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Archive for the ‘Vintage Delight’ Category

Happy new year, internet world! The last few weeks have been wonderful with lots of festive fun and travels. Now that the new year has begun, I have started working hard on a few hats that will be the perfect accompaniment to this lovely hot summer we are having.

The hat I made today was supposed to be a cute little narrow brimmed casual hat from a 1930s pattern. What I loved about it was the fact that you tie it up for your headsize and the ties also act as a lovely trim. Here’s the original pattern pic:

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One thing I knew straight away was that I’d have to change the brim completely if this hat were to offer any actual sun protection. What I didn’t count on was the fact that it’s a very shallow crown (or potentially a child size pattern..?) so it really doesn’t fit over the whole head. You can see on my hat block that it sits sort of at the back if the head. It would never survive a windy day!

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Not to worry! I set about redesigning the shape and size of the crown piece to accommodate my (tiny) adult cranium, and potentially up to about 24″ headsize (yet to be tested on a larger head!); a part-maths-part-intuition exercise. The results were fabulous! So much so that I decided to line the second toile and keep it as is! The crown is much deeper and sits quite securely on the head when the ties have been adjusted to the appropriate size. And I think the bow looks pretty ace.

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Anyway, I was so pleased with this bad boy that I decided to reward the effort with a trip to the beach! The new hat passed the test: the brim I made is wide enough to keep the sun outta my face and the hat doesn’t fly off in the wind. I wish I had made this before my sunny trip to Asia.. It was well needed and would have fit so easily in my luggage. And now for the gratuitous beach photos!

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Well I’m still crazily obsessed with my hat mission. I’m currently experimenting with drafting a calico “helmet” style hat. Something that fits the head really perfectly. It’s challenging! Here’s a little collage of recent creations:

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In the meantime, I thought I’d post a sneak preview of a saucer style hat I’ve been working on for my friend’s birthday. It’s been so great to put my millinery skills to use with this one. Lots of meticulous hand sewing!

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And on that note, I really should go to sleep now.

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First of all, the dress is for me to wear but the wedding ain’t mine! I was going through my fabric stash looking for something to inspire a new project and I came across a beautiful sunny yellow Egyptian cotton.. doona cover! It was perfect. Immediately I thought something with a big skirt would be the most fitting sort of dress to show off that fabulous fabric. Anyway had a quick look through my patterns and came across a couple that could easily be combined: the shirt-style top of a 60s pattern and the big skirt from a late 40s/early 50s one. I loved that the sleeves have sexy gussets and the skirt comes with pockets. So right!

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When making the gussets for the sleeves, I was very grateful to have my trusty tailor’s ham on hand. It’s a fiddly little section that does require some care and attention, as well as careful pressing. So here are a few process shots as well as a finished gusset. You’ll notice there is excess fabric, which I’ll cut later.

Oh and another tip: when garments have lots of darts and stuff that needs pinning, sewing and pressing; where possible do the jobs in bulk: pin all the darts/sections that need pinning, then sew them all and then press. This saves lots of time.

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Now onto the how-to: bound finish for a facing edge:

The pattern I’m using for the bodice instructed me to turn the raw edge under 1/4″ to finish the edge – BORING! And also, in my opinion, that never looks very nice. Specifically because there’s a curved edge around the back facing part. What a terrible idea! Anyway, instead I decided to enclose the edge in a piece of bias binding and it looks fabulous.

First I pinned the bias binding to the raw edge on the ‘wrong’ or inner side of the facing pieces and stitched in the groove of the bias binding.

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Then I carefully clipped around the curved areas, each snip being about 1.5-2cm apart.

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Next, I cut the excess off the seam, leaving about 3mm. This is really helpful for the next step.

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Because the excess was cut off, it was really easy to fold over the remaining edge of the bias tape without getting lumps of fabric inside. And the pins stayed in place.

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I then sewed close to the edge.

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The final step is to give your beautifully bound edge a good press and voila! Here’s the finished product alongside the original instructions:

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Stay tuned for updates on this lovely garment!

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So, I went to check Burdastyle today and what do I see right there on the front page? The refashioned 50’s top I posted yesterday is one of the featured projects! 🙂

 

Coming up on Burdastyle:

Here’s a sneak peak of projects I will be adding soon to Burdastyle. I don’t want to give too much away, so these photos show only the fabric with a couple of extra hints…

One of these babies is going straight to Etsy! Stay tuned 😉

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Hurry hurry hurry! The Cyber Monday SALE only lasts one day! Everything handmade in my store is 20% OFF! Who can resist that?!

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The winter refashion quest is extending into spring. So here’s the latest addition to the refashion family. The 1950’s style cutesie blouse!

Before (boo!):

I was browsing through the clothing racks in an op shop one day, when I came across a bright blue polka dot top with a lot of potential. It had a definite 80s feel to it – slouchy, with elastic at the bottom, slightly batwing sleeves. Not really my style, but the fabric (poly- t-shirt stuff) and the print really captured my interest. I thought it would look fabulous as a 1950’s style top. So began the refashioning!

I unpicked the entire thing, including the strips that were used to create the thin collar. I found a fabulous 50’s blouse pattern, graded it to my size and tried to fit the pattern pieces as best as I could on the fabric. It worked fairly well, and I could cut corners (literally!) here and there because the fabric had a bit of stretch to it. With the leftover pieces, I made some bias tape to finish the sleeves. I didn’t have enough fabric left to make the entire bow on the front, so made half in the blue and the other half of it using beige polka dot fabric that was left over from another project. I thought the contrast was cute.

I didn’t have much blue thread left, so I saved as much of the unpicked thread as I could for all of the hand sewing – neckline facing, sleeves, hem and bow.

All in all, this was a fun and easy project. The only annoying part was the visible stitching marks on the bottom of the blouse, where the previous stitching held the elastic in place (you can probably see it in the photos). But I’m hoping that will eventually soften with washing and wear.

The result (yay!):

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I have recently undertaken the making of a delightful cropped jacket using a 1950’s vintage pattern. Unfortunately, when it came to sewing gussets for the sleeves, the brevity of the instructions left me feeling somewhat frustrated. I decided to persevere with the task, and share the steps I took to reach the successful making of the sleeve gussets. Click on the image below to go to my “sew-along”:

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