Sunday, 31 March 2013

SFV: 1940s Dungarees Finished!

Yes, I actually have some finished outfit photos to share! I finished up my sweetheart dungarees for the Sew For Victory sewalong using Simplicity 3688 this week and love them already.

Once I got over the cock-up with the pockets I told you about in my last post, I got the rest done at a good speed with no more headaches.



The bib is detachable, so I can wear them just as trousers if I want to. It buttons onto the inside of the waistband, using some vintage buttons (probably 1960s) in a dark royal blue shade. I also used these on the straps and one on the waistband above the back zipper.


I decided to use a cotton print for the lining on the bib, along with a facing. This was a repro print I bought a fat quarter of ages ago for something specific that I never made. I really love the look of the red print against the navy. Such a pretty combination! The instant I stitched the seam joining the lining and facing and turned it right side up to press, I instantly wanted a dress made out of it with that shape at the top of the bodice! Probably a good thing I can't remember what the fabric was so can't be tempted to buy any more. Heh.

I could have done with making one more alteration to the bodice, it gapes slightly at the sides of the bust, but I suppose it leaves room for wearing woolly jumpers underneath! When I went flea market shopping last week the lady who runs a jewellery stall I regularly buy from said I look ready for work on the farm, so evidently they turned out a little Land Girl. I'll take that.  I suspect these will get a lot of wear, in both versions. They're certainly the warmest trousers I now own, something that's been very much lacking over the winter.

What about you all- how did your Sew For Victory projects turn out?


Saturday, 30 March 2013

Free Pattern Fortnightly: Seven crochet edgings

Well, the weeks got away from me a little there. Sorry about that! Let's get back on track shall we?

This week's free pattern is for seven crocheted edging designs, by Coats. Although written for lighter weight crochet cotton, these could be worked in pretty much any weight with an appropriate sized hook. As always, right click > View Image (or open in new tab) to view full size.





Crochet trims look lovely worked in bright colours for a more modern feel. Add them to bed linen, towels, clothing, or anything else you fancy! There's plenty of inspiration on Pinterest to get the ideas flowing:







You can either make up the trim separately and sew it on, or work it directly onto your fabric edge. Either work a line of blanket stitch along the edge with a needle first, and use this as your base, or make your crochet chain, making a slip stitch through the fabric every few chains. 

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Ready for Spring

I don't know about you all, but I'm sick of winter now. The UK is under snow again this weekend with temperatures below zero. Though as usual, our corner of the country is missing out on any proper snow and we're stuck with howling gales and a smattering of hail and a few pathetic flakes. I have to travel by train this coming week and I'm just dreading the snow hanging around until then!

This miserable winter just seems to be dragging on interminably, considering this week last year was the warmest March week on record. I've been dreaming of summer dresses and seem to have a real craving for bright and bold florals. Hopefully these might cheer up any of you feeling in a similar winter slump!

Most of these are from a fabulous eBay shop, Favourite Fabrics, who always have a lovely range of cotton prints.







Not florals, but I'm lusting after these fabrics as well.




What are you looking forward to sewing with when the weather warms up?


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Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Patterns galore!

I was going to do a general recent buys type of post, until I realised I've bought barely anything but knitting patterns recently! With that in mind, here's a whole bunch of patterns I've bought in the last couple of months. Some came from the flea markets, and others from charity shops. Of course, I'll post some of them as free patterns in the future. Let me know if there are any you'd particularly like me to share!


Ladies jumpers and cardigans, and a beautiful 1940s looped bed jacket. Unfortunately the blue cardigan top-right is missing a page, which I didn't notice until I got it home. Never mind. It will always look nice framed!


Short sleeved summer jumpers. There are lots of nice lacey stitch patterns amongst these for warmer months (if we ever see them). One of the booklets of cap sleeved jumpers is unusually written for double knitting weight so should be a relatively quick project for summer.


Of course, I bought a lot of kids patterns too. I just love the crocheted coat, and the twin set is one of the oldest patterns in my collection so far, along with the bed jacket above.


I got a few colourworked patterns for the little one too. A couple of circular-yoked jumpers, and some cute picture knits.


Some glove patterns, including one for sideways-knit gloves.


Finally, another Stitchcraft, this time from July 1961.


Sunday, 10 March 2013

SFV: Dungarees progress

Progress on this part of my Sewing For Victory has been a bit hit and miss. I got a substantial amount done in the first day of sewing, getting everything cut out and the main leg seams pieced together and tried on for fit. All good, I set about making pockets to set in the side seams.


I drafted a basic pocket shape, and cut four pieces of a viscose lining fabric left over from another project. It is a lovely wine red/black with a herringbone weave. I decided to add a facing of the trouser fabric to the back part of the pocket so the lining doesn't peek out of the pocket opening. This was where the problem started- I sewed the pocket in the wrong way round! I put the left pocket in the right seam, so the facing was on the front half, and not doing its job! At this point I put it down and walked away from it for three days.

After a quick unpicking today (including the two rows of topstitching I'd already done) I tried again, and got it right. This is the left pocket: you can see the facing piece with its topstitching, and the fancy lining fabric.


For the bib bodice, I've decided to make it detachable so I have the option to just wear them as trousers. The plan is to add buttons or possibly big snaps to the inside of the waistband, so the fastening is concealed. Hopefully I can squeeze the lining for it out of my last bits of the viscose herringbone.

This is the pattern for the bib. I used the bodice of a dress pattern with a single large waist dart, and simply drew on the top edge shape.


Now I need my zip to arrive so I can get on with the finishing touches and get the straps measured and made!

How is everyone else's Sew For Victory project coming along?



Friday, 8 March 2013

Knitting For All: Illustrated

When I first got this book back in November I promised a dedicated post on it. I picked it up from a local flea market for the grand sum of fifty pence, along with a couple of children's books. It was shoved in a box full of books that had obviously been stored in someone's garage or shed. It was damp and warped and the binding is a little loose, but the pages are all present and correct with no major internal damage. A night on top of the radiator and a while squeezed into the book case has dried and flattened everything out as it should be.


This book was published in 1941, so is perfect for WW2 era patters. The book has patterns for women, men, babies and children as well as a substantial number of different stitch patterns, cable designs, and general knitting instructions and care information. 

This basic cardigan pattern has multiple variations, including different stitch patterns, and a less fitted version without waist shaping.

The basic cardigan:



Worked in different stitches:
Note that the instructions for the cable pattern carry onto the second image here.



Each section of the book has these lovely illustrations. There are patterns for everything from underwear to hats, and just about every garment in between.





There are lots of little snippets of information, such as this story of how cable knits evolved:




The back section of the book covers the make do and mend aspect of wartime knitting, and has a lot of ideas on reusing wool from old garments, and reworking worn out items into new.



Another aspect addressed is how to make best use of your resources by choosing a more economical stitch for your work. Instructions for various types of drop stitch patterns are given too.



One of my favourite things about older books like this is the lovely paper used inside the covers. This one features rows of knitted garments, intertwined with needles and yarn.  Such a beautiful touch.


Saturday, 2 March 2013

Sew For Victory: Some 1940s sewing

Who else is taking part in Rochelle's 1940s themed sewalong, Sew For Victory? The timing of this project fits quite well with my current sewing plans, so I decided to throw my name in for it.


My lack of trousers is an ever-annoying problem (as you may be aware, I've mentioned it so often), one that I've been meaning to remedy for months now. I'm down to one pair of now slightly scruffy-looking red capri pants, my denim Simplicity 3688 trousers (which having finished I decided are a tad too big after all) and a pair of black cargo pants that I'm ashamed to be seen in. So all in all, pretty dire. On my recent trip to visit family I went fabric shopping and bought a couple of lengths of trouser-weight fabric.

The first is a very dark (and hard to photograph accurately) navy wool and poly blend. These will be a nice pair of 3688 trousers, which I intend to line and make nicely fancy. These will probably wait until after the Sew For Victory challenge has finished though.


The second wasn't actually intended as trousers for myself. I bought 1.5m of this navy cotton drill for a pinafore for Little One, and ended up with 3m! It was a new roll and had tape around it, so he cut past where the tape ended and then some, so I got double the amount for no extra cost. It has a small lycra content so has enough stretch for comfort, and has a nice soft slightly brushed surface on the right side.


After cutting out the pinafore, I had plenty left for another Simplicity 3688, so went ahead and cut them out. Since I still had plenty of large scraps left, I've decided to go ahead and make something a little different.


Dungarees! Or overalls, for my American readers. This side of the pond overalls are what greasy car mechanics wear, and are not generally something to aspire to. I first saw this pair on Sew Retro when it was posted over a year ago and fell in love. I'll be aiming for something similar with the sweetheart neckline, but will draft the bib section myself.

As well as the dungarees, I'm starting a new knit. A while back I saw this jumper made up by Lucy of 1940s Style For You. I finally found a reproduced copy of the pattern on eBay and bought myself a copy. I love pretty much everything about it: the cable pattern, puff sleeves, and the high collar.


I'll be making it in Jarol Heritage 4 ply, in Cardinal red given to me by my mum. It's a wool/acrylic/nylon blend, and seems quite fine for a modern 4 ply so should work quite nicely. I've done my test swatch to check tension and figure out the stitch pattern: this is my first time knitting cables!


I can say pretty confidently that this will NOT be finished by the SFV deadline at the end of March!

Add to this a 1940s inspired polka dot dress and I think I have plenty to be going on with this month.