Tag Archives: Vintage patterns

Ridiculousness

If you think Tris looks unhappy here you should see the other pics…

If you’ve been following along, you may have noticed a trend of impractical white baby wear on this page that experienced parents like us should be wise enough to avoid. What can I say? Having two more babies just as the first two are almost grown wasn’t exactly practical either.

Anyway, my husband bought a white baby jean jacket the other day, but there were no white jeans at the store to go with it. So obviously I had to make some.

I also skipped the snaps on the inseam.

Fortunately, my hoarder tendencies come in handy in the sewing department. I’ve had this vintage pattern (I actually have gathered a collection for the whole family, women’s, men’s, and several children’s sizes) for a while. My mother, in fact, recognized the pattern line and told me she’d made me a pair of little jeans from them back in the day. A little bit of digging turned up a lightweight white twill (poly-cotton, I’m pretty sure) and white topstitching thread.

Anyway, the pattern claimed to be a size 1, however between the twins being rather shrimpy and patterns tending to fit large I figured they would be roomy. But if you’re going to sew ridiculous white baby jeans, you can at least make them with room to grow, right?

The pattern, as one might expect for baby jeans, is a bit stripped down. The fly is just for show and there’s no back yoke at all. The front pockets are real but have no lining—the cut-out curve is hemmed and the back portion is just top stitched in place.

This is the only white 1” elastic I had, and it’s salvaged off something else. There was just enough.

There’s a few other bulk-reducing points that I appreciated in a baby pattern. The waistband (only present in the front half) is cut on the selvedge so the inside doesn’t need to be folded under. The elastic is applied to the inside of the back, not folded into a casing. And finally, the “jeans stitch” the instructions recommend has you trim one seam allowance, overlock the other, and topstitch down. I was surprised at how much bulk this cut down, too. Usually I just overlock both edges together and stitch down, and I like the bulk in regular sized jeans, but for baby jeans anything that reduces bulk is awesome.

They close with snaps at the side-seams, a bit of a rudimentary closure where the top couple of inches of side seam are just left open. I doubt any closure is really necessary, given the elastic across the back waist, but I went with it as I figured if they were too big I could easily add another set of snaps to adjust them. Which I had to. Although I’ll already have to replace at least one. Oops.

My favourite touch, though, is the little dragon patches I added to the back pockets. The iron-on patches have been kicking around the stash for years, originally for Tyo and her bestie to put on their jackets but since that hasn’t happened I don’t feel bad yoinking them. I did iron them in place, but I trust that about as far as I can throw my husband, so I also spent my Saturday painfully hand-stitching down the edges. Hand-stitching through fusible guck sucks, by the way, and it’s hard to use a thimble when you can only get about three stitches done at a time before a baby face plants on you.

I had a lot of fun making these, impractical and oversized as they may be. The topstitching was fun, and white on white is forgiving. And the little dragons add a dash of personality. I was pretty dubious about the waistband construction the whole way (to be honest I really didn’t understand what they were going for until the very end) but I’m not mad at it, though I might not bother with the side openings if I did it again. But it’s definitely time to get back to my own jeans. These darn baby projects just like to sneak themselves in there!

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Once more with feeling!

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I made another version of Kwik Sew 717, this one with absolutely no lace. Plain jane, pure function. I think I’m almost done with the slips. Almost. Although there’s still a couple of patterns I’d like to try and Funnygrrl sent me some great skin-tone fabric it’d be awesome to use. Cuz she’s awesome that way. Especially her latest post on body image and negative self talk.

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There isn’t much to say about it. I made a slight small-bust adjustment, removing about half a cm from the width of each cup, and shaving about the same amount off the bottom. I should’ve left out the two funny little darts and kept the gathers, but I didn’t think about this until after the darts were cut and sewn. So the cups aren’t as pretty as they might be otherwise. They do seem to fit better than the first ones, at least sans bra.

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I used the shell hem, top and bottom. I might be getting good at it.

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The first slip I had lengthened about four inches; this one I made the original length, just for variety. I didn’t need to take in the side seams on this one. Maybe because the fabric is less stretchy than the lace, maybe because the cups fit better so I didn’t feel the need to pull it as tight to get “fit”. You can still see some puckering on the side seam—I didn’t stretch quite enough, I guess, while sewing them. The Rocketeer is a workhorse, but she may have a few tension issues. Probably a machine spa day would be in order…

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And you get arty modeled photos because that’s the only filter that didn’t show anything under the slip. Not great but better than dressform pics. I hope.

Happy eggs ‘n bunnies day! We’re off to the farm to enjoy “spring,” which in the last few days has included about four inches of snow and freezing rain, which I think is actually worse than a full-blown blizzard. But hopefully we’ve turned a corner now. Because I have springy dresses to wear with my slip, dammit!

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Your Grandma’s Slip

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Kwik Sew 717

So if Butterick 6031 is not your grandma’s slip, Kwik Sew 717 totally is. Or at least, your mom’s. Ok, my mom’s. “Designed for knit and stretch fabric, nylon tricot” as the pattern proclaims. I eventually settled on this one out of the several stash contenders for my ivory “vintage” slip. However, I was also determined to use the 2m of lovely wide stretch lace I got at the same time, rather than just making the pattern up as-is. I think I like the result, but it definitely added another layer of complexity to a project that already had plenty of unknowns. First I decided I wanted to use my lace for the cups. This required some piecing, since the cups are one-piece and I wanted the scalloped edge of the lace to follow both the upper edges of the cups. I wouldn’t say I’ve done a lot of lace piecing, but I did a wee bit on Gertie’s slip (and more last summer, by hand), so I felt comfy stretching myself just a little bit more.

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Lace piecing, with a narrow zig-zag stitch.

I cut chunks of lace long enough to overlap at the right angle and cover as much of the pattern-piece as possible. I pinned them in place at the correct angle so the scalloped edge would follow the top edges of the cup pattern piece. I put some tissue paper underneath for added stability, and then zig-zag stitched across the pieces, starting at the top point, to join them.   I quite like it, lining up the pieces and zig-zagging along the edge of this motif or that—it’s kind of like a maze, finding your way across the fabric to where you’d like to end up. Excpept for the part where, on my first cup, I did an awesome job of following the outline of a rose which, it turned out, was on the side of the zig-zag that needed to be trimmed off, leaving some distinctly nonsensical and not-terribly-invisible zig-zags. I contemplated re-doing it, but at this stage in construction I wasn’t sure if I was even going to end up with a wearable garment, never mind a pretty one, and also THIS THING IS TOTALLY SEE-THROUGH NO ONE BUT ME AND OSIRIS IS EVER GOING TO SEE IT. Well, and now half the internet, but y’know.

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See my awesome nonsense zigzag?

I made skinny self-straps, as suggested by the pattern. Oh, and they instructed you to use the bobby-pin method for turning! ACE!

With a bit of alteration, I figured I could make the upper back piece out of lace as well. The slip has an odd back with a curved seam partway down—interesting, and it gave me the opportunity to do some swayback altering, so that was nice, but it’s a bit random, especially since it’s not like the upper back piece is terribly fitted. But it looked nice out of lace.

The fit of the cups was interesting. There are two small darts on either side of a gathered portion along the top. And the sizing is about right for me in a bra (it takes a bit of padding to bring me up to standard pattern bust size), but the shape fits actually much better “au natural.” I do think the sizing would be better in the fashion fabric—the lace is pretty stretchy. A little too stretchy, really, but again. Experimentation and learning.

Back view, with lace panel

Back view, with lace panel

Anyway, once I had the cups pieced and the back cut, I still had quite a bit of lace left over, so I thought it would be a great idea to add a wide lace panel down the front. Gorgeous, right? 20140331-205742.jpg   Well, yes. Aside from the bit where the lace stretched more than the nylon and despite all my careful pinning there’s a bit of puckering that just won’t go away. And the width of the panel seems to alter the drape of the skirt, which isn’t entirely awesome. I’m hoping that the gorgeousness of the lace itself will carry it.

Slip front, imperfect drape

Slip front, imperfect drape, also not positioned on the dress-form terribly well.

Oh, wait. NO ONE’S GOING TO SEE THIS. This is the thing, every time I hit a snag or a problem with this piece, this kept occurring to me. Even if this is the most barely-wearable of wearable muslins, it’ll probably be a usable wardrobe staple. I should maybe also mention that I really struggled with the side-seams for this piece—they kept puckering. Eventually (the third time I redid them!) I stretched the hell out of the nylon tricot while I was sewing and that seemed to do it. The opposite problem of what I’m used to with knits. I should perhaps clarify here that I made this slip entirely on the standard sewing machine (going retro, natch). I used a narrow, short zig-zag (1.5 length, 3 width, if you’re interested) for pretty much everything. The Rocketeer’s manual recommended this, and also topstitching with the zig-zag after as a neat finish on lingerie. Then I trimmed any seam-allowances down to pretty much nothing. We’ll see how that holds up, anyway—it certainly looks nice for now. I wasn’t surprised, being a Kwik Sew, that the seam-allowances on the cups were only 1/4″, but I was a bit startled that the side-seam allowances were only 1/8″. That’s, like, barely there. Seriously. So no trimming was necessary down the sides. (This turned out to be a good thing, since I cut them off and re-sewed three times. I only lost a teeny bit each time.)

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Pieced lace scallop along the hem.

I did a little more lace-piecing along the bottom of the lace strip, to get a nice bottom edge. Stretch lace is not the easiest for this kind of piecing, I think—I could’ve had a bit more tension on my pieced in bit. But, it looks pretty nice, and I don’t know how else I could’ve finished the edge.

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Shell hem.

I played with a couple of hemming ideas—I had originally gotten a “matching,” somewhat narrower lace for the hem, but once I got it home it became obvious that it was much less shiny and much more white than my main lace. Not right. The pattern suggests a lettuce-edge (which is just a tight overcasting zig-zag while stretching the fabric), but I couldn’t get it to work without my fabric scooting to the side, so that wasn’t in the cards. So I settled for a shell hem, once I had looked up the settings on the Rocketeer and played with the stitch length. This fabric is absolutely made for a hem like this, I have to say. I’ve never had such a nice, even result. It’s a bit low-key compared to the crazy lace, but I think it works. OH AND NO ONE WILL SEE IT.

 

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Random detail closeup. You can see my topstitched seamline.

So really, this slip was a learning experience, more than anything else. Practice with techniques and fabrics I haven’t used much. Fun, and weirdly low-key BECAUSE NO ONE WILL SEE IT. I actually want to do it all over again, right away, without the lace, just to see how that compares. And because I’m not entirely convinced the lace will work really well for under the white dresses. Being see-through ‘n all. And without all the fussing with lace-piecing, I think this would be a really quick, easy make.

 

Vogue 8912

I think slips might be a bit addictive, though. Aside from wanting to do this one all over again, I really want to try Vogue 8219 now, but it’s for a bias woven, and while I have a bit of ivory charmeuse kicking around somewhere, I don’t really think it’s enough. I love those seam-lines, though…

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Sew Knit N Stretch

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One of the most fun things about my Stylish sister-in-law’s recent pattern haul was the relative abundance of independent knit patterns it included. Several belonged to a company called “Sew-Knit-N-Stretch”. According to the Vintage Pattern Wiki, this company was founded in 1967 and changed its name in 1974—to Kwik Sew.

I just realized this “hot pants” pattern (which really pissed Stylish off, as she got all excited about the coat pictured) is numbered “000”

As in, possibly the first Kwik Sew pattern ever?

… I can’t find a date on the outside. Hmm. I am totally tickled by the possibility, though.

ETA!!!!!1!!!!11!!:

Ok, so commenter Jen noticed that the background graphic resembles matches in a book! That is cool, but it also explains something—the other copy of the pattern (did I mention there were two? Stylish kept the other one) has another, “wrapper” piece of paper that folds around the outside from bottom to top. Kind of, y’know, just like a matchbook. The whole thing was fastened together by a staple at the bottom. Kinda, y’know, like a matchbook. ZOMG COOLEST PATTERN PACKAGING EVER!

I now totally want to make these. Which sucks because me and the high-waisted things, we do not get along. I wonder if I could convince Tyo to wear a pair…

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