1940s, 1945, pants, sewing, slacks, trousers, vintage, Vintage Community, vintage life, vintage pattern, vintage reproduction, vintage sewing, vintage style

1940s Trousers And The Journey To Get The Right Fit: Toile #1

Trousers, Pants, Slacks or what ever you wish to call them, have been my nemesis in my later adult years. I haven’t owned a pair in 10+ years and to be honest I swore I was never going to own a pair again. As per my previous post, there are a lot of things I hate about modern pants, including the fit and how short the rise is. I’m a high waisted, curvy girl! That just isn’t going to do. As I have with all of my current wardrobe, it I want it to fit, I have to make it myself. So why have I changed my mind? A few reasons.

  1. I live in Canada and winters get hella cold here. COLD! FREEZING! WINDCHILL! I usually wear thick tights under my dresses and skirts, but the wind still gets up there.
  2. I love the way 1930s/1940s/1950s pants look.
  3. Vintage trousers fit. The waist is where is SHOULD be. I will always need to to resize them, because I don’t have a 26″ waist or 40″ hips, but with all vintage patterns I’ve redrafted, the fit is always spot on, when I do.
  4. I follow quite a few curvy ladies on Instagram who have made their own trousers and they are rocking them! One of the ladies is Bex Huland! She looks incredible in the 1940s trousers she made and it has inspired me!

The pattern I chose for this journey is a 1945 Trouser Set B, that I found on Etsy from Eva Dress. I purchased the PDF version of the pattern. The pattern is originally by Vogue (9016), (“Easy to Make”) ‘Slacks with built-up or regulation waist line and choice of long or below-knee length. As the pattern suggests the pattern is incredibly easy to make, how ever you will need to make fit adjustments for the modern figure. I know I have to.

So, where do we start? With a toile. We always start with a toile. Every thing I sew I make one. I wish I could just sew straight from the original pattern, but that will never happen. Plus, I have some pretty sweet fabric for my first pair of trousers and there is no way in hell, I’m cutting into it until I get the fit right.

Toile #1

There will eventually be more pictures of me wearing toiles. At the moment I have no way of taking those photos.

There are going to be a few toiles, so be prepared! This first one was ok. When I redrafted it, I almost got the measurements right. I was off, ever so slightly. When I did the sit test, I found them a little snug across the front. I don’t want it baggy either, but if I have to sit for a long time, I would like it a bit looser. Also, it will be a bit more flattering on the tummy area. A few other things I need to change is the rise needs to be at least 1 to 2″ higher, I don’t like the side snaps and the legs from the knees down are way too wide. I also hate the front darts. They aren’t flattering and draw too much attention to my belly.

After making several notes, I decided to search Instagram to see who else may have made these trousers and I remembered that Bex had made a similar pair (hers are 1940s). I looked at a few of her posts and voila, she had the exact same fit issues/change ideas I did AND added a back zipper. The back zipper solved the side button issue! With her trousers, she did add pockets. For now I am going to concentrate on fit. At some point down the road, I will work on adding pocket.

Bex also has a couple blog posts about the trousers she made (here) and (here), as well as how she removed the front darts. Please check them out!

I’m going to be doing a separate blog post for each toile I make and a blog post for the finished pair (with actual photos of me wearing them). These next several months are going to be about trousers. I will be trying out different patterns and styles and working on the perfect fit for all! Oh did I mention, I’m also going to be making shorts… that’s going to be a whole other set of blog posts! I hope you will come along for the journey!

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Vintage Trousers/Pants Sew-a-long!

We are doing another pop-up sew-a-long over in our Killer Kitsch Vintage WIPs Facebook group. https://www.facebook.com/groups/killerkitschvintagewips/  This time around we are doing pants/trousers! We will be starting on August 24th, 2020. There is no deadline to finish, so join us when you can. Please click on the above link to join our group!

The pattern will need to be 1970s and before. It can be an original vintage pattern or vintage reproduction. If you are joining us please tag me on Instagram (@killerkitsch13) and use hashtag #killerkitschsewalong.

Why trousers you ask? For the last two years I’ve been telling myself I would finally take the trouser making adventure, but I always end up talking myself out of it. I haven’t worn pants (always dresses or skirts) in over 10 years and for a few reasons, but the main reason is I hate the way modern pants fit. The waist is too low and the rise too short. I prefer the styles of the 1930s to 1950s for trousers and pants and those are the era’s I will be sticking with. The waist line and rise are perfection. Heck! I’m even making a pair of shorts. The trousers are from 1945 and a pattern I found on the Eva Dress Etsy store. The shorts are the Loretta shorts from Charm Patterns. (You will need to join their Patreon to get the pattern.) I am also going to attempt a 1950s style pedal pushers. Photos are all in the slide show below!

If you are wanting to also get started and are looking to make trousers/pants, please join us!

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Sewing Plans!

Every year on my birthday I put together a new sewing plan for that year (my birthday is July 31st — the sewing plan is from August 1st to July 31st each year) Last year it was the dress challenge. (which is still ongoing as I created a sew a vintage dress a month challenge with two other lovely ladies. We now have a large group on Facebook and Instagram also participating with us.) The year before that was a drawing/sketch to finished garment and year before that was the create a garment a week. (I could keep going but you get the idea) This year it’s to add 1940s silhouettes to my wardrobe. Mid-1940s to late 1950s have always worked best for my shape. After many, many years of fighting it, I now sew and knit for the body I have, rather than the one that society dictates.

As I mentioned above, I am adding more 1940s to my wardrobe. I’ve mostly been concentrating on the 1950s for sewing and 1930s for knitting and have a wardrobe filled with lovely garments because of it. I have plenty of dresses, skirts and tops, but no trousers at all, very few a-line skirts and very few blouses. My main goal is to fill the holes in my wardrobe and a 1940s style is the perfect way to go!

A sub challenge to the main one, is to make trousers. I haven’t worn pants of any kind in over 10 years. I’ve actually lost track to when the last time I did. There are many reasons for this, but the main one is that I hate the way that trousers look on me. Modern pants do not fit properly or rather, they don’t fit me properly. The waists are too low and they just don’t fit curvy girls the way they should. If I want the hips to fit, the waist is too big. If the waist fits, good luck getting them on. I also don’t need to be showing off my butt crack.

As with all of my other makes, it will be easy to get a fit the way I want it. It may take several toiles to get there, but I will. I’m going to be giving these trousers a try. The pattern is from Eva Dress on Etsy. Liz Von Villas and Bex Hulands have both inspired me to make trousers! I’m excited to make my first pair!

The other garment I’m excited to make is the a-line skirt. I have lots of circle skirts and gathered skirts in my wardrobe, but no a-line skirts. The beauty is they will take up way less material!

I hope you follow along with my 1940s sewing journey!

In 2021 I will also be adding 1940s knitwear to my wardrobe. Rather more 1940s. I already have a few pieces. That will be a post for another day.

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To Knit or Not to Knit

Well, that is the question. Today I took a long hard look at all of my handmade sweaters. Which ones I wear often and which ones I don’t. (usually the don’ts are ones I’m not happy with) For the longest time I would knit to keep my hands busy and as a way of mediation and stress relief. Due to this, the sweater cubby is bursting. The problem is, I still want to, need to knit!!! What’s a girl to do? I have a solution. We always have a solution. I’ve broken it down below.

  1. Allow yourself 2 personal knits/crochet per season. Only knit to fill holes in my wardrobe.
  2. Knit more garments as gifts.
  3. Knit to stockpile for when you can sell at artisan shows again. (or if not possible, I may start selling online)
  4. SEW MORE!

I’m a huge fan of #4. I’m also not sewing as many garments as I did before. Now it’s quality over quantity and I’m working to fill holes in my wardrobe as well. I have to keep reminding myself that I don’t need to sew and knit EVERYTHING!

That all said, I have chosen two knits (above), that will be my fall knits. I’m currently working on my summer ones, the Denise jumper and a summer, cotton, crocheted jumper (both below). Once those are done, that is it for my own personal summer knitting. Currently we have a pop-up knit-a-long over in our Vintage WIPs Facebook group. There is no deadline and you can join when you like.

Speaking of knit-a-longs, once I’m done Denise, I will be starting the two-toned cardigan and we will have another pop-up knit-a-long for that as well. I will announce it here!

Where to find the patterns. (click on the photos and it will take you to the pattern – some are free and some are paid)

What are you knitting plans? Do you limit yourself? Or do you knit all the things?

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Denise Patons 323 Pop-up KAL

We are starting to do some pop-up KALs/CALs/SALs over in our WIPs Facebook group. I know it is really hard for many to buy fabric or yarn right now, so we are trying to make them stash busters. These are also very loose in their deadline. Start and end when you can. Once we are out of Pandemic Jail we will go back to regular KALs/CALs/SALs.

A few of us are doing the Denise Patons 323 jumper and we thought it would be fun to see if anyone else wanted to join. You can join here or in the WIPs group. (https://www.facebook.com/groups/killerkitschvintagewips/)

If you are joining us please tag me over on Instagram (@killerkitsch13) and use hashtag #killerkitschknitalong

The pattern can be purchased over on Bex Huland’s Etsy shop, Subversive Femme! Here is the link https://www.etsy.com/listing/798662282/denise-a-multi-coloured-jumper-from?ref=shop_home_active_1&crt=1.

I’ve chosen some Fall colours for my jumper, because not only is it my favourite time of year, they are colours that just suit me! I’m also doing the order of colours opposite of the photo with the darker colour on the bottom and the light colours on top. So… Purple, orange then yellow.

The yarn being used is a fingering yarn. I know many don’t like to use this weight because they feel like the task of knitting with it is daunting. Also, there are 5″ of 1 x 1 ribbing for this top and that alone might deter you, but trust me, this knits up pretty fast. You aren’t using teeny tiny needles and that is truly helpful! After only a few days of knitting a few hours a night (see photo below) I am already onto the body and as of today am almost at the point where I will change colours.

We would love it if you joined us. If you aren’t on Facebook, you can also join us over on Instagram!

Happy Knitting!

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Planning! Upcoming Sewing Plans

I apologize. It’s been a while since we’ve chatted. It’s funny that, because I have been sewing up a storm. I’ve been sewing dresses and tops and some more dresses. Heck, my upcoming plans are quite ambitious if I do say so myself. What should we start with? What I’ve made or what I’m going to make. Let’s get a warm up with the garments I’ve made so far.

Dresses! For the sew a vintage dress a month challenge, I’ve made 5 dresses. I’m currently planning out my June dress. I love this challenge and the fact it has me making more dresses! My closest is currently crammed tight.

Tops! I have had the Rita Blouse pattern sitting and ready to go for a while! I finally made a couple. They are really quick and fast to sew up. I will definitely be making more.

Upcoming Plans!

Tiki! Tiki! Tiki!

I’ve been excited with the warmer weather approaching, which means I can break out my skirts and dresses. Even though we still can’t go out to bars and event venues that should stop me from wearing my makes or plan on garments that excite me. The theme that is making me really happy right now is Tiki! Here are some photos that are inspiring my plans right now.

Another garment I have been thinking long and hard about making is pants. I haven’t owned a pair in well over a decade. Why? I don’t like how they fit. Moderns pants are low-waisted and look horrendous on this high-waisted gal.

More dresses because a girl can’t enough of them!

We also can’t forget a bit of knitting and crochet. I need to keep my hands busy. Keeps me out of trouble.

crochet, crochet pattern, crochet-a-long, knit-a-long, knitting, knitting community, sew-a-long, sewing, vintage, Vintage Community, vintage crochet, vintage knitting, vintage knitting patterns, vintage life, vintage pattern, vintage reproduction, vintage sewing, vintage style

It’s been a while!

How is everyone doing? I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted here and even longer since I’ve posted a SAL/KAL/CAL. We are going to be running a sew your stash-a-long in our Killer Kitsch Facebook Vintage WIPs group, please join us if you are working through your stash as well.

I’ve also been posting a lot over in my Lizzie Violet blog. It’s been a daily thing and I’m posting about learning how to including sewing, knitting, cross stitch and crochet. Below are some of the links.

How to crochethttps://lizzieviolet.com/2020/04/27/stay-the-fuck-home-learn-how-to-crochet-edition/

How to knithttps://lizzieviolet.com/2020/04/26/stay-the-fuck-home-learn-how-to-knit-edition/

Sewing Machine Maintenancehttps://lizzieviolet.com/2020/04/15/stay-the-fuck-home-sewing-machine-maintenance-edition/

How to sewhttps://lizzieviolet.com/2020/03/21/stay-the-fuck-home-the-sewing-edition/

Sewing part 2https://lizzieviolet.com/2020/04/24/stay-the-fuck-home-sewing-tutorials-part-deux-edition/

I’m also giving a hey to dining room sewists. I know what it’s like. Many of us live in apartments and sadly, don’t have the luxury of a sewing room. Where are you setting up for your sewing? Post in the comments below. My set-up is on our dining room. For cutting out and drafting patterns, I lay down a bunch of foam mats that look like puzzle pieces. They are meant for kids to play on. This protects the table. When I’m drafting, I lay bristol board on top of it. Everything courtesy of the dollar store!

How is your sewing/knitting/crochet/cross-stitch going? Are you inspired to stay creative or have you lost the desire?

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Spring Has Almost Sprung!

It’s time to announce what our March/April SAL/KAL/CAL will be! It is SPRING! From March 1 to April 30th, show us your Spring sewing, knitting and crochet projects! Here are some photos for inspiration!

As always if you post on Instagram, please tag us at @killerkitsch13 and use one of the following hashtags. #killerkitschsewalong#killerkitschknitalong#killerkitschcrochetalong

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Sewing Inspirations

This year I am hoping to make more dresses inspired by dresses I’ve seen in movies. Two of my biggest inspirations are Marilyn Monroe and Audrey from the 1960’s Little Shop of Horror. I already have the two Marilyn Dresses planned out (just need to get the right material) and am figuring out the Audrey dresses as I write this.


The blue Swiss Dot dress I am using the Lila and June Picnic dress pattern. The red Marilyn dress from the movie Niagara will be a Gertie pattern. I’m deciding what patterns to use for the Audrey dresses.

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Adjustable Skirt Sew-a-long

We are super excited for our February sew-a-long, because it’s another collaboration with Ask Sarah! Our last collaboration with Sarah was for the super swell Tiki Set! Anyone who participated will remember how much fun it was to make the Tiki Set.

Oh, and did I mention it will be an adjustable wrap skirt for the February sew-a-long! That’s right an ADJUSTABLE wrap skirt! Who doesn’t love an adjustable skirt!

The SAL will run from February 1 to 29 (yuppers, this year Feb is a leap year!). As always, if you post on Instagram please tag @killerkitsch13 and use hashtags #killerkitschsewalong #wrapskirtalong. Please, also tag Sarah on all of your posts as well. Her Instagram is @asksarah.com.au

We will also provide information about the sew-a-long in our Facebook group. (https://www.facebook.com/groups/killerkitschvintagewips/)

Now a little bit about Sarah!

Ask Sarah is a DIY, self-drafting fashionista with vintage flair. Sarah can be found creating twirly half circle skirts or sassy ensembles. Sarah doesn’t put pockets in all the things… but there is always cat fur on all the things! 

Ask Sarah is an Australian based creator and designer and all of her social media links are below.  https://www.instagram.com/asksarah.com.au/