FO: Chartreuse and Steam Trains

I’m one of those sewers who buys fabric first, and then figure out what to do with it later – much to the test of my partner’s patience!

Of all the colours popular in the 1940s, chartreuse is my favourite.

Just recently I found the most bonkers chartreuse rayon georgette at Remnant Warehouse and knew it needed to be a blouse, ASAP.

1940s sewing pattern plus size vintage blouse mccalls

The pattern is McCall 7332, from 1948.
Originally I was going to make Version B with the 3/4 sleeves but I can never get them to sit right – does anyone know how to stop them sliding down?

1940s sewing pattern plus size vintage blouse mccalls

Long sleeved version A it is then!

The pattern only uses 2 1/2 yards of fabric (about 2 1/4m) which is a lot of bang for so little fabric. I really like the little tucks on the chest, it’s a quick detail but makes the blouse interesting to sew.

Apologies for the washed out photos, my camera did not like the brightness of the fabric.

The pattern is sized for a 38 inch bust – and I made no changes to the sizing to fit my 42″ bust.
None.
Nada.

I did make one mod – it was to cut a larger sleeve head so I could gather it for a slight puff.
Honestly, I’m lazy and hate fussing around setting sleeves.

Outfit:
Pants – me made, the Evadress swing trousers
1940s felt hat, vintage from Facebook
Novelty brooch – eBay
1930’s bag – Viva Las Vegas
Gold snood – Lacey Rose Creations

This weekend we also took a trip to see the steam trains at Transport Heritage Expo (yay for the Queen’s Birthday holiday).

vintage lesbian vintage queer femme butch

Jakk and I are both fans of old buses, trams, planes and trains – I count myself really lucky to find someone else who gets as excited as I do about vintage transport.

Jakk is still recovering from breast cancer surgery, so it was nice to do something gentle but fun.
And dress up in our best vintage.

vintage dyke 1950s dykes 1940s menswear

We took a steam train ride from Central Station to Hurstville – it’s amazing that these old trains still work and can get passengers around.

1950s train transport heritage expo sydney

The Sydney Bus Museum had their old double-deckers running too, taking free trips around the Sydney CBD.

vintage bus

Sometimes, I think Sydney can be really boring and sterile (compared to other cities, like Melbourne or LA) – and then I find events like this and I wouldn’t live anywhere else!

I hope you had a great weekend.
x

FO: Golden Eileen knitted jumper, circa 1941

Wow, it’s really been ages since I’ve finished knitting something but what a sense of accomplishment!

vintage knitting pattern jumper sweater 1940s 1930s 1941

The pattern is Eileen, from Patons and Baldwins Specialty Knitting 79 printed around 1941 according to Trove.

I was really drawn to this pattern because of the tiny cables surrounded by dropped stitches, I love knitting anything with an interesting texture.

The yarn is Knitpicks Comfy Fingering (cotton blend in Semolina yellow), and I’m fairly happy with it. It’s nice to knit with, has a bit of a drape and hasn’t pilled much yet.

Being an old pattern, there was some general weirdness I encountered in the sizing but I’ll share that below.

The pattern was originally sized to fit a 38 inch bust, but I modded it to fit a bit larger – probably shouldn’t have bothered as it’s very stretchy and would fit a 42 inch bust easily.

MODS:

  • Only made 4 inches of rib (the original called for much more).
  • Originally planned to increase 1 stitch in each panel of plain knitting to make it 39 inch bust, but needn’t have bothered.
  • Used 3mm needles on the rib and the body.
  • Lack of stretch in the rib meant I cast on more stitches here and decreased down on the first row afterwards.
  • The chest and shoulder depth were all quite short so I worked extra rows here to add an inch.
  • Worked an extra inch in the sleeve cap to match the extra depth on the chest.
Overall, really happy with how it turned out.
I think if I was going to knit it again I wouldn’t worry about adding extra stitches to the body as it’s so stretchy – I would probably add more to the arms though as they’re a bit tighter.
The only downside to this pattern – dropping all those stitches! It took forever to drop them down, but well worth the effort.
Just a reminder that Curvy Month is less than 8 weeks away – and I promise this pattern will be available for download in July.
I hope you all have a great weekend
xxx

Free pattern: Chartruese cardigan from 1946

Well hello strangers~!

Thanks for being patient while I’ve been off studying and having adventures!  I do have some exciting news about a pattern grading project I’ve been working on – multi-sized sewing patterns based off original vintage patterns from the 1940s and 1950s.

The Hawaiian tea-timer blouse is first up, so watch this space over the next few weeks to be first in on the news.

In the meantime, I was flicking through some old Stitchcraft Magazines and came across this really unusual cardigan from September 1947.

free vintage knitting patterns 1940s jumper sweater stitchcraft magazine
I really like the contrasting stitch patterns and the colours – chartreuse! I hope you like it too.
To fit: 33-35 inch bust
Yarn: Fingering weight
Needles: 2.75mm and 3.25mm

Free Knitting Pattern: Golden frills jumper, Stitchcraft Magazine May-June 1947

Today’s free vintage knitting pattern is a lovely little number from a late 1940s Stitchcraft Magazine.

free vintage knitting pattern 1940s sweater jumper 40 34

I’m not sure if you can see it in the above image, but the yoke has a great lattice pattern on top of a body of ribbing. The lattice is edged with a frill, which I find frilling haha.

To fit: 34-36 inch bust
Yarn: Fingering weight
Needles: 3.75mm and 3mm
(right click on images to open full size)

FOs: 1950’s Lamè Bombshell Dress (using Gertie’s Ultimate Dress Book)

I’m sure that I’ll never get bored with the Faux Sarong Dress in Gertie’s Ultimate Dress Book!

gerties ultimate dress book review faux sarong dress 1950s lame lamè dress plus size vintage sewer
These photos were taken on a 40C degree day at the Sydney Opera House – so please excuse my face while I’m trying not to melt into a puddle…
After the success with the leopard print version I made last year, it was time to try a totally different look using the same pattern mashed up with Butterick 9629 (I have an old repro by HappyScissors).
This time around, I added a sarong over skirt to the front, a mock tie, shoulder straps and bust detailing.
gerties ultimate dress book review faux sarong dress 1950s lame lamè dress plus size vintage sewer
I love this photo as it looks like i’m being attacked by a seagull!
Fabric:
This is Xmas lamè fabric – I kid you not. 
I found it in the Xmas section at Spotlight, and bought everything I could get my hands on.
It’s thick like vintage lamè and holds it shape really well. The only downside is the strength of the fabric weave – it’s a tad loose and pressure on the seams show up. I would recommend overlocking the edges of every piece before sewing too as they frayed like you would not believe. 
The whole dress is lined in matching gold cotton homespun.
gerties ultimate dress book review faux sarong dress 1950s lame lamè dress plus size vintage sewer
Construction:
I used spiral steel boning just like last time, but left off the sprung steel as I wanted to be able to sit down (and the shoulder straps would hold it up).
Surprisingly, spiral steel was enough to hold everything up – so much so go I could bra-less in this dress, the first time in my life! 
To get the sarong overskirt to fit, I laid the sarong pattern piece over the existing skirt front and added and subtracted from the side until it matched. Very easy.
The bias strip around the upper edge is completely handsewn to the edges.
Mods:
  • Added another inch to total length (that’s 2 inches total)
  • Sarong skirt addition
  • No other mods that weren’t mentioned last time I used this pattern.



Overall:

Once again, really happy with this pattern and how the dress turned out. It looked so fabulous that the MC Murray Hill gave us front row seats at the show Club Swizzle when he saw us walk us (win!).
I can’t wait to use the rest of the lamè in another dress, but I think I need some easy projects before I tackle using it again.

2016 in Review

I know that 2016 was pretty rotten for a lot of people (not to mention a lot of inspirational people passing away) – but 2016 was a pretty fantastic year for me.

Jakk and I had an amazing two-month holiday in the USA, and got see a tonne of people we love, plus the bison, Yellowstone National Park and Hawaii.

I was getting emotional just looking at old photos – we’ll probably be heading back in 2018.

On my personal life side, the project work I’ve been doing has lead to a new senior role at work. You’ve probably noticed a drop off in my posting – apologies, I have a lot less spare time than I used to so I’m aiming for quality over quantity.

I’ve also just found out that I got accepted into University for this year, starting an MBA (squee). This is the girl who didn’t really finish high school, and hasn’t done any University study before.
To those in a similar boat I say don’t give up, there’s other ways to get into University and experience really counts.

Finished Outfits for 2016


Knitting
No finished knitting for 2016 – but I have a lot of projects that should be finished off this year (hopefully).

Sewing
While not hugely productive this past year, I really did focus on making tricky or time consuming clothing (including finally using metal boning).

From the left:

Now these blouses might not be tricky to make, but I’ve definitely turned out a lot of them (eight versions and counting). I think the pattern is my new go-to for blouses, and a great example of not trusting the envelope picture – it looks much better in real life.

Well, 2017 will hopefully continue in the same vein – and I hope you had a swell New Years!

xxx
Bex