Thursday, 25 April 2013

Inspiration: Swedish 30s pattern magazines

I've recently been on a bit of a shopping spree for 30s inspiration... Pattern magazines can be quite expensive here, but I've managed to score a few on Tradera/Ebay anyway. Here's my small but growing collection...

I love that some of the magazines came with pattern sheets! Although they make modern Burda magazines look like a walk in the park:

Basically, I just wanted to share some of my favorites with you =) Wanna see them? Here they are:



The text reads "A practical vacation dress"


I'll def post more about these magazines over time, they have an abundant of interesting tidbits in them!

Love, Erika

Monday, 22 April 2013

Summer SWAP 1,2 and 3

First items on my Summer Sewing With A Plan are ready!

1) Half circle skirt in blue mixed cotton. At least I think/hope it's part cotton... I bought the fabric ages and ages ago, and half of it became the first sewn garment featured on this blog (a pleated summer skirt). I've had loads of grand ideas for the 1,5 metres left of this fabric, but nothing has ever seemed right. This may not be a fancy fabric, and it has a shady content, but it's grease and dirt-resistant, it hardly wrinkles and the pleated version is one of my most used items. Hence; another half circle skirt! =) This time with an invisible side-zip.

On a side-note: now I understand the whole shebang about using invisible-zipper feet. I'd only tried it on very thin and flimsy fabric, and thought it was a big hoax. But on this sturdier fabric it worked great!

2) Jersey top. Not much to the naked eye, but a big deal to me as I've adressed and - keep your fingers crossed - conquered the fitting issues in my previous makes! The excellent advices I got on my post really summed up to one thing: a modified SBA. What?! I'm an E-cup, for heavens sake. A very new situation to me... However, my starting point was my sloper for wovens. That sloper has undergone serious alterations, amongst others an FBA. Protruding things stretches jersey more than flat surfaces, meaning that what would in woven have been needed extra fabric for my bust, was in jersey surpluce.

Not wanting to alter the length of the sideseam or the shoulderseam, I reduced the overbust, the neckline and the underbust-gathers. I cut up the front bodice along these lines:

And then overlapped the desired amout (meaning: I made a rough estimation by testing the last top and tested by pinching how much it made sense to reduce over the actual bust. So, I guessed). It worked out darn well!

I also reduced the sleeveheads so the sleeve is inserted flat.

3) Time to test the new top-pattern as a dress! This is a real Frankenstein... The skirt and midriff is from the chevron dress (with 1,5 cm added at center front of midriff-piece), the back bodice is from when I altered the chevron-dress pattern for a V-neck dress that didn't get made, the front bodice and the sleeves are from the new TNT. (And I traced all pieces so all patterns are complete! Quite shocking...)

I've skipped the stabilizer in the underbust seam, but kept it for the shoulders. The waist is helped by an elastic inserted in the overlock seam. I messed it up a bit, though, as I sewed in the elastic wrong (forgot to stretch it and put it on the skirt side instead of on the midriff side) so this dress will be best to wear with a belt. The elastic may also get a bit better after washing. Ah, well, this was the test-run dress =)

New solution to finishing the neckline: cut a 4 cm wide strip and treat it like a mix between biastape and waistband. Attatch right side to right side...

...fold over the overlock-seam so it's engulfed by the band and top-stitch with a zig-zag just next to the seam. Setting my machine on a narrow zic-zag, I can use my zipper-foot (or whatever it is, that's what I most often use it for) and get really close. The finished band ends up a bit round, but I like the effect.

All the hems are folded under once and then top-stitched with a narrow zic-zag.

That was my three easy starting projects; fast to make, versitile and easy to wear. Now it's time for a couple of more jersey projects on the summer SWAP!

Love, Erika

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Me Made May - I'm in!

Zoe from So, Zo, what do you know? is hosting another round of the by now iconic Me Made May-challenge! I participated in Me Made-june two years ago, and learned a lot about the gaps in my closet. At first I was a bit hesitant about signing up this year - for me it would feel like cheating to pledge to just do what I anyway do, it needs to be a challenge. A dream (and a longterm goal) is to be able to go all-in, but I'm not there yet (outerwear, knickers and knitted cardigans all remains for that). However, I decided to pledge...

"I, Erika of Swingin' it in vintage, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '13. I endeavour to 1) wear one me-made garment that is not a skirt, each day for the duration of May 2013 and 2) wear a me-made dress in a non-social dance context minimum once a week during May."

The plan is to not sew anything for this challenge. The summer SWAP I'm of course making anyway! I will sew during May, but only what I anyway would have. The goal is instead to see how much me-made I actually wear, what gaps that remains and which type of make(s) I really feel most comfortable using in my everyday life. Also I want to give myself a nudge to wearing blouses and dresses in my everyday life.

I have a pretty good idea what I need in my closet, and what I need to sew to complete the list, but it will be interesting to test the theory against reality.

Oh, and this won't turn into a daily update of outfits-blog during May, I'll post weekly outfit-round-ups =) Inbetween them, there will still be ordinary posts.

So, are you in on Me Made May?!

Love, Erika

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Green wool dress, 40s style

It's ready! Yay! =) This dress took a while to make, partly due to the time of year when I started the project (from now on I should stick to TNT jerseys during February), and partly due to the shifty nature of the fabric. It's 100% wool, with a beautiful drape and a loose weave that makes it easy to press and easy to hide stitches in, but in my mind I named this make "The maybe I'll just baste it first-dress" =) All details have been basted, and though it may seem timeconsuming, the alternative (pin, sew, unpick, pin, baste, sew) would have taken longer...
The dress is made using a pattern I drafted from my blockpattern. This is my third make of this pattern, and each time I alter something. Close up of the altered details:

Shortened neckline to prevent gaping.

Upper front body is underlined in a fitted, thin muslin, hopefully controlling the ease from the pleats to lay still =)

Gathers altered to pleats, at bodice to yoke (front and back), bodice to midriff piece and end of sleeves to cuffs.

Shirtsleeve-placket instead of a bias-bound one. (As usual all the buttonholes are handworked).

Handpicked, lapped side zipper.

Inside of hem

Hem from the right side
Hem reinforced with fusible interfacing, hemline basted, steamed and pressed as shown here. Handstitched.

Regarding what era to pin it to, I'm just not sure... At first I thought of the late 40s, with the pleats and the half-circle skirt, but the sleeves are a bit wrong for that, aren't they? The 70s spring to mind, and it sure does have a lot in common with that decade. The only details landing it in an earlier decade is the length of the skirt and the sidezipper. Maybe late 30s/early 40s? Just at the start of WWII there was a period when skirts were getting wider and more circular again (soon made slimmer due to fabric rationing), and the puffy sleeves of the 30s were still seen. Maybe it would would fit that time period better? Anyway, it's somewhere in the general 40s style =)

Hmm, maybe I can have fun with that... A hairdo, seamed stockings, fancy shoes, and it's obviously a dressy 40s look. Ponytail, cotton/wool thights, winter boots, and it's a more casual 70s look.

So happy to finally have completed and photographed this dress! Sorry about the photo's though, some a bit murky and I'm not sure what's going on with the colour. The colour in the view of the back and in the hemline-pics is the most accurate =)

Love, Erika