Did she do it? Did she succeed in her 52 garment in 52 weeks challenge? Well…. almost.
How many garments have I made so far? Since July 1st, 2018, I have made 45 garments for myself. On top of that, I’ve made 3 sweaters for my husband and several hats/scarves and a purse for myself (approx. 49 pieces including those). (I have also made many hats and scarves as gifts to others as well) OH and I should mention I made all these from either vintage patterns, self-drafted the patterns myself (I learned how to draft patterns in High School. Thank you Mrs. Hewitt) or made them from vintage reproduction patterns. My memade wardrobe is all vintage reproduction.
I’m proud of this. It’s been a lot of hard work, but I love it because it is another way to stretch my creativity! My goal is that most of my wardrobe is memade, with a small percentage of it from thrifting or clothing swaps. I’m getting there! The extra bonus of making my own clothing, they fit properly!!!
To help keep me motivated, I created groups and we have knit-a-longs, sew-a-longs, crochet-a-longs, and refashion-a-longs. These groups are my happy place!
Where does my original inspiration come from? My Mother is my sewing inspiration. She taught me how to sew when…. I think it was ten-years-old — she says I was younger than that. I learned how to sew on a Treadle sewing machine (My Great Grandma Brown’s (made in 1898)) that I now own. My Mom also made her own and all of our clothing (when we were kids), without patterns. That’s right folks, wanting to self-draft my own patterns vs using premade patterns is in the blood!
I’m incredibly happy with my achievement this year. Even after sewing for decades I am still learning new skills. That brings me to my new goal. Starting August 1st I am going to begin using Draft-at-home systems. I have quite a few that include Haslam, Mrs. Depew and many others. I’ve done a blog post on it, it you want to give it a gander! https://killerkitschdesigns.com/2019/03/13/draft-at-home-systems/
The July to September (July 1 to September 30) knit-a-long in our Vintage Knitting group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/killerkitschvintageknitalong/) will be another bring your own pattern; it just needs to be vintage (1950s and earlier) and be a summer jumper. But here is the twist, it can be knit, crochet or a combination of both! Not to worry, if you don’t have a pattern in your stash we will be providing some pattern information that will be found over in our Facebook group.
If you post your KAL photos on Instagram please tag me at @killerkitsch13 and use tags #killerkitschknitalong and #summeralong.
June’s a-long is a bit of a free for all! We will be doing a summer outfit a-long. It can be a dress or separates. It can include knitted and crochet garments as well. It can be self-drafted, from a pattern or a refashion. The only guideline is the outfit must reproduce patterns from the 1950s or earlier! Show us your memade vintage inspired outfits! I may actually do another tiki set. Or… a patio dress. There are just so many options!
The summer-a-long will run from June 1 to 30! As always, if you post on Instagram please tag @killerkitsch13 and use hashtags #killerkitschsummeralong.
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!
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!