I apologise for last week’s radio silence but I had rather a horrible and difficult week. On the Wednesday I had to say goodbye to my beautiful and beloved cat Norman. He was 15 years old and had been with me for 14 of those so it hit me very hard. It happened very quickly but I just knew it was the end and it was the hardest thing I have ever had to do because he was just such a huge part of my life. The house seems very quiet and empty without him and I know it’s going to take a while for my heart to heal.
However, I have managed to keep working on the additions to my Autumn/Winter wardrobe and have so far completed a couple of things including the deep red wool crepe 1930s dress I mentioned in my previous post. However, I’m holding off showing you this because I have a rather special blog post coming up where this dress will feature.
I’ve also very nearly finished the coat from the original 1930s pattern above, I just have the buttons and buttonholes to do, something I always dread. It has taken me quite a while to do, mainly because I wanted to add an interlining to the main fabric to give the coat both structure and warmth.
The fabric I chose is an aubergine and grey mix wool suiting so it’s very drapey and I was worried it would just hang off me without any real definition. Adding interlining entails attaching a basic fabric to the wrong side of the main fabric by doing a hand stitch that picks up a single thread in vertical lines going across each piece. As you can imagine this was hours and hours of work but it was worth it and it makes it feel really snug and warm.
The beautifully regal purple satin is what I’ve used for the lining as I wanted to have a real flash of colour when it was open. I think linings are often overlooked in many coats and I always get attracted to ones that have really usual ones. I also didn’t want to use that horrible scratchy polyester lining that you can get dirt cheap as it would’ve really let the whole bespoke tailored look down.
I bought this beautiful original 1920s chiffon beaded blouse a little while ago for a shockingly cheap £15. It needs quite a bit of work doing to it as some of the faggoting stitching on the neckline has come loose. There’s also a lot of beading missing, having dropped off over the years but thankfully the stitch marks are still visible so I can replace them fairly easily. It’s also missing the original belt but it’ll be very easy to make a new one.
I’m also going to use this to make a pattern for another 1920s style top that I’m going to make out of the purple and green floral silk in the photo above. I visualise it having a collar on it rather than the faggoting with three little black glass buttons down the front. I’m a little nervous about doing it though as silk is such a nightmare to work with, both with cutting and sewing.
This is my next project however. I know it’s a modern pattern but the skirt in the main picture reminds me of 1920s skirts and I thought it would be a great basis for one I want to make in black wool to go with the two tops I’ve already mentioned. I’ve also recently bought a lovely black and white 1920s style jumper from Marks & Spencer that desperately needs a skirt to go with it so I can wear it. It should be very quick to do and being quite a simple modern pattern I’m not even going to bother making a mock up first to see what the fit is like.
I’ve also got completely obsessed with the idea of making a cape after falling in love with Edith’s in the second episode of this season’s Downton Abbey. It’s incredibly chic and I adore the pleats and buttons on the ‘sleeves’ and down the front. She’s also wearing a matching skirt in the same fabric and I love the idea of creating an ensemble like this. We just don’t wear ensembles anymore. If you haven’t seen this episode yet it’s well worth watching just to see her put this on, it’s just so light and swirls around beautifully.
Luck would have it when I bought the above skirt pattern I also spotted this fabulous reproduction pattern of a 1927 coat with matching cape and I just had to have it. Yes, not only can I make my own fabulous cape but I can also make my very own 1920s coat, something I have also been thinking about a lot recently. I can just imagine it with a huge fur collar or beautifully exotic embroidery on the label and cuffs.
I bought this lovely deep pink fabric on a whim at Shepton Mallet Flea Market a few weeks ago. I’ve gotten to know the lady who runs the stall I bought it from as she sells at a lot of the fairs I tend to go to and always has such amazing stock. She’d purchased this with me in mind because she knows the sort of stuff I like and as is it vintage and feels like rayon she thought I’d love it. Boy was she right! It’s just under 3 metres and she only charged me £10 for it.
However, I’d been wondering what to make with it and just couldn’t decide, but then I started watching the Kate Winslet version of Mildred Pierce which is currently being rerun on Sky Atlantic. Within minutes I was in love with her wardrobe and this stunning brown floral dress immediately caught my eye. The things I really loved about this dress were the three quarter length bishop sleeves and the yoke detail around the neck, two things you rarely see in modern clothing.
So, off to Etsy I trotted in search of an original 1930s pattern similar to this. Well, it didn’t take me long and within 15 minutes I had purchased the lovely one on the right. It’s currently winging it’s way to me from the States and I can’t wait for it to arrive. I think this will be a real staple to my wardrobe during the Autumn and Spring as it’s perfect for those in-between months. I’ve just got to find some buttons to go with it but as I’m going to a vintage fair every single weekend between now and December (yes, I know!) I’m sure I’ll find something.