Monday, 23 May 2011

Sewing my first Vintage Pattern

In all my sewing adventures so far I have collected a great many vintage patterns (I just love how they look, I can't get enough of them!) but before now I haven't been brave enough to make one. Many of these patterns, as is the case with most vintage patterns, are partially if not completely the wrong size for me, which means that to use them I have to either scale them up or down. Daunting! However recently I purchased this beautiful blouse at a vintage fair and it was crying out for something to be worn with!

So pretty :)

I got this original 1940s silk blouse for a song because of a small stain near the hem, which I knew wouldn't be seen if I wore the blouse with a waisted skirt. Unfortunately I don't own any high waisted skirts... Which is when I remembered this little treasure from my pattern stash:

Simple but effective!

And luckily for me I had the perfect fabric in my stash too! This pair of red linen-esque curtains that I had recently found in a charity shop for £3! And they had a lot of fabric between them, so I snapped them up in a second. I also found some lining for £3 in the same shop, and because I already had the notions at home I could get a whole skirt for a mere £6!

My charity shop fabric - £3, oh yeh!

There were a few little faults in the curtains, some little stains and holes...

A few stains...

And a few holes...

But this wasn't a problem as I knew I'd be able to work around them :) And this skirt ended up being a cinch! It wasn't completely the right size for me, but I added a few inches to the hips to fit my non-vintage-sized bottom and slightly extended the seam allowances, and then when I sewed up a muslin it fit like a glove! I won't bore you to death with all the details of the skirt's construction, it really was fairly basic, but I did use tailor's tacks which was something new for me and I think they're a great way to mark up fabric! Particularly since I was working with a vintage unmarked pattern these tailor's tacks were a brilliant way of marking the fabric without it shifting about. Plus they look really cute :)

Tailors tacks! Fat and sassy :)

And after all the construction (well I say all, it only took a couple of evenings and it was done!) I had a lovely new red pencil skirt that went perfectly with my blouse!

Hurray for pretty skirts!

Cheeky back view! :)

It couldn't have turned out better! It's fitted without being too tight, and I really love how the colour looks (of course that may just be because red is my favourite colour in the world!). And now for some detailed views of the skirt (and please excuse the creases, I had been wearing the skirt all day before taking these pictures and I didn't have time to press it!):

Red Pencil Skirt, Front

Red Pencil Skirt, Back

I also did a lot of hand stitching on the skirt because it's something I enjoy and like to do, including my usual hand stitched hem, finishing the lining around the waistband by hand and doing a pretty hand picked zipper. I do love hand stitching :)

Hand stitched hem

Hand finished waistband

Hand picked zip

One of my favourite details would have to be the pleat in the back of the skirt, it's so pretty and makes the skirt look really chic (or at least I think it does anyway!).

Check out that pleat! Nice :)

Basically I love how this skirt turned out, and it makes me feel like a TV/Literary heroine that I recently fell in love with...

I'd love to look just like her :)

Perhaps I too should have a little matching jacket and hat to go with my skirt. Let's see how far I can stretch the remainder of that red fabric...

Clinging to a gate in Oxford in a pretty new skirt. Happy days!

Basically Me + Red Clothes = a happy bunny!


Wendy said...

A perfect combination! Just Lovely!! It would definitley look A-MAZING with a matching jacket or waistcoat!

The Vintage Knitter said...

Your sewing is so neat! Such a flattering skirt, and Wendy is right about a matching jacket or waistcoat

Casey said...

Such a lovely skirt!!! It looks impeccably made; I love all the little details (especially the hand-picked zipper; I'm a huge fan of those). You've inspired me to move a similar project up my sewing list--I desperately need another pencil skirt that is summer-weight! ;)

Hannah said...

You look gorgeous, the skirt is great and looks perfect with that blouse x

Faff said...

Love the blouse and skirt, great sewing! I only saw South Riding the other day when it came from my rental list, totally loved it, there were some great costumes, loved her swimsuit! :)

Jessica Cangiano said...

Such a wonderfully pretty, entirely fun outfit. I adore the skirt and blouse, as well as how you styled your lovely locks here. Fantastic outfit post from top to bottom, thank you for sharing!

Big hugs & joyful Tuesday wishes,
♥ Jessica from Chronically Vintage

Mom2fur said...

I think you look amazing! The skirt is perfect, and you even put a lining in it. I've been sewing for 40 years and still don't like doing linings. Great job!

Rhia said...

Looking gooooood ;) Skirt and shirt match nicely and you've done perfect job with the skirt.

BTW, from what movie is that picture from?

Miss Katie said...

Rhia - thank you! the picture is from a recent tv movie (in three parts I think) called South Riding, it was awesome :)

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