Showing posts with label 1940's. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 1940's. Show all posts

Monday, 28 June 2010

I'm back, with a bunch of old dresses, yippie!

Sorry about the long absence, I kind of lost all sewing mojo, I've basically just kept draping fabrics all over myself trying to figure out what to make. Major uncapability in the decision-making-department.

I think that's usually a sign that you need a break, so when Midsummer (which is the summer-opposite, or equivalent if you like, of Christmas for us Scandinavians, one of our biggest public holidays) came up, with a three day weekend, me and my brother went up north to our family's summer house. I love it there! I'm back now, well rested and in all harmony. Hopefully I'm a bit more creative than during the last weeks too.

On the way back we visited my grandmother on my fathers's side (my grandmother on my mother's side died a bit over a year ago, btw, that's her red belt in almost all the following pictures).

She's very old now, I think she's 94, but still lives in her old apartment. She and my grandfather always had two apartments, next door, one - tiny one! - was my grandfather's office. My grandmother doesn't use it now and there are plans to clear it out. Consequence: I was allowed, or actually asked, to look in a chest with old clothes if there was anything I liked.

There was (of course, we're exactly the same size, and she was a very stylish lady when she was younger)!

Here are a couple of decades of dresses from my grandmother (note: they are all awfully creased. They've been tucked away in a chest for about 70 years and I couldn't wait to photograph them, I'll show them again in more detail when I've washed & ironed them!):

I am quite confident this dress is from the 1930's.The puffy sleeves and slim skirt seem like typical 30's.

The material is veeery sheer, I'm wearing my most skin-toned underwear, and you can still see the bra really well. I need a slip if I'm ever going to wear this in public!

The fabric around the neckline is shirred, and the whole dress seems to be crincled (I wonder if it was a dress for travelling, it's also very light weight). I can't really tell though, since all the dresses have been scrunched into little bundles and are about the most wrinky/creased clothes I've ever seen!

There are snap-buttons along one side-seam and little straps to fasten the bra-straps (?) next to the neckline. The material is probably a viscose or acetate (I must bring it to my favourite second-hand-store owned by a wise miliner-lady with an eye for old materials and ask what it is and how to care for it!).

I would guess this dress is from the 1940's? The skirt is a bit too narrow to be from the 1950's, I think.

I can picture my grandmother running around, chasing my father, dressed in it (he was born in 1945). She used to be a gymnast (she worked as a physiotherapist) and was quite a wild child. She later used to rescue both us kids and my grandfather by chasing us (kids, that is) around the house when we got too restless and noisy (she has 12 grandchildren, and about nine of us used to spend summer at their summer house, at the same time. At times too much for any grandparents in their 60's I think).

She was actually a member of the Swedish troops at the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin. Her group didn't compete but did a gymnastics-show. She used to show us kids what Hitler looked like when we asked her to; angry face, two fingers held underneath the nose as a mustasche. Very amusing to little kids!

I had two much loved grandmothers!

Back to the dress! It's a very nice viscose with mother-of pearl-buttons in the shape of flowers, and much of it is hand-sewn. I'm a lucky girl!

Another viscose-dress. This one has a very silky feel to it, is a cream white with light blue dots with dark blue spots in them, covered buttons and bound button-holes. Like the previous one most of the seams are hand sewn.

The shoulder pads must have undergone some kind of transformation, they're very, ehum, compact. Like a bun on each shoulder (that's why I look a bit stiff in the pictures). I have to exchange them for something a bit more flexible!

I didn't think I would like the dropped waistline, but with a belt I do. It actually looks very ladylike, I think. Nice surprise!

Again, I think it's 1940's. The marked shoulders and not wide but not too narrow skirt seem kind of typical.

More 1940's! A red and white striped cotton dress with a pleated skirt and ric-rac details.

There are 4 pleats along the hem of the skirt (which, come to think of it, is an excellent way of temporarily adjusting the length of skirts. I must not forget).

The front of the bodice is cut on the bias, but I think it's only cut that way to add visual interest, to put the thin stripes on an angle.

Finally, a bonus skirt! You can't really tell (even though I tried to show the print in the picture), but the fabric has a really interesting print with photographs of sailboats, hula-girls and waterfalls (next to a spruce-forest, hm, how does that match the hula-girls?).

Could it be a souvenir-skirt?

Sadly it's just too narrow around the waist for me... and I don't think I can make it any larger without quite a load of changes. I think it's a really cool skirt, and would like to wear it (spoken by someone who normally prefers solids to patterns!).

Guess I'll have to start doing some serious sit-ups, hehe...

Friday, 4 December 2009

Happy friday

I won this 1940's pattern on e-bay today!

It's probably much better for me than the last one I wrote about (and made a toile for), it's much more grown up and reminds me of the blouse I made using McCall 6520, that I really like. Gathers below the shoulder-yoke, darts around the waist, and shoulder pads. I think they are all details that work for my body-type. At the same time this pattern is totally different from the blouse with the neat shirt-collar and long set-in sleeves (I might make it short sleeved though...).

Are those double darts around the waist by the way?

I also won this 1950's (1960's?) pattern from the same seller. There's no note of the pattern company in the item-description (I think that may have given me less competition, so I don't mind!), only a number (1137). Interesting to see what it is... I like the detail where the front-pieces overlap the side-pieces and become a kind of collar on the shoulders.

So many sewing-possibilities, so little time, I can't wait for christmas!

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Mc Call 6520, vintage blouse (1946)

I thought I'd sew something quick and easy. This looks quite simple, doesn't it? Well... it was easy enough, but there are eight darts around the waist, and the necktie took some figuring out (although this was one of the apparently rare vintage patterns with good, illustrated instructions). So it took me a week (sewing jersey has spoilt me!).

These are all the pattern-pieces laid out on the material. I never use the pattern layout instruction, it's a puzzle, it's part of the fun! Plus, it's usually possible to save material by laying them out differently to the suggested way (maybe because I always use one of the smallest sizes).

I actually made it without copying the pattern first, which for me feels like cheating. But it was in good condition, so I decided it was ok.

I think it really resembles the picture on the envelope! Although it shouldn't, this pattern (I remebered after cutting the material and sewing all the basic seams) is made for a 30" bust, I'm a 32,5"... I don't get it. It should be too small, and I actually think it's a bit too big! That's normal with modern patterns, but I thought they added a bit less ease before.

Note to self: always, always measure the pattern-pieces before sewing. And make plenty of toiles... (I didn't this time, I SO glad it fit me!).

The front is pleated beneath the yoke, and I've finally understood why you sew two parallell lines of gathering-thread... one should be on either side of the actual seam... you can tell that I put both in the seam-allowance, it looks more creased than gathered. I'll do better next time (I love to learn new things)!
You can also, kind of, see the shoulder pads (a first for me!). I think maybe they should be placed further out on the shoulder, I might try that. They had quite strong shoulders in the 1940's...
I like the cuffs... with vintage buttons from my stash.
And I like the material, a pure cotton remnant. I've bought 10 meters of it, so you'll be sure see more blue creations here in the future!

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Treasures: McCall 6520

I love coming home when there is nothing but one yellow envelope posstamped in the USA on the doormat  (I could have written "in the postbox", but it wouldn't have been true!). Old patterns come in yellow envelopes, I've learned.

This was another one of those patterns that no-one bid on, that I found irresistable. Even though I don't really wear blouses, and I'm certainly not comfortable in bows. But I love this bowed blouse.

I think if I team it with a simple (and short) enough skirt I might carry it of. Either way, I must make one and see, the cuffs alone would be enough to make me want it!

I had guessed this was a late 1940's pattern, and it does say copyright 1946 on the envelope, so I may be right. Not that I entirely trust copyrigh-dates, I've seen very clear examples of early 1930's dresses that are copyrighted in 1921on Ebay, but the hairstyles on this envelope are more 1940's than 1950's I think... (with emphasis on think!).

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