Wednesday 25 September 2013

Completed: two 30's outfits!

Inspired by my love for the 30s look, my realisation that maybe I've been avoiding the 30s for all the wrong reasons, and of course all the lovely comments from you guys on whether I should try it, I decided before summer to make a 30s summer outfit with a skirt and a blouse. "Summer?", you may be wondering, "but Erika, it's fall now!"
I know, I know! But... well, I didn't get done in time... and the skirt fought back... and somehow I ended up making a second skirt + top outfit...

Alright, outfit number one:

A bias cut A-line skirt with side-buttons, and a blouse with a tie-collar and snaps in the side. The skirt is in a lovely faric, it's matka silk! Matka is a plain weave with double strands in both warp and weft. The fabric is coarse and has a lot of body, but at the same time it has a slight slight lustre that's too polite to be called a shine, and even though it has body, it still has some drape. Wonderful!

So how did the skirt fight back? Basically, it was the fabric. When I bought it they said it could be machine washed, but even after a gentle wash with silk-detergent it came out stiff as cardboard. After a good rinse with fabric softener (worked better than vineger, tried both on test squares. And yes, of course I should have machine washed a test square as well...) and ironing it dry, it regained some softness and drape. I'd seriously recommend against machine washing matka, no matter what the salespeople say!

The skirt closes in the side with buttons and handmade buttonholes.

The skirt sits in my natural waist and the waistband is straight, folded. I lenghtened it considerably after looking at old fashion- and pattern magazines, and measuring the few 30s pattern I own, so it hits just below mid-calf.

The blouse is made from leftovers from last year's big dress+jacket project. I used a combination of different patterns I've made before, it took a couple of toilles, and the fit is still a bit off. I have two major issues I need to adress before making it again, first is the bubbliness at the front, second is the excess in the peplum. 30s peplum laid very slim and close to the hips, while the bodice bloused against the waist (opposite that of 50s peplum blouses/dresses). I love the style, though! So easy to wear, cool and soft, not restricting the movement at all, yet with a feeling of elegance.

The blouse closes in the side with snaps.

Second outfit!

Remeber the jerseydress I showed you in the last post? I loved that fabric so much I went back for another 1,5 metre! I had already found a nice linen on a 50% sale, so I figured it would be great to have a 30s outfit that's easier to wash and iron. Hence a linen skirt and a jersey top!

The skirt is tea-dyed (I bought it as a bleached white) and cut on the bias. However, since the first skirt has a tendency to pull a little over the hips I figured it would be better with a bit more room in the skirt and made it just a few cm wider. Unfortunatly, it didn't make the sideseam lay flat, quite the opposite...

Another part in the problem may be that I was a little bit short on fabric, and did a "design feature" at the top. It might be a coincidence that the skirt pulls the most just below the "V", but I doubt it.

Also, the zipper buggled. This is the third installation, and I've done all I can think of. I'm leaving it be, it's time for fall sewing and either the fabric will shrink a little during washing, or I'll wear something over the top of the skirt, or... It's a later problem =)

The top is a version of my by now TNT jerseydress pattern, not much to say about it.

Except that I love the fit in the back!!! With my narrow back, nothing RTW has ever fit and I still get a little giddy everytime I see myself wearing a garment that fits my back =)

This is just a short presentation, I'll be returning soon with some thoughts on drafting patterns that are based on a specific period, and of course a bit more about the silk skirt. It was an epic make ; )

Love, Erika


M'lady said...

Both outfits look fab. I'm hoping to do a few 30's peices once I get my Edwardian ones done.
Just got some jersey and a sewing machine that can sew stretch. Its going to be an adventure. lol!

CBoyer said...

Beautiful job! As far as your buckl-y zipper, my Mom had the same problem once with an invisible zipper applied in a bias seam. We found out later it probably should have been reinforced, I guess with twill tape or a strip of silk organza, or something that will keep the seam from stretching.
Hope this might help you on your next go round with the skirt!

The Middle Sister and Singer

Jennifer Gregory Miller said...

These are so fabulous! You look wonderful. I love the first outfit to bits! I would love that blouse!

Witchcrafted Life said...

What absolutely beautiful garments! You, my dear gal, have a figure that seems tailor made for 30s garments like this (lucky lady!). I really like the soft, classic colours and elegant lines at work here. You look so marvelous!

♥ Jessica

Evie said...

I am absolutely enamored of both of these outfits! You did a beautiful job and the color combinations are wonderful. I would wear the second one every day!!

joelle st-laurent said...

you look amazing in both these outfits! my fave is the first one, but i guess the second one is a bit more practical :) i love how you essentially made two versions of the same outfit, one more tru to the era, and the second one an updated and modern version, but without loosing the essence of th style!
as for the bubbly, i agree with brigid. did you reinforce the zipper opening? i find that it really makes a huge difference to stabilize the zipper opening, even when it is on the striaght grain.

Sarah said...

These are outfits are lovely! I really love the first skirt , it hangs so well and the fabric is gorgeous, it's a shame it doesn't wash well! And what a cleaver alteration on the second skirt I would have never thought of doing that!

ette said...

Great outfits, I love the first one! But they are both so elegant and timeless. And this tie collar is a really nice feature.
The 30ies silhouette really suits you.

Zoë said...

Both outfits are really lovely. For the skirt that pulls a bit, I think if you wear a top that is long enough to cover up most or all of that bit it will be fine!

Anthea said...

What a lovely outfits! Well done!

I'm not sure if it would work but when I read about your zipper of your 2nd skirt I thought it might help to add some organza straps to stabilize the zipper.

And hooray for tea dyes! It's such an easy way to dye your fabric.

Erika said...

Lady D; Thank you! Your historic pieces are always a joy to see. How exiting about the jersey and the sewing machine! I know you prefer handsewing, but I think you'll find jersey sewing a lot easier with a machine =) Good luck, looking forward to seeing your work!

Brigid; Thank you! I think you're totally right. There is some reinforcement, but it's probebly too weak and can't handle the problem of two different stretch-strengths.

Jennifer; Thank you! The blouse is already a favorite to wear =)

Jessica; Thank you so much for your kind words! You've nailed the effect I was going for! I find the 30s style to be such a fine balance act between elegant and frumpy, it's sometimes hard after seeing a garment a thousend times during construction to know if I've landed on the right side of the scale =)

Evie; Thank you so much! And you'd look fantastic in either of them, you wear this style so well!

Joelle; Thank you! It was when I was making the first one that it dawned on me that I wouldn't be wearing it to work or easily stuff it down a suitcase, and so the idea of a second, more pracitcal outfit was born =) But I do agree, I feel just a bit... better in the first one =)

Sarah; Thank you! The fabric really is a dream, I'm hoping that with the use of a slip and our cool summers the skirt might not need washing after every wear...

Ette; Thank you so much!

Zoe; Thank you! Yeah, after having unpicked the zipper twice I figured I'd call it a day, a learning experience and always wear something hip-long over it =)

Anthea; Thank you so much! Organza would have been a great idea. Right now it's stabilized with a fusible thin woven cotton. However, as there's a seam in the middle of it it was tricky to fuse it secure. A sew-in would have been a lot better...
And I loved the tea dye, so easy and so much fun! It was actually you who inspired me to it, with the fabric for your tea-dyed blouse!

Chloelouise said...

Love, love, love your blog. I like to make tailored shirts, too. It is a process. I have made about 5 and I do keep progressing. I just bought some really nice Liberty of London cotton fabric but now I am afraid to cut into it. I just wore a shirt I made yesterday to church and it is not only very nice cotton, soft and a fine weave, about 8 dollars a yard at Yardage Town and it actually fits well. The thing is if you get it to fit correctly it is soooo comfortable. Getting the armholes just right is a good thing. What do you think. Chloe louise--the ronnie republic