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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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?
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!
PSA from the girl who can’t knit/crochet or sew (it hurts to cut fabric) for the next 4 to 6 weeks. I learned a hard lesson and need to share it with all of you. 😔
I am someone who would, without realizing it, knit for hours at a time. It wouldn’t be until my digits or wrists got tired, would I realize how long I had been knitting. Then, I noticed my thumb started to get stiff in the morning (when I woke up), then sore and hard to straighten out right away (I would need to stretch it)… now it hurts to bend. Two weeks ago I stopped knitting to see if that would help, but it didn’t. I went to the doctor and I have tendonitis and it will take 4 to 6 weeks to heal fully. I’m frustrated because I can’t knit, crochet or sew and I have to be patient. Not being able to at least knit is making me antsy!
On the positive side, I’m hoping it is healed up in time for the next KAL/SAL and for my winter cardigan knitting plans. Unfortunately, I can’t even sew ATM because even cutting out fabric is hurting my thumb. I’ve missed out on the Beach PJ SAL and possibly the Betty dress SAL. 😔 Do yourself a favour and take care of your hands!
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/
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
This time of year, people start thinking about their New Year’s resolutions and the majority of these, last for maybe the first week of January. Many years ago I stopped making resolutions. Instead, I have been making pledges and for things that will make me happy. This year I’m extra excited about my pledge for 2019!
Back in June I talked about my Me Made promises to myself and my wardrobe goals and though I wasn’t able to make everything in the potential queue, I’ve made quite a lot. I just did the math and since that post, I have sewn eighteen garments and in 2018 knit nine garments. I was basically sewing a garment a week for a while, though the last few months I haven’t quite sewn as much due to it being a busy time. I have to say, I’m very proud of myself for what I’ve accomplished so far. In 2019 I plan to have even greater success.
Now onto my sewing and needlework plans for 2019! I’ve decided that I don’t want to just sew individual random pieces. This worked perfectly in 2018 because I needed to fill holes in my wardrobe, however, in 2019 I want to go bigger! With the exception of the sew-a-longs over in our Facebook group, I want to focus on very specific themes. The ones I want to do at the beginning of 2019 are Audrey from Little Shop of Horrors (the original) and Miss Lemon from Poirot. These two I am firm on and am thinking about other themes for the rest of the year. I’m also considering re-producing some of Clara Bow’s outfits more towards the end of the year I have them to chime in 2020! The twenties are back baby!
My scariest feat for 2019 will be…. I’m making pants. Being a skirt and dress girl, I don’t remember the last time I actually wore pants. It’s been years. I generally don’t like pants because they have never fit me properly. To get them to fit my hips the waist is always way too big or too low. Solution — make my own! The plan is to make 1930s/1940s wide-legged trousers. They tend to be the most flattering to curvy figures. For my first pair, I may go with an indie pattern or use the one in the Gertie book. I do plan to self-draft trousers, but for the first one, I make go that way.
When it come to knitting, I’m not too concerned because I mostly knit from the patterns from the 1930s to the 1950s. That said, I really want to focus in on themes and I already have a solid plan! AND, I have a few patterns I am creating myself and hope to have them ready in the first half of the year.
A pledge I have made for the blog is to write-up more blog posts about my own makes and with many more photos of those garments. There is something empowering about making your own garments and I want to share it with you all!
As I said earlier, I am really excited about my pledge this year!
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!