Over the course of the last few years, sewing has become a passion of mine in a way I had never expected. When I first asked my mom to teach me how to sew at the age of 17, I never had expected that five years later that 75% of the garments in my closet would be made by me.
What bolstered me to keep up with this hobby of mine was my love of dressing retro and the inability to purchase ready-to-wear ensembles because: I’m way too particular with my style, very rarely can find my size and let’s be honest, most reproduction and true vintage clothes are really expensive!
I felt inspired to jump out of the norm of skinny jeans and baggy t shirts with the help of pictures floating around Pinterest. It helped me discover lovely blogs of women of today who wore dresses with matching hats and gloves. I discovered black and white photos of women walking down the streets in swishy skirts and confident smiles and candid shots of the women of Old Hollywood in their everyday attire. I loved it all and soon began to develop my aesthetic within the realm of the retro style.
Last year I made it my goal to expand my sewing skills and explore new techniques, new fabrics and new types of outfits. I made my first ball gown, my first swimsuit and my first dirndl! I made a handful of special occasion dresses and a selection of skirts and pants.
However, as my style is progressing, I’m wanting to wear more authentic-looking 1950s outfits that are casual and comfortable to walk down the streets with but still show off who I am. I referred back to the images I had pinned on Pinterested that had inspired me, and I realized my closet was lacking completed, matching ensembles. It was popular then to own outfits such as a matching jacket and skirt, a shirt’s collar that was the same fabric as the pants, a coat that matches the hat and so on.
Therefore, this year I want to work on creating outfits that perfectly go together. I want to revive the beautiful outfits worn by woman of the past. To breathe life back into these incredible designs and show how downright creative fashion designers were 70, 60 years ago.
The First Project of 2018
For my first outfit of the year, I was inspired by Lauren Bacall. She has always been one of my favorite style icons. I adore how her feminine outfits showcased strength and confidence, was fashion forward yet had a relaxed, comfortable element to them.
I love her usage of dramatic bishop sleeves, so I created an outfit inspired from this one
This outfit gave me the perfect opportunity to whip out Simplicity’s newly reproduced pattern on sleeves and try out the 3/4 length (A).
In fact, I had to whip out a lot of new patterns, because I had to mix many of them to get the look that I wanted! For the blouse, I used an actual vintage
pattern – Simplicity 4676 – and replaced the pussy bow with a basic collar ( but one day I will make that blouse again with the bow!). The dress, which is a powder blue corduroy, was created from Vogue’s reproduction pattern 8789 for the top and I swapped the full skirt for a basic pencil skirt. And of course, I added side seam pockets.
I’m very happy with the outcome. The pattern mixing and the fabric I utilized were extremely challenging, but it’s all worth it in the end. There’s little things that I’m not fully fond of, such as how large the sleeves cuffs turned out to be, despite me doubling the seam allowance. I also am uncertain about the center back zipper, just because it looked so noticeable. However, I really hate wiggling into side seam zippers, so.
I think that this is a great start to an exciting year. There will be changes in my personal life as well as changes to my wardrobe, and I cannot wait to see how both of them will progress!
Until next time,