1930s, 1940s, 1945, 1950s, blouses, pants, sewing, slacks, trousers, vintage, Vintage Community, vintage life, vintage pattern, vintage reproduction, vintage sewing, vintage style

Killer Kitsch Blouse-a-long!

2021 has definitely become the year of blouses and trousers for me. I’m focused and determined to fill my closet with them. I have plenty of dresses and skirts, but not enough blouses and at this point a wearable toile for trousers. I’m on a mission, oh yes I am!

Along with blouses for myself, I am also working on men’s shirts. This is two-fold. #1 is to make shirts for my husband. #2 is top secret for right now, however, you will hear details soonish. I’m still working on it!

As I often do, I will run an a-long to help keep me motivated. We currently have a blouse-a-long and a trouser-a-long running in our new(ish) Killer Kitsch Discord Community. If you want to join us, click here for the invite. We decided to start a Discord Community so that anyone who wants to participate can join. We were holding them on Facebook, but many people no longer have Facebook, never had Facebook or they rarely log-on (I, myself am also moving away from Facebook and will eventually be archiving the groups over there). I know many didn’t join in because of this. The Discord Community is so much easier to access and makes running a-longs easier!

Now back to blouses! The blouse I am working on is a 1930s reproduction blouse. As with all patterns, I had to grade up, especially in the hip/tummy area. As I lose weight, I will eventually need to do less grading. (with the exception of vintage patterns, I will also need to grade those)

I want to start by saying, that blouses aren’t as scary as they seem. In fact, they are pretty damn easy to make. Yes… there are usually many more pieces and steps, but in all honesty, they go together quite quickly. You just need to be patient with yourself. One tip I HIGHLY recommend is even before you cut out the material, 1. do a toile (muslin/mock-up) AND 2. read the instructions through a few times. That way, no surprises when you cut into your fabric!

I tend to sew and knit within three decades (1930s/40s/50s) and will be doing the same with my blouse journey. My first blouse is (as mentioned above) a 1930s reproduction pattern. Upcoming blog posts will be about the ones that I make from the other decades, as well as the men’s shirts I will be making. I plan on making the blouses in a variety of fabrics. These are the two I’m making at the moment.

How long did it take me to sew it? I don’t have a firm time as I tend to break it up and sew in stages. I used to try to do it all in one day and I’ve learned that doesn’t work for me. After hours of working on one piece, I do (as most will) get tired and when I get tired…. I make mistakes! By sewing it all in stages, I also find it more enjoyable. Below are the stages.

  1. (*toile/final project) Read through pattern. Review layout suggestions for pattern pieces. *Trace out pattern.

2. (toile/final project) Cut out all toile or final material and place everything, including notions in a zip lock bag.

3. (toile/final project) Sew day. Depending on how many steps, I may break this into two days. For this blouse I’m currently working on, I sewed everything up to the buttonholes.

4. (final project) Finish off buttonholes and hand-stitch, plus any other finishing.

I hope those steps helped. Here is a few photos of before and after the buttonholes.

All said, I’m really please with how the first blouse came out. I will definitely be making many more of this one. After I sew the red one (and possibly a third) I will be moving onto the 1940s. I may even have a few more 1940s trouser toiles done by then as well.

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The Miss Bow Collection launch and a CONTEST!

Exciting NEWS! Not only does Killer Kitsch Designs have a new collection, but we are also having a contest and it’s in collaboration with Heather Babcock, the author of the novel Filthy Sugar! You can win both a copy of the novel and the one of a kind beret & scarf set inspired by the main character Wanda Wiggles!

The new collection is called The Miss Bow Collection and is inspired by Clara Bow! Clara was both a Silent Film and Pre-code movie star! She is famously known to wear berets in many of her photos and movies! When I came up with the theme for the collection, I knew Filthy Sugar had to be part of the contest! Filthy Sugar is the debut novel of the incredibly talented and sassy Heather Babcock! 

Here is a blurb about the novel!

“Set in the mid-1930s, Filthy Sugar tells the story of Wanda Whittle, a nineteen-year-old dreamer who models fur coats in an uptown department store, but who lives in a crowded rooming house with her hard-working widowed mother and shrewd older sister, Evelyn, in the “slums” behind the city’s marketplace; a world where ‘death is always close but life is stubborn’. After a chance encounter with the proprietor of the Apple Bottom Burlesque Theatre, Wanda is thrust into a world of glitter and grit.”

Wanna know how to win the Wanda Wiggles set AND a copy of Filthy Sugar, head over to the @killerkitsch13 Instagram account!

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The Miss Bow Collection!

Introducing the Miss Bow Collection, inspired by that sassy beret wearing Clara Bow! Clara Bow was an actress of the pre-code and silent film era and known for her very sexy style. Clara was also a huge fan of berets and ascot style scarves! This is why The Miss Bow Collection is named after her. 

Both the beret and ascot scarf are hand knit from original 1930s patterns and are made from the softest 100% acrylic yarn. 


The collection is on sale in our Etsy Store. I will add the link for each colour below.

Colour:
Miss Bow in Cherry Red with Blush Pink flowers
Miss Bow in Teal with Raven Black flowers SOLD OUT
Miss Bow in Blush Pink with Cherry Red flowers SOLD OUT

Size (beret): The beret fits most average sized heads.

Size (scarf): From keyhole to keyhole is approximately 14” unstretched. Because of the way the scarf is knit, it will have a good amount of allowance for stretching.

We are also having a giveaway to help celebrate the launch of this new collection! All the details are over on Instagram and our Killer Kitsch account!

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The Nicest Bad Girl Cropped Cardigan

I now have two versions of The Nicest Bad Girl Cropped Cardigan for sale in my Etsy store! I will have a few more colour combinations coming, but I wanted to get these ones up now, as they will be perfect for your Valentine’s outfit!

The Nicest Bad Girl Cropped Cardigan name was inspired by my friend Heather aka Blue Suede Sue (you will find her over on Instagram) and the nicest bad girls from the b-movies of the 1950s. These nice bad girls could be sweet as pie, but you sure wouldn’t want to make them mad! This cardigan is handknit by me, from an original 1950s pattern. 

The Nicest Bad Girl Cropped Cardigan is made from the softest 100% acrylic yarn. The fit of this cardigan is cropped (sitting at your waist) and the overall body is a looser fit. The sleeves are ¾ in length so you can show off your lucite bracelets. 

Click on below to go directly to your cardigan of choice!
Cherry Red with pink flowers!
Blush Pink with red flowers!

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All The Cardigans!

Recently, I took an inventory of all of my hand knits. Rather than knit everything I see, I decided it might be a good idea to fill wardrobe holes. You see, the cubbies I use for my knits is bursting and I need to be a lot more selective about what I make. There are two types of garments I am lacking at the moment, summer tops and cardigans. Since winter is approaching, I thought I would get a head start adding some warm, cozy cardigans to the knits.

All of the cardigans I am knitting, have been inspired by some very lovely and talented knitters I follow on Instagram. Thank you Bex, Erica, Amanda and Suzanne! I have finished one of four I plan on making. All will be fairy quick knits since they will be in worsted weight yarn and I’m choosing colours I don’t currently have. Yes! You heard that right, they won’t be black or burgundy… though… one might be red, but a brighter red!

Oh and if you want to join in we are doing a vintage cardigan knit-a-long over in our Facebook group. https://www.facebook.com/groups/killerkitschvintagewips

As I mentioned above, I have finished one of the cardigans. Please check out the slide show below. It was a super easy knit, with one exception… the lace instructions were confusing. I read them several times, wrote them out a bunch of different ways, tried knitting them over and over and they came out wrong! I’m an experienced knitter and have knit lace before. I’m especially experienced at knitting vintage patterns and was super frustrated that I couldn’t figure out the lace part. Rather than toss the cardigan aside, I decided to do a cable pattern in the panel instead. I noticed that Suzanne (please click here to follow her Instagram account and see her version) had made a version and her lace came out perfect. I reached out to her and she had the exact same issues I did, however, she persevered and figured out the lace pattern. She has since shared it with me, so I am going to attempt the cardigan again with the lace.

In the end, I really love this pattern. The fit is amazing, it is an easy knit and it’s fast. The next one will be with lace and will likely be a gift. Eventually, I will make a second one for me.

One of my hurrah’s while knitting the Bestway A2900 was, I decided to learn how to make yarn covered buttons! They look complicated, but trust me, they are super easy! Click here for the link to the tutorial I followed.

This isn’t the best photo. This blue is hard to get a picture of. I was using worsted yarn, so it isn’t as defined as if I’d used fingering weight.

The next knit on my list is the Style 110, it’s from Botany Handknit Fashions vol. 10, circa 1957. This is another knit that was inspired by Bex Huland. (click here to follow her on Instagram and see her version) The other knit she inspired was the Denise blouse. She is also my inspiration to FINALLY make trousers!

The Botany cardigan is also in a very fast knit. Bex finished hers in 2 weeks. I’m going to be making mine in purple and instead of adding a floral trim, I’m going to attempt little black bats or if I do decide to go with flowers, they will be either a darker purple or black. There will be an updated blog post when I complete it.

I’ve been wanting to make the Nautical Topper for a really long time. I first saw it when Amanda (click here for her Instagram) knit it as a commission, but it wasn’t until I saw that Erica (click here for her Instagram) had started it and said how fast and easy it was, did I decide to add it to my WIPs list. I’m considering a few different colour combinations, likely in autumn colours rather than the red, blue and white.

I have a lot of knitting on my plate. I will squeeze the cardigans in between Yule knitting. I’m about 50% done my current WIPs for that, but am likely throwing in that cardigan I mentioned. However… I live in Ontario and winter is loooooong! I have plenty of time.

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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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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.

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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.