Following on from my retrospective look back over my makes from 2016, I thought I’d now look forward to my plans for 2017. As you can imagine I have many, many, many vintage crafting ideas for this year but I’m only going to concentrate on the ones that are firm ideas, rather than the wishy-washy ones that constantly float around in my head. I’m also keeping in mind what my Vintage Pledge will be for this year too.
And on that note, the end of year competition for 2016’s Vintage Pledge was announced this past weekend and I won the Best Outerwear category for my 1930s winter jacket!! I’m so unbelievably chuffed, especially as I was up against so many other wonderfully talented seamstresses. You can see the full list of finalists and winners on A Stitching Odyssey’s blog and I promise I will do an outfit post about the winning jacket some time in the future.
So, what are my plans?
Well, my Vintage Pledge is to use fabrics and vintage patterns that I already own as much as possible. I’ve collected many of both over the years and the fabric stash needs to be reduced. It’s got completely out of control now and takes up far too much space in my house. So, this year I need to stay off the fabric shop websites, avoid them on the high street and not be tempted when certain friends of mine tell me that I really should buy some of the fabric they’ve just purchased. I’m not naming any names here, but you know who you are! 🙂
First up is a late 1920s/early 1930s skirt using the left over purple and grey mix fabric from my 1930s lightweight coat. I’ve been thinking about this ever since I finished the coat but never could quite decide on the style of skirt until I found this pattern.
I love the hip detailing and the off centre pleat on the front, however, I may leave out the side pleat but will decide once I’ve made the toile. The back has the option of repeating the front or leaving it quite plain by just continuing the hip seam line straight around. Again, I’m not sure which I’ll do but will experiment to see which looks best.
Continuing on the purple theme, this stunning 1930s suit from the Jazz Age exhibition at the Fashion & Textiles Museum is crying out to be made in this vintage purple and ivory dogtooth wool that I bought at a vintage fair in the summer.
I’ve already bought a purple belt buckle and matching buttons which I intend to use, so there won’t be any hunting around for ages for those. I also intend to use the single breasted version of the 1930s pattern I used for my winter jacket and my self-drafted kick pleat skirt pattern. So I’m pretty much sorted, I just need the lining fabric, and that just has to be a rich purple.
The 1970s top I’m wearing in the above image is the inspiration for a 1930s long sleeve top I want to make. It’s fairly similar to The Seamstress of Bloomsbury’s Clarice Blouse in that it has a row of rouleau loops and buttons down the front but you can’t quite see them in my photo. The 1970s top is gorgeous and has a real 1930s vibe to it, however, it shrank when I hand-washed it (there were lots of bad words!).
As you can see it’s way too tight for me now and the sleeves have got shorter :(. The sleeves were stunning before they shrank. They had a big puffed sleeve head that was then fitted around the bicep. It then billowed out again at the cuff very much like bottom of the sleeves on the House of Foxy blouse I reviewed here.
As I can no longer wear the 1970s blouse I’ve decided to make my own version in a turquoise floral pattern fabric I bought from ClothSpot last year. It’ll match my turquoise kick pleat skirt, as well as go with anything black or brown. I’m going to use my self-drafted blouse pattern as a basis and use a sleeve from an original 1930s pattern as the base for the sleeve.
Dresses are definitely something I’d like to concentrate on going forwards and the first on my list is this 1940s dress pattern that I bought from ‘Til The Sun Goes Down. I’m going to make a quite a few changes to it though as the only reason I bought it was for the shoulder detail. I’m going to do short sleeves with a big puff at the sleeve head and tight at the bicep. The skirt will change completely because those hip pockets wouldn’t be terribly forgiving on my hips. I haven’t 100% decided on what to replace it with but I think I’ll probably experiment during the mock up phase.
The fabric I’m going to use is a vintage fabric with a large stylised tulip pattern on it. It’s got a 1940s vibe to it but I think it’s actually a 1970s or 80s fabric. I would describe it as a soft brushed cotton crepe, if there is such a thing! It’s probably a polyester mix though. I’ve got metres and metres of it, so I can really go to town on the skirt if I wish.
In terms of crocheting, I’m currently still ploughing on with my 1930s mustard jumper. It’s slow going but I’ve nearly finished the very odd first sleeve. It’s taken a while to do as it’s quite a fiddly pattern and for some time looked nothing like a sleeve shape! I kept going with it though, double checking I’d read everything correctly and now it’s finally looking like something I recognise. I cannot wait to get it done!
So after the complicated and long winded jumper is finished I’m going to opt for a much simpler and quicker project of this beautiful 1930s drape beret. I’m going to do it mustard to match the jumper. I should just about have enough left over but I can always pick up another ball if needed. The different colour band around the front will be done in white as I have added a few white bits to the jumper too. The colours looks so sharp together, it’s achingly 1930s!
I plan to achieve at least two more long sleeve jumpers during the year. I know I’m not the only vintage gal who struggles to find authentic looking longer sleeve knitwear, so I’m really glad I can finally rectify this in my wardrobe. It means i won’t freeze so much in the winter, which is always a bonus!
The first of the two that I have planned is a fairly simple and straightforward 1930s pattern. It’s called the Leisure Hour Sweater and has a bib-like front and back attached to the sleeves with six buttons each side. The sleeve cuffs and waistband are embroidered with contrasting colour thread to add further interest.
I’m going to making my version in a vintage yarn that I picked up at the same time as the tulip fabric. Again, it’s likely to be 1970s/80s judging by the label. Patons still do Diploma but it’s called Diploma Gold now and the label is much more modern looking. It’s a wool/acrylic mix in bottle green and flecks of burgundy and purple in it, so it’ll be perfect for autumn/winter. I’m probably going to use purple buttons and purple embroidery thread to pick out the purple in the yarn. It’ll then go with my new purple skirt perfectly!
After that it’s going to be a big project. I plan to use the beautiful 1930s pattern above as a base for this but I’m going to make some changes. The main style will stay the same, I’m definitely keeping those stunning sleeves as they remind me of the ones on my silk polka dot blouse. The two cute bows will disappear but the V neck will remain.
The pattern, however, will change considerably with the top section remaining plain burgundy and then the bottom half of the main body in stripes of burgundy and light camel. The long cuffs will remain plain, as will the top half of the sleeve, then there will be stripes on the bottom half. I will also add three light camel buttons under the V neck.
This is my inspiration and ultimately what I hope to achieve. It’s from the Bonnie & Clyde miniseries from 2013, which I have mentioned on the blog before. If you get a chance to watch it, make sure you do, it’s brilliant!
I’m hoping to crochet a matching skirt, scarf and beret too. I know it’s an enormous and very ambitious project for someone who only started crocheting 6 months ago, but I’m determined to do it. It may be done in fits and starts with quicker projects in between but it will be awesome once it’s done. I’ve loved this ensemble since the day I first watched the series and now I could actually end up owning it!
And talking of big and ambitious projects, I’m going to finally give hat making a go! I was given this fabulous vintage hat block as a Christmas present (I chose it!) to spur me on. It was made by the company Siegel & Stockman who first invented the tailor’s dummy in 1867 and still produce their world famous papier-mâché mannequins today. It’s my size, 23″, which is quite hard to find and I totally love it!
I really want to make wool felt hats and block them properly on the hat block. I’ve been doing loads of research and buying lots of books on the subject and it actually looks easier than I thought, but the proof, as they say, is in the pudding. I’m going to go pretty free form to start with, just to get the feel of it. I’m also going to an open day of one of the biggest millinery supplies in the UK next month so will have a chat with the experts there.
What I really want to achieve eventually is a number of close fitting hats which were popular during the 1930s. It’s something that’s missing from my hat collection. I have plenty of 1920s style cloches and a few bigger 1940s style hats but I want definite 1930s styles.
The one above that Bette Davis is wearing is the sort of skull cap shape I will definitely try. Hers is made in fabric but I’m sure I could do something in wool felt too. I have a 1980s version which is lovely and really suits me, but I want something more authentic. Miss Davis wears this sort of style a lot and as our hair isn’t that dissimilar, so I think it will work for me quite well.
This incredibly wonderful lady (seriously, how adorable is she?!) from a 1930s photo booth snap is wearing a divine mid-1930s hat that I loooooovvvvvveeeee!!!! It’s got all sorts going on from the tight-fitting crown with three ridges in the top to the upturned brim and bow decoration on one side to the downturned brim on the the other side decorated with a cute brooch. I really, really want to try and replicate this. I’d love to make her dress too!
And lastly, I’d love to make an early 1930s cloche just like the one Carol Lombard is wearing here. I don’t have a cloche where the brim is turned back off the face so I have no idea whether it will suit me or not. However, I always love them when I see them on other people, so I can but try.
This shape actually looks pretty simple to do, just stretching a wool felt hood over the block and turning the front brim section back. I can then play with pleating the front to get a good shape. The edges on this hat are just cut and left raw, which is exactly the same as a late 1930s hat I already own. I can experiment with adding a brooch or hat flash around the brim too.
Now I know that looks like a lot and yes it does scare me a little but I’m not going to put any pressure on myself to get it all done. What I do achieve will be enough and there’s always next year! So what vintage crafting plans have you got?