New Project: 1950s Unique Chic

Happy Thursday, sweet ones!

Thank you so much for all of your wonderful comments on my dress for the Big Vintage Sew-along. I couldn’t be prouder of how it turned out and hearing such super kind feedback has been incredible. As long-time readers of Sew for Victory will know, I have a true soft-spot for late 1930s style and Vogue 9217 was the perfect make to really show off what the era has to offer in the way of fashion.

Working so hard on the Big Vintage Sew-along dress has left me a little drained. Managing such a big project on top of the PhD and general life tasks (eating, sleeping, and talking to my fiancé are obviously important things) was definitely a challenge. But I’m also determined to capitalise on the momentum I’m feeling and have been trying to seek out the perfect project to reinvigorate me with sewing energy. Fortunately, I went to my most faithful source of incredible vintage patterns and found just the right make – Decades of Style’s Objet d’Art dress.

objet d'art dress

Beautiful, right? I’m really excited to give this pattern a go and I think it will result in a real statement piece, similar to the company’s Belle Curve dress.

I also had some really good fortune in July, winning a prize via the July Vintage Pledge organised on Instagram by Stitch Odyssey and Kestrel Makes. My darting detail on the Belle Curve dress won me a £30 gift voucher for The Splendid Stitch – an incredible online shop, stocking gorgeous fabrics and sewing knick-knacks. Searching through the stock of fabrics, I happened on the perfect fabric for the Objet d’Art dress – a blue, white and navy shirting that will really help accentuate the collar and pocket detailing on the pattern.

Fabric

I’m really excited to get started on this one. Stay tuned for the finished product!

New Project!

Happy Monday, lovelies!

What a rainy couple of weeks it’s been since I last checked in. The lack of proper summer weather has left my most recent makes relatively untouched. Here’s hoping that July brings us some sunshine and a chance to whip out my petticoats and circle skirts!

I thought it was about time to check in with you all and clue you in on my current projects. Unfortunately, information will be limited since I’m working on my dress for the Big Vintage Sewalong! While I can’t show you the pattern until my final product post on August 5th, I thought I would give a sneak peek of my beautiful fabric!

Right now, I’m working on a wearable muslin of the dress – made using the brown polka dot cotton you can see in the photo (purchased at Walthamstow). This is by no means the ideal fabric to use a- it’s a little stiff for the pattern. However, it’s more than adequate to gauge fit and should turn out a cute dress.

The finished and featured dress will be made using the navy blue crepe, with the red crepe serving for some piping detail. As you will see from the finished product, this is a pattern with truly unique features and the piping should (hopefully) help to highlight the shape of the dress. The crepe fabrics were both purchased from Sew Over It.

While you wait to check out the finished garment on August 5th, take a look at the Big Vintage Sewalong website in order to see all of the available patterns. You can also look at the back catalogue of Love Sewing magazine for their feature on the Sewalong!

I’ll be back in a few days with a new Inspire A Style post. In the meantime, have a wonderful week!

New Projects: A Birthday Surprise!

Hello sweet ones!

First of all, I’m sorry for my lengthy absence from the site. It’s been an insanely busy couple of weeks with sewing-unrelated tasks (mostly PhD stuff, now that I’m coming up to my final year!!). I’ve barely even glanced in the direction of my machine, which should tell you something. Fortunately, I have a trip to the US coming up this week and will be with family for a month. I’m hoping that will give me some time to recuperate and tackle my backlog of sewing projects,

That said, I have one project in particular that I’ll be dealing with over the next couple of days – my first, albeit easy, venture into the world of menswear. As a birthday surprise for my little brother (I say little but he’s only 18 months younger than me), I’ve decide to whip up a couple of bow ties.* As you might have guessed from this, I’m not the only member of my family with a love of vintage style – my little bro has a definite penchant for a good looking neck tie and matching pocket square. So I figured that my sewing skills could be put to use in making him something unique (not to mention that it saves this impoverished student a few pounds).

After a bit of online venturing, I found a couple of fabrics that I love and should suit the summer in New York vibe that my brother will get to enjoy in a couple of months!

IMG_2486

I’ve done a bit of searching around and have found a couple of free bow tie patterns that look reliable. However, I’ve struggled to find a detailed step-by-step guide for putting the bow tie together. So I’m planning on putting a tutorial up on here – logging my successes and (hopefully not too many) failures. This promises to be a quick and relatively easy make that could be a great option for anyone looking to create something for birthday or christmas presents. So I will return shortly with some tips and lessons learnt.

And just to prove that my brother has been a lover of bow ties since his infancy, enjoy this adorable photo of him with my dad!

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* This post is a testament to my conviction that my brother doesn’t read Sew for Victory. But obviously, if you know him, don’t give me away!

New Projects

Happy Wednesday, lovelies!

Congratulations on making it half-way to the weekend. It’s been a truly miserable week in Colchester – pretty standard for an English February, really. The major downside of cold and rainy weather is that I revert back to standard leggings/flannel combo, abandoning my lovely vintage wardrobe. But spring will be here soon! I’m waiting for the sun!

I’ve got lots of exciting things coming up sewing-wise. Hopefully one of these things will be getting around to properly hemming my Joan dress (hand-sewing is not my forte) – since I’m planning on wearing the dress for Valentine’s Day, I should probably actually get on this. But I’ve been too excited planning out my new projects!

For a while now, I’ve had the Eliza M Alma Wiggle Skirt pattern hanging around.* I bought a fabulous tweed fabric at the Twenty-Something Sewer Meet-up in Walthamstow, which I earmarked for this skirt. But I’ve been avoiding getting started until I found a pattern and fabric to make a complementary blouse. I finally found it last week in the Clara Bow Blouse from ‘Til The Sun Goes Down, which I’m going to make in a dark blue silk.

Hopefully this will make for a perfect combination! I was planning to have these made by next week for a work trip to the International Criminal Court (by day my life is VERY different) – I figured it would make for a great work-smart outfit. But it’ll require a massively productive sewing weekend, so we’ll see! Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Enjoy the rest of your week and I’ll be back soon with more vintagey updates!

Laura x

* I’ve not been linking to Eliza M because of a malware warning on their website. But the patterns are available for purchase elsewhere. I’ve been purchasing mine through Fabric Godmother.

New Project: The Joan Dress

Hello darlings!

After the success of the Belle Curve dress, I’ve been in a good sewing groove. With a few excellent patterns to choose from, I finally settled on Sew Over It’s fabulous Joan dress – a 1950s mad-men inspired dress.

Joan Dress Pattern

I decided to invest in some good quality fabric for this project so went online and got myself some gorgeous red crepe. I’m already about halfway through the make and it’s sewing up like a total dream. I’ve never worked with crepe and I’ll definitely be working with it again (although hopefully at a more reasonable price than I paid for this batch).

Part of the ease of sewing this up has been the amazing instructions provided with the pattern. Obviously, I’m only a few projects into my sewing passion, but I’ve yet to work with a pattern that is so detailed and clear. Fortunately, I also have a couple more patterns from Sew Over It, which I’ll be working on in a while!

Joan Dress Pattern2

I’ll be back soon with photos of the finished project!

As a side note, I highly recommend paying a visit to your local WHSmith (or wherever, obviously) and picking up a copy of the one-off magazine, Sew Vintage. My fiancé stumbled across it last week and I am so in love. Plus it came with two fantastic vintage repro patterns! Definitely grab a copy if you love vintage-inspired stitching.

Mag Patterns

Laura x

A Trip to the 1940s: The Belle Curve Dress

Hello sweeties!

After a sewing-filled weekend, I am officially in the midst of my next project. A meet-up with some fellow twenty-something sewers (which I’ll be writing about in more detail soon) not only inspired serious sewing productivity, but also introduced me to the perfect fabric for my new dress.

Enter Decades of Style’s Belle Curve dress:

Pattern

A fabulous 1940s-inspired pattern, this beautiful dress features a curved back piece, darted all the way around to give it its shape. 36 darts in all! It is a serious time investment but I figure I will be a true dart expert come the end of this one. And the finished product promises to be a fantastically unique piece, well worth the effort.

In order to combat the darts – which are attached as separate dart templates – I took the advice of the pattern and got out my tracing wheel and carbon paper. Not only did this make the process far easier, but the yellow carbon paper meant that the dart tracings stuck out fantastically well on my fabric:

Dart tracing

I’ve decided to make this up in a gorgeous shimmery forest green, which will hopefully give me a dress that looks true to the 1940s style. This evening I started the process of sewing up the darts, using a spare 30 minutes to crack on. There’s still a LOT more to do, but the curved back is starting to take shape:

Darts

I’m SO excited about this project and really can’t wait to get it finished – although with 36 darts, it may be a little while! I want to take this back to the US as my official ‘Christmas dress’ (all going to plan) so I have a little while to work on it, and hopefully squeeze in another project before I fly off!

I’ll be back later in the week with more details about my trip to Walthamstow market – featuring some tips and highlights for anyone planning their own excursion. In the meantime, have a wonderful week!

Laura x

No Rules but Vogue’s Rules

Since throwing myself into sewing, I’ve spent a good amount of time rummaging through charity shops trying to hunt out any craft-related goodies. Surprisingly, perhaps the the best place to look for vintage-inspiration is amongst old books and magazines. One particularly successful shopping trip last week left me the proud owner of Vogue’s 1932 Guide to Practical Dressmaking. 

Vogue Guide

This amazing little book has turned out to be an invaluable resource. With detailed descriptions of old-school sewing techniques and some cute illustrations, it’s a brilliant insight into using vintage sewing patterns. With this at my side, I’m actually feeling much braver when it comes to delving into my growing stack of vintage patterns! Particularly since I’m now equipped with the only rules that matter:

Vogue's Rules

One of the most fantastic things about these old sewing guides and vintage magazines are the ads. For me, these provide perhaps the best picture of era-specific styles and beauty secrets. SO much love!

Vogue Ad2

With that, I’m off to continue with my current project. Inspired by the fabulous Lee Made It, I decided to take on a pattern from the Great British Sewing Bee’s most recent publication. I settled on this gorgeous vintage-inspired blouse, ready to use up a wonderful sheer fabric that I bought a while back:

Vintage Blouse

So far, so good. Although I’m finding it impossible to backstitch without the fabric catching and have been securing by hand instead. Any advice on making my machine more cooperative on this?