SEWN: 1950’s inspired Blue Country Garden Skirt

Country Garden 1950s Inspired Skirt

In the second half of 2017, I shared a 1950’s style dress I made using a lovely blue floral fabric from the “Country Garden” series from Spotlight. Unsurprisingly, considering the not-so-secret obsession I have with having things in similar themes and style, I have a few different fabrics from this series and I intend to slowly let them creep into my wardrobe and bloom like morning glory.

This is a simple gathered skirt made with just 3 yards of fabric. The construction was simple. I basically used the skirt pattern from the Vogue 8789 pattern (but just 3 of the rectangles instead of the 4 that the pattern asked for), and added a 1.5 inch band on the top.

Country Garden 1950s Inspired Skirt

Just 3 rectangles

Country Garden 1950s Inspired Skirt

Country Garden 1950s Inspired Skirt

In my previous Country Garden dress made using the Vogue 8789 pattern, I also only used 3 rectangales instead of 4, but only because of insufficient yardage. I subsequently read some reviews on Facebook where some sewists commented that using 4 rectangles resulted in too much bulk in the waist. Since I wanted this to be a casual day skirt, I decided to just go with just 3 rectangles for the body of the skirt.

Country Garden 1950s Inspired Skirt

Country Garden 1950s Inspired Skirt

I like including the selvedge in my sewing. I usually include in the side seams, but in this project, it’s used in the hem. This way, I also get to avoid folding in the raw edge before sewing the bottom hem!

Of course, I used a side-lapped zipper, just like the way our grandmothers used to sew.

Country Garden 1950s Inspired Skirt

Country Garden 1950s Inspired Skirt

Having 3 rectangles for the body of the skirt means that there will be 3 seams for the skirt. I decided to wear the skirt with the zipper (and seam) at the back, so the other 2 seams are closer to the sides (even though they are located on the front. Regardless, the skirt is quite voluminous with the yardage involved and you can’t really catch the seams with the fluff and busy floral print.

Country Garden 1950s Inspired Skirt

Country Garden 1950s Inspired Skirt

Wearing: Secondhand white bustier, Gwenstella Made skirt, very old high street heels

I’m wearing a thrifted Betsey Johnson petticoat underneath my skirt in these photos. Despite it being a gathered skirt and not a classic circle skirt, it still has a good volume and looks good with a petticoat worn under. Can you see the seams in the photo easily?

Tell me what you think about my Country Garden series with a comment below! I love hearing from everyone. xx

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Vintage Pledge 2017 round-up & 2018 Make Nine

Gwenstella Made Vintage Pledge 2017

Vintage Pledge 2017 Round-up

It’s only about less than 2 weeks until we bid goodbye to 2017 and usher in the brand new year of 2018. How has the year been for everyone? After years of suffering from a creative drought (a side effect of moving away from the life you want and starting a 9-5 job), I think it’s now safe to say that I am finally on board the train to sewing enlightenment. Full speed ahead with no time to lose!!!

This year, I completed an unprecedented number of sewing projects – 2 pyjamas sets, 2 skirts, 2 shorts, 2 sun tops, 2 dresses, and 1 men’s shirt to be exact. Most of these projects have already been featured on my blog, but there are still a handful of them that are waiting to be shared.

At the start of the year, I also jumped on the Vintage Pledge bandwagon. Just a recap for everyone, this is what I pledged:

“For the year 2017, I pledge to sew (at least) an item each for the purpose of home, work, play, and party. I will use a pattern from a different era for each project, and I will use a different type of fabric for each project.”

Here’s a round-up of all the items I made using vintage or vintage reproduction patterns this year. How did I do with adhering to my pledge? Let’s see… did I use different types of fabric? Nope. I only used cotton in these projects. I simply have too much cotton in my current stash!

How about different eras? Who was I kidding? All the patterns I used this year are from the 1950’s. I guess I am just all about the 1950’s!

How about different purposes? Hmmm, let me think… My pink pyjamas set is obviously loungewear, my lemon dress made an appearance at work once, my green gingham set went on a holiday with me to Colorado and Texas, and my blue Country Garden dress was worn at my friend’s wedding in Byron Bay, Australia. I guess I did sew different items for the purposes of home, work, play, and party this year!

Touring the city of Denver, CO with my green gingham skirt (2017)

Walking along the street after breakfast at Lucile’s in Boulder, CO (2017)

Another day in Denver, CO (2017)

At a dear friend’s wedding in Byron Bay, AU (2017)

Obviously, the vintage pledge is not a life-and-death deal. It would have been great to have stuck to it. Imagine all the skills I would have learnt from working with the different fabrics and all the fun I would have had playing dress up for the different eras! But, I might not have had the joy of sewing what my heart wanted and making something “just for the sake of it” would have been tiresome. I am really proud of everything I made this year and I am really looking forward to another year of creating and learning.

I have made some rough plans for 2018 and it’s mainly going to be about using the fabrics that I have in my stash and making sure I don’t buy new ones… just cause they are pretty and I have no self-control. Heh. It also seems to me that I have used mostly prints this year, so I am going to make it a point to sew with more plain fabrics next year.

So, instead of listing 9 different projects I have in mind, here are the 9 different fabrics I have in my stash which I will be using in 2018:

From top to bottom:

  • White swim fabric
  • Black swim fabric
    • OMG YES I am going to make a bathing suit in contrasting colours
  • Red cotton in casino print
    • Obviously, this will be a 1950’s inspired rockabilly bustier top. Maybe with boning…
  • Burgundy rayon
    • For the sake of not divulging any information about my next big project, I just want to say that this will be used for making a wearable muslin for my BIG project. You know it’s important when I actually PLAN to make a muslin.
  • White line/poly mix
    • This is the contrast fabric for my latest project – Butterick 6212
  • Red gingham polycotton (large squares)
    • This will be a skirt, but I haven’t checked the yardage so I am not sure if it’s going to be a 1/2 circle, 1/4 circle, or just a basic gathered skirt.
  • Salmon pink linen
    • I think I have at least 3-4 yards of this. Guess what, I am going to be making coordinates with this!
  • Red gingham polycotton (small squares)
    • This is the skirt portion for my B6212 dress. No surprises here really, especially if you follow me on Instagram and have already seen photos of me working on this in my InstaStory!
  • Novelty red polycotton in Southeast Asian inspired print
    • Yes, another Shaheen-inspired item! The last time I used a batik fabric was for a self-drafted playsuit. This fabric will be used for making a Southeast Asian version of a Hawaiian sarong dress!

Did you also take part in the Vintage Pledge this year? How did you pledge go? What is the biggest project you are planning to make in 2018? Tell me all about it in the comments section! x G

SEWN: 1950’s style Lemon Drop Dress (Vogue 2902)

sewing gwenstella made vintage 1950's Vogue 2902

sewing gwenstella made vintage 1950's Vogue 2902

Summer is my favourite season. My fabric stash is usually made up of fresh prints and vivid colours made for summer, and nothing screams summer like this vintage 1950’s style lemon print fabric.

gwenstella made sewing vintage V2902

sewing gwenstella made vintage 1950's Vogue 2902

I have had this fabric in my stash for a few years, but I have never quite gotten around to making something with it… I think I had been waiting for the “right” pattern to come to me. When I bought the vintage reproduction pattern Vogue 2902 a few months ago, I knew it was the perfect pattern for this fabric. The bright lemon print needed something to “frame” it to make it stand out even more, and the contrasting band on the bodice for V2902 was just what I wanted.

(via)

As usual, I didn’t have sufficient yardage to reproduce the pattern in its entirety. This is not shocking news when you don’t buy fabric with a project in mind and end up deciding to make a dress with a full circle skirt! It was definitely disappointing initially, but I think my decision to replace the original design with a simple gathered skirt worked out beautifully as well.

I love that having a gathered skirt means there’s no pressure to wear a petticoat to give the dress the structure for a more authentic 1950’s look (as illustrated on the envelope). I have always wanted this dress to be a casual, vintage style summer dress anyway! But still, I didn’t want the skirt to be entirely… limp.

sewing vintage 1950's dress Vogue V2902

sewing gwenstella made vintage 1950's Vogue 2902

And so, I decided to add just a itty bitty bit of structure to the skirt with a lining that resembles a petticoat. Here’s how I cut the layers for the lining:

FullSizeRender

Making the lining

I could add more layers to add more volume, but I decided that 3 sections was sufficient. As a general rule, you would want the next layer to be 1.5 times the length of the previous layer.

sewing vintage 1950's dress Vogue V2902

Cutting the pieces to make the lining, with the skirt layered underneath for comparison of length

sewing vintage 1950's dress Vogue V2902

Sewing up the lining

I chose different colours for the layers of lining because:

1) I wanted a coordinating colour to show if my lining does peek out by accident
2) I was afraid that a completely blue lining might make the skirt look more blue or somehow just show under sunlight

sewing gwenstella made vintage 1950's Vogue 2902

Peek-a-boo!

Replacing a circle skirt in a pattern with a gathered skirt is such an easy hack, and I had so much fun adding a fun lining to the skirt for my dress. The design of the bodice for this dress is such a classic vintage look, I think I will continue to have fun hacking the pattern. How about a wiggle dress with this same bodice next? Let me know what you think about my version of the V2902 pattern in the comments below! xx

sewing vintage 1950's dress Vogue V2902