Friday, 2 November 2018

Dia de los Muertos Halloween Costumes

Halloween is not a traditional holiday in my country, however, I love it for various reasons. The roots are Celtic, and the Celts lived in my native country before the Romans came. Also, I am fascinated how a pagan holiday blended in Christian religion, resulting in folkloristic traditions that probably most people around the world don't know anymore, because today's Halloween has become quite a commercialized event with not much left in common with the ancient believes. Plus, my kids love to dress up, and I love to make costumes, and it's a good opportunity for all of us to shorten the time until Christmas and put some colour and excitement in the dark evenings of autumn.

 When my husband came up with the idea for new costumes I was hooked. He knows my love for Mexican culture, and the Day of the Dead is certainly something that fascinates people all over the world. This holiday developed from the catholic holiday that is celebrated on the day after All Saints' Day (or Allhallows in older English, therefore Halloween, for Allhallows' evening), on November 2nd. Because of the beautifully spooky costumes and the painted skull decorations that are distinctive for those celebrations and because of the proximity of this holiday to Halloween, the Mexican costumes and specific facial paintings have become popular even in Europe. No wonder I was excited to make some costumes for my kids inspired by the Dia de los Muertos.

As a sewer and a huge admirer of authentic folkloristic crafts, one of the most beautiful things I have ever come across are the various and extraordinarily beautiful traditional costumes of the regions of Mexico. The rich and colourful embroidery is thrilling, and I could spend hours rolling over pictures of those garments that have their origins in Azetc traditions that were mixed with Spanish motives. Of course it would be convenient to have an embroidery machine, but still, trying to produce garments that would look authentic would still be a huge challenge and very time-consuming.

To keep it simple, I made a Charro style jacket for my son from a pattern for a short collarless jacket I found in my 1950s Lutterloh book. It was by the way the first time I made a two-piece sleeve. It didn't turn out too well because the fabric was a rather cheap synthetic material, but it was certainly a good experience. I also made a red scarf and sash. Luckily I found a cheap felt sombrero from an online shop, and some black trousers completed the outfit. (He first refused to wear it as he wanted to be a ghost or a spider or a transformer. I insisted, as he should match his big sister and it's probably the last time mommy can put him into a costume like that...)

My daughter's costume was far more time-consuming. The skirt should recreate the look of embroideries on a bottom ruffle. I spent much time studying pictures of amazing traditional Mexican garments. I sketched some flowers and leaves and made my own stencils, and in some of my many sleepless nights I printed them on the fabric. The material is a rather slinky viscose (rayon) javanaise, similar to a challis, but with a hint of a shine. Maybe not the best choice, but I had it in my stash, and plenty of it, and the skirt would certainly be very flowing a good for twirling. Hand printing viscose was a new experience for me, and I was happy I made some tests before starting with the pieces I planned to use for the ruffle. It's quite different from cotton! There are various flowers, and I used as many colours as possible.

I certainly don't claim this IS a Mexican skirt, but I tried to be as close to the embroidered costumes as possible. And even though my printed version doesn't justice to the beauty of the originals, it's certainly a garment that shows my deep admiration for the traditional outfits.

When it came to making the floral crown, I took to it like a duck to water. I love Frida Kahlo's look and especially her hairstyles, and my daughter does too. There was no doubt it would be the template to follow by for the updo. Felt is a wonderful material for making flowers.

As an avid gardener I absolutely wanted to make flowers that had something to do with Mexico, so I made some researches. To my utter surprise, many of our annual garden flowers originally are native to Mexico, as marigold, cosmea, zinnia and dahlia. I added lilies, calla lilies and some roses, as these are popular in Mexican culture like Mexican folk songs, embroideries etc. Finding a way how to fix and arrange all the flowers on a headband was rather tricky. I couldn't find a tutorial that would meet my needs, as my flowers are a bit heavier than ready-made synthetic faux ones. So I had to find my own solution. But I think it was totally worth all the hours I spent on it, and also stitching almost all the flowers to the headband by hand instead of using the glue gun.

My daughter's costume is completed by a true Mexcian embroidered blouse I found incredibly cheap for a couple of bucks on Ebay, plus a pashmina shawl from my wardrobe. I must admit I am no very skilled at painting my kids' faces on such occasions, but I was quite pleased with the result, keeping it rather simple.

Even if I didn't have as much time as I would have liked, and despite working mainly in the night (oh black fabric really IS a pain in the back in poor light!), everything looked much better than I had hoped. I am well aware that most people are happy with off-the-rack costumes that are available for little money and that can be thrown away after some wear. Yes, I am a bit crazy for all the effort I put in the kids' costumes.

At least a carved ghost for my son's pumpkin...

...and a Mexican skull on my daughter's. I might need some practice.

This gap-toothed little señor completely stole my heart...

Charro costume:
Jacket: self-made after Lutterloh "Der Goldene Schnitt" (The Golden Rule), book edition 6-1949, mod. 139, p. 80
Felt Sombrero: costume online shop on Ebay
Sash: handwoven from Mexico

Frida costume:
Skirt: hand-printed and self-made dirndl skirt with hand-printed ruffle (no pattern required)
Blouse: true Mexican embroidered blouse, Ebay
Flower crown: self-made felt flowers on head band

Monday, 27 August 2018

A 1940s Hawaiian Wrap Dress For My Wedding Anniversary

When I found this stunning heliconia flower viscose (or rayon) fabric in a Hawaiian shop I didn't know yet what I was going to make. I just had to have it, and - it was on sale! I loved it even more in person, even though I usually try to avoid white and natural backgrounds for large scale prints. (I think the make me look bigger.) I could imagine also some beach pajamas. But, despite global warming and the hottest and driest summer I have ever seen in my life so far, we have no beach, and we don't throw that many parties with occasions for dressing up. So a dress it should be, a flowing, light garment for hot days.

Looking through my pattern collection, I was torn between a true wrap dress pattern (quite rare back then it seems) and a robe, both made before. However, I remembered that piecing elaborated designs with several seams in combination with slippery challis viscose fabric was a nightmare, even though that said dress turned out well and is still a favourite of mine. But I wanted to be reasonable, also, I didn't want to cut the fabulous large scale print unnecessarily, so I picked the much simpler British housedress pattern Style 4673, also because of the circle skirt bottom. I own a viscose circle skirt, it wrinkles terribly, but is fabulous for high temperatures.
This should be an easy project, as I said, last year I made a cozy long-sleeved version with a ponte de roma fabric and knew more or less what I had to adjust back then.

The dress pieces went together easily, however, I realized I couldn't make the tiny rows of gathers with this kind of material. I cut the fron bodice pieces on the bias for a better drape and I just was not able to make those gathered rows, that were not on the grain, in addition with the slinkiness of the fabric, look decent enough. So I changed them to release tucks, which was a good idea as I think it goes well with the draping fabric type. However, I think that cutting on the bias probably was not necessary.

The only trouble was the collar extension in the back neck, the fabric kept shifting and wrinkling and drove me almost insane. I also changed the sleeves and took the slightly butterfly-y ones from Simplicity 1778 which promised to be more breezy than the original short sleeve. And it turned out to be a good decision.

My dress closes with pressing buttons, but I added a belt with an exchangeable buckle instead of a sash. Depending on my accessories, I can switch between different colours. I only ned to find a butterscotch-eggyolk coloured buckle in the right size - there wasn't any in my entire (huge) collection of buckles!

We celebrated our 10th anniversary this week! I sometimes cannot believe how fast the years went by. But I was very happy I finished the dress on time for this special occasion. I wore it to a British car meeting, so the cars in the pictures unfortunately are not mine. I wish they were! It was a sunny, but very windy day, and my dress was so comfortable, but a bit tricky, as it kept ballooning, and I once almost had that "Marilyn moment". But it will be a great staple for hot days!

Pattern: Style 4673, 1940s, probably WW2 (war restriction disclaimer on envelope), sleeves from Simplicity 1778
Fabric: heliconia flower viscose (rayon) from Aloha Outlet, Honolulu
Earrings: Vintage bakelite clip-on screws from FB
Necklace: Vintage bakelite from FB
Bangles: Vintage bakelite from various sources
Buckles: Vintage early plastic ones from various sources
Shoes: Moheda Toffeln from Sweden
Bag: Vintage bamboo from FB
Lipstick:  Kiko Cosmetics

Monday, 7 May 2018

The Victory Rag

You are right. I did write "rag". It was supposed to be blouse, but it's rather a rag. It's not the pattern or my sewing skills. It's the fabric. I was drooling over this gorgeous design on Spoonflower since many months. When I finally got the fabric, I was bit sad the colours didn't look as bright and intense as on the original items pictures. I could live with this, as maybe it was due to my monitor. Whatever. I later washed my fabric as I planned to make a blouse of it (I always prewash them). When I was cutting the garment pieces in the evening, I suddenly realized there were stripes all over the fabric were the print was faded. Like wrinkles. I was so gutted - imagine, I was truly shocked. I can assure I DO have experience with all kinds of fabrics, and also with laundry, and never before, not even with vintage materials, have I been so disappointed. Of course, I have seen this before on very cheap materials, especially on my kids clothes, but then, these never last long, and they're not vintage, and they are not meant to be special wardrobe staples for the upcoming years. So no loss. But Spoonflower is certainly not the cheapest supplier, compared for example with all those wonderful US quilting cotton manufactures that offer lovely quality fabrics in good printing quality. I was really upset. Best I could do, as I already had cut into the fabric and return shipping would certainly would have been too expensive and too troublesome (I wonder if they do accept return at all and do give refunds?), was to take pictures of the ruined material and write a complain. I was crestfallen, of course, but I deeply hope they do read my complain and do really something about the quality. For other customers' happiness sake.

Richtig, da steht "rag" was soviel wie Fetzen, Lumpen bedeutet. Eigentlich als Bluse konzipiert. Es lag absolut nicht am Schnitt, noch an meinen Nähkünsten. Ich hatte dieses Design schon lange immer bewundert bei Spoonflower. Als ich es endlich den Stoff erhielt, war ich zuerst schon etwas resigniert, dass die Farben weitaus weniger intensiv als auf den Beispielbildern war. Was ich akzeptierte, es konnte ja auch monitorbedingt sein. Als ich dann aber den Stoff am Abend nach dem Vorwaschen zuschnitt, stellte ich plötzlich fest, dass er von zahlreichen Linien überzogen war, an denen die Farbe ausgebleicht war. Wie Knitter. Ich war total geknickt, fast geschockt. Der Stoff ruiniert. Nun habe ich mit meinen 40+ Jahren schon etliche Erfahrung mit Wäsche, was auch das Waschen von delikateren Materialien wie zB Vintage Stoffen und Kleidern einschliesst. Natürlich habe ich solche Waschspuren schon bei recht billigen Kleidern, v.a. der Kinder, erleben müssen, aber dort hat es mich weniger gestört, da diese Stücke ja auch meist nicht lange halten und oft zerschlissen sind, bevor sie zu klein werden. Doch Spoonflower ist ja nicht gerade der billigste Anbieter von Stoffen, verglichen zB mit all den wunderbaren Baumwollstoffen die sonst in den USA produziert werden. Ich war masslos enttäuscht. Ich konnte nur noch den "Schaden" fotografieren und eine Beschwerde an Spoonflower schreiben, da der Stoff schon angeschnitten war. Ich frage mich überhaupt, ob Retouren möglich sind, aber die Kosten und der Aufwand hätten sich vermutlich auch kaum gelohnt. Ich wollte das aber nicht einfach so hinnehmen, schon allein um anderer Kunden Zufriedenheit Willen. 

There might be some designs that work out well also in cottons, maybe it depends from the colours and nuances of certain designs. However, with all the knowledge of the 21st century they should be able to get better results also on cotton fabrics. When I think of all my true 1940s and 1950s materials that look like new, there's no fading, no bleeding. The design is awesome, like so many others on Spoonflower, but in the end it was totally ruined. But maybe I'm too picky and it's totally ok that fabrics look like this after washing... Upon my complaint I was told that very saturated, dark colours don't get good results on cottons, but synthetic materials are not for me. At least their customer service is good, and I could order a similar design in less dark colors as a substitute.

Vielleicht fällt ja das Resultat bei gewissen Designs ganz gut aus, möglicherweise kommt es auf die Farben und Nuancen an. Trotzdem, mit dem Know-How des 21. Jahrhunderts sollte es doch wirklich möglich sein, dass auch diese Firma bessere Ergebnisse liefern kann. Andere können es auch, und wenn ich denke, wie farbintensiv meine alten Stoffe aus den 1940ern und 50 gern sind, kein Verbleichen, kein Ausbluten, nichts. Das Design ist ganz fantastisch ist, wird aber total ruiniert. Vielleicht bin ich ja auch nur zu heikel und es ist völlig ok so? Auf meine Beschwerde hin sagte man mir, dunkle satte Farben würden auf Baumwolle weniger gut ausfallen als auf Kunstfasern, aber diese trage ich nicht. Wenigstens konnte ich als Ersatz einen ähnlichen Stoff in einer besseren Qualität bestellen, der dann doch etwas besser ausfällt. 

Long story short told, and to get back to the subject of this post: I made another Smooth sailing blouse of it (yes, once more, sorry if I seem boring, but due to my life circumstances I need more blouses currently), adding self-made red piping. The vintage buttons were a gift from lovely Italian lady. Ah well... The blouse might not be a winner, but underneath a cardigan it won't look too bad.

Der langen Rede kurzer Sinn, oder: um auf das eigentliche Thema dieses Posts zurückzukommen: ich hab eine Smooth Sailing Bluse daraus gemacht. Ja, ich weiss, schon wieder. Ich kann auch anderes nähen, keine Sorge, aber im Moment brauche ich einfach aufgrund meiner Lebensumstände viele Blusen und dieser Schnitt passt für mich prima, er bietet genug Raum über meine breiten Schulterblätter und sieht adrett und feminin aus. Die Vintage-Knöpfe waren ein Geschenk von einer netten Dame aus Italien. Naja... Die Bluse mag kein Gewinner sein, wird es aber im Alltag durchaus tun.

Fabric: Spoonflower (Basic Cotton not recommendable), design by eloise varin (highly recommendable)
Pattern: Smooth Sailing by Wearing History
Piping: selfmade
Buttons: true 1vintage, gifted
Brooch: WW2 Victory brooch, I guess from Ebay ages ago
Bakelite Hoops: vintage

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Smooth Sailing Garden Girl Bluse

I realise I haven't been around here since months. It was a personally very busy and straining time, and my sewing motivation suffered a lot. Now spring is here and also my mood for sewing is back again.

As much as I was cursing during my last attempt to make a "Smooth Sailing" blouse, as much was I tempted to give this great pattern another try. After printing out the pattern again and sewing up the fabric pieces and ending up with a badly fitting blouse that had to be taken apart entirely, I finally managed to transfer my adjustments to the pattern. I should have dome this before, but that's what you get for being lazy. The major fitting issues were the much too wide yoke parts (I took away about an inch on each side at the shoulders) plus the width of the bottom sleeves and cuffs (these tend to be a bit narrow on most). I realized I could go with a bust 32", but should add some width below the waistline to be still able to make nice tucks. This sounds a bit confusing, but I'm not very busty, but have a well endowed backside.

Ich hab hier eine ganze Weile nicht mehr gepostet. Es lief persönlich einfach zu viel, zu viel Unschönes, und die Näh-Motivation litt erheblich. Nun ist der Frühling halbwegs da, und mit der Natur erwacht auch meine Freude am Nähen wieder.

So sehr ich während meines letzten Versuches mit der Smooth Sailing Bluse geflucht habe, so sehr hat es mich immer wieder gereizt, dem Schnitt nochmals eine Chance zu geben. Also nochmals ausdrucken, zuschneiden, nähen und mit einer schlecht sitzenden Bluse enden, die komplett auseinander genommen werden muss. Aber - endlich habe ich nun alle nötigen Änderung auf dem Schnitt entsprechend übertragen. Klar hätte ich das schon längst tun können, aber ich war einfach zu bequem dazu. Hauptsächlich war es die viel zu breite Schulterpasse, die ich auf jeder Seite sicher um etwa 2 Zentimeter verschmälert habe, plus die untere Ärmelweite und die Blenden, die bei den meisten Näherinnen ohnehin etwas knapp sitzen. Ich hatte auch festgestellt, dass eine 32 Zoll Brustweite ausreichend gross ist, mit etwas Zugabe unterhalb der Teile für den Erhalt der Abnäher und somit der gesamten From.

Yes, I'm currently pruning my more than 100 roses - therefore my slightly muddled hair.

You may ask why I love this pattern if it has to be changed that much to fit right. Well, if you sew your own garments, you have to make adjustments anyway to have a good fit - that's the advantage when you can sew. Then, this blouse is a basic staple for any vintage wardrobe in a later 30s or 40s style. Separates are a huge plus factor when you can't wear one-piece dresses on a daily basis like me, as a family woman, housewife, gardener, whatever... You can't have enough of them, they look great with simple skirts, denims or slacks, you can make them from fabulous prints or plain solids. And - this pattern offers a variety of possible fabric combinations. Colourful prints with a white or solid collar and cuffs, contrasting yoke parts, piping... I have so many lovely cotton fabrics that maybe are just not enough for an entire garment, but combined with a matching material they would make a gorgeous blouse. "Make do and mend" - and use materials from your stash without buying new fabrics.

Vielleicht fragt man sich, warum ein Schnitt, der solcher Änderungen bedarf, so beliebt ist. Aber wenn man selbst näht, muss man für eine gute Passform sowieso oft etwas anpassen - das ist ja der grosse Vorteil vom Selbernähen. Dann ist diese Bluse vom Stil her eine tolle Sache in jedem Kleiderschrank. Separate bequeme Oberteile sind für mich ein absolutes Muss, da ich als Mutter und Hausfrau Kleider nur selten tragen kann. So ein Kleidungsstück wertet jede Jeans ungemein auf, passt aber auch zum einfachen Rock. Und nicht zuletzt bietet gerade dieser Schnitt eine Vielzahl an Möglichkeiten, selbst kleine Stoffstücke hübsch zu verarbeiten, sei es für Kragen, Aufschläge oder die Schulterpasse. Dies auch ganz im Sinne der Rationierung während des Krieges, als viele Nähanleitungen spezifisch auf die Materialknappheit oder -wiederverwertung ausgerichtet waren. Und ich habe einfach zu viele Stoffe, die ich endlich vernähen muss!

So, back to my adventure with this pattern. I cut and sew version no. 3 - and here you have version no. 4. The previous attempt is still not quite finished (as I had to undo and re-stitch it), but this one is. It's certainly not the best item that jumped off my sewing machine, but I was - haha, surprise - in hurry to finish it for the visitors day at my children's school. I hate those events, as I feel totally odd amongst all those super everything moms. I usually feel like a very sad flamingo in a flock of pigeons. My social phobia doesn't help either. So wearing something newly made or very special gives me strength to stomach all that. A lovely new blouse is certainly never wrong, and therefore I needed to finish this one.

Zurück zu meinem Abenteuer mit dem besagten Schnitt. Ich hatte also Blusenversion 3 genäht - und hier ist Version 4. Der vorherige Versuch ist noch nicht ganz fertig (da ich ihn komplett auseinandernehmen und neu nähen musste). Es ist sicher nicht das perfekteste Nähprojekt, aber ich war einmal mehr - Überraschung! - etwas unter Zeitdruck, da ich die Bluse zum Besuchstag der Schule unbedingt fertig haben wollte. Ich hasse diese Anlässe, weil ich mir jedesmal total "unpassend" vorkomme. Meine Phobie vor Menschenansammlungen hilft da auch nicht wirklich. Wenn ich aber etwas Besonderes, Selbstgenähtes anziehen kann, hilft mir das, mich besser zu fühlen. Und eine neue nette Bluse ist ja nie verkehrt.

I loved the fabric the moment I saw it and had to have it (luckily it was on sale), because it's totally me. Little girls doing garden work - could it get any cuter? I'm not sure if it's a "retro style" print or a true reproduction of a vintage fabric, but it really looks like a vintage feedback print. The colour palette allowed me to use some navy blue piping (I made this one myself with ready-made bias binding) and matching vintage celluloid buttons. I finished the blouse on 2 a.m., as I lost a lot time on the design and construction of the pocket. I took some inspiration from Bex' tutorial on her blog Subversive Femme, but changed the shape a bit and added some piping for a different look. (Bex' blog btw is very inspiring - have a look!) From the remaining fabric I also made a matching headscarf.

Now that I sorted out the fitting issues of that versatile pattern, I'm confident this will probably be one of my favourites whenever I need a reliable pattern to knock up a blouse without hassle.

Der Stoff ist mir gleich ins Auge gestochen und ich musste ihn einfach haben (wie gut dass er reduziert war) - kleine Mädchen bei der Gartenarbeit! Völlig passend, und so niedlich! Ob es ein Retro-Design ist oder eine echte Reproduktion eines Vintage-Stoffes, kann ich nicht sagen, aber das Motiv sieht doch ziemlich genau wie einer der vielen fabelhaften Feedsack-Prints aus. Passend zur Farbpalette gab es dunkelblaue Paspeln (aus Schrägband selbst gemacht), und dazu echte alte Zelluloid-Knöpfe. Die Bluse wurde erst um 2 Uhr morgens fertig, weil ich Zeit mit dem Entwurf  und der Ausführung der Tasche verloren habe, zu der ich die Anleitung von Bex auf ihrem Blog Subversive Femme als Inspiration nahm. (Das ist übrigens ein toller Blog voller Ideen, schöner Sachen und hübscher Gratis-Anleitungen!) Aus dem Rest des Stoffes gab es ein praktisches Kopftuch.

Jetzt wo ich hoffentlich alle Passform-Probleme der "Smooth Sailing" behoben habe, bin ich zuversichtlich, dass es eines meiner Lieblingsmodelle sein wird, vor allem, wenn man auf die Schnelle einen verlässlichen Schnitt braucht, wenn man in letzter Minute eine neue Bluse aus dem Ärmel schütteln muss. 

Pattern: Smooth Saling by Wearing History
Fabric: Back Porch Prints by Kaye England (Wilmington Prints), bought from
Buttons: vintage celluloid buttons
Glasses: cheap ones, I guess from H&M
Lipstick: Unlimited Stylo by KIKO Milano, No. 18 - best lipstick ever, holds an entire day and stays on even when you have a meal!

Friday, 2 June 2017

Frida's Garden - My Birthday Skirt

It is quite normal for me that I get behind my schedule and planned things remain UFOs for quite some time. And sometimes I am so surprised to finish projects in time, that I forget to blog about them, even though I announced them boastfully.

And today - tadaaa - voilà, my finished "Happy Belated Birthday To Myself" skirt. It's basically so belated, that it was finished one month after my birthday - 3 years ago. Frida Kahlo, the Mexican painter and her artwork, are pictured in this fabric. She lived from 1907 to 1954, and her birthday was, what a coincidence, on July 6th - exactly the day when my skirt was finished and worn for the first time out. But as tomorrow is my birthday, this is, once again, a birthday skirt.

For once I didn't want to make a simple pleated skirt, even though it would have been suitable for a folk art inspired fabric. But I didn't want a too bulk skirt, and then I found this pattern in my stash and thought it would look nice. It's a 1949 Simplicity pattern, 3033, it was still in fabric folds (exciting!) and it was quite easy to realise.

On my husband's advice I skipped the pockets. Today I wouldn't ask him, but back then I was still unsure weather it's yes or no to big pockets. Somehow I miss them, as I find myself all too often fiddling with the side seams in search of - obviously non-existing - pockets. Only trouble was - the construction of the waistband respectively the front pleats was somehow wrong. It was not possible at all to make it as described in the instruction sheet. I was wondering if I was too stupid to understand, if my English was not as good as I thought, if I just had misinterpreted something, but then I just realised that there certainly ARE patterns with errors or badly drawed, mismatching pieces. In the end, I just moved the front pleat folds and it worked.

There is also the pattern for the blouse included. I think the version with the huge collar would look nice made from a lightweight, white cotton fabric to be paired with the skirt.

I really love to wear this skirt, the colours are fantastic and great to add various solid tops. On these pictures I'm wearing a self made knit top. The pics are taken by my daughter.

Skirt pattern: Simplicity 3033 from 1949
Skirt fabric: Frida's Garden by Alexander Henry
Peasant top: self drafted, made from a cotton-spandex knit
Shoes: Moheda Toffeln from Sweden
Earrings: Splendette

Monday, 1 May 2017

1940's Style Wrap Dress

I have a purchased wrap dress by a repro brand, and I love it a lot. For a long time I tried to find a similar pattern, but wrap dress patterns from the 40s are not easy to find. So I tried to make something like a copy of that dress. Which was not easy, as the slinky rayon crepe of the template dress changed shape whenever it was moved.

Ich habe ein Repro Kleid, das ich über alles liebe. Da ich keinen ähnlichen Schnitt finden konnte, habe ich versucht, das Kleid zu kopieren. Da das Material ein sehr rutschiger Viskose-Krepp ist, war das schier unmöglich.

I should have made a muslin, well, yes, you always should. But I seldom do, and I went right ahead with a gorgeous piece of 1940s fabric. I had to struggle a bit to have enough fabric for all the pieces. Luckily, it turned out quite well. There's only little that should be improved on a next version, and even though the skirt looks slightly too bulky when worn (thanks to my weight gain during the last months), I am really happy how it turned out.

Natürlich hätte ich noch ein Testkleid nähen sollen, sollte man ja immer, aber ich mache das kaum je. Stattdessen nähte ich gleich drauflos mit einem Stück originalem Stoff aus den 1940ern. Mit etwas Glück schaffte ich es, aus dem sehr knappen Material alle Teile zu schneiden. Und zum Glück ist das Kleid auch recht gut gelungen. Nur zwei, drei Kleinigkeiten müssten an dem Schnitt verbessert werden, und der Rock dürfte weniger klobig sein, was aber auch am Stoff liegt (und an meiner derzeitigen Figur).

I had to peace the back bodice and yoke.

I think the fabric is one of the loveliest I have ever seen, as the colour range is so 1940s! I guess it's cotton or some kind of cotton and rayon blend. Then there's a slight structure to the material similar to grosgrain ribbon. It's marvelous to wear and so soft, although there should be a bit more drape to it for this particular cut.

Der Stoff ist einer der hübschesten, den ich je gesehen habe, die Farbpalette ist so richtig zeittypisch. Ich denke es ist Baumwolle oder ein Baumwolle-Viskose-Gewebe, mit einer leicht gerippten Struktur wie Rips. Es ist sehr angenehm und weich, dürfte aber für diesen Schnitt etwas mehr Fall haben.

The dress was finished already in autumn, but because of my medication I put on a bit weight (others may call it fat...), but now that spring is here, it fits better, and I hopefully get back my previous shape.

Fertig ist das Kleid schon im Herbst geworden, doch wegen meiner Medikamente habe ich etwas zugenommen. Winterspeck wohl auch. Nun da der Frühling da ist, passt es aber schon besser. 

I wore it yesterday for a trip with my family. Tomorrow, they have to go back to school after their spring holiday, and it was a splendidly sunny day after a week of rain and cold. So we drove to Stein am Rhein, an ancient, tiny town near the Rhine (and near the Rhine falls). It was a bit crowded, apparently many people had the desire to spend this lovely day in a beautiful place. I didn't expect my husband to take that many pictures, I was rather surprised I didn't have to beg him...

Ich habe das Kleid bei unserm gestrigen Ausflug zum ersten Mal richtig ausgeführt. Morgen müssen die Kinder nach den Ferien wieder in die Schule, und weil es nach einer kalt-regnerischen Woche endlich mal wieder sonnig war, fuhren wir ins malerische Stein am Rhein in der Nähe des Rheinfalls. Es hatte etwas viel Volk unterwegs, offenbar hatten noch andere Menschen das Bedürfnis, den Tag an einem so schönen Ort zu verbringen. Ich war auch sehr überrascht, dass mein GöGa aus freien Stücken so viele Bilder machte...

We also visited the nearby tiny island Werd that can be accessed only by foot or boat. Having no boat, we had to cross a small wooden bridge, which was quite challenging for me. As soon as I don't have terra firma beneath my feet, I feel totally dizzy. (It get's worse with age...)

Zuletzt besuchten wir noch die winzige Insel Werd gleich nebenan. Diese ist nur zu Fuss oder mit dem Boot erreichbar. Da wir kein Boot haben, nahmen wir den schmalen Steg, was für mich ein wenig eine Herausforderung war. Sobald ich keinen festen Boden unter den Füssen habe, wird mir schwindlig.

View of Stein am Rhein from the island

This place was just amazing. It has an ancient house and the chapel of St. Otmar. The beautiful labyrinth, a copy of the one in the Chartres cathedral, intrigued my kids a lot.

Dieser Ort ist sehr beeindruckend mit dem kleinen Kloster und der St. Otmar Kapelle, und das Labyrinth hat selbst meine Kinder sehr beeindruckt. Es ist übrigens eine Nachbildung des Labyrinthes der Kathedrale von Chartres.

Pattern: self-drafted after a reproduction 1940s dress
Fabric: vintage 1940s from Etsy
Shoes: Moheda toffeln from Sweden
Purse: vintage crochet purse with faux tortoise shell frame, Etsy
Earrings: vintage early plastic screw-backs, don't remember where from
Bangles: The Pink Bungaloo (the wide carved one), small ones are vintage bakelite from various sellers
Cardigan: H&M

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