Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Retro Springtime (sewing with a plan)

Well, it's that time of year when I start to get sick of the gray skies and most everything in my closet. I've been considering doing a SWAP for a few years now, and decided this is the year to jump in. This may be a mini-swap though; we will see how much I get done.

I have always loved the classic styles of the 30's and 40's, and have been wearing more and more vintage and vintage inspired clothing the past few years. Because I recently started up the Past Times Society (more about that later) I will be needing more vintage clothing from a variety of decades. Because I am rather practical, I don't want these to be one-time wear garments but rather something I can work into my permanent wardrobe.

After going through my stash (it's big, folks) and a trip to Mill End for essentials which inevitably ended with a few mysterious non-essentials in my bag (I hate when they do that) I started cutting today. Here is what I have so far:

Blue/Tan pinwale corduroy trousers. I was looking for some hard denim for this pattern, but I just have a thing for underdyed corduroy. I prewashed the fabric in hot water, which removed a lot of the sizing and gave the fabric a much softer hand.

I also removed the front pleat when I cut these out. Why anyone puts a pleat on the front of trousers is beyond me. That is not the place on my body where I want fullness added. I will probably elimate the cuff as well, but cut the full length in case I change my mind.

Dandelion Cotton Jumper/Sundress

This is a reprint of a vintage pattern, and I altered it so that I can wear it alone if I want. I raised the armscyes 1/2" and narrowed the boatneck by 1". I cut the fuller skirt view for this, but will probably make the other view later on.
I found some great buttons but since this closes with a zipper, they will most likely go on a matching jacket or cardigan. I saved the scraps for trim as well. Maybe something in a cream. We'll have to see what wonders the stash has to hold.

Black/White Graphic Print Linen Skirt
I have been eyeing this fabric since last fall when I first saw it at Mill End. It is a fairly stiff linen, so it should work well with this 8-gored skirt pattern. I also like the idea of breaking up the print with the piecing. Because I couldn't find any buttons which went with the style of the fabric, I'm eliminating them and will use an invisible back zipper. To make this more of a 50's era skirt, I am raising the hemline to just below the knee (this will also make it more wearable as a summer skirt) and lowering the raised waist detail. To accentuate the lines of the skirt, I will use a black bias trim on the waistband and may do the same for the hem.

Graphic Print Green Silk Sleeveless Blouse

There was just barely a yard of this when I spied it on the counter last night, so no sleeves. The green is more vibrant in person; I'll try to take some shots in sunlight as I progress.
This is a very lightweight silk but has nice body so it won't shimmy around when I'm trying to sew it. I cut this blouse with the collar so that it will wear nicely with the yellow jumper. Can you tell I'm longing for spring??
No buttons purchased yet, I forgot my list at home so will have to go back. Oh dear.

Orange Hemp Knit Top

I love wearing scoop neck tees- I hate having them come untucked all day long. So I am attempting to replace my purchased shirts with longer ones. I made this pattern up last winter, and love how it fits. I will be making this with cap sleeves, since it's meant to be used for layering and this is a spring wardrobe.

Well, that's what I have so far. I need to put together a few more tops and a jacket but I'm off to a start!

**I removed two of the pieces that just weren't working with the others. I'll be posting pictures of the new revised swap later this evening.**


  1. Nice ideas! Like your choices.

  2. Love the black and white linen and the skirt choice! I'm looking forward to seeing your finished pieces.


  3. I really like sewing because i can create every thing like a skirt, blouse, pants or dresses and desing my own style. When i am sewing i usually feel my imagination flies. I think i am appationated about this.

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  4. I really like sewing in my free time and I really enjoy this practice, when I get my house through costa rica homes for sale I knew it would many space in my house like to take a room as a workshop. And now I usually invite my friend to sewing in the afternoon. We spend a funny time creating new things