1930’s One Hour Summer Top

1930's top

Last year I purchased some fabric in a unique color blend of black, yellow, and light grey.  I had no idea what I wanted to do with it, but since it was such a great price, I, of course, snatched it right up!  Well, it has finally found a purpose with this very easy summer blouse.

This is all one piece, and if you can make a hem, you can make this top!  The most important part of the construction of this blouse is with the shape of the one piece.  While you can technically do any length or width that you would like, make sure you don’t make the neckline too wide…a mistake I made on my first practice round.  I recommend a 9″ x 6″ square opening.

Here is the pattern I created for this design:

Pattern

1930's Summer Top

 

Materials:
  • 1 1/4 – 1 1/2 yards of fabric
Process:
  1. Hem all raw edges of the top, including the neckline.
  2. Either hem all raw edges of tie, or you can cut out double the amount of ties and stitch them right sides together on three sides, then turn out.
  3. Decide which side will be the front of the top and stitch the shorter of the ties, right sides together, to the bottom of that side.  Repeat with the back of the blouse with the longer ties.
  4. To wear: tie the front ties around the back, then bring the back ties around to the front and tie in a bow.

And that is it!  A very easy, comfortable blouse that can be worn with a skirt, flare jeans, or shorts.

Front with ties pulled back

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Tie the ties in a knot…

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….then tuck under the ends.

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Bring back ties around to the front, and tie in a bow.

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Enjoy!

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A 1920’s Look at Sun Protection

sunWell, the sun is out and that means so are my legs which haven’t seen a UV ray in about six months.  While I am very excited to soak in all that lovely Vitamin D, I still need to be very cautious about how much of it my winterized skin is getting.  And even though we are still in a society that values a golden tan, getting it in a healthy way is very important.  Of course, this wasn’t always the case.  We have had a past with cultural traits that have valued a complexion which appeared to be as blemish and sun free as possible.  In fact I distinctly remember reading Little House on the Prairie as a young child and laughing at the scolding Laura received for not wearing her sun bonnet.

Of course, it was easier back in the 19th century to avoid too much sun simply by the length and layers of clothing that was worn.  However, once skirts became shorter and sleeves disappeared, sunburns became more common.  So how was sun protection shared and encouraged?  Well, I decided to take a little look back and find out!

First on my journey was researching past articles.  I found a fabulous one in a 1919 Good Housekeeping article entitle Health and Beauty by Nora Mullane.  An excerpt follows:

“It seems quite superfluous to urge upon women and girls the necessity for giving the most serious consideration to the care of the skin during the summer months when from exposure to wind and dust, the scorching sun and sea air, blemishes are sure to come if the skin is not properly protected, but much anxiety may be avoided by a little care and forethought.”

So how did one go about protecting one’s delicate outer coating?  Well, in the early days of sunscreen and skin creams, many brands worked to address this topic specifically:

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Hats and umbrellas, much more than today, were encourage and widely used as protection from the sun.  Although fashion in the latter half of the decade greatly reduced the size of the brim, the early 1920’s head coverings were wide brimmed and ready to protect!

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The same protection is also offered by the wider, more substantial parasols featured in the next two images

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Too help make the thought of wearing a summer hat more attractive and affordable, tutorials were often included in magazines to revamp old hats.  Here is one for adding a velvet band to the edge of a summer hat!

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While loving the sun is something that hasn’t seemed to dim with time, it is still something that (like many things) should be handle with moderation.

And women of the 1920’s, just like today, seemed to have understood just that!

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My New Obsession: Vintage House Plans

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I have found the best way to learn about the past, or even appreciate the past, is by researching and studying how people lived.  Of course events and such are helpful, but taking a look at how the average person lived their life really opens up their world to you.  For this very reason, I have a rather large cookbook collection and enjoy reading them over and over again, to get a feel for what and how peopled valued certain events or occasions.

The same discovery can be made by looking at house plans.  Of course, many of the examples out there may not have been realistic for all families, but they do give you a fantastic glimpse into the architecture of the time and what people valued.  Number of bathrooms, bedrooms, dens, patios, etc. are all so fascinating to look at and appreciate.  I also love to get ideas on landscaping from many of these examples as they are quite sweet!

I have chosen a few of my favorite houses to share with you!  Enjoy!

1920’s

Sweet, charming, and the perfect cottage!  I adore the front entry way and the chimney in the front.

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This next plan is wonderful as it is meant for a warmer climate, and features a wonderful sleeping porch!

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A very grand family home, this example even shows you sample ways to decorate.

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1930’s

While I am not sure how I feel about the bedroom being so far up front, I love the full size porch!

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This one is my personal favorite!  I love how grand it looks, yet is still one floor!  And the two patio areas in the front are such a nice touch.

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1940’s

I love the Spanish influence in this home!

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Although very small the charm of this home can’t be beat.  I even love the small little porch peeking out form the back.

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1950’s

With such a strong change in house shape and look, both of these floor plans are easily marked as 1950!

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And of course, one can not forget the all important vacation home floor plans!  🙂

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Many of you may recognize these floor plans as you may live in a house just like it….I know I sure do!  I hope it can give you a new appreciation for the thought and care that went into designing many of these homes!

Have a wonderful day!

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IT’S HERE: Pattern Book, Fashion Line, and Giveaway!!!

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Today is truly a dream come true….

It is a day which I have thought about, planned for, agonized over, and gained a pound or two (or three) over!  And now that it is here, I feel an overwhelming sense of happiness, accomplishment, and a wee bit, or maybe a lot, of nervousness! 🙂

So without any further ado, let’s just get right into it!  

Aimee’s Vintage Armoire 1940-1950 Pattern Book

Focusing on fashion from the 1940’s and 1950’s, this spiral bound, full color book features nine various garments inspired by vintage pieces.  Each pattern is hand created by you, using the pattern guides in the book to help you create a truly custom piece.  To learn more about the pattern drafting used in this book, please click HERE.

Front Cover

Book Front Cover

Back Cover

Book Back Cover

Inside of Book

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This lovingly created book is available for purchase through the Lulu Publishing Company for $25.00 (USD) plus shipping.

Simply click HERE to be taken to Lulu to complete your purchase.  To see the return policy for Lulu, please click HERE, and scroll to the bottom.

In addition, a number of books are also available on my Etsy shop.  Simply click HERE to purchase through Etsy.

But it wouldn’t be a book launch without a giveaway!  Details are at the bottom of this post!

Vintage by Aimee Fashion Line 

I am a big believer in blending touches of the past into one’s everyday, modern life.  And what better way than with your wardrobe.  Vintage by Aimee is all about taking the classic look of yesteryear and blending it together with fabrics and patterns of today.  Taking inspiration from the very designs I created for my first book, my first fashion line features ready made versions of my most favorite creations.  To purchase or see sizes available for the options shown below, simple click the name of the dress above the picture.

The Marjorie Dress 

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The Alice Blouse

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The Gloria Ann Dress

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With many options and sizes available for purchase through my Etsy Shop, Vintage by Aimee is a dream in the making.  Make sure to check back regularly, as more pieces will be added on a routine basis.

Aimee’s Vintage Armoire Sewing Kits

Available for a variety of the designs offered in my book, these kits come complete with everything you need to create one finished piece.  With fabric hand chosen by me, these kits are just the thing to get you started on the way to a new vintage wardrobe!  Click the title above the picture to be taken to the Marjorie Sewing Kit.

The Marjorie Dress Sewing Kit – $30.00

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Click HERE to see all the options available.

AND NOW FOR THE GIVEAWAY!!!!

The first ten individuals who purchase a book will be entered into a drawing to win the Lucille Top Sewing Kit worth $36.00!

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The Lucille Top

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Interested?

 Simply click the appropriate link  below, than follow the instructions ….

Purchasing through Lulu?   – Simply email your purchase receipt to aimeevictorianarmoire@gmail.com with the email subject line of PATTERN BOOK GIVEAWAY.

Purchasing through Etsy? – No need to do anything, as proof of your purchase will be emailed to me right away.

A winner will be chosen once the first ten books (along with the proof of purchase) are sold!

 I will announce the winner on my blog and will contact you personally to let you know your gift is on it’s way!  This contest is open to all readers, regardless of location.

I am so excited and blessed to be beginning this next chapter in my life, my blog, and my business.  I want to thank you all for helping me on this journey and look forward to sharing more wonderful things with you in the future!

I wish you all the best from the bottom of my heart, 

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“She believed she could….so she did.”


Preparing for a Summer Wardrobe!

summer wardrobe

I desperately need to clean out my closet.  I’m talking every stitch of clothing must be removed and rehung/organized.  It is hands down, without a doubt, a giant hot mess.  I keep telling myself that I will clean it out when it is time to bring out my warmer weather clothing…well, that time has come.  I don’t personally enjoy cleaning out closets, but I do enjoy having an organized house, so, with that said, it’s getting done this weekend.  And since I’ve just put it in writing, I must follow through.

Cleaning aside, I am excited to see that bright and airy clothing which is always a fun surprise to see when I open the closet door.  And since I know this event is in my future, I thought I would share some fun summer clothes that would be fabulous to have in any wardrobe, vintage or modern!

I love this 1930’s striped skirt/dress combo.  A look and style that has been, and will certainly be, repeated many times.

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Can’t go wrong with a ruffled short sleeve blouse for warm weather like this 1940’s version.

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I can’t decide what I like more about these 1940’s skirts….their airiness or bold patterns!

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If you took the left outfit in this advertisement and made it into a solid dress, it would be the perfect summer picnic outfit!

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While very similar to the 1940’s versions above, these 1950’s skirts have extra fullness!

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Peasant tops and floral skirts…the quintessential summer look!

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I adore the pleating of these skirts…and their fabulous price!

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Well, wish me luck everyone!  Tomorrow, come rain or come shine, I will be knee deep in a seasonal closet overhaul!

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MAKE SURE TO COME BACK FOR A SPECIAL POST THIS SUNDAY, THE 22ND, AT 8:00 AM (EST) FOR THE OFFICIAL LAUNCH OF MY SEWING PATTERN BOOK, FASHION LINE, AND EXCLUSIVE GIVEAWAY!

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Recreate this Look: 1955 Charcoal Suit

1955 suit

I have come to love wearing anything with a bow.  I don’t care where it is located, as long as it is loopy, flowy, and feminine, I love it!  That’s why I was so excited to recreate this month’s look.  With a lovely color combination of pink and grey, this is perfect for those lovely springy days!  This blouse and accessories, would also pair lovely with a nice tailored crop pant in grey, black or white!

This inspiration picture is quite stunning in itself.  While I struggled finding the exact replicas of the blouse in a small gingham print and a cropped jacket, I tried to maintain the essence of the look.

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1955 Black Suit with Pink Accents

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Never underestimate the power of a well-chosen accent color to make you feel put together and ready to take on the world!

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How to Draft Paper Sewing Patterns

paper pattern

Many of the patterns I have created for my blog often rely on using a pattern guide where you draft your own pattern.  It is a wonderful process that really allows you to understand the constructions of a particular garment along with a growing familiarity of the shape patterns need to be to fit your body.  I first began pattern drafting after I purchased a 1930’s sewing book which used a mathematics-based system.  Never being all that good at math, I grew overwhelmed looking at the guide provided to create what I was used to simply cutting out.  However, once I slowly went through the process I was delighted to find how easy it was to learn and how many more types of garments I could create on my own without having to be restricted to the sizes offered on pattern envelopes.

So, if you have tried but became frustrated with pattern drafting, or if you have never tried it at all, than this post is for you!

The first step in preparing for pattern drafting is to find a large table where you can keep all your tools close by.   I like to use several different types of rulers, a pencil or permanent marker, paper weights, a calculator, and a large roll of craft paper.  Next, have a list of all your body measurements as it will make it easier to draft the pattern quickly.

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Now, take a look at your pattern guide and see how the pattern picture is labeled.  I personally like to use a Alphabet system with mine….

Picture Guide for the 1943 Ruffled Blouse

1945 Ruffled Blouse Pattern

But regardless of the labeling system, use the picture as a guide for the overall look of the pieces and the pattern guide for the actual measurements.  To see an example of a guide, here is one I did for the 1943 Ruffled blouse referenced above.  Simply click the link to download the PDF.

1943 Ruffled Blouse Pattern Drafting Guide

To show you an example of how I draft a pattern, I will show you a simple 1930’s block pattern.

I always begin with the shoulder line, making sure to match the slope shown in the picture, then follow up with the armhole using a curved ruler.

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Then I begin working from the neck down using a curved or straight ruler to ensure I match the design of the pattern picture.

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If it helps, feel free to label each point as you go, including the center front and side seam, to make sure you haven’t missed anything…

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Once you have completed the drawing, go ahead and cut it out.

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Now comes the important part: pinning it onto your dress form, or holding it to your body standing in front of a mirror.  This is the time to make notes on the pattern to add or take away length, or cut out a bigger armhole, or tape more paper if the armhole is too big.  

For example, this block pattern fits the dress form, but I can tell there is not much wiggle room.  So I would either make a note to add more width when I cut out, or I can tape on a extra strip.  This is also a good time to see if darts are needed and where.

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Continue the process with the remaining patterns, then you are ready to cut out your fabric pieces!

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While it may take some practice, you will find that it is surprisingly easy and exciting to create your own patterns that can be used again and again and again.

Happy Designing!

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My Favorite 1860’s Sewing Patterns and Finished Projects

1860's patterns

Today’s post has been a blast to put together!  I wanted to share some of my favorite sewing patterns, but I wasn’t sure which ones I wanted to share.  So as I was looking back at some of my sewing projects, I decided to do a true throwback and share my favorite 1860’s patterns.  Plus, with reenactment season almost in full swing, this could be the perfect time for all you re-enactors to whip up something new!

If you have been following my blog since its beginning, you might have noticed that over the last year  I have expanded my sewing focus from mid 19th century to include more recent decades.  The reasons for this are numerous but the overarching one is passion.  I have learned, the hard way at times, to let my creativity go where it wants to.  If I restrict it to simply one area (decade, century…) I will get burnt out rather quickly and will end up with large droughts of uninspired nothingness.  This is why I choose to let my creative soul lead the way!

But that still doesn’t mean I can’t look back fondly on some of my most favorite creations!  And with that said, I feel the need to list a few fun things I noticed and remember about the following pictures:

  1. I photographed all of these on a black background…I don’t know why…but I did.
  2. I hand-hemmed every one one of these dresses..including the cover photo…and I developed a pretty impressive callous as a result.

So without further ado, let’s get started.  Each pattern I feature can be reached by clicking the underlined link below the pattern picture!

Enjoy!

1860’s Garibaldi Blouse by Past Patterns

This lovely blouse is great for beginners as it doesn’t require any darts or fitting.  The only thing you need to have patience for is sewing all the buttonholes.  Below you will see one of the blouses I made in a royal blue.

 

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Garibaldi Blouse Pattern

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1860’s Day Dress by Peachtree Mercantile

This pattern is probably one of my favorites and most made pieces.  I could make it with my eyes closed…or at least without looking at the instructions.  The wonderful thing about this pattern is the fabulous instruction booklet that comes with it.  Unfortunately it is rather tricky to track down and the only size I could find is the 18-28 size on Etsy, however one of my lovely readers found the smaller patterns size available on Amazon Dry Goods.     Also, below is one of my favorite versions of this gown!

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Peach Tree Mercantile Pattern

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Period Impression Day/Camp Dress

Okay, this pattern is in some ways my favorite and in others, not so much.   The dress itself is rather awkward to make as it has a gored skirt with a front closure….it looks awkward and it wear awkward….at least in my opinion.  However, I adore the bodice of it and have found it to be one of the best for basic 1860’s dresses.  I will most often make just the bodice and pair it with a basic 5 yard skirt.  The picture below shows such a combination….

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Period Impressions Camp/Day Dress

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Period Impression 1860’s Tea Bodice

Another one of my favorites, this bodice features as basque and small pagoda sleeves.  I love using fun trims and contrasting colors to create a truly unique day dress.  I have received many compliments when I have worn a bodice like this…plus, it is surprisingly easy to make!  Below is one of my favorite versions made out of fabric purchased from www.reproductionfabrics.com…although, I am not sure if this particular fabric is still available.

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Period Impressions Day Bodice

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Do you have a favorite 1860’s pattern you would like to share?  Or have you created a piece from any of the patterns listed?  Let’s share by commenting below!

Have a wonderful weekend my friends!

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HAVE YOU HEARD THE NEWS?????

Very soon I will be sharing some exciting details about the official release date for my vintage pattern book entitled Aimee’s Vintage Armoire: 1940’s-1950’s AND information about my new vintage fashion line inspired by the patterns featured in the book!

With a fun giveaway and sneak peeks to be featured both on my blog AND my newsletter, you won’t want to miss out!

Thank you all for your support and love….none of this would be possible without you!