1920s, 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, sewing, vintage, Vintage Community, vintage knitting, vintage knitting patterns, vintage life, vintage pattern, vintage reproduction, vintage sewing, vintage style

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!

The Etsy store My Vintage Wish has quite a few Haslam patterns available.

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.

Sewists will be able to draft patterns to their exact sizes from the miniature pattern template and specially designed rulers. If you need help with drafting your pattern, Mrs. Depew has a really handy blog post about it.

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.

Lutterloh Lutterloh is a German Draft at Home System and it is still used today. (http://www.lutterloh-system.com/)  

“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.

Glass of Fashion has a lovely selection of patterns.

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

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1920s, 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, knit-a-long, knitting, knitting community, sew-a-long, sewing, vintage, Vintage Community, vintage knitting, vintage knitting patterns, vintage life, vintage pattern, vintage reproduction, vintage sewing, vintage style

2019 Pledge

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!

What are your pledges for 2019?

1920s, 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, free knitting pattern, knit-a-long, knitting, knitting community, sew-a-long, sewing, Uncategorized, vintage knitting, vintage knitting patterns, vintage sewing

December Beret-a-long!

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!

 

 



To be part of our Beret-a-long, please join our Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/killerkitschvintagewips/. If you aren’t on Facebook, you can still join in the fun via Instagram!

If you make a beret, please use the hashtags #beretalong #killerkitschknitalong #killerkitschsewalong and please tag @killerkitsch13 (Instagram).

1920s, 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, free knitting pattern, knit-a-long, knitting, knitting community, Uncategorized, vintage, Vintage Community, vintage knitting, vintage knitting patterns, vintage life, vintage pattern, vintage reproduction, vintage style

Schiaparelli Bowknot Sweater Knit-a-long

Let’s get all tied up with our bowtie-a-long. See what I did there… all tied up. Bowtie… Ok. Let’s move along.

For our October to December knit-a-long let’s do a bowtie-a-long. We will have two patterns available for this knit-a-long. The first is the Bow-tie Spencer and the second pattern is an updated version of the Elsa Schiaparelli Bowknot sweater. The pattern was re-created and by knitwear designer Lisa Stockebrand (https://www.ravelry.com/designers/lisa-stockebrand). It is a free Ravelry pattern, but for ease, I have put a .pdf pattern in the files area of our Killer Kitsch Vintage Knit-a-long Facebook Group. Both patterns will be available there.

The Elsa Schiaparelli Bowknot sweater is from her 1927 collection. It is beyond stunning!

If you want to learn more about Elsa Schiaparelli and her designs, this is a great blog to start with. https://blog.pattern-vault.com/2014/01/22/schiaparelli-patterns-part-1/ or the official website. http://www.schiaparelli.com/fr/maison-schiaparelli/l-histoire-de-la-maison/#annees20

I am excited to see what you come up with! I think these are perfect Christmas/Yule jumpers!

To join our October to December KAL and any of our other KALs, please join our Facebook group. Killer Kitsch Vintage Knit-a-long — https://www.facebook.com/groups/killerkitschvintageknitalong/

If you post your KAL photos on Instagram please tag me at @killerkitsch13 and use tags #killerkitschknitalong and #bowtiealong.

1920s, 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, knit-a-long, knitting, knitting community, sewing, Uncategorized, vintage, Vintage Community, vintage knitting, vintage knitting patterns, vintage life, vintage pattern, vintage reproduction, vintage sewing, vintage style

52 in 52, AKA – A Garment a Week

My birthday is on July 31. Smack dab in the middle of Leo. Born on The Day of Loki. Each year I’ve been making a promise to myself, not really a resolution, but a way of making myself and the universe happy. If you have read my post about Me Made, you will know what I’m talking about. It’s all about creating my own clothing. All of it!

This year I have decided to add a promise and for it to begin on August 1st. My plan is to make one garment a week, whether it be a top, skirt, dress, jacket, foundation garment or something I knit or crochet, these outfits will all count towards my 52. I have also decided to include anything I make during knit-a-longs and sew-a-longs as an item on the list. Heck… I’ve actually started a spreadsheet to track my progress and list the garments I make. The other part of this and the bigger part for me is that I also need to post a photo of me wearing the outfit once it is completed. As a matter of fact, at some point soon I am going to do a little photo session for all of the things I’ve made in the last year and a half. I have no excuse. I just need to get into the routine of doing it!

So… I know a few of you are wondering why I’m calling it a promise rather than a challenge… well… let me tell you why. For me, this is a lifestyle change. I’m going back to traditional dressmaking, I’m creating. I love creating my own garments and I always have. At one time I was going to study fashion design but chose graphic design instead. I also know how to self-draft as well as create printable patterns. I have always been madly in love with every single facet of dressmaking and now that I am back to it I am feeling empowered. I love that I not only make my own clothing, they fit well and I am proud to wear them. For me this is fun and adding the word challenge to it, will make it less than fun and really, who wants that.

Now… onto the next question. Would anyone else like to join in on this challenge with me?

1920s, 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, knit-a-long, knitting, knitting community, sewing, Uncategorized, vintage, Vintage Community, vintage dream blog, vintage knitting, vintage knitting patterns, vintage life, vintage pattern, vintage reproduction, vintage sewing, vintage style

Me-Made Promises

Two years ago on my birthday, I made a promise to myself, my version of a New Years resolution.  What I promised was to stop buying ready made fast fashion and to start making my own garments and to start thrifting for items that can pass for vintage or be refashioned. There were a few reasons I wanted to do this. Firstly, I wanted to reduce and reuse. We used to have a mend and make do mentality that had gone out the door, or so I thought. The vintage community on Instagram opened my eyes up to that. Secondly, I’m a curvy girl and the thoughts of going into a department store and trying on clothing actually gives me tiny panic attacks. Do they put funhouse mirrors in those change rooms? Thirdly, and I think the most important on the list, making my own clothing and clothing that fits my body properly is empowering. This birthday, I am promising myself to work towards a mostly me-made wardrobe.

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I’ve decided not to go the full-on, 100 me-made wardrobe only because I know from time to time my fella will give me a gift card for some of my favourite vintage reproduction stores and as I said earlier, I want to thrift for clothing. The only time I don’t have mini-meltdowns is when shopping in these types of stores. They actually create garments for curvy girls and I also know the clothing is well made. Additionally, I do want to add more vintage (when possible) to my wardrobe and vintage like thrifted items (especially knowing that the money from these thrift stores is going to a good cause). Instead, my goal is 75%, this is doable. A girls gotta give a girl some leeway, right?

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An additional promise I’m starting with this birthday is to do a pre-birthday closet purge. I have items in the said closet that haven’t been worn, may no longer fit or never really fit well ane they are literally just collecting dust and taking up space. Space that will quickly be filled by the garments I’ve been making. In the last month, I’ve made five skirts and am now moving onto tops and very soon, dresses.

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As I mentioned above,  it is empowering to make my own clothing and somewhere along the line I forgot that. When I was a kid my mother used to make our clothes and most of it was self-drafted. I remember how proud she was of her creations and that became my role model for being my own seamstress. All through my teens and a good part of my twenties, I continued the tradition making many of my own garments… then I stopped. For a long time I would say that life got in the way.  Somehow it became easier to buy inexpensive, horribly made clothing. You know, for time saving. Yet, I was still having to adjust things, take them in, fix seams, change buttons… who was I kidding!

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I’m the type of person who finds motivation when participating with other like minded individuals in functions such as making garments. I know from my past that if I joined a sew-a-long or knit-a-long I am going to challenge myself to complete a garment. These are the reasons why I’ve started Facebook groups both knit-a-longs and sew-a-longs. Not only do we create garments but we are using vintage or vintage reproduction patterns that challenge and improve our skills.

Another thing I have been doing to help motivate myself is by following garment creators and makers on both Instagram and blogs. Here are some of my favourites.

Atomic Redhead  https://atomicredhead.com/

By Gum By Golly http://bygumbygolly.com/ 

Evelyn Woods https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJ59owAiWL2IgaANbG-jm0Q

Harlow Darling http://www.harlowdarling.com/

Krystle Couturiere http://1930slife.blogspot.ca/

Lila & June https://lilaandjune.com/

Poision Grrls https://www.ravelry.com/stores/poison-grrls

Subversive Femme http://subversivefemme.com/

The Closest Historian http://theclosethistorian.blogspot.ca/ 

Vintage Dream Blog https://vintagedreamblog.wordpress.com/

Vintage Gal http://vintagegal.co.uk/

Vintage Sewing Pattern Catalogue https://thevspc.org/?wref=bif

We Sew Retro http://wesewretro.com/

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I don’t expect to have hit the 75% mark by the time my birthday roles around next year, but I know that I will be well on my way to hitting that mark! I do have faith, I’ve been successful with my birthday promises this far. Do you make birthday promises as well?

1920s, 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, free knitting pattern, knit-a-long, knitting, knitting community, sewing, Uncategorized, vintage knitting, vintage knitting patterns, vintage sewing

Sew-a-longs & Knit-a-longs OH MY!

Summer dreams are 1957 Chevy’s with their tops down cruising down the main street, girls twirling their half circle skirts to Elvis, cute cotton knit jumpers and espadrilles.  Turn up that rock and roll, make yourself a mai tai, get out your sewing machine or knitting needles and get those a-long engines revving!

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In June and July, we have some really fun sew-a-longs and knit-a-longs for you!  You will find them in both our Killer Kitsch Vintage Knit-a-long group and in our Killer Kitsch Vintage WIPs group!  These can both be found on Facebook.

Over in our Killer Kitsch Vintage Knit-a-long group we are dancing our way to the end of our April through June knit-a-long and getting our needles ready for our Agatha Christie themed KAL. We will be knitting the Miss Lemon Jumper and the Miss Marple Swagger Coat. I am grateful to Vintage Grandma and Subversive Femme for donating patterns for these KALs. We will be starting the new Vintage Knit-a-long on July 1st!

Agatha Christie KAL

Over on the Killer Kitsch Vintage WIPs group we will be starting the Lila & June Wrap Skirt Sew-a-long on June 15th and finishing up on June 30th!  Because every skirt needs a jumper or blouse to go with it, on June 20th we will start the Poison Grrls Boardwalk Blouse KAL and will end on July 15th!  The Boardwalk Blouse is an amazing quick knit! (The Killer Kitsch Vintage WIPs group is a show & tell group for your vintage or vintage reproduction knitting, crocheting and sewing!)  A huge thank you to Kirsten of Lila & June and Amy of Poison Grrls!

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The patterns for the Lila & June sew-a-long can be found here for North America and here for the UK.   The Poison Grrls pattern can be found on Ravelry.

I hope everyone is as excited as I am to get started!