RSS Feed

Category Archives: 1930s

1930s Floral Blouse and Sporty Shorts

1930s Floral Blouse and Sporty Shorts

It’s not a secret I love the 1930s, and my usual daily uniform consists of a buttoned vintage-style blouse, high-waisted pants, and a cardigan. I originally purchased the Wearing History 1930s Day or Evening pattern intending to make solid-colored, long-sleeved, long-peplumed blouse for a fall outfit, but decided to start with the short-sleeved, short-peplumed version.

The fabric I used is a Liberty of London print that was a holiday gift. It’s a modern print with flowers and strawberries but I thought suited the 1930s pattern very well. The green buttons, chartreuse grosgrain ribbon, and white buckle were all vintage.

I did modify the pattern to allow for buttons since that’s my favorite style of blouse. The original pattern has 2 closure options for the center front: a hidden placket with snaps, or button loops and buttons. This means if you use the pattern as-is, your right and left fronts will meet in the center. If you decide to modify the pattern to have buttonholes, you need to take account adding enough ease in your fabric to allow for the overlap. You don’t need to change any other pattern pieces. Please also note that if you like the center bow in the stock images, using the pattern as-is may be a better choice.

My shoes are from American Duchess. The hat is an 18th century straw bergere that I trimmed with flowers and ribbon. The purse is a crocheted 1930s reproduction.

Another small modification I made was to take the shoulders in slightly. This is not an issue with how the pattern is drafted; I have narrow shoulders so that is a change I normally make for many patterns. The other consideration is that strong shoulders are historically appropriate for 1930s and 1940s blouses, but can be overwhelming on my smaller frame. I cut out the blouse and sleeves as directed, but at the attachment point I took a larger seam allowance in the upper half of the armscye. This allows for a slight reduction in both the bodice and sleeve without the need to redraft.

I paired this blouse with a some sporty shorts I made out of a white pique fabric. I made the shorts with the same pattern hack I used to make my plaid shorts: I used the upper portion of the pants of the Decades of Style 1930s Last Resort Beach PJs pattern I used for my own set then added a waistband.

There is an invisible zipper down the center back seam and a hook and bar at the waistband. The bottoms are finished with simple turned up hems.

I’m happy to add this 1930s blouse to my wardrobe and to recommend this pattern!

Plaid Galore (Using American Duchess Cape and Wearing History Blouse Patterns)

Earlier this year I made a mauve wool 1910s wrap cape using the free pattern from the American Duchess Patreon.   I’m happy to see so many other people making it! The cape even has its own Instagram hashtag #ADcapecult.SXFB6622

I lined the cape with a blue and black plaid fabric I got from a friend but constructed my cape in a way to make it reversible. LEYY6663

The cape is inspired by an antique cream and black one.IMG_7297

I made mine using a light-weight wool for spring/fall usage.IMG_7486

One of the cute details this cape has is the contrast on the collar, which I repeated on the lining to make it fully reversible. QLWZ6538

This cape pattern is available in PDF format but is a gridded pattern you have to scale up. To save time I just printed the pattern extra large and taped the pieces together. IMG_7402

The closures are hidden under the back of the cape. The front pieces wrap around and you can finish them either by with hooks and bars or a ribbon bow. I had to trim a little bit off the ends because of my body shape. If you are large-busted you may need to change the size of the darts on the front wraps.

Overall, it’s an easy, good-looking cape and I plan to use this pattern again for a witchy wardrobe!IMG_0007

I had plenty of the plaid fabric left over and used it to make this cute 1930s double-breasted blouse pattern from Wearing History. IMG_6938JERR7630RRXR6541

I’ve coordinated the house in the outfit above with the Daphne retro wedge sandals from American Duchess.

Like all the other Wearing History blouse patterns I made, I am quite happy with how this turned out. It is not a complicated pattern because there are not many pieces. There’s some leeway to adjust the fit by moving the buttons and buttonholes a bit.IMG_6927

The shoulders have a split which make for a cute detail. Plus there’s a belt in the back with a buckle.SLWP7455

I loved the way this blouse looked with the red cigarette pants, but I had enough fabric left over I decided it would be also fun to make matching shorts. This way I would have the look of a romper but the convenience of a 2-piece outfit. IMG_0098

To make the shorts I hacked an existing pattern I already had: the Decades of Style 1930s Last Resort Beach PJs. I used the upper portion of the pants because I wanted the high-waisted look. You can see the beach PJs I made in an earlier post.

I had fun making my little mini capsule wardrobe!

FMDS8136

1930s Crane Coat Dress

My last project of 2019 was a 1930s coat dress using the Miss L’s Coat Dress pattern from Decades of Style.  My color scheme was inspired by Japanese cranes (featured in the embroidered appliqués on my coat).20200125-IMG_3624

(Thank you Lauren for taking all these pictures of me wearing it at the GBACG Open House!) The defining feature of this coat dress is the fabulous sleeves! All the curved black and white stripes you see are pieced together during construction; they are not appliqué. 20200125-IMG_3612

I made my coat out of a vintage twill fabric. The stripes are black cotton velvet and white canvas with a layer of sheer white organza on top. (I didn’t have any sateen in the sash and the plain canvas looked too flat next to the velvet so I added the organza to add some texture). The front of the coat features long darts, pointed lapels, a stand up collar, and big cloth-covered buttons.20200125-IMG_3621

The black and white stripes meet at the underside of the sleeve. (Not perfect but close enough for me!)IMG_4934

The back of the coat has double princess seams that are top-stitched. My collar is red rayon challis with a canvas interlining. 20200125-IMG_3617IMG_4920

All the accent materials (the velvet, canvas, organza, and rayon) are scrap pieces from past projects of mine. The buttons were purchased at a rummage sale for $2 for a large bag and I still have some left over! The main coat fabric was purchased on eBay as part of a larger lot for a bargain price. The lining was $1/yard clearance fabric. My “splurge” were the embroidered crane appliqués from Aliexpress and they still cost me less than $10, so overall I spent probably $30 on supplies to make this coat because I’m good at hoarding useful materials. =)20200125-IMG_3620

Some notes if you plan to make your own coat:

  • This is not a beginner pattern. I would not say it’s unduly difficult and the instructions are very good, but this should not be your first project!
  • You should be comfortable with fish eye darts, top-stitching, interlining, grading curves, and setting a sleeve.
  • There are a lot of pieces and a lot of steps, so make sure you have a way of labeling all the bits as you go.
  • The lining must be attached by hand so be comfortable with some hand-sewing.
  • The pattern is true to size; follow the size chart.
  • Use a mid-weight fabric. I made mine out of twill but I’ve also seen some really lovely wool and velvet versions of this coat on Instagram. You want enough structure but not something so thick that sewing the curves on the sleeves makes bulky seams.
  • This pattern takes some time but I feel like it’s quite worth it in the end! I got a lot of nice comments when I wore it and people asking if it was a real vintage coat, so Decades did a great job on the pattern.

I enjoyed making and wearing this coat. Thank you Decades of Style for the pattern! 20200125-IMG_3623

(My shoes are from American Duchess. My hat is vintage with faux pearls).

Linen 1930s Beach Pajamas and a Vintage Robe for a Miss Fisher Tea Party

A group of friends and I had a Miss Fisher tea party at Pardee House, a historical home in Oakland, CA. We dressed in 1920s and 1930s clothing (or later decades if one preferred), and booked a tour of the home and a delicious tea afterwards. It was a lovely experience and I highly recommend Pardee for anyone in the area.

I wore a newly made set of linen beach pajamas using the “1930s Last Resort Beach PJs” pattern from Decades of Style, paired with a true vintage 1930s rayon robe. (Thank you Sara for all the outfit photos).IMG_2109

My green glass necklace is also vintage. My shoes are from Royal Vintage Shoes and my hat is from eBay.IMG_2110

I’ve used this pattern before and really liked it. (You can see my previous set of PJs and pattern review here).IMG_2113

I made the garment from some peach-colored linen that I had left over from another project. The trim on the neckline, back, hem and ties are orange “rococo” trim. There is a zipper in the lower back and two large pockets in the front.IMG_2115IMG_2020IMG_2025

I faked having short hair with this little clippy tool. You put your hair through the flexible center, roll it up, and then secure with the clips.TDJT1497.JPG

I felt like Miss Fisher exploring a mystery in this photo!69457657_421578011804782_4825319839214075904_o

The food at the Pardee tea was so good and plentiful, and beautifully presented with all sorts of floral garnishes. RETO9820.JPG

Here are a few of the beautifully dressed ladies who were there with me: Natalie, Kelsey, Mena, Sara, and Jessica!69853869_421578128471437_8476538088061927424_o.jpgIMG_2107

Pardee Home is quite charming; I highly recommend a visit!69368379_421579175137999_5823233556041695232_o

Beach PJs project costs:

  • 5 yards trim: $6.60 from eBay (part of a larger order including shipping)
  • Pattern: $0 (used before)
  • 2.5 yards linen fabric: $25.50 from fabricmart.com (part of a larger order including shipping)
  • Zipper: $0 (salvaged from another item)
  • Thread: ~$1 from stash

Total: ~$33.10 (cool, comfortable, chic, and cheap!)

 

Gatsby Summer Afternoon 2018 Picnic

(Hi everyone! Sorry I’m a bit behind on blogging because I’ve had to limit my computer time due to a hand injury, so posts are written slowly, bit by bit. I haven’t forgotten that I need to give details of my Crimson Peak outfit, and I have posts planned for my Gibson Girl project!)

Last month I went to the annual Gatsby Summer Afternoon at the Dunsmuir House in Oakland, CA. It went by so quickly I didn’t take a lot of pictures this year but I’ll share the ones I have!

Here I am with Kelsey (in 1930s sportswear) and Natalie (in a self-made dress using vintage fabric).IMG_1943

My dress is vintage, but actually 1970s vintage that happens to look like a 1930s dress! (Although the colors, cut, and print are correct for the time period I could tell it wasn’t really 1930s because of the label inside the dress, and because the brown trim is serging instead of piping). It was apparently quite convincing, because I was a finalist in the fashion contest!IMG_1896

You can barely see them but I am wearing Gibsons from American Duchess, an 18th century straw bergere that I trimmed, and vintage Bakelite and cut steel bangles.IMG_1878

I considered a few other pairs of shoes but ultimately chose the ones in the middle.IMG_1828.JPG

We might have gotten a little rowdy at some point. Kelsey found a croquet mallet that matched her outfit perfectly and decided to menace Mena with it.IMG_1951

As always there were vintage cars!IMG_1971

Thank you John Carey of these following photos of me with the other Vintage Style Council gals!41497323_1687158268078098_3411786410644996096_o41572276_1687159128078012_7237750721100120064_o

I had a lovely time as always. See you there next year!

Decades of Style 1930s Beach Pajamas Pattern Review

My last completed project (actually done before Gatsby but not photographed until later) was a pair of 1930s beach pajamas, using the Decades of Style 1930s Last Resort Beach PJs pattern.PHOTO 7.JPG

When deciding if a pattern is good I have these criteria:

  • Is the sizing chart accurate?
  • Do the pieces fit together?
  • Does the finished item look like the pattern envelope?
  • Does the garment fit and flatter?
  • Do the instructions make sense?

Um, check, check, and check! I’ve used Decades of Style before and once again I’m impressed by the quality of their work and highly recommend this pattern.3015_webart_final

I did not make the jacket so I can’t comment on that, but the beach PJs themselves went together nicely. If you’ve made pants before this should be easy for you. It is a pair of high-waisted pants with a top that doesn’t have too many pieces. I made the backless version because I didn’t have a long zipper in the right color, but there is an optional triangle pattern piece for the back if you want to be able to wear a regular bra.PHOTO 8.JPG

I made a small change in that I made and used bias tape to bind the neckline and armholes, and added a bow. The pattern includes facings and I did not use those since I wanted decorative binding.

The pants legs are also really long! This is great for tall people, or someone who wants to wear high heels. I had to cut a few extra inches off my hems, but that is a very easy fix, and better than finding out near the end that the pattern runs short.

The pockets in the pattern are a nice touch (even if I accidentally made one of mine higher because I was sewing late at night)! They are a functional size, and are a cute detail.

Just for fun, this is a picture of a mockup I did in a flower fabric I picked up from the CoCo Bargain Basement. I just roll-hemmed the raw edges, but it’s good enough to wear around the house as a lounge outfit.IMG_3606

I used rayon challis for this project, so mine are nice and soft, just like real PJs!. I see this being a very comfortable outfit for a future Gatsby picnic, or the beach! IMG_4105.JPG

Project costs:

  • 8 yards navy rayon challis: $30.32 from Fabric Wholesale Direct. (You only need 3-4, but I doubled up because i wanted a thicker garment).
  • 1 yard red rayon challis: $3.99 from FWD
  • 4 cones serger thread: $10.36 from FWD. (Since I was doubling up the fabric I sealed the layers together with a serger during flat-lining).
  • 1 blue zipper: ~$1 from eBay (part of a lot)
  • Pattern: $27.75 from Decades of Style (including shipping and tax, bought during a sale)

I got the first three items from FWD in exchange for a tutorial on their website, so my actual out-of-pocket cost was less than $30, instead of $73.42!

I like this pattern a lot, and would love to make it again if I find the right print.

Summary: Buy this pattern from Decades, and see you on the beach!IMG_4445

Gatsby Summer Afternoon Picnic 2017

The annual “Gatsby Summer Afternoon” (casually known as the Gatsby Picnic) at the Dunsmuir House in Oakland, California, had another lovely event recently! I finally got a chance to wear my original 1930s cotton organza dress and had a great time socializing with an impeccably dressed and fun crowd.

IMG_4083

Photo by John Carey Photographic Imagery

I love how this is a versatile dress! I can change up my look by wearing a different color slip (which is also vintage). My hat is a vintage one that I retrimmed. I am wearing the beautiful Lillian heels from Royal Vintage Shoes.IMG_4075

It was a hot and sunny day, and my sunglasses were definitely needed! (They are not quite right, but close enough for an Amazon find).IMG_4074

Kelsey is divine in 1930s ensemble she sewed using a Wearing History pattern.IMG_4016.JPG

Natalie is lovely in a vintage 1930s dress, the navy version of the Lillian, and a hat she crocheted herself!IMG_4020.JPG

Here we three are again with Jess and Abby.IMG_4082

The event was full of vintage cars, amid the backdrop of the wonderful Dunsmuir House mansion.IMG_4068.JPG

In years past we always had too much food and leftovers, so we scaled back the food. You can’t see from the photo, but I think we had more beverages (especially delightful cocktails!) instead of food.IMG_4047.JPG

As always, the table was organized by my friend Kim, shown here wearing a handmade dress and waiting patiently in line with David.IMG_3991.JPG

I made my boutonniere using some vintage flowers, floral tape, and silk taffeta that I cut into a ribbon.IMG_3980.JPG

I made the belt out of a broken half of a buckle, more vintage flowers, and some silk taffeta.IMG_3966

We had a great time!  Elizabeth high-fiving with the American Duchess ladies included!IMG_4072.JPG

Can you count the number of Lillians in this post? They were definitely the hot new shoe people were sporting at the picnic! I can’t wait until next year!IMG_3993.JPG

1930s Vintage Dress at the Gatsby Picnic

Yesterday was the annual Gatsby Summer Afternoon, hosted by the Art Deco Society at the Dunsmuir Hellman Historic Estate. (This wonderful event is open to the public, but buy your tickets early because they sold out this year!) There is a live band, dancing, gorgeous antique automobiles, and many great costumes. I found a car that matched my dress! image

The dress I wore is a vintage 1930s gown made of a very fine cotton or rayon net. It was such a lucky find in great condition!  I am wearing the 23 Skidoos from American Duchess and a hat I trimmed myself.image

I bought the hat base from Amazon and decorated with a scrap of green silk taffeta from my stash, and some pink blossoms from Michael’s.image

A group of us reserved an umbrella table and organized a luncheon.image

We also had delicious cocktails (that matched Samantha, winner of the fashion contest!)image

For the first time I was invited to sit inside one of the vintage cars! image

Bonus photo: I realized my dress matched the car so well it looked like I had extra “assets.” Hah!image

Here is the brochure with the schedule if you are interested in the many activities and performances that happen at the picnic. Hope to see you next year!imageimageimage