We are super excited to be making another Lila & June garment for our April sew-a-long. We will be making the very popular Picnic Dress and even more exciting, the wonderful and talented Aly from Sewcial Dee will be doing a tutorial for the dress!!! The Picnic Dress pattern is designed by the incredibly talented Kirsten from Lila & June!
With this tutorial we are doing something a little bit different. Aly will be posting the tutorial in four steps and will be posting those steps weekly. If you are someone who is new to dressmaking, this will be the perfect tutorial and sew-a-long for you.
The SAL will run from April 1 to 30. As always, if you post on Instagram please tag @killerkitsch13 and use hashtags #killerkitschsewalong #picnicdressalong. Please, also tag Aly and Kirsten on all of your posts as well. Their instagram is @sewcial.dee and @kmakesthings.
Now a little bit about Aly! Aly is a postmodern girl in a new century world and a Southern California girl with an affinity for all things retro. Aly’s blog is about sewing and focused towards vintage styles (either vintage patterns or vintage recreation patterns). Aly’s posts are an indepth look and review about the patterns she recreates, with added flair. Aly considers the pinup look to be part of her lifestyle and she also uses this space to offer her opinion on vintage reproduction brands she loves.
I’ve been slightly obsessed with the Draft at Home Systems that were popular between the 1920s to the late 1950s. As someone who self-drafts or has to resize vintage patterns, I fully appreciate the adventure of using these systems. I mentioned in a recent post that it is time for me to level up my sewing skills and I personally think that this is the way to to do it, not to mention, I can continue to customize patterns and garments to fit my body.
What are Draft at Home Systems you ask? These were generally patterns or pattern books sent via mail order or found in magazines. Many of the books would include a variety of patterns including women, men, children and occasionally household patterns. The systems would also assume that an experienced home seamstresses would be using the patterns. In most cases patterns would not include facings, pockets or even instructions. It was up to you to figure that all out. The patterns themselves would be considered easy enough for the sewist to draft themselves, as sewing was a skill that would be taught from generation to generation. In my opinion, it should still be a learned skill that everyone should know — but, I digress, that is for another post.
There are several different types of Draft at Home Systems, I am listing several below and if you are interested in trying them out yourself, I will include links for as many as I can. The first ones listed are the ones I will be trying soon. I will be posting about my adventures in using these systems and I hope you come along for the journey! As I find more drafting systems I will be sure to blog about them.
Haslam System Of Dress Cutting The Haslam System was very popular from the 1930s all the way to the 1950s, which is quite a feat as many other drafting systems would generally be popular for a particular period and fall out of popularity when a newer, better system was created. I plan on making the green dress that is in the illustration below. I’ve wanted to make more 1930s fashions, but the sizing generally doesn’t fit me. With the actual Draft at Home System I can customize the pattern and garment to fit my measurements!
Mrs. Depew Many of Mrs. Depew’s patterns are from a French pattern drafting system fairly similar to the Lutterloh golden rule patterns. Thought the site doesn’t say which I am taking a wild guess that it is Eclair Coupe Paris. Though Mrs. Depew isn’t an actual drafting system, I am including it here as there are a lot of Draft at Home System patterns on her website. I feel like her website is also a great resource.
Enid Gilchrist Enid Gilchrist was an Australian fashion designer, who became well known for her numerous self-drafting sewing pattern books which were very popular in the 1950s to 1970s. The pattern book I have has a great selection of dresses and I can’t wait to make one of the day dresses! If you want to purchase a book Subversive Femme over on Etsy has two.
In addition to these three systems I have a few more I want to try out. I have listed those below with other drafting systems that are out there! These are just a few, there are so many more systems. The ones I am interested in are from 1900 to the early 1960s. I am always on the hunt and my goal is to try to make at least one garment from as many of the systems as I can.
Italian Drafting System Elegantissma was an Italian drafting system that was popular in the mid to late 1950s. If you want to buy one of the magazines, you can find them here.
“Making fashionable, professional looking clothing, requires complete control over fabric, style and fit.
Choosing and making your own patterns, is the ideal way to create your individual style and achieve consistently proper fitting garments. The Lutterloh pattern making system is the perfect solution for today’s busy sewer.
Fashion conscious sewers from around the world have been using the Lutterloh method for decades, beginners and professionals alike. This system is quick and easy to learn.
Astonishingly simple, you need only two measurements to make an excellent fitting pattern every time.“ www.lutterloh-system.com
Eclair Coupe Paris This system was developed in the late 20s. I’ve compared it to the other pattern systems I have and I am finding this one quite easy to follow. I like that you get handy paper rulers that go up to very large sizes. I have also found instructions on how to make my own rulers if need be.
Magazines A large variety of women’s magazines would contain either knitting, crochet or sewing patterns. I’ve listed a few below.
Australian Home Journal Good Needlework Home Chat Ladies Companion Ladies Home Journal My Home Stitchcraft Weldon’s Ladies Journal (Here is a link to a pdf of a magazine ) Women at Home Women’s Life Women’s Weekly Women’s World
Let’s help encourage warm spring weather with a bird themed knit-a-long! Everyone loves birds!
For this knit-a-long, you can use your own pattern, it just needs to be vintage (1920s (or earlier) to 1950s) and have birds on it. Not worry, if you don’t have a pattern in your stash we will be providing some patterns or information on where to search! To be part of the KAL please join our Facebook group. The next KAL runs from April 1st to June 30th. No fool’n!
Our winter has been one of the most confusing, depressing and what feels like neverending in what feels like forever. Actually, I don’t recall a winter being this icy and grey as long as I can remember. Usually, November is bleak and grey, but from that point on the days are generally sunny and cold. We have went through three-plus months of minimal sun and it has not only been affecting my mood, but my motivation to sew. This week we had lots of sun and my sewing mojo is back! Ok… enough of the whining!
What I’ve been doing to combat the blues and to get inspired again, is I am researching and dreaming of my spring and summer wardrobe! I have also decided that 2019 will be the year that I up my sewing skills. It’s time to level up!
Over the last few years, I’ve been intrigued with the draft-at-home-systems such as Haslam, Mrs. Depew, Enid Gilchrist, Eiffel Pattern Drafting System, Lutterloh and other French and Italian systems. I currently have Haslam, Mrs. Depew and Enid Gilchrist and am researching others. I want to try them all! As I make a garment from each of the drafting systems I will be blogging about it and posting on my social media (Instagram & Facebook).
The beauty of these systems is they will also help me build my 2019 spring and summer wardrobe! I really want to start adding colour to my wardrobe and I’ve been obsessing a bit on 1940s summer styles such as embroidered Mexican Peasant blouses & dresses, espadrilles, big floppy hats and beach pajamas. If we get another sweltering hot summer like last year, these will be perfect. Oh, and I can’t forget a 1950s style tiki wardrobe! We will be doing a collaboration for a tiki set in our March sew-a-long! See my last post!
I also have some spring/summer knits in mind as well. I am almost done my last winter knit and am excited to get some lighter knits on my needles. I am looking to knit a few summer blouses in cotton yarn as well! You can check out my knitting queue over on Ravelry!
Are you tired of winter yet? Have you tried draft-at-home systems and if you have which ones have you used? What are your vintage summer wardrobe dreams and future makes?
Slips, Petticoats and Crinolines Oh My! For the month of January let’s make one of the most requested sew-a-long’s! It is also something pretty to put underneath your dresses and skirts!
For this SAL we will be making slips (half or full), crinolines or petticoats! The choice is up to you. You can also use your own pattern or one of the self-draft patterns in the links provided in the group! If you have a pattern that you want added to the list, please send us the link and we will add it!
This sew-a-long will run from January 1st to the 31st. I have created and FAQ page with links and you will find it in the files over at our Killer Kitsch Vintage WIPs group. There is a variety of tutorials that are very easy to follow. To be part of this and all of our sew-a-longs, please join our group. https://www.facebook.com/groups/killerkitschvintagewips/
As always, if you post on Instagram please tag @killerkitsch13 and use hashtags #killerkitschsewalong #petticoat-a-long.
Don’t forget that we still have a beret-a-long going on until December 31st and an ongoing Accessory-a-long until March!
Whether vertical or horizontal, everyone needs some stripes in their vintage wardrobe! Adding a little texture or patterns to your knit also makes it all that much more fun! For our first vintage knit-along for 2019 let’s do a stripes-a-long!
For this knit-a-long, you can use your own pattern, it just needs to be vintage (1920s to 1950s) and have a stripe texture. Not worry, if you don’t have a pattern in your stash I will be providing some patterns or information on where to search! The patterns I am providing are all free for use and will be in the files area of our Facebook Group. I will also have an information document in the group as well. The stripes-a-long will run from January 1st to March 31st, 2019.
The beret has been an accessory for centuries but became a fashion staple when made popular in the 1920s by sassy actresses such as Clara Bow, Louise Brooks, Marlene Dietrich, Carol Lombard, and Marion Davies. It continued to be popular as each decade of fashion changed and it is a popular quick knit, crochet or sew when you need to add a little something extra to your wardrobe!
The beret is versatile and can be worn with short hair or long hair. It can be worn all year long. It can be knit, crocheted or sewn! It really is the perfect fashion accessory. For the entire month of December, we will be doing a Beret-a-long in conjunction with the ongoing Accessory-a-long! You can knit, crochet or sew your beret!