
Yes, and it seems as if Beyer didn’t do different than Burda does today, that is republishing patterns:

I wish you all a very beautiful 1st advent sunday!

love,

ette