Each year, starting on my birthday, I give myself a new garment related challenge. Last year I tried to make one garment a week and though I didn’t quite make 52 (made 45 garments for myself) I am quite proud of what I achieved. With my birthday approaching (July 31st for those keeping track), I need to come up with a new challenge. What o’ what could that challenge be?
I’ve been bouncing ideas around and decided to take a look at my wardrobe to see what I needed to fill in gaps. When I did this I noticed that I don’t have trousers, fitted skirts and very few blouses. I am also lacking coats and cardigans (and the ones I have are looking shabby). After this realization, I also concluded that I don’t have many structured/fitted garments and I believe a large part of that is because I am a curvy girl and it is hard to find sizes that fit right. I found myself saying out loud, ‘But isn’t that why you make your own clothing?’ Yes. Yes it is.
Hold on… did you say you don’t have any trousers. That is correct. I haven’t owned trousers of any kind in at least ten years. Why? I hate the way they fit. As I mentioned earlier, I am a curvy girl. I’ve always had an hourglass figure, (large boobs, smaller waist, wide hips) even when I was slender. I hated shopping for pants of any kind. If I was able to get them to fit in the hips, the waist was too big. I also have really long legs and a high waist, so I could never get the rise to fit right either. So…. I stopped wearing them. That is about to change.
Toile! Toile! Toile!
Anyone who sews knows you need to make a toile to get your fit down and when making pants I see a lot of them in my future! I want to make 3 basic types. 1930/1940 high waist style, 1950s Rockabilly style and elastic waist Beach Pyjama Style. These will cover most of my vintage inspired wardrobe needs.
Another large project I want to undertake is replacing all of my cardigans. Many are in shabby shape and I will likely repurpose them into mittens or other things. That said… knitting will need to wait for a while. I’ve done something to my thumb and need to wait a few more days before I can have it looked at. In the meantime… there is sewing!
However, me being me, I am adding and addition challenge starting January 1, 2020. I am going to start reproducing Miss Lemon’s wardrobe (from the TV show Poirot). Because in my world, one challenge is not enough!
Let’s get sewing!
Please add my Instagram account @killerkitsch13 to see regular progress updates.
We are super excited to be making another dress with Aly from Sewcial Dee for our August sew-a-long. We will be making the very popular Betty Dress from Sew Over It!
With this tutorial we will be posting the tutorial in three 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. You will find the tutorials here (www.sewcialdee.com)
OH! and there is more!!! Aly will be running a giveaway related to the Betty dress for the add-on pack! For more info on the giveaway and to enter, head on over to Aly’s Instagram @sewcial.dee. The contest will run from August 1st to August 15th.
Now a little bit about Aly! Aly is a postmodern girl in a new century world 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.
Let’s summer like it’s 1927! Oh yes, in our Beach Pajamas! I don’t know about anyone else, but I have always loved and been a wee bit obsessed with Beach Pajamas. The beauty of these wonderful garments is they can be one piece or two pieces. I’ve always been a fan of the combination of halter top and wide leg pants.
To make this sew-a-long accessible, it will be another bring your own pattern. It can be self-drafted, from an original vintage pattern or a reproduction pattern. It can be separates or the one-piece version. Use what works for you. (I will also provide links below to suggestions)
But that isn’t all for this a-long! To complete your summery outfit, you will also need a bag. Again, this is a bring your own pattern. The bag can be knit, crocheted or sewn (or any other technique that works for you).
Please feel free to do both the Beach Pajamas and bag or do just Beach Pajamas or just the bag. It’s all up to you!
The SAL will run from July 1 to 31. As always, if you post on Instagram please tag @killerkitsch13 and use hashtags #killerkitschsewalong #beachpajamaalong.
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.
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