Thursday, October 29, 2015

EvaDress Patterns Challenge: 'Thrifty Thirites' Starts November 15, 2015!

‘Thrifty Thirties’ is a sewing pattern challenge to create men’s or women’s garments from 1930’s EvaDress patterns. Accessories (hats, bags, etc.) are not counted as an individual project, but will strongly be considered as accompaniments in a submission. Participants may each enter more than one project for this challenge.

Projects may not be started earlier than 12:01 a.m. EST on November 15, 2015, although muslins for fitting may be created any time before then.

‘Thrift’ implies frugality, thinking of The Depression-struck 1930’s. ‘Thrift’ may take on different meanings for this challenge. One may want to pull strictly from stash to create a submission, while others may feel that splurging on that long-wanted garment may warrant finding the goods and the means to pull out all the stops (in lieu of buying a designer or ready-made piece for a particular event).

Either way, I find superior fit in a garment to be somewhat of a frugality especially in looking at examples of 1930’s fashion. Proper fit in clothing did not go the wayside in hard economic times. If anything, it was an economy of style in itself and proper fit prevailed no matter one’s economic circumstances. That said, judging of final submissions will rely heavily on very well fitted garments with a variety of details endemic to 1930’s designs.

No purchase necessary to enter, so 1930's EvaDress patterns from stash are fair game!
The closing date to submit projects for this challenge is 11:59p.m. EST on January 15, 2016.
The more complicated the project-an intricately embellished gown, or ensembles over individual garments, the higher the consideration for placing as a finalist.
One top finalist will receive a $150 non-expiring gift certificate to Depending on the number of entries, five finalists will be selected based on quality of construction (construction detail shots are a must), accuracy to the challenge guidelines and overall design with projects remaining devout to the original pattern style lines.
Projects submitted to other challenges outside of this one are certainly welcome, provided they fit into the Thrifty Thirties parameters stated here.

The top finalist will be notified here no later than 11:59p.m., January 17, 2016.
Please keep in mind by entering this challenge that you are allowing EvaDress to make use of all images submitted for other promotions, blog posts, as samples from the patterns, etc.
To enter, go HERE and post high quality images (longest edge of photo to be at least 11”) to include front, back, side views and construction/design details. Post the main photo to the page and subsequent project photos in the comments section under the main photo. Be sure to write why you chose the particular project you are submitting and let us know what your idea of frugality is behind your project. Also indicate which pattern was used.
E-mail me with questions or post them on my Facebook (Alexandra Reynolds, a.k.a. EvaDress) wall or posted by commenting on this blog post.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

My 2016 Make it with Wool

This is the first of a series detailing my three-piece 2016 Make it with Wool entry.
In an effort to present wool as unexpectedly fresh and light, I am creating Vogue's 1949 Kimono Blouse from pattern 6970 with large draped collar in sand-colored superfine gabardine.  This wool gabardine has such a subtle sheen due to its ultra-fine weave, it's nearly satin!  Having this lustrous fabric is exciting as I think this ensemble should 'sparkle' in places.

The second piece is the 1944 wrap Skirt originally by McCall.  I sewed it in a lightly woven Pendleton with Fleur de Lis and paisley figures in charcoal tones:

The detail below the pattern front shows the Hong Kong seams wrapped in silk habotai with which I also lined the skirt in a dark navy.
I first spotted this Pendleton at the 2014 MiWW state final and thought it was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen in wool!  I did not win the piece (it was the gratis piece for that year from Pendleton Woolen Mills), but I did track 1-1/2 yards of it down and knew just what to do!  I used the fabric's woven border at the hem and the drape of the left faced section of the skirt went perfectly with Gail Patrice deni-fuse interfacing.

The idea is that the blouse and skirt are soft, sculptured pieces.

As for the color scheme, I am following a palette of colors I enjoyed on Stinson Beach four years ago.  The charcoal of the skirt and the sand of the gabardine both match colors on each end of the mussel shells I picked up from the beach.  I wanted to pull deep blue out of the charcoal woven for some reason (perhaps that seashell's strong influence on me?) so lining it in navy was so suitable.
That said, enter the otherwise 'blue' aspect of the project; the corselet.
I am accessorizing the blouse and skirt with a Tunisian crocheted corselet.  The pattern is from Vogue Knitting, Holiday 2004 (seen here).  To satisfy the competition's requirement of wool content, I chose Madeline Tosh Merino Light for this piece.  The variegated blues in the merino stitched corselet make up the range of blues through the center of the sea shells.
I had made a Tunisian stitched corset in Alchemy's bamboo 8 years ago, only wider than the version I am now doing.  With the large blouse collar and the fact that I am short-waist-ed, I did not want to be engulfed in the wider original version of the stitched corset.

I understand the history of the Tunisian Simple Stitch to be murky, yet the idea of the dense stitch for warm sailor sweaters or Sontag's in the 1800's is clear.  I say this is 'Not your mother's afghan stitch' because as a kid in the 70's, I remember the sunburst-patterned afghan in gold, almond and yellow swathed over couch at any given time.  I like the idea that Tunisian-stitched items started out as very pragmatic, then leaped to one of THE hand stitches in 1970's throws and now has come back as wearable art.
As I like to play on paradox, my concept in the merino-stitched piece dictates what is thought of as a very dense, grid stitch becomes so light and de-materialized is almost ethereal in a very structural corselet!  The wool becomes translucent when crocheted over spiral steel dressmaking bones and the grid stitch pattern opens up when stretched around the midriff.

As in my submission last year, I explored different graphic scales between each piece.  I mentioned how smooth the gabardine blouse is and made a step up to the grainy weave in the Pendleton skirt.  The final transition takes place in the pixilated stitches of the corset, being the piece which separates the blouse and skirt.

More construction details coming up in the next post!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Sewing the Collar on the 1929 McCall Evening Wrap Pattern 5945

This post addresses methods of constructing and attaching the collar on this 1929 wrap pattern:

Technically this is a shawl collar, so the collar may be attached and enclosed in the usual shawl collar manner which is outlined further down in this post.  Alternately, the collar may be constructed and then attached which is first detailed below.
You ask which method to use?  The answer is simply up to your sewing experience or will to learn a new method as we all know in sewing, there is more than one way to go about many things.

Joining the collar/collar facing and then attaching to the wrap:
Side note: No matter which method is used, the first steps are to shir and dart each collar and facing section. The images do not show the lining that would otherwise be included in the process of making this wrap. Click images for larger views:

Sew optional band to outside of collar section (not shown).
Run long basting stitches along inner edge of collar section, as indicated on pattern. The first row of stitches is applied 3/8" from the raw edge and subsequent rows are stitched 1/2" apart. It is then important to bring all thread tails of the shirring rows to the wrong side of each collar and facing section. This way, they can be caught into the center of the large dart you are about to sew, and then secured, thus not showing on the right side. Shir and dart collar facing the same:

Shows the wrong side of collar with thread tails brought through and dart is stitched. Cut dart and press open:

Shows the right side of collar with thread tails brought through and dart is stitched:

After sewing the smaller darts along the opposite edge, press darts toward center back of each section. With right sides together, stitch collar and collar facing sections together along un-notched edge. Turn and press seam in edge; baste open (notched) edges together.

Trim extra seam allowance edges from corner:

Clip into seam allowance of fold line at wrap front, shown as a O in this photo:

The fold line at wrap front is indicated in this photo by a black line. Align the basted edge of collar/facing with the top of that line to ensure corner of collar is exactly matched with corner at front fold-line seam allowance. This should ensure that seam lines will converge between the faced collar and wrap-baste in place:

Turn wrap on front fold line so raw edge of wrap facing is even with raw edges of collar and wrap front underneath. Photo shows (from wrong side) the fold line turned with front corner of collar brought through the clip (made into the seam allowance from a couple steps before). Stitch in place:

Shows collar and facing turned (circle mark is lightly visible at corner of joining):

Joining in the shawl collar manner (these first steps are repeatedly posted from the process given above):
Sew optional band to outside of collar section (not shown).
Run long basting stitches along inner edge of collar section, as indicated on pattern. The first row of stitches is applied 3/8" from the raw edge and subsequent rows are stitched 1/2" apart. It is then important to bring all thread tails of the shirring rows to the wrong side of each collar and facing section. This way, they can be caught into the center of the large dart you are about to sew, and then secured, thus not showing on the right side. Shir and dart collar facing the same:

Shows the wrong side of collar with thread tails brought through and dart is stitched. Cut dart and press open:

Shows the right side of collar with thread tails brought through and dart is stitched:

Clip into the seam allowance of front facing turn line, (to circle) as shown in first photo. In this method, the right side of the notched edge of collar is joined with the right side of the wrap neck edge-NOTE: End of stitching is at point where the seam line of the collar edge and wrap edge converge-there is seam allowance which overhangs here. Stop stitches at as in second photo:

The right side of notched edge of collar facing is joined to right side of wrap facing (as is stopping stitches at same point) in same manner as collar section (regard note about seam lines converging at same point, above.

At this time, the collar and facing are joined with right sides together along the outside (un-notched) edge:

The collar is turned right side out as is the wrap/wrap facing along facing fold line indicated on wrap front piece (press seams of collar/facing in edge and press along facing fold line-the collar facing edge is shown not completely sewn to facing edge for reference):

Shows collar/facing joined to wrap from the outside (collar is shown not completely sewn in place for reference):

Patterns - Summer Update

Been away for a while-I am guilty of having nearly vanished under pattern deadlines and I commenced sewing for this year's Make it with Wool Competition.  That said, it means I will be back on here posting a great deal as I share details and construction methods on the four-piece ensemble I am submitting this year.  Three of the pieces are from EvaDress Patterns and one piece actually comes from Vogue Knitting so stay tuned!

First bringing things up to speed, I launched the German Beach Ensemble pattern in July.  The pieces are the casual, wide-leg trousers with turn-ups, halter top and optional jacket:

I just finished everything for Vogue's 1951 Kimono Blouse in multi-size to start shipping this Friday!

Here is a little preview of what is soon to come in multi-size patterns!
I posted a vote on Face Book so others could decide which of the three following dresses would be next in multiple sizes.  Voters chose this Vogue Special Design for a day or evening dress with skirt godet and kimono bodice with high shaped skirt waistline:
First runner-up is the 1945 Butterick dress with smocked openings at the shoulder. It (as will the following 2 patterns) will be available in their original sizes until I bring them to a range of sizes next winter and spring.:
Lastly, another Vogue Special Design with optional panier effect at the hip and draped fullness across bust:
A customer sent this unique pattern to make available in multiple sizes out of such generosity.  A 1937 blouse with overwaist (connected to the skirt) and tie:

I still have some surprise patterns coming out before the beginning of fall which I will post here!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Changing Sight Lines from Original Vogue to Vogue Re-Issue (and where EvaDress falls into the matter)

13 years ago, I documented my original Vogue Halter Gown pattern #9180 and being that it is a vintage pattern in public domain, I made reproductions of it available for purchase.  Not long after, Vogue came out with the 'same' design in their Vintage Vogue series.

For only having it in one size (and a small one at that for 32" bust, 24" waist and 34" hip), I pulled it from my online collection of reproduced patterns as it seemed unmarketable at the time (this was well before I was multi-sizing patterns).

I say the Vogue re-issue is 'same' design as the original 1957 Vogue because, well it is the same-it has the same style lines, yet the lines of each piece between the two patterns are different.  I refer to this as changing sight lines in patterns.  I had a couple other original Vintage Vogue patterns that Vogue also ran off in their series and I observed there to be differences in pattern pieces between the two as well.
My photos demonstrate a printed draft of my original superimposed on Vogue's re-issue (I sold my original long ago-having no idea there would be an eventual study for which the tissue pattern would become handy) to reflect the differences in pattern piece shapes.  I do not have the re-issued version in the 32" bust size, but a clear idea is had where the lines are very different despite the jump down in size when comparing.

When comparing this exact trace from the vintage original to the re-issued pattern, there is more shaping in each piece; the original version was more tailored than Vogue's re-issue with one exception.

The halter piece of Vogue's re-issue is shaped at the underarm.  Perhaps to provide better clearance under the arm vs. the 1957 version having a straight line along this edge to provide more coverage at the underarm-a changed sight line, nonetheless (click images for a larger view):

Here, the more scooped-out midriff of the original against the re-issued version:

A little closer look is had-also note that originally, only half the midriff pattern was given.  The re-issued Vogue gives the entire (symmetrical) piece:

Similar observation in the bodice back piece.  Also, the original back was placed with center back on the fold of goods as the dress closure was applied under the left arm.  The contemporary method is to give a back seam where the zipper is applied-yet another form of changing sight lines:

Pattern companies not only did not renew copyright on many of what we would now consider vintage patterns throughout their histories, they didn't even keep an archive of such patterns.  In order to produce a vintage re-issue, the companies have relied on private owners to step forward with their vintage originals.
I know people who have sent their original vintage patterns to Vogue from which Vogue made additions to their Vintage Vogue line, yet in doing so, I understand Vogue starts from square one when putting such patterns into production.  They are not making use of the original pattern pieces in the way one would think for the fact that they are 'changing the sight lines' of the pattern to produce the vintage style.

The bottom line?  It is going to be a split opinion between users as far as which version suits best.  From a sewing standpoint, some figures may benefit from the overall boxier, squared version of Vogue's re-issue than the more curved and shapely nature of the original version.  From a perception standpoint, I hear that sewers expected the lines to remain the exact same from the original 1957 pattern to those of Vogue's re-issue effort.  I was surprised when I made that discovery first hand so long ago that as I picked up a 'Vintage Vogue' here and there I understood I was buying today's interpretation of the design and not the original 'pattern sight lines'!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The 1928 Set of Hats Pattern

This post is about giving a closer glimpse of the seven fabulous 1928 hat styles contained in pattern Acc20-1928:

Style 1 is a wool felt cloche with front brim and box-pleated center back with bow loops of matching felt:

Style 2 is a brocade and silk turban, the crown ends of which are arranged in bow loops at the right side and the crown is draped on the head and pleated upward:

Style 3 is a felt hat of two tone-on-tone or contrasting colors with a brim one end of which is threaded through and fastened with a fashion brooch (shown in wool tweed/flannel not backed with buckram):

Style 4 is a felt hat in contrasting hues-the crown of which is in three overlapping sections with cut-outs at each top edge. A fashion buckle may be threaded onto the felt strap trim at the right side:

Style 5 is a draped turban in light silk taffeta, gauze, or tulle over a high foundation of light buckram-the brim of which is cut bias for a soft fit around the face:

Style 6 is a silk cloche trimmed in straw braid over a wired crown of light buckram (shown here with self-bias in lieu of contrast straw):

Style 7 is wool felt cut in 7 sections for the crown which is attached to a contrasting felt band over which a slightly gathered brim one end of which is threaded through to form a shaped tie (shown in wool tweed/flannel not backed with buckram):

Friday, June 12, 2015

Top Finalist in the EvaDress 40's Fling! Challenge is...

From the 1940's-only garment submissions, I pulled five and asked Lauren Lee of Wearing History Clothing to evaluate for a top finalist based on maintaining original design lines, overall design and quality of construction.
Eszter of Australia impressed us with her bound buttonholes and diagonal seams in her fine Italian wool ensemble from pattern SE40-210 .
Here is part of what Eszter had this to say of her entry: 'Made out of fine navy Italian wool its lined in sage green rayon, with bound buttonholes, self covered buttons and tidy little gathers at the elbow for movement. The skirt is also lined, and has french seams. This came out great and I'm really proud of it. The wool was fantastic to work with and the pattern was surprisingly easy to put together!'
Lauren and I certainly agree Eszter is to be proud of her ensemble, see what you think (click images for larger version)!

Here are four of the five finalists from which Lauren also reviewed, they are Alison, Julie, Kristen and Milli:
Check out all the fabulous projects on the FaceBook event page:

Friday, May 29, 2015

Latest Patterns - Multi-Size 1934 Palazzo Ensemble and 1928 Hats with a Summer Pattern Preview

Originally by Hollywood Pattern Co., this two-piece ensemble is now in multiple sizes for 32 to 46 bust:

The tuck-in blouse has a convertible neck; or may remain un-tucked with tie-sash, patch breast pocket and long or short sleeves.  The trousers are pleated below the fitted waist-band.

The 1928 Set of 7 Hats pattern fits 22-inch head size with instructions on how to re-size the hat patterns:

Just the tip of the iceberg here in patterns coming out this summer.  They are the 1949 Vogue Kimono Blouse, the 1929 Evening Frock (June 1, in sizes 14 to 40) and the 1940's men's Semi-Hacking Jacket.  I have a few pattern surprises coming summer season as well!