Vintage Inspired Sewing Projects for Beginners

 

 

Sometimes its fun to get back to basics.  With the long, hot days of summer upon us, having a simple and fulfilling project to complete in the cool air conditioning is all a person needs to feel refreshed.  Here are a few of my favorite (easy) vintage inspired sewing projects!

 Click title to be taken to website for project instructions.

 Retro Drawstring Bag by A Spoonful of Sugar Designs

Make these little bags up in various sizes to fulfill all your needs.  I love having a few little bags like these for quick trips to the library or farmer’s markets.   And of course my one year old loves toting bags like these around to hold all sorts of random toys!

Sewing Machine Pillow by Quilting Digest

This little project is a quick way to get a quilting fix without having to commit to a larger size.  Go stash diving to use up all those odds and ends you know you have lying around!

Camper Pincushion by Crafts Beautiful

This little camper is the epitome of summer vacation!  Let this little cutie grace your sewing table and help you keep track of all those rogue pins.

Creating a Vintage Blouse from a Modern Sewing Pattern  

If you want a little more of a challenge, why not take a pattern you already have and mix it up to create something more vintage.  In this video tutorial, I’ll show you how to create two different blouses using one modern sewing pattern!

 

So don’t let the dog days of summer get you down!  Grab some ice tea and head to the sewing room!

I am now accepting custom orders on select items for August and September.  To see current offerings please click HERE.  To see my online portfolio click HERE.

 

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1940’s Blouse Pattern and Tutorial

This blouse is such a quick and easy way to take an extra yard of fabric and turn it into something special!  Add some pizzaz with different fabrics, contrasting colors, and trims!!  The possibilities are endless!

What you will need:

  •   1 yard of fabric*
  • 12″ of 1/2″ wide elastic
  • Thread

* To create a larger size, simply create a larger square – 40″ x 40″, 42″ x 42″, etc

This pattern can be created by simply measuring and cutting the actual fabric, however the pictures below are shown on a large piece of craft paper.  

The Process

  1. Fold a 36″ by 36″ piece of fabric (or paper) into a triangle.
  2. Mark the neck between the two end points.
  3. Measure 13-15″ from center of neck towards one point.  Mark this point.  The length will be the sleeve, so make it as long or as short as you would like.  Then cut off the triangle.  Repeat with the other side.
  4. Allow 8-10″ for armhole then stitch (right sides together) 4-5″ down from this point.  This line is shown as the dotted line on the paper pattern below.
  5. Take the cut off triangle pieces and attach them to the bottom of the triangle so the fold edge forms a side seam. Stitch to the bottom of the blouse, right sides together.
  6. Measure 4 1/2″ on each side of center neck point and gently cut out a scoop neckline.
  7. Make a 4″ slit in the center back of the neckline.
  8. Sew a 6″ piece of elastic, while it is stretched out, on each side of the waist line to create a shirred peplum.
  9. Hem all raw edges and add shoulder pads, if desired.
  10. OPTIONAL – Add a snap or hook to the center back neckline to close.

And that’s it!! Enjoy your new vintage inspired blouse!!!

 


Regency Chemisette Video Tutorial

chemisette

I am so excited about today’s post as it has been a long time in coming! 

Using inspiration from a variety of sources, I have created a video tutorial and pattern on how to create a Regency Era Chemisette custom designed to fit you!  Simply open up the PDF pattern, follow the guidelines on how to create the pattern pieces, then watch the videos below to  learn how to create your very own chemisette.  

Tutorial will help you create a chemisette with one or two ruffles (as pictured in images below.)

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(Image from Janet Arnold’s Patterns of Fashion I)

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(Painting of 1800 Empress Elizabeth Alexeievna, artist unknown)

REGENCY CHEMISETTE VIDEO TUTORIAL

Click the underlined link below to open up PDF pattern.

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***Videos show how to create a two ruffle chemisette.  If desired, simply cut out two ruffles using measurements presented in pattern****

Part One

In this video section, I will show you how to construct the frame of the chemisette and create the neckline darts.

Part Two

In this section we will stitch darts, sew cording/ribbon channels, and begin to work on the ruffle.

Part Three

This portion will show you how to pleat the ruffle.  

Part Four

Now that the ruffle is pleated, this part will show you how to create the ruffled neckline in order to attach it to the chemisette.

Part Five

This last video details attaching the ruffle to the neckline and completing all the finishing touches.

And that’s it!  

Feel free to play around and create various styles and necklines of chemisettes!  

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And as always, feel free to share a picture of your own creation on social media!  

  Simply post on my Facebook page or use the tag #aimeevictorian on Instagram.  Links to both platforms are on the sidebar of my blog!

Happy Sewing!

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Cover Painting

By Pierre Louis Bouvier GENEVA 1766 – 1836

Sources Used:

Janet Arnold Patterns of Fashion 1

Various of paintings from 1805-1015


Intro to Sewing Video Series: Intro to PDF Patterns

pdf patterns

Today’s topic may either instill excitement or dread: print-out-your-own PDF patterns!  Perhaps you have never tried, or perhaps you have had limited luck, or perhaps you are one of those lucky few who have had nothing but success.  Either way, today is all about helping you understand this wonderful sewing pattern option.

In today’s video I will discuss the following topics:

  • What are PDF or downloadable patterns
  • How to store these patterns
  • Digital patterns
  • Pros and Cons of PDF patterns

And just like last week, I will list out my favorite PDF/Digital pattern companies and their links below this video.

Enjoy!

My Favorite PDF/Digital Pattern Companies

Sensibility Patterns

Mrs. Depew

E Vintage Patterns

Wearing History E-Patterns

Aimee’s Victorian Armoire

Please remember to read out all the instructions of how to create the patterns BEFORE purchasing.  That way you can try to avoid an unhappy experience.

My Tricks of the Trade on How to Assemble and Work with PDF Patterns

  1. Read all instructions BEFORE printing out the pattern.
  2. Make sure you have plenty of ink and paper in your printer…..I am ashamed to say I have been surprised too many times by not properly checking the paper tray of my printer.
  3. Make sure all symbols or shapes line up before you tape!
  4. Use small pieces of tape first before you use larger pieces.  Sometimes using too large of a piece can cause the paper to twist or move.
  5. Recycle any papers that do not have a pattern shape on it.  Sometimes I can have 8-10 blank pieces and so I simply reuse them on the next pattern project.
  6. Fit the paper pattern to a dress form to check for fit and accuracy.
  7. Understand (and accept) that at least one mockup will be required to work out any kinks.
  8. Relax, have fun, and enjoy the extra savings!!! 🙂

While creating with PDF patterns can have their negative moments, they are such a wonderful, affordable, and instant way to increase your sewing and historical/vintage wardrobe.

Happy Sewing!

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Next Week: Intro to Creating Patterns from Books


Creating a 1940’s Blouse from a Modern Pattern

1940's blouse

I am so excited to share today’s post with you, as it offers one of my favorite sewing cheats: taking an already created pattern and tweaking it into something completely new.  And today’s little tweak comes in the form of a 1940’s blouse.  I will show you the pattern I have chosen to use, but feel free to use any blouse pattern that you would like as the method to create this top doesn’t change too much!

Here we go!

I chose to use McCall’s Blouse Pattern #M6750 pictured below.

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Once you have chosen your pattern, take a look at the back of the envelope to find out how much fabric you will need along with the required notions.  Then, simply add an extra 1/4-1/3 yard of fabric to account for the ruffles.  Cut out the paper pieces, and follow this simple step to create the new pattern for the front of the bodice.

Now that the pattern is drafted, cut out your fabric and let’s construct the bodice.

The most time consuming part deals with the facing and trim.  But will a little time and patience, it will go together rather easily!

Time to talk about the sleeves!!

Now, finish the blouse according to the pattern instructions making sure to hem and add the appropriate closures.

And that’s it!! I have included many close ups of the two different blouses so you can see the various construction parts.

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I hope you have enjoyed this little tutorial!

Happy Sewing!

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Intro to Sewing Video Series: Paper Patterns

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Hello my friends!

Today we start the first part of a three part series focusing on the many ways to find, create, understand, and store sewing patterns.  In this ten minute video, I will focus on the following topics:

  • How to read the back of commercial sewing patterns
  • How to care for and store commercial sewing patterns
  • How to read and store historical sewing patterns from specialized pattern companies
  • Tips to remember when working with vintage patterns
  • The Pros and Cons for purchasing, working with, and storing paper patterns

My favorite paper pattern companies are listed below this video!

Commercial Patterns

Simplicity Patterns

McCalls Patterns

Butterick Patterns

Vogue Patterns

Historical Sewing Patterns

Period Impressions

Past Patterns

Sense and Sensibility Patterns

Laughing Moon Mercantile

I hope this has helped you understand the major differences and similarities of paper patterns, along with a few different ways to keep track of everything! 🙂

Next Friday’s video, will focus on downloadable PDF sewing patterns!

Have a wonderful day!

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1950’s Overskirt Video Tutorial: Beginner’s Sewing

1950's overskirt

The other day, I was watching my season 5 DVD set of I Love Lucy…. you know, the Hollywood episodes.  And as I was watching one of the episodes, Lucy wore one of my favorite outfits in the entire series. A delicious creation featuring an overskirt attached to a bodice with coordinating skinny pants.  

Here is the image of it from the show, along with the original sketch by Elois Jensson:

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Lucy in Palm Springs

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Now, this particular outfit has been placed on my “To Create” list, however I wanted to do something quick and easy for a fun tutorial for my blog.  So, I did some more research, and found a few easy examples of this look:

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Fun, flirty, and offering extreme versatility, this overskirt is a fantastic 1950’s addition that can easily find it’s way into our 21st century wardrobe!

What you will need:

  • Fabric of choice in any amount you desire.  I used 1 3/8 yards as it was the only amount available in this particular pattern, but adjust as needed.
  • Thread
  • 1 hook and bar closure

This tutorial is broken into three parts with video instruction for each section.

Part One:

In the first clip, I will show you the length and width for the skirt, how to create and place the pockets, as well as hemming the skirt.

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Part Two:

The second video focuses on gathering, pinning, and stitching the skirt to the waistband.

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Part Three:

This last clip goes over whipstitching the waistband as well as how to close the skirt  in the front.


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I hope these simple steps help lead you down the road to a fun and flirty 1950’s overskirt!  Feel free to share your creation in the comments below or over on my Facebook page!

Have a wonderful weekend!

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A 1950’s Sleeveless Jacket or Sleeveless Dress

1950's jacket and dress

This little number is part coat, part dress, and part chic!

This is a very simple design which can easily include sleeves, a collar, or a fun belt as seen in the picture above.  The other fun thing about this pattern is that it is fully lined!  How luxurious! 🙂

Materials Needed

1 1/2 yard each of outer fabric and lining

6 large buttons

Pattern Guide

1950's jacket pattern 1

Front – Cut 2 from both fabrics but cut lining shorter that outer fabric

A, B – 1/4 of neck plus 3″

B, C – Shoulder length plus 2″

E, D – 1/4 of bust plus 3″

C, D – Armhole Curve

Back (Cut on fold) Cut 1 of each fabric

A, B – 1/4 of neck plus 1″

B, C – Shoulder length

E, D – 1/4 of bust plus 2-3″

C, D – Armhole Curve

To show you how to create this pattern, I have added a video outlining each step.  

Sorry about the wavy lines in the video….I’m still new to the whole movie making thing! 🙂  But I will get better!!

Process

Lining – 

  1. Stitch shoulder and side darts on wrong side of lining.
  2. Stitch shoulder and side seams, right sides together.

Outer  – 

  1. Stitch shoulder and side darts on wrong side.
  2. Stitch shoulder and side seams, right sides together.
  3. Stitch lining to outer pieces, right sides together, along neckline.  Turn right side out and press along neckline making sure that lining cannot be seen from the outside.  Stitch along the neckline to secure.
  4. Trim excess fabric (if needed) around armhole, then hem armhole by folding a double hem on the inside of the jacket. Make sure the lining lays flat and smooth.
  5. Fold excess center front outer fabric over the lining creating a very wide hem on the inside.  Pin and then stitch.
  6. Do the same to the bottom hem, making sure to catch the lining ends.  Stitch.
  7. Mark and sew buttonholes.  Stitch buttons to the opposite side.

Note* As I mentioned in the video, this process of drafting is all about being flexible and adjusting as needed.  To prove that, I noticed that the back neckline was too wide, so I gave a cute little pleat to it.  Not wanting the same for the lining, I made sure to take in the neckline before I cut it out!

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Official Photos

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Happy sewing!!

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