1920s, 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, cricut, cricut air explore 2, haslam, haslam drafting system, haslam system of dresscutting, knitting, knitting community, sewing, vintage knitting, vintage sewing

Me Made May Final Week!

Hello all! Me Made May has come to a close. Well… at least for me. I decided to close out my own May adventure with week four!

Here is the final short that I made for YouTube.


I’m currently working on more long-form videos. Those will be coming soon!

I have also started a Patreon. I will have additional blogs, vlogs, and information for projects there. Here is the link if you want to join. https://www.patreon.com/killerkitschdesigns

1920s, 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, cricut, cricut air explore 2, haslam, haslam drafting system, haslam system of dresscutting, knitting, knitting community, sewing, vintage knitting, vintage sewing

Me Made May 2023

Hello all!

I hope everyone is doing fantastic!

This year I am attempting Me Made May again. So far I’m going strong. Life is super busy right now, so I hope to keep it up until the end of the month. You can see my daily outfits over on my Instagram account, as well, I will be posting a weekly round-up video short on YouTube. (video below)

What is Me Made May? For the entire month of May, makers will post the garments they’ve created. They can be sewn, knit, or crocheted. This was started by Zoe Edwards of @sozoblog over on Instagram.

Are you participating in Me Made May?

I have also started a Patreon. I will have additional blogs, vlogs, and information for projects there. Here is the link if you want to join. https://www.patreon.com/killerkitschdesigns

1920s, 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, cricut, cricut air explore 2, haslam, haslam drafting system, haslam system of dresscutting, knitting, knitting community, sewing, vintage knitting, vintage sewing

Sun-Glo Aloha Jumper

Well… that took me a bit longer than it should have. A weird way to start a post? Let me explain.

Several months ago, I started a KAL for the Aloha Jumper. (click HERE if you want to join) For myself, it should have been a fairly quick knit, however, several things happened between when I started and when I finished. (I was part of a test knit, I knit a cardigan for my friend’s toddler and there was a death in our family) So… ya, some delays. Anyhoooooo… I recently got back on track and the beauty is now finished.

A few things to mention if you are interested in knitting the Aloha Jumper. Be prepared for a lot of ribbing. The entire jumper is 2 x 2 rib. The yoke can be a bit tricky, even for this experienced knitter, it took me a few minutes to figure out how to best attach it. Otherwise, it is a very quick knit, especially if you opt for DK over the suggested fingering weight yarn.

Speaking of DK, why did I choose it? A few reasons. The main one, I live in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. We now seem to have two seasons, Winter and Summer. I tend to use slightly heavier yarns, so the garment is wearable — longer. Using DK also helps the jumper knit up faster and less faffing around with sizing up.

Initially, when we started the KAL, I was off to a good start. I was able to knit the back piece and the bottom front. Then it was put in a project back and set aside until recently.

In the last two weeks, I finished the yoke, sleeves, and shoulder pads and sewed up the jumper.

To say I am pleased with how it turned out is an understatement. Also, the fit is perfection!

Construction Notes:

DK = Double Knit
KAL = Knit-a-long

The original pattern for the jumper is called Aloha, Design 2636 from Sun-Glo. It is a pattern from the mid-1940s. The pattern can be found over at the Subversive Femme website. Here is the link: https://subversivefemme.com/patterns/aloha-design-2636-from-sun-glo/

Bex (store owner) also wrote a really helpful blog post about it. https://subversivefemme.com/fo-aloha-a-1940s-knitted-jumper/

As I mentioned above, I used DK yarn (and I tried to choose a red that was close to the illustration). This will not only make the jumper warmer, it also saved me from grading up too much. The original pattern is for a 34 bust and depending on the ease of the pattern, I can be a 40/42 bust. This pattern has a lot of ease in it from the 2 x 2 ribbing. Please keep that in mind when you make this pattern. I did a swatch to see how much stretch there was.

I’m also considering designing a cardigan to go with this jumper, including adding the yoke detail on the front panels. Stay tuned for that.

One of these days I will get Zoltan to take photos of me wearing it. I will update the photos on the blog when that happens.

I have also started a Patreon and a YouTube channel. I will have additional blogs, vlogs, and information for projects there. Here is the link if you want to join. https://www.patreon.com/killerkitschdesigns and/or YouTube https://www.youtube.com/@killerkitschvintagelizzie

1920s, 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, cricut, cricut air explore 2, haslam, haslam drafting system, haslam system of dresscutting, knitting, knitting community, sewing, vintage knitting, vintage sewing

Killer Kitsch YouTube: Current content!

Hello all!

As I work on more long-form videos, I’ve continued to add shorts. I was going to add the long-form videos once I had all of the Haslam content ready, however, I decided, I’m going to start posting vlogs in the meantime (it’s going to take a bit of time to get all of the Haslam videos filmed/edited, etc.). I’m going to start filming the vlogs next week.

The types of vlogs I plan on making are going to be about projects I’m working on, my pants/trousers journey, some storytime/get to know me and who knows what else.

In the meantime, here are some of my latest shorts. Please also subscribe to my channel. It helps get it seen!

Sewing Room Reality!

Elsa Culottes Part 1 and 2

I have also started a Patreon. I will have additional blogs, vlogs, and information for projects there. Here is the link if you want to join. https://www.patreon.com/killerkitschdesigns

1920s, 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, cricut, cricut air explore 2, haslam, haslam drafting system, haslam system of dresscutting, knitting, knitting community, sewing, vintage knitting, vintage sewing

Killer Kitsch YouTube Channel

Hello all! It’s been a hot minute! I’m finally getting back to blogging/vlogging AND have created a YouTube channel.

The main intention of the channel is to have a space to show how to use the Haslam Draft At Home System. I’m also going to be creating videos about other types of sewing, knitting, and creative journeys such as finally making trousers!!! We all know how long I’ve been avoiding that!

Currently, I have a few shorts on the channel and will continue to upload that type of video until I have my other content ready.

Here is the most recent short. Please also check out the other videos.

I have also started a Patreon. I will have additional blogs, vlogs, and information for projects there. Here is the link if you want to join. https://www.patreon.com/killerkitschdesigns

1940s, 1945, cricut, cricut explore air 2, pants, sewing, slacks, trousers, vintage, Vintage Community, vintage life, vintage pattern, vintage reproduction, vintage sewing, vintage style

Cricut and Vintage Reproduction

I’ve been dreaming of owning a Cricut machine for many, many moons! I’ve been very intrigued by all of the magical things it can do. Guess what my husband bought me for my birthday? If you guessed a Cricut Explore Air 2 {not sponsored — I wish}, you’d be correct!!! {I have some bday money from my parents and will be buying an Easy Press}

If you are unfamiliar with what a Cricut is, it’s the ultimate crafters machine. It has many functions, such as: cutting all sorts of designs from materials like fabric, felt, paper, vinyl, card stock, and iron-on transfers (these are just a few). You can also use it for drawing, etching and scoring. I’ve even seen some use it for cutting out sewing patterns (depending on the size of paper/materials), creating embroidery/cross stitch patterns and for garment making. At first I thought I would mostly be using it for garment making/embellishing, but I’m now dreaming up plans for so much more!

{If you want to go down a deep rabbit hole, there are millions of vintage clipart SVG files out there — especially on Etsy}

Another thing I’ve come to consider, is I can use the Cricut for branding. I can create clothing labels, tags, business cards, stickers, greeting cards and other business related projects. I’m going to be upping my game with this dream machine.

The projects I am currently planning with my Cricut are some vintage Halloween goodies, t-shirt transfers and POODLE SKIRTS! Yes. Poodle skirts with a Killer Kitsch Twist! I’ve included a slide show below of some inspirations!

If you want to learn more about the machine, I will be listing a bunch of social media/blogs/YouTube I am currently following/watching.

Instagram/Blogs/YouTube to follow {this list is no where complete and I will update it as I find more accounts}:

Instagram:

Kara – The Dressed Aesthetic
A Vintage Crafternoon
Sewcial Dee (who is also inspiring me to get back to resin crafts)

Blogs

The Dressed Aesthetic
Lucy Bergstrom
Vintage Halloween Treat Box
Sewcial Dee

YouTube

Lucy Bergstrom (using Cricut to put art on vintage mirrors)
How to make jewelry with your Cricut
Cutting Fabric with your Cricut

YouTube Cutting Felt (there are a few videos)

Uploading Sewing Patterns to a Cricut (a few videos for this as well)

Clothing Tags:

1940s, 1945, haslam, haslam drafting system, haslam system of dresscutting, pants, sewing, slacks, trousers, vintage, Vintage Community, vintage life, vintage pattern, vintage reproduction, vintage sewing, vintage style

Haslam System of Dresscutting: Part 2b – Drafting a Sloper Front Piece

Welcome to Part 2b of our adventure. In this part we will draft the sloper front piece. Now that you have had practice with just the bodice sloper for the back piece, this will be a lot easier to understand!

Ok? Ready? Yeah! Let’s get to making that dress sloper!

The Steps:

Front of Foundation

Place the Chart on the paper with the long straight edge toward you, and the right-hand edge on the edge of the paper.

For these dots, you won’t be moving the template around, please try your best to keep it in the same spot. In the images, I have the pencil pointing at the dot you should be making.

Now make the following dots (steps below in photos):

Dot 1 (neck measurement)
Arrow B or C (see note on bust measurements)
Dot A arrow
Dot 2 (shoulder measurement)
Dot 3 (bust measurement)

Make sure to note, which dot is which. Knowing where they are, will be important and help you out when you make the pattern pieces! Once you have created the above dots, you will now be moving the template around to make the rest of the lines and curves.

Neck measurement (Dot 1)

Arrow B (edge of chart. For Bust measurement up to 42″ – for bust measurements over 43″ make a dot at C arrow)

Dot A arrow

Shoulder measurement (Dot 2)

Bust measurement (Dot 3)

Draw a dotted line from Dot 1 to Dot B (or C – if Dot C the line must be continued for 1 1/2″ longer). Then draw a straight line to the required length. This is the Front Centre Line.

Draw a dotted Shoulder line from Dot A to Dot 2. (bust 40″+ make a dot 1/2″ to the left of Dot 2 to allow for Dart (as shown in Diagram (Foundation Draftings with Instructions)))

Draw Neck Curve. Place arrow F on Dot 1 and make a dotted line round the curve to A.

Draw Armhole Curve.

(Bust 24″-42″) turn the Chart over to the back with the long straight edge to your left, and place it to Dot 3, the Armhole arrow corresponding to the bust measurement required. Draw a line from Dot 3 to Dot 2.

(Bust 43″+) place 43″ to 48″ arrow to Dot 3, the Blue Curve touching Dot 2. Draw curve from Dot 2 to Broad Arrow, then turn chart over to the front side and place Broad Arrow to the end of the line already drawn. Complete drawing the curve to Dot 3.


Don’t move the ruler/guide! For all sizes measure 3/8″ in front of Broad Arrow and make a dot. Place Broad Arrow to this dot and draw curve to end at shoulder line. Then turn the Chart over, place Broad Arrow to the end of line already made and curve to Dot 3. This is now your Armhole Curve.

Draw the Underarm. Draw a dotted line from Dot 3 to Dot 4 (the original dot, to the left of Dot 5). Then measure inwards 1″ and mark as Dot 5. Draw a straight line from Dot 3 to Dot 5. Continue the underarm to the required length.

Shoulder dart, follow the measurements on the Diagram. (Foundation Draftings with Instructions). Do the same for the final neck measurement.

Now you have your back and front bodice slopers!

In Part 2c, we will use the bodice sloper to create a dress bodice pattern pieces!

1940s, 1945, haslam, haslam drafting system, haslam system of dresscutting, pants, sewing, slacks, trousers, vintage, Vintage Community, vintage life, vintage pattern, vintage reproduction, vintage sewing, vintage style

Haslam System of Dresscutting: Part 2a – Drafting Your Sloper

Welcome to Part 2 of our adventure. If you have read Part 1, you will have your tools assembled and ready to go. If you haven’t read it, please go ahead and do that before reading the rest of this post. There are several tools that you will need in order to make your sloper.

Ok? Ready? Yeah! Let’s get to making that sloper!

Taking Measurements

As mentioned in Part 1, you will need the Foundations of Drafting with Instructions document in order to create you sloper. The sloper is required to make the garments in the Haslam catalogues. Trust me, once you have your sloper made, you will be off to the races! The catalogue/magazine for Haslam are chock full of amazing garments to make!

The first thing you will need to do, before creating a sloper is take your measurements. There are clear and concise instructions on what measurements you will need and how to take and calculate them. It is very important that you take all of the measurements.

The beauty of a pdf is if your measurements change over time or you want to create a sloper for someone else, all you need to do is print off the measurement page again.

Once you have completed calculating your measurements, you are ready to make your sloper.

{you will need someone to help you take the shoulder measurements}

Making Your Sloper

For this post, I am going to show you how to create a sloper bodice back piece only. In Part 2a, I will show you how to make the sloper bodice front piece. I thought that it would be less overwhelming to break the creation of the sloper into two pieces. There are quite a few steps and I know for myself personally, when I am learning something, if I digest it in small pieces, I am less likely to get frustrated.

*The reason I’m creating a bodice sloper rather than a full dress sloper, is I tend to make a lot of gathered skirt dresses. Personally, I find it easier to work with just a bodice piece in those circumstance. That said, I will be creating a full dress sloper in a future YouTube video! (you can subscribe here for future content) If you want to continue on and complete the full dress sloper, go for it!*

Tip 1: You will need to punch holes on the ruler/template for your measurements.
Tip 2: I strongly suggest using a sharp/pointed pencil and a softer lead for drawing your lines.
Tip 3: Use poster board/bristol board to create your sloper. It is a sturdier material and you will be able to use it over and over again. I also pasted my ruler/template to poster board/bristol board.
Tip 4: For the creation of the initial dots, you don’t want your ruler to move. You may want to put pattern weights on it.

If you have any questions about the instructions or suggestions, please leave them in the comments below.

The Steps:

Back of Foundation (dress bodice)

Place the Chart on the paper with the long straight edge toward you, and the left-hand edge on the edge of the paper.

For these dots, you won’t be moving the template around, please try your best to keep it in the same spot. In the images, I have the pencil pointing at the dot you should be making.

Now make the following dots (steps below in photos):

Dot A
Dot B
Dot 1 (neck measurement)
Dot 2 (shoulder measurement)
Dot 3 (bust measurement)

Make sure to note, which dot is which. Knowing where they are, will be important and help you out when you make the pattern pieces! Once you have created the above dots, you will now be moving the template around to make the rest of the lines and curves.

Dot A

Dot B

Neck measurement (Dot 1)

Shoulder measurement (Dot 2)

Bust Measurement (Dot 3)

Now that you have made your initial dots, you are going to start drawing some lines and curves using your template.

Draw a straight line from Dot A to Dot B (this is your Back Centre Line)

Draw the Shoulder line from Dot 1 to Dot 2.

Draw the neck curve. To do this turn the chart over to the front side and place the Curved arrow on Dot 1 and draw to Dot A.

Draw the armhole curve. Place arrow F on the Dot 3 (Bust), with the blue curve of the Chart on your left and draw to Dot 2. (If your bust is 40″+ use Arrow H on Dot 3 and draw to Dot 2)

Mark the 1/2″ Shoulder raise and 1/4″ extension at Dot 2 and draw the lines as show in the diagram (Foundation Draftings with Instructions).

At this point (since we now have an armhole), I measure from the bottom of the armhole to my natural waist. (in my case 7″). I then draw a dotted line down. Using this, I continue the line for the Back Centre Line (vertically) to match. I then draw a line horizontally to connect them. If you are doing a full dress sloper, you don’t do this.

Draw the underarm. Draw a dotted line from Dot 3 to Dot 4. Then mark the length. Now measure 1″ inwards and make Dot 5. Draw a straight line from Dot 3 to Dot 5.

Then draw a line from Dot 5 to the Centre Back line. (This is where your natural waist will be.)

You have now drawn your back bodice sloper! As mentioned above, I will show you in Part 2a, how to make the front sloper.

Please let me know if this was helpful, or if you have questions!

1940s, 1945, haslam, haslam drafting system, haslam system of dresscutting, pants, sewing, slacks, trousers, vintage, Vintage Community, vintage life, vintage pattern, vintage reproduction, vintage sewing, vintage style

Haslam System of Dresscutting: Part 1 – Getting Started and Resources

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been interested in draft-at-home systems and mostly intrigued with the Haslam System of Dresscutting. Each and every time I go into a vintage store or thrift shop, I’m always on the outlook for books.

A few years ago, I bought the ruler, foundation document and a booklet with patterns, with the plan to try to figure out how the Haslam system works. After reading through the documentation, I knew I was going to need to see a tutorial of some sort to figure out how it all worked… yet, I couldn’t find any. Recently, I have found a couple YouTube channels and a blog that has made efforts to explain how to use the system, but I feel that there is still information missing and this is why I’ve decided to create a four part series.

The four part series will include steps to use the system, resources and the sewing project I’ve chosen. Hopefully, it will help those also interested. If there is anything you think is missing from the series, please let me know.

Over the next four weeks, I will be posting one series part each week. This is the first one!

Once I am done this blog series, I will do an additional post for a blouse sew-a-long we will be hosting in our Discord Community.

Enjoy!

What is Haslam System of Dresscutting

The Haslam System of Dresscutting is a draft-at-home system, that allows you to create your own sewing patterns using you own body measurements. You can also use the pattern to create different sizes as well as tailor the pattern to fit your body type. This is achieved by creating a sloper and pattern pieces. The system was devised by Miss Grace Haslam and was an original home business that eventually has Miss Haslam travelling all over the country teaching her method of dressmaking.

Here is an article about Miss Haslam and her Dresscutting System. https://www.theboltonnews.co.uk/news/10772216.history-of-the-haslam-sewing-system/

What you will need to get started

Template and Foundation Tools

Where to buy patterns

Resources

Blogs

YouTube

Atelier Limonova has a few videos on her Haslam System journey. I’ve been following along, you should too!

Nora Murrell is also going on a Haslam System journey on YouTube.

I haven’t had a chance to watch these videos yet, but this is Leoneza Nica’s journey.

Facebook

Haslam Support Group – https://www.facebook.com/groups/2350029785241188

In part 2 we will talk about how to draft your sloper and pattern pieces using the tools I’ve talked about above. If you aren’t already, please follow me on Instagram as I will be providing mini updates there as well.

1940s, 1945, pants, sewing, slacks, trousers, vintage, Vintage Community, vintage life, vintage pattern, vintage reproduction, vintage sewing, vintage style

Spring Dress Sew-a-long Step by Step

Now that we are deep into Spring, I thought it was time to share the dress I made for the Spring Dress Sew-a-long we are hosting over in our Killer Kitsch Discord Community. Please join us! Our sew-a-longs have no end date and we are doing several a year, plus, it’s a great group of sewists and knitters.

I decided last year that I am going to move away from my base colours of blacks/reds and have made a grand effort to keep up with that decision. Though red will continue to creep into my new makes and occasionally black for skirts and trouser, I am trying to add as much colour as I can. This year I’ve been leaning more towards greens, blues and yellows, however, I’m really feeling the need to get more pink and orange in there too (the colour orange will appear in an upcoming blog post). A few neutrals will get thrown into the mix here and there as well. I’m also trying to boost up my Tiki themed selections, more to come on that!

I was struggling on what to make for my Spring dress and decided to go with a tried and true pattern, that I not only love, but is incredibly flattering for this curvy girl. That pattern is the Butterick B6543. This was my 5th version of the pattern. I do adore this pattern, but after making five of them, I’ve definitely come up with a list of things I would change about it. The next rendition will be a self-drafted pattern along the same lines.

One of these days, I am going to start filming my makes, but for now I have created a photo essay of the steps I took to create my most recent version.

Note: I don’t have these steps included for this dress, but whenever I make a new garment, I always make a toile (aka mock-up/muslin). Trust me, you will save yourself heartbreak later.

Sewing prep-work:

* Pre-wash your fabric.
* Iron your fabric.
* Organize all of your tools.

Pre-washing and ironing your fabric is incredibly important. Please don’t skip this step. You might think that you are saving time by skipping these steps, but trust me, if you don’t do these steps, your pattern pieces may not all come out the right size AND when you do wash the garment it might shrink or become misshapen. No one wants that.

The pattern pieces:

Lay out your fabric on a flat surface and then lay out your pieces according to the instructions. This is especially important for new sewists. Most of us hate wasting fabric, and once you’ve made a few garments, you might get more comfortable with going freestyle, but in the beginning follow the directions that come with the pattern.

In the pros side of going freestyle, I only had 3 meters of fabric and the pattern requires a little more than 4 meters. I was able to fit it all in and still do a 3 panel gathered skirt.

Do your markings:

I always double check that I have clipped where I’m supposed to and marked up my dots, darts and any extra markings needed. I have a variety of colours of tailors chalk and sheets of tracing paper. (I do find that some fabrics don’t agree with tracing paper and I will need to go over the lines with the chalk)

Iron on interfacing/finishing seams:

This might be out of order for some, but it is how I personally like to do it. Next I iron on the interfacing to the pieces (or baste them if the pattern requires) that require it and serge all of my seams. Some patterns will tell you to serge or seam finish last. Unless it is dire to the structure of the garment or a large piece of the seam allowance needs to be removed, I serge before I sew the pieces together.

Pin, sew and press your darts:

I do this for the front and back pieces at the same time. If you are more comfortable using the order in the pattern, please do. As you get more comfortable sewing, you may choose to do all the darts at the same time.

ALWAYS iron your darts in the direction that pattern instructions say.

Tip: If you don’t own a tailor’s ham (I no longer do, it go lost in my last move), just roll up a towel. It works just as well.

Sew your bodice pieces together!

For this pattern, there are 3 front pieces. The instructions tell you stay stitch on two of the pieces. Do not skip this step. It helps you line all three pieces up and prevents puckers.

Once you have sewn the front pieces together, press your seams.

Next sew the back pieces to the front pieces and iron those seams!

Facing pieces and attaching the straps:

Sew the facings together in the same order that you did the main bodice pieces. Also make sure to iron those seams!

The instructions for this pattern have really clear instructions on how to sew on a strap with an adjustable slider. If you don’t want to use that method, you can also sew on tie straps (I have on all of these dresses). To do so, cut out and sew up 4 long straps.

Follow the steps in the instructions on how to attach the straps. I add a second pin to each strap about 3 inches down to ensure they stay straight for when I sew them in. The pattern also asks you to baste them in place. Don’t skip this step!

Now it’s time to sew the facing to the bodice!

Don’t forget to clip those curves! Clipping the curves helps to ensure everything lays properly. I also under-stitch facings to ensure they don’t roll out during wearing.

Now you have a finished bodice!

Next up, prepare your skirt of choice:

The pattern gives you an option of a pencil skirt or a gathered skirt. I generally love a very full gathered skirt, but have also make this with a circle skirt.

Add the skirt to bodice and insert the zipper:

I say add the zipper style you are most comfortable with. (this is why I don’t have photos of the zipper installation). If you are just learning how to sew, go with what the pattern says.

Some are camp lapped zipper, some are camp invisible zipper. I’m the latter. I love a good invisible zip. Here is the tutorial I use. https://byhandlondon.com/blogs/by-hand-london/11628353-inserting-an-invisible-zipper-the-definitive-tutorial (By Hand London has lots of great tutorials)

Hemming:

This depends on the type of skirt you add. For a gathered skirt, I hem before I sew the skirt to the bodice. If you have cut your skirt on the bias (circle skirt and some pencil skirts) then let the dress hang for a few days before you hem. You might need to even out the hem.

Tip: If you want to add a bit of weight to your skirt, so it doesn’t blow up as much in the wind, add hem tap.

The finished dress!

Ain’t she pretty! The inspriation for why I started making the B6453 pattern, is due to my obsession with the character Audrey’s wardrobe from the 1960s Little Shop of Horrors. I’ve made the checked version and one day soon am going to make the red version!