Saturday, 26 July 2014

Vintage Slacks

Ignore my silliness. We stayed at some friends' place and had a good time...
As a mother of two little ones, I can't always wear dresses and skirts, and most trousers that are available off-the-rack don't fit me. Or are terrible. Or both. High-waisted pants are mostly available in larger or so-called "short" sizes for elderly, rather short women. And as the waists of trousers got lower and lower during the past years, and I constantly feel cold around my kidneys, I somehow felt I was getting too old for such things. You can guess that buying pants is a nightmare.

I never thought that, after leaving the 1980s fashion nightmares behind me, I would gladly opt for high-waisted trousers again. But… I always liked the wide-legged trousers Marlene Dietrich used to wear. (This reminds me that I should write a post about her.) Of course they would look different on me, as I'm not that slim, but still, it's a style I love and that will always look very neat and decent. Even if I don't do swing dancing or that kind of cool stuff. (I can't dance at all, I'm unfortunately born with two left legs.)

I bought this wonderful pattern from Eva Dress Patterns. It's a reproduction of Simplicity 3322. The patterns costa little bit, but they're worth it, as they offer some very nice and searched-after patterns in excellent quality. Some come along as multiple-size patterns, like this one.

For many of the patterns there are also pictures of finished projects, so it's really helpful to have a closer look at the entire site.

As a non-native English speaker (even though I am used to talk, write and read in English since 20 years), I didn't know what "slacks" are - until I found that pattern.

I was looking for something exactly like this! I am not sure how I would look in an overall, but the trousers are definitely worth giving a try! 

Since years I had a large piece of a inexpensive poly-cotton gabardine in my stash that I bought for about $10 per meter. I think I bought it about 10 years or more ago to make a trench coat. Of course I never made it. The fabric was still there, looking at me reproachfully each time I opened the shelf. It's a nice tan or dark-beige colour, making it perfect for cooler summer days, spring and autumn, as it has a lightly heavier drape.

After our 1.5 hours drive, the trouser look a little bit wrinkled... 

The colour is certainly not my first choice, even though I think it's not bad and can be spiced up with some top or blouse in a lovely colour or pattern, but I would have liked something that looked like denim or at least a blue fabric to be incorporated in my summer (holiday) wardrobe. Blue, especially combined with red and white, always makes me feel like holiday at the sea. But for now this has to do it. I chose some wooden buttons I bought from a warehouse that closed down many years ago, so I guess they are somehow vintage too...

They are super comfy and were easy to sew (haha, no small bust to deal with this time!!!), and I hope they will be a valuable garment. However, as you can see on the last picture, from my hips downward they are far too baggy and I look much bigger than I am (my bottom IS NOT that fat, at least I hope so), soI will try to make my next pair in a smaller size and look how they turn out.

I am wearing the self-designed peasant knit top I posted already here

And yes, I definitely look very silly on the pictures. I was standing by this column and my lovely husband said, let's take some pics of your trousers for the blog (how well-educated is he?). I was in a very cheerful mood being with friends and relatives - hehe, maybe too cheerful...

But look what I bought and what arrived yesterday - perfect for summer, especially as we had to cancel our summer holidays! Flamingo cocktail sticks! Aren't they great?

Pattern: Eva Dress Pattern, Vintage Slacks
Fabric: cotton poly gabardine
Peasant top: me-made pattern, organic cotton knit in red gingham by Lillestoff
Lipstick: MAC, Russian Red
Earrings: fruit salad, NOS vintage bought on Ebay
Shoes: pink Moheda Toffeln from Sweden
Toy octopus: not ours...

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Vintage Play Suit, Ready To Go Out

As you could read in some of my previous posts here, I was joining a sew along for a vintage play suit. Usually, such sew alongs are too complicated to join in. There's always coming something in between. A freezer frozen solid, kids with chicken pox, a broken toe... I could write books.

But this sew along was different. We plan to go on holiday in Italy, my husband's country. So I was very excited about the idea, and as I am in desperate need of some decent pieces for my wardrobe, I was planning to sew some clothes anyway. The sew along just came in time! I am the kind of person that needs a little bit of extra-pressure to keep a project going on (you certainly do NOT want to know how many UFOs I have...), so I was happy to join.

Creating a play suit set offers countless possibilities, in the end I just had to decide for one pattern for a skirt, short pants, a bra and a halter top or blouse. And the fabrics of course.

I chose a simple buttoned skirt from a German 1951 sewing magazine. They had lots of play suit options in there!

However, I lengthened my skirt, and I made is with pleats instead of gathering it. I wanted to use some of my vintage buttons, but I didn't have enough of the same style. (I love brown, but I wonder why I do have only so little brown buttons...) I found some rectangular, almost square horn buttons I bought about 10 years ago at a flea market, they are all handmade and differ slightly in size and shape. So even being not properly vintage, they somehow seemed to be a nice choice.

From another German sewing magazine of the same year, I took the pattern for the trousers, as they came along in a bigger size there. I planned to use a remnant piece, but in the end I had to order some more again as it was not enough. I absolutely wanted to have the red pants! They would be perfect, especially under the patterned skirt.

I also planned in the beginning to make the pattern of the striped bra, but after I copied the pattern (which is rather demanding, look at the pattern sheet!), I realised that bra would probably not fit me very well. Despite having breast-fed my two children for quite some time, I still belong to the species of small-busted gals. I needed something more cheating "shaping", so after trying to alter the pattern I threw my muslin away and then decided to give a try to the beach bustier from Mrs. Depew. Anna has lots of very special patterns available as downloads. However, in the end I made so many alterations, that not much was left of the original pattern. And it still didn't fit. Despite having fed both my kids, I'm still rather small-busted not particularly full-busted. So another muslin flew to to bin. I will do that again later. It makes no sense to lose so much time when you are in a hurry to finish a project.

As I really wanted some interchangeable pieces for this set as possible, I also made a cotton knit top to wear with the skirt. On a holiday in Italy, in certain places it is necessary to be dressed in a decent way. (And I completely agree, it's just not appropriate to enter a public location in town when you're wearing a beach outfit.) Easy to make (I have an almost antique serger machine I use for my kids' stuff micro-business), comfy to wear, and looking always neat. I do have some of those peasant blouses I bought off the shelf, but most of them have huge midriffs, or they become larger with each washing, so I decided to make my own better fitting design. I simply made a traditional peasant blouse to add some fullness to the bust (remember - small-busted gal) and made a more or less tubular lower part below the bust. That's it. This is some kind of prototype, so with some minor adjustments I will get a really decent and not so usual looking peasant top. And yes, I usually do NOT mix patterned materials, but ginghams are synonymous for summer, and gingham is probably the only pattern that goes well with many flower patterns.

So this is how my set looks like on Kunigunde. Unfortunately, she isn't able to wear pants, and I am far to embarrassed to expose my entire legs or my chubby belly on my blog. I leave this to younger and slimmer girls... :-) And as it's raining since days, I was not able to pose outside or make decent indoor pictures. And, worst of all, my mom broke her hip and we spent a lot of time in the hospital, and as I still have some holiday wardrobe projects on my table, I really have to postpone that. You will have to wait until we are on holiday. I promise to post about the fort day out of my playsuit set.

I admit, I am not a person who love to lie on the beach (I dislike being exposed to the sun, however, it can't be avoided when you doing as much garden work as I do), but it's certainly a "must have" for any vintage wearer, and as it's so versatile, it doesn't have to be worn on the beach necessarily. Wear it for the cocktails on early evening, or for a nice summer day on your holidays when you're in town!

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