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

1940s Trousers And The Journey To Get The Right Fit: Toile #2, the wearable version

How much fiddling can a sewist fiddle… before she LOSES HER MIND! I have come to realize that I’m someone who visualizes how something should look in her head and when the thing I’m making doesn’t look exactly like it… I will fiddle with it, until I’m ready to scream. This has been the last two weeks of my trouser adventure. Why, oh why do I do this to myself. I know I’m not alone here. Raise your hand. Come on! Gett’em up!

I raised the waist. I put it back to where it was. I raised the waist. I put it back to where it was. Then I finally talked myself into leaving it where the pattern has it sitting. Why? I’m hight waisted and realized if I put the waist where my current waist is… it will not be flattering. I’m on a weight loss journey and as I do, my waistline will also lower.

I found the pant legs to be way too wide for me. I took 2″ out of the bottom and tapered them up to the knee.

The pattern I chose for this journey is a 1945 Trouser Set B, that I found on Etsy from Eva Dress. I purchased the PDF version of the pattern. The pattern is originally by Vogue (9016), (“Easy to Make”) ‘Slacks with built-up or regulation waist line and choice of long or below-knee length. As the pattern suggests the pattern is incredibly easy to make, how ever you will need to make fit adjustments for the modern figure. I know I have to.

Then…. after more fiddling I was finally happy with the toile. A happy outcome, was I’d lost more weight and the I had to take the toile in. Now happy with it, I cut out the pants. I wasn’t able to make them right away and would wait a week to sew them. Then sew day came…. and I’d clearly lost a few more pounds in the week I waited… because they were slightly too big. I took another inch out to the waist and 2 inches out of the hips and reduced the width of the legs even more.

For the next rendition of these trousers, I am going to use the original pattern. I had to size up from it and now thing the original size will fit me now.

Am I 100% happy with the trousers? Not yet. I’m going to be trying several different styles over the next few months to see what works. It’s my goal to get the perfect fit for the body I have. The next one I am working on is the Loretta shorts. I’m modifying them to be pants. Stay tuned. They will be next.

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

1940s Trousers And The Journey To Get The Right Fit: Toile #1

Trousers, Pants, Slacks or what ever you wish to call them, have been my nemesis in my later adult years. I haven’t owned a pair in 10+ years and to be honest I swore I was never going to own a pair again. As per my previous post, there are a lot of things I hate about modern pants, including the fit and how short the rise is. I’m a high waisted, curvy girl! That just isn’t going to do. As I have with all of my current wardrobe, it I want it to fit, I have to make it myself. So why have I changed my mind? A few reasons.

  1. I live in Canada and winters get hella cold here. COLD! FREEZING! WINDCHILL! I usually wear thick tights under my dresses and skirts, but the wind still gets up there.
  2. I love the way 1930s/1940s/1950s pants look.
  3. Vintage trousers fit. The waist is where is SHOULD be. I will always need to to resize them, because I don’t have a 26″ waist or 40″ hips, but with all vintage patterns I’ve redrafted, the fit is always spot on, when I do.
  4. I follow quite a few curvy ladies on Instagram who have made their own trousers and they are rocking them! One of the ladies is Bex Huland! She looks incredible in the 1940s trousers she made and it has inspired me!

The pattern I chose for this journey is a 1945 Trouser Set B, that I found on Etsy from Eva Dress. I purchased the PDF version of the pattern. The pattern is originally by Vogue (9016), (“Easy to Make”) ‘Slacks with built-up or regulation waist line and choice of long or below-knee length. As the pattern suggests the pattern is incredibly easy to make, how ever you will need to make fit adjustments for the modern figure. I know I have to.

So, where do we start? With a toile. We always start with a toile. Every thing I sew I make one. I wish I could just sew straight from the original pattern, but that will never happen. Plus, I have some pretty sweet fabric for my first pair of trousers and there is no way in hell, I’m cutting into it until I get the fit right.

Toile #1

There will eventually be more pictures of me wearing toiles. At the moment I have no way of taking those photos.

There are going to be a few toiles, so be prepared! This first one was ok. When I redrafted it, I almost got the measurements right. I was off, ever so slightly. When I did the sit test, I found them a little snug across the front. I don’t want it baggy either, but if I have to sit for a long time, I would like it a bit looser. Also, it will be a bit more flattering on the tummy area. A few other things I need to change is the rise needs to be at least 1 to 2″ higher, I don’t like the side snaps and the legs from the knees down are way too wide. I also hate the front darts. They aren’t flattering and draw too much attention to my belly.

After making several notes, I decided to search Instagram to see who else may have made these trousers and I remembered that Bex had made a similar pair (hers are 1940s). I looked at a few of her posts and voila, she had the exact same fit issues/change ideas I did AND added a back zipper. The back zipper solved the side button issue! With her trousers, she did add pockets. For now I am going to concentrate on fit. At some point down the road, I will work on adding pocket.

Bex also has a couple blog posts about the trousers she made (here) and (here), as well as how she removed the front darts. Please check them out!

I’m going to be doing a separate blog post for each toile I make and a blog post for the finished pair (with actual photos of me wearing them). These next several months are going to be about trousers. I will be trying out different patterns and styles and working on the perfect fit for all! Oh did I mention, I’m also going to be making shorts… that’s going to be a whole other set of blog posts! I hope you will come along for the journey!

1950s, knit-a-long, knitting, knitting community, vintage, Vintage Community, vintage knitting, vintage knitting patterns, vintage life, vintage pattern, vintage reproduction, vintage style

Denise Patons 323 Pop-up KAL

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.

A few of us are doing the Denise Patons 323 jumper and we thought it would be fun to see if anyone else wanted to join. You can join here or in the WIPs group. (https://www.facebook.com/groups/killerkitschvintagewips/)

If you are joining us please tag me over on Instagram (@killerkitsch13) and use hashtag #killerkitschknitalong

The pattern can be purchased over on Bex Huland’s Etsy shop, Subversive Femme! Here is the link https://www.etsy.com/listing/798662282/denise-a-multi-coloured-jumper-from?ref=shop_home_active_1&crt=1.

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!

Happy Knitting!

crochet, crochet pattern, crochet-a-long, knit-a-long, knitting, knitting community, sew-a-long, sewing, vintage, Vintage Community, vintage crochet, vintage knitting, vintage knitting patterns, vintage life, vintage pattern, vintage reproduction, vintage sewing, vintage style

It’s been a while!

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.

How to crochethttps://lizzieviolet.com/2020/04/27/stay-the-fuck-home-learn-how-to-crochet-edition/

How to knithttps://lizzieviolet.com/2020/04/26/stay-the-fuck-home-learn-how-to-knit-edition/

Sewing Machine Maintenancehttps://lizzieviolet.com/2020/04/15/stay-the-fuck-home-sewing-machine-maintenance-edition/

How to sewhttps://lizzieviolet.com/2020/03/21/stay-the-fuck-home-the-sewing-edition/

Sewing part 2https://lizzieviolet.com/2020/04/24/stay-the-fuck-home-sewing-tutorials-part-deux-edition/

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?

1920s, 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, crochet, crochet-a-long, killer kitsch sew-a-long, knit-a-long, knitting, knitting community, sew-a-long, sewing, spring, vintage, Vintage Community, vintage crochet, vintage knitting, vintage knitting patterns, vintage life, vintage pattern, vintage reproduction, vintage sewing, vintage style

Spring Has Almost Sprung!

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!

As always if you post on Instagram, please tag us at @killerkitsch13 and use one of the following hashtags. #killerkitschsewalong#killerkitschknitalong#killerkitschcrochetalong

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

Knitting yourself into an injury!

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!

Many times I read how important resting and stretching was, but I didn’t heed this information thinking I would be fine. Don’t be like me! Take lots of breaks and stretch your hands before, during and after knitting/crochet. It will save you from injuring your digits or wrists. Here are the stretches and strengthening excises I’ve been doing. https://www.healthline.com/health/de-quervains-tenosynovitis-exercises?fbclid=IwAR0Bf34cj0-MF4o52hHbHHShFBv9_99NIfvu6sCJm7v2T3tr1pUN2VF6f-o#thumb-lifts

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!

1920s, 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, sew-a-long, sewing, summer, vintage, Vintage Community, vintage life, vintage pattern, vintage reproduction, vintage sewing, vintage style

Summer-a-long Outfit Complete!

If you’ve been following along on my Instagram account @killerkitsch13 you will be seeing posts about our current sew-a-long (or see this post). I decided to make an outfit inspired by the below 1940s photograph. Everything I made was self-drafted.

With this SAL I did a bit of an experiment. I bulk cut and then bulk sewed garments. Because of this I was able to sew 2 skirts and 3 tops. Next week I am going to spend my sewing time drafting patterns for the rest of the things I want to make for my summer wardrobe.

{The photos of myself below I am wearing a slightly different top. I made two white tops to go with the gathered skirt.}

There is still time to join the sew-a-long. Hop on over to our Facebook group. (https://www.facebook.com/groups/killerkitschvintagewips/). 

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

52 Outfits in 52 Weeks! Update!

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/

In the meantime, I’m off to sew!

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, circle skirt, sewing, skirt, spring, summer, vintage, Vintage Community, vintage life, vintage pattern, vintage reproduction, vintage sewing, vintage style

Vintage Sew-a-long: The Circle Skirt

I need to get a move on and make my spring and summer garments, but somehow, for some reason, something keeps distracting me! I need to find my motivation again. I noticed that as soon as I started the Killer Kitsch Designs Vintage Knit-a-long last year, I became extremely motivated to knit as many garments as I could. Before I would occasionally knit something for myself, but generally I was knitting for others. I realized it was time to fill up my wardrobe with knits from all of the vintage patterns I’ve been collecting. Now… how do I do the same for sewing.

536f78dc4b50348fc9f1e1b688aafa6d--skirt-sewing-circle-skirts

My sewing machine has been calling to me.

My sewing machine is now yelling at me!

1955-circle-skirts-felt-poodle-343x500

January 1st, 2017 I made a promise to myself to only purchase vintage, thrifted items or make my own clothes. As a curvy girl I was tired of always being frustrated by off the rack clothes and as a consumer, I was upset about the shoddy quality of anything I purchased from retail stores. As a lover of movies from the 1920s, 30s, and 40s I realized we needed to take a step back to a time where you actually cared about the quality of your clothes and when you couldn’t buy something, you refashioned or mended and made due!

Now… how do I get back my sewing mojo? By starting vintage sew-a-longs.

9233e87bbe6dd92c3861d0029936e77f--vintage-skirt-vintage-hats

I’m by no means someone who can give instructions on sewing. I’m not a trained sewist and have learned sewing from my Mother, home ec and years of creating my own garments. These sew-a-longs aren’t tutorials in any way. What they are, is a group of like-minded sewists, creating vintage-inspired outfits together. The sew-a-longs will range from easy (like the circle skirt) to a bit more challenging, just like the knit-a-longs.

circle

I have always loved sewing. When I was a kid I would design and hand sew outfits for dolls. I learned how to sew garments on my great grandmother’s Raymond Treadle machine (1898), alongside my mother. (I’ve since inherited the machine) I was inspired to learn sewing because my mother used to make all of our clothes. On Instagram, I follow many vintage accounts and their dedication to remaking vintage patterns is what has motivated me to start sew-a-longs. 

il_570xN.438586569_jp80

If this is something you also want to do, please join our group on Facebook. If you share your photos on Instagram, please tag me @killerkitsch13 and use hashtag #killerkitschvintagesewalong.

mc-1541-500-circle-skirt-image-5001
We are starting on May 16th and will do the sew-a-long for the last two weeks of May!

This will be a super easy skirt to sew, so if you are a beginner, this will be perfect for you. Everyone is welcome to join!

poodle-8

 

Resources that will hopefully help you out during the circle skirt sew-a-long.

Circle Skirt Calculators
Circle Skirt Templates and Tutorials
YouTube Tutorials Playlist
PDF of a circle skirt template