Just what will the Grahams wear for Easter Sunday? Why, I’m so glad you asked . . . because I just happen to have a three page spread showing just that!
My brother gave me this Canadian Home Journal from April of 1941, this past Christmas, and I’ve been eagerly waiting to share it with you all, because there is an entire section in the magazine featuring Singer sewing machines, and Butterick patterns! I haven’t figured out yet what I am going to wear this Easter Sunday, but any of these patterns would be delightful, don’t you think? It’s too bad I won’t be able to make any of these lovely dresses, but at least we can enjoy looking at them, right?
The article on the right page talks about how Mrs. S. Armstrong, of Montreal, wanted to have “more pretty clothes- for much less money”, and so she decided to sew them herself. However, there was just one problem- she didn’t know how to sew! But, no problem, she just went to her nearest Singer Sewing Centre, and enrolled in their Three Free Lessons. “There the obliging sewing instructress showed her how easy and simple it is to sew- and save- the Singer way.” Now Mrs. Armstrong has become “quite the expert” and “does all her own sewing- on the modern Singer electric Mr. Armstrong gave her for her birthday”. Furthermore, “the Singer Sewing Centre in your town is always ready to help you. Go there for wardrobe ideas, for advice on a sewing problem, or for “short course” lessons in dressmaking or home decorating. All these services are free!” Well, I just want to pop over my local vintage Singer Sewing Centre now, don’t you?
This dress, above, is just perfection!
I love this striped blouse and suit from Butterick 1440.
Here is what Margaret, Ailsa, Dorothy, and Peg Graham will wear.
Dorothy likes the “high surplice neckline” of Butterick 1444 and the “wide midriff belt” of 1451, above.
Ailsa “likes the shirred pockets” in this Butterick 1407 suit. Also pictured is Butterick 1453. On the other page, we are shown how to add some “spice’ to your outfit!
There will be “many pleasant uses for these important additions to the Spring costumes they are planning”.
Margaret likes the “saddle shoulders in both the dress and the coat of this ensemble because they give a broad shoulder line”. Broad shoulders were definitely the thing in the 40’s! Butterick 1462 includes both the coat and the dress. And Peg, on the right, likes the “slim lines of this reefer which buttons up to a high collar” Butterick 1160 and 1465.
And lastly, my favourite is this ensemble with Butterick 1456. I love everything about this: the cape, the handbag, the cool folded hat. . . the officer (haha just kidding!)
Which of the patterns from this issue of Canadian Home Journal do you like the best? Don’t you wish you could still order things from old magazines and catalogues, when you browse through them? Have you ever seen an issue of Canadian Home Journal before? And, have you picked out what you are going to wear for Easter yet?
This hat is my first sewing project of the year which, ironically, wasn’t even on my #makenine list! However, I am delighted to have finished one project so far this year, especially since my other current project is taking a lot more time to finish than I would like it to.
I said yes, of course, and just this past weekend I got around to making the hat. I have never had much success sewing hats- I made a newsboy style cap for my sister once, which was really cute, but so many of the hats I make for myself seem to fail. I once attempted to make a pillbox, but it turned out looking more like a fez. 🙁 So it was with trepidation that I approached this pattern, hoping that it would turn out well, but also afraid I would end up with another fez. Well, of course, I should not have feared! Tanith has made a wonderful hat pattern- and I love how this hat turned out!
When I first got the pattern, I spent quite a while trying to decide which fabric I should use, because I wanted to make sure that it was something that would coordinate with my wardrobe. After almost cutting it out of a different fabric, I remembered that I had some green wool scraps left over from my cape last year. I only had a few strips (several inches wide) and I wasn’t sure that I would be able to fit all of the pattern pieces in, but, as Tanith mentions, this pattern is good for recycling leftover pieces of fabric and all of the pattern pieces fit. (With absolutely no room to spare- and none leftover! Yay for using up fabric scraps!)
I made the eight section hat, with a narrow band, and I didn’t topstitch the segments. This is because I am that seamstress who looks at a pattern (even one with every combination known), and picks out the one option that isn’t pictured on the pattern. I think that the topstitching gives the beret a sportier look, and also stiffens the pieces, so my hat is rather soft and floppy compared the pictures on her pattern. The wool I used was also rather soft, compared to melton or other stiff wool. The weight of your fabric is definitely something to keep in mind.
The hat went together very quickly. I made it in a few hours including: laying out the pattern, cutting, sewing, unpicking my bad stitches and then resewing, and then finally pressing and steaming the hat into shape. If you’ve been following my sewing projects for any length of time, you will know that a finished project in that short amount of time is pretty amazing since all of my sewing projects take me forever to complete.
After I finished sewing the segment pieces together, I laid the hat out flat, and even though it wasn’t pressed yet, I could tell that it was going to be too small. Because I was afraid of the hatband also being too small which would result in the hat sitting on the top of my head like a pancake (strangely enough…not the look I was going for), I measured my head and then cut my hatband out at that measurement + seam allowance, sewed the hatband together at the sides, and tried it on to make sure it fit. Because there is a 5/8″ (1cm) seam allowance included in her pattern, I simply resewed the segment piece seams at 3/8″ and then tapered the seams towards the bottom to fit the circumference of the hatband. Once I had resewed the seams it was a simple matter of attaching it to the hatband, adding a covered button and then I was done. Tanith does mention in her pattern that any seam or cutting discrepancies can drastically change the size of the hat- just 1mm in cutting error will result in a 1.6 cm difference once the pieces are sewn up. My hat might have also turned out too small because of printing error- I did print it at 100%, but there could have been a problem there too. Either reason, it doesn’t really matter in the end because she, fortunately, included wide enough seam allowances for me to make the necessary adjustments with no problems! I would recommend if you sew this pattern, just measure the pieces before you cut them out to make sure the sizes are all right.
So, what was my opinion of Tanith’s pattern? I really like how this hat turned out, and am thrilled to now have a matching cape and hat set. I am already contemplating future versions too; velvet would be nice, and perhaps some more outerwear and hat sets, because you can’t get more vintage than that, right?
As for this outfit, which I wore on Sunday, I paired the hat and cape with a fur collar, black tights and shoes, and my kraken necklace, which I thought deserved an outing. Peeking out from under my cape is the Vogue 8789 dress which I seem to be wearing on repeat lately. I tried the outfit with a black purse, but it was just too much black, so I ended up choosing this silly plastic covered feather clutch which I rarely ever carry, because it’s too small to hold anything other than my phone and a lipstick! But, it was a perfect finishing touch, and I always love wearing ridiculous vintage pieces, if I can 😉
All in all, I am very happy, both with this pattern, and how this outfit turned out- despite the freezing cold these photos were taken in. (The sunshine is deceptive) I was tempted to do an indoor photoshoot, but decided that a cape and hat set needed to be set against a winter background, so my sister and I braved the weather just long enough to quickly snap these and then run back inside to sit by the fire and warm up with a hot cup of tea!
Have you ever sewed a hat before or would you? Have you seen or tried out the Grevillea Beret pattern yet? Would you make a matching outwear and hat set? And- is it starting to feel like Spring where you live, or are you still in the depths of Winter too!?!
(Ps- I was wondering why the pattern was called the “Grevillea Beret” so I Googled it, of course, and discovered that a Grevillea is a type of Australian flower. I wondered whether the hat looked like the flower. . . but then I looked at the image search here and it does not look anything like it! Although- a Grevillea inspired hat would be most interesting, don’t you think? 😉 haha!)
Yes, I had to give this post a title like that, because there is just so much peach in this Valentine’s Day outfit that I really couldn’t do otherwise, could I?
I used to think that I didn’t like pink, because I don’t own very much of it, (I keep saying that every year when Valentine’s Day rolls around. . ) I have realized over time, though, that it’s not that I don’t like pink, but that I am not drawn to cool toned pinks; I love warm peachy pinks, corals, and tawny dead shades of pink.
My mom and sister found this adorable fabric, of which there was just enough to make a gathered skirt, in the thrift store last summer. I’m not one for novelty prints, so this is about as novelty as I get, but how could I resist when it has little dancing people and bunches of flowers on it- and also what better thing could there be to wear on Valentine’s Day? In keeping with the Valentine’s theme, I also decided to wear this pendant with handwriting on it- something about it feels romantic, and my cameo earrings, which have always been a romantic kind of jewellery as well. My Brave Leather belt finished off the look- and also kept the peasant style top and gathered skit from looking frumpy. I tried the look with a narrow belt, but this one looked better: never underestimate the power of a wide belt! 🙂
I’m getting a bit tired of the cold and snow, to be honest, and I have been forced to spend most of my days indoors lately. Yesterday it finally warmed up enough to run errands without my face freezing off, which was so nice. The cold weather is getting to be a bit of a drag, but on the other hand, if I’m inside I can wear whatever I feel like, without having to worry about layers and toques and scarves. . . So, when planning what to wear for Valentine’s day- I decided to ignore the fact that it is still Winter, and as a result this outfit is quite Springlike. I am not going to go out in these sandals though! (I repeat: these sandals will not be worn in the snow!)
Today the forecast is not bad, but even if it is cold, I don’t have to go out in it and will just sit at my work desk dressed up in this un-seasonably appropriate outfit, enjoying the Valentine’s spirit (aka- eating a chocolate tart) and staying toasty warm beside my plug in heater should the temperatures dip again 🙂
I hope you have a lovely Valentine’s Day no matter how you spend it!
Do you like to wear a themed Valentine’s Day outfit? Do you like the colour pink? And if so are you drawn to cool or warm pinks?
Not gonna lie, when I got to the end of 2017 and started looking at what I sewed throughout the year. . . I was a bit depressed to still be looking at a fabric stash instead of garments hanging in my closet. This past year I sewed four skirts, (only blogged one of them) a sundress, a cape, and refashioned a vintage dress. So, yes I did do some sewing, but considering the fact that there are 8,760 hours in a year, and only about 6,000-ish of those were spent working and sleeping, I didn’t really do as much as I could have. I don’t want that to happen again, so I have decided to take part in the 2018 Make Nine challenge hosted by Rochelle of Home Row Fibre Co. and the blog Lucky Lucille. The Make Nine Challenge is a sewing challenge where you choose nine items to make throughout the year, and is in her words, “a gentle challenge. It’s not one that you can fail. It’s meant to be flexible, a tool you can use to evaluate your motivations and needs for working towards specific things as the year goes on. This is meant to be a challenge focused on learning more about yourself and your making habits while achieving goals. Work at your own pace and join in at any time. – That’s it!” She’s got all the details over on her blog post, so if you would like to take part in the challenge yourself, just hop over there to read all about it.
I’ve never joined in this community sewing challenge before, but I think that it is just the sort of kick-in-the-pants I need to turn my pile of fabric into actual clothes. I spent a few days this past week going through patterns and fabric, looking through vintage fashion books/blogs for inspiration, and evaluating what some of the gaps in my wardrobe are, and how I can fill them in a purposeful way.
I often get so inspired, and I see a pattern or garment and decide that I want to make it, but then I can’t decide which fabric to use, and so I get overwhelmed and end up going in circles of indecisiveness, because I have this ridiculous fear that if I cut into a fabric from my stash, I’ll realize that I should have made it into something else. . . and so I end up making nothing.
In light of that, this week I narrowed down all of the options and ideas I had into nine specific items I will focus on this year. I have decided to sew only garments with fabric I already own (what- no fabric shopping!?!?!?!) and the only sewing purchases I intend to make this year are for notions, lining fabric or other items that I need to complete one of these projects. Setting these boundaries for myself will ensure that I don’t get distracted (like a dog with a squirrel) and will instead end up with garments I’ve been dreaming about wearing for years. So, here, in no particular order, are my Make Nine choices for 2018!
I have a million metres of smoky blue eyelet, and I do love a good shirtwaist dress, so I plan to make view A, only I’m going to make it floor length. I love long skirts, but currently don’t have any in my wardrobe. I also have some other fabric that I’d like to make into shirtwaists (knee length), so once I finish this, I’ll hopefully have a tried-and-true pattern, which will make the others go so much quicker.
Years ago, a lady gave me her aunt’s winter coat, since she knew I liked vintage styles. The coat is from the 1980’s and is an 80’s-does-50’s princess style out of green wool. Unfortunately it looks like someone along the way decided to throw it in the washing machine, and the fabric is completely ruined. However, the underside of the fabric is still lovely- so I am hoping to be able to take the coat apart and turn it, rather like the “turned silks” of the 1800’s. The coat is also a bit big, so I am going to alter it as I refashion it. I hope it works out, since a full skirted winter coat will be a wonderful thing to have!
The Simplicity 2154 blouse is so cute and classy and I’ve liked every one I’ve seen so far. I have some checked tan and navy shirting, which will be perfect for this. The colours will go with everything, and it’s always nice to have a variety of blouses. This one will be particularly nice for layering.
I love turbans, and I’d love to make a formed one out of velvet. I don’t know if I’ll attempt a fan or a knot decoration like the ones in this picture- I might try out a simpler one to begin with! This will be nice for winter as it will be a good alternative to a toque.
The first project I am going to tackle this year is Simplicity 4403- a coat pattern I got for my 16th birthday. That was a long time ago and I still have a partially sewn coat out of a beautiful plum melton wool with brass buttons. I don’t even know if it’s going to fit me anymore, to be honest, but I’m going to give it a go. I am completely intimidated to sew this for some reason- but it’s either getting made now, or I’m going to get rid of it. So, because I can’t bring myself to get rid of it, I guess that means I’m going to be sewing it this weekend 😉
I have some brown and plum coloured plaid “wool” in my stash that I am going to use to make a circle or 4 gored skirt. It’s not real wool- I bought it many years ago, but it’s got a tweedy sort of texture to it. I don’t have very much fabric, but I’m sure I’ll have enough for a skirt- I can always decrease the fullness if necessary. This will be a practical addition to my wardrobe, since I don’t have very many good winter weight skirts.
For years I have been dreaming of a jumper dress and jacket suit combo out of some wool-like fabric I inherited from my aunt. I have 2.5 metres of a blue and tan gingham, and 2 metres of a coordinating blue. I’ve never been brave enough to cut into it- but this is the year! I am not sure if this Simplicity 3673 pattern, centre view C, will work with the gingham check, but if not, I’ll hack the pattern to make something similar if not exactly the same. If I also manage to get a matching jacket done up, that will turn this challenge into a Make Ten instead 😉
I would like a “Background Dress” as described in this Sear’s catalogue. I haven’t chosen a pattern yet, but it will be something that can be paired with a bunch of different accessories, sweaters, shoes etc. for endless options. I will use either a teal rayon or tan and black ikat patterned rayon, and I’d like the dress to have a similar 1940’s shape to it.
Butterick 5748 is such a cute dress with that bow detail. I love early 1960’s dresses- they’d lost the fussiness of the 50’s, but hadn’t quite gotten into the psychedelic 60’s yet. I have a cream and brown calico cotton which I think would make a really nice sundress.
Whew. If I manage to get all of these sewn, along with all my other creative endeavors, I will be happy. Hopefully now that I’ve put it out here I’ll actually do it too- accountability works wonders! I might change some of my patterns along the way, but as long as I end up with nine garments at the end of the year, that’s good with me.
Have you heard of the Make Nine Challenge? Are you going to be taking part, or making any other kind of sewing related goals this year? What projects do you have planned? And, have you made any of these patterns before?
Now that it’s the Christmas season, it is time to start dressing for the occasion. (OK, it’s been the Christmas season for a while, I’m just kind of late at getting a holiday post up). But how do you dress for the holidays when when you don’t own “Christmas” clothing, or you just don’t like wearing novelty prints of Christmas trees? I’m all for a festively, kitschy holiday outfit. . . on other vintage loving gals, but it’s just not for me. However, I do love to dress for the season. So how do you dress for the season, when you don’t want to wear poinsettia dresses, red is not your best colour, or you don’t want a wardrobe full of themed items that can only be worn at certain times of the year?
My go-to solution for dressing for the holidays, whether it’s Christmas, Thanksgiving, Valentines, or Family Day (wait- no- you don’t really dress up for Family Day. . . ) is to take a regular outfit, add different accessories to it, and thus turn it into a holiday outfit. For example, at Christmastime, take a whole bunch of gold bling and sparkly jewellery, and voila! With a few changes, it’s suddenly a holiday outfit!
I wore this exact same outfit last week, minus all the gold, and it looked like a regular old unholidayish dress. But taking the same basic pieces: a striped dress, a black bolero, black tights and black pumps and then restyling them with a gold belt and clutch, metallic gold nail polish, sparkly eyeshadow, and sparkly rhinestone jewellery made it suddenly seem more festive. Making those few changes made it the perfect thing to wear to the Christmas lunch at our church.
I’ve also worn this dress in the springtime, here, and the accessories I paired that time made it look the farthest thing from Christmas you could think of. Imagine if I had paired this dress with spider jewellery, a veiled hat, and a velvet jacket- suddenly it would look perfect for Halloween. Accessories really are a girl’s best friend- a few key pieces can completely change the look of your outfit to suit whichever holiday you are going for.
So, if you aren’t into outfits that scream “CHRISTMAS!!!!”, but you do want to add a bit of a festive touch, accessories are where it’s at.
Here are some more ways to add a bit of holiday cheer to your outfit:
Wear a bow in your hair. It’s like dressing up as a present. . . only more subtle. 😉
Plaid is the perfect Christmas material because it has nothing to do with Christmas, and yet it looks so festive when worn this time of year. And you can wear it any other season, and it looks lovely- I’m all for fabrics that do double duty.
Wear darker hued shades of “Christmas colours”. Instead of wearing bright red and green, try jewel tones like burgundy and emerald. Rich colours like navy blue can look very winter appropriate too, with some silver jewellery added, for example.
Christmas jewellery adds a festive touch, but is a bit more understated than a Christmas dress. And, it doesn’t take up tons of space, so collecting Christmas earrings and brooches doesn’t take up your entire wardrobe, but adds a nice festive touch.
‘Tis the season for rich and sumptuous fabrics like velvet and taffeta. They are great for both Christmas, and also New Years, and as most people don’t get the opportunity to wear them year round, it’s time to bust them out of the closet!
As I said before: gold and sparkles is where it’s at. In a society where people are more likely to have ugly sweater parties, I say- bring on the glam and the glitz! Any excuse to break out the cocktail dresses is good by me.
So, do you like going all out dressing for the season? Or do you like your Christmas outfits to be a bit more subtle? Or maybe you don’t dress for the holidays at all? Do you have any other holiday outfit tips?
ps. This is the same vintage Laura Ashley bolero from last week– and here you can see the fabric better!