Sew Chic Patterns 1940’s collection

Sew Chic Patterns 1940’s collection

Since last week you may have visited Sewchicpatterns.com and discovered your own favorite vintage style patterns. This week I am  taking a look at their 1940’s collection and seeing which patterns will flatter a triangle shape (which is my body type). The first one up is the Fifth Ave dress. Gloriously beautiful and my favorite. It could work for me if I don’t have all that excess fabric bunched up at the hip and just sew the seam flat. Which I hope would be a minor pattern alteration.  The asymmetrical  Pendleton dress is perfect and looks less complicated to sew (although it is still rated for advanced sewers). What works is that great collar, the design line that quickly leads the eye up and down the body and the little flare at the hemline. The vignette skirt is only a maybe. As pictured with that portrait blouse it might work. The pockets at the hip and the tapering to the knees only serve to emphasize the hips.

Which of these beautiful garments would you add to your wardrobe?

Three jackets

Three jackets

This week I went through fabrics I bought last summer and have never gotten around to using. One of them was a reversible mid weight knit with a lovely smooth texture that is perfect for a jacket.  Since it is a reversible fabric I needed a simple pattern where I would not need to make too many seams. I briefly considered finishing my bodice sloper I started and then making a pattern from there but I am in the mood for a faster process than that right now. Instead I went through patterns I had and found a McCalls pattern that I had picked up at a thrift store.

McCalls 4093

I made the first version as directed to make sure I liked the style on me. I loved the color of this woven fabric I picked up at Goodwill. I had a button I had picked up maybe 25 years ago in Canada that is made from arbutus.  I added patch pockets on the outside and I am happy with the results. It is quite a roomy jacket so I need to make sure to wear it with slim fit bottoms or a pencil skirt.  This process helped me see and think about what I would need to do to make it out of reversible fabric.

To make the test garment I pulled a knit out of my stash (I love the color of it but it doesn’t love me) that had a similar stretch to my final fabric.

I took the extra step of tracing the size I wanted off the tissue paper pattern so I could use all the sizes available later if I wanted.

Tracing paper to trace the size I want

I chose a size down from the size I used in the woven because the knit would make it even roomier than the first jacket. This exercise stretched my brain as I tried to make it look good from both sides. I used a flat fell seam so it would look finished from both sides. This also required me to sew my seams as straight as I could to keep it all neat looking. The pockets were a puzzle. I felt patch pockets on both sides would be too bulky so I made a welt on one side that went through into the pocket on the other side. This knit was not thick enough to leave the edge unfinished so I added a narrow stand up collar at the neck and bound the front edge.  The finished product is a bit clunky but it helped me think out the steps to make the final jacket.

Testing Testing

The final product! I narrowed the welt and made it a little higher because the other one almost felt like I was dropping whatever I put in the patch pocket out through the welt on the other side.

I smoothed out any jagged cuts I had on the unfinished front edges and hems and left them as is. Added one of my favorite vintage buttons and I now have a reversible jacket in one of my basic colors that I look forward to wearing!

Have you tried creating a reversible garment lately?

Slow Clothes

Slow Clothes

Brown skirt made from my muslin fabric

In the fall I decided I would make myself a new wardrobe in the next year. From scratch – this means coming up with the designs, making the patterns and actually sewing the garment (It did not mean making the fabric – although it would be a dream to actually find the fabrics I want to work with).

So far I have……………….. a skirt.And the skirt is only made from my muslin fabric.

I also have a …………………….jacket – a muslin jacket that does not fit because the mechanical part of putting together the front of it did not make sense until I had tried to put together the muslin. Now I get it but need to find the time to try again with the pattern altered slightly and find another piece of inexpensive fabric to work with for the test garment.

But it is OK. I am enjoying the learning.

It is a good thing I didn’t tell myself I couldn’t wear anything I didn’t make myself. Because this is slow clothes. Makes you think about what life was like before ready to wear. Your clothes probably  fit better but you better have planned way ahead if you needed something for a special occasion. Slow cooking – slow clothes – how did they do it?

Ready to wear doesn’t give us an appreciation for the sweat and tears that must go into the things we wear. From the raw materials being turned into cloth. From the original concept to the drawing, to the pattern maker, to the sample maker to the grader. Then sourcing appropriate fabrics or finding someone to manufacture what you need for a garment that may or may not sell. Textile makers guessing what will sell.

Then there is the actual factory floor where things are made. How can you be sure the process there wasn’t one of those horrors we hear about?

Then there are the hours spent by sales reps selling the clothes and warehouse and stock people getting the clothing on the shelves. I am getting exhausted writing about it.

Selling in volume to the masses is the only logical way to make a profit for many clothing companies. It explains why you can’t find a garment with pockets. It explains why it is hard to find a garment that fits. It explains why there is a lot of black.

Makes you wonder who got shorted when you buy that $20 dress.  And it makes the hours spent producing my muslin skirt seem like nothing.

Have you ever thought about all the processes what you wear has gone through? And all the lives it has touched?