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.

 


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!!!

 


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.

DSC_0027

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.

DSC_0022

DSC_0023

DSC_0025

DSC_0026

DSC_0021

DSC_0024

I hope you have enjoyed this little tutorial!

Happy Sewing!

signature


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:

ips77

Lucy in Palm Springs

44d5bf0713316e6021518fe36163a8fc

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:

2f2e1f25205c1fedbbc0abd723532567

9ad26a2f8efc594c73844067c5e656b6

0a06a95256dece53a21794e6d8f694b4

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.

DSC_0021

DSC_0022

Part Two:

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

DSC_0023

DSC_0025

Part Three:

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


DSC_0028

DSC_0027

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!

signature


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!

DSC_0004

Official Photos

DSC_0016

DSC_0006

DSC_0008

 

DSC_0012

DSC_0013

DSC_0014

DSC_0007

Happy sewing!!

signature

 


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

DSC_0079

Tie the ties in a knot…

DSC_0076

….then tuck under the ends.

DSC_0077

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

DSC_0080

DSC_0082

DSC_0084

DSC_0088

Enjoy!

signature

fahsion line


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

book launch

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

DSC_0056

DSC_0060

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 

DSC_0071

The Alice Blouse

DSC_0083

The Gloria Ann Dress

DSC_0055

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

il_570xN.1022188961_ijdi

il_570xN.1022149567_k218

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!

il_570xN.975608702_loye

The Lucille Top

il_570xN.1022143059_ecgx

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, 

signature

Aimee2

“She believed she could….so she did.”


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.

DSC_0055

DSC_0075

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.

DSC_0058

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

DSC_0059

DSC_0061

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…

DSC_0062

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

DSC_0064

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.

DSC_0069

DSC_0066

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

DSC_0071

DSC_0073

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!

signature

Have you signed up for my monthly newsletter? Click HERE to enter your email so you can begin receiving fun updates!