Friday, January 24, 2020

Butterick 6286: The Blade Runner Suit

Is this pattern testing whether I'm a replicant? Delighted to showcase my suit inspired by Rachael from the Neo-noir movie 'Bladerunner'.

I'm a big fan of all types of film noir and also Neo-noir or more recent movies that play with the film noir styles.

One of my favourite Neo-noirs is Blade Runner...produced in the mid 1980s (with the 1980s love of the big shoulder just like the 1940s), the movie is set in the fictional time of 2019!  I just fell in love with Rachael's suit.  It's an amazing grey colour-block that suits the moody nature of the film.

So when 2019 rolled around, I knew I had to make a nod to this film classic with my own rendition of Rachael's colour-blocked suit.

Enter Butterick 6286, a reproduction pattern from the year 1944.

View B allows for colour-blocked suit and I knew it would be perfect for my Rachael suit.  So I found three different colours of grey wool that I thought worked well together.

I just came across this photo of my dear little Echo kitty when I was going back through my pictures. Here she is helping me cut out this fabric last January (2019). She unfortunately passed away in May but I now feel like this suit is especially blessed! Maybe it will be my good luck suit?

I put the lighter grey wool on the top as in the inspiration suit and used the darkest grey the bottom of the jacket and for the skirt.

The skirt was really simple and quick--it's a great skirt pattern to have.  The jacket sections came together quite easily. I kind of wish I had colour blocked the sleeves as well but that may have been too much!

The pattern was pretty straight forward EXCEPT for the jacket collar. Maybe it's because I've used so many vintage patterns but I sometimes find the newer (even repro patterns a bit confusing). I finally got it in the end but it required a bit of head scratching to begin with.

I decided the jacket needed some serious shoulder pads. Like the ones in the movie to help lift the shoulders.  There are two things I hate doing sewing-wise that this jacket entails (but that I didn't do..hahaha).  Number one is lining. I hate lining. With a passion. I will almost always leave something unlined OR if it's a coat, I'll have a go but with serious thoughts of grrrrr...I hate this. hahaha. The second thing I hate doing is making shoulder pads (though I hate this less than doing linings).

So instead of making my own shoulder pads, I bought some FABULOUS ones from MacCulloch and Wallis, a haberdashery in London. Check out these babies (which you can also get online):

Shoulder pads make all the difference, even then I could have probably brought the coat shoulders in by a smidgeon.

Overall, really pleased with the suit. Now I want to make a matching 1940s hat! I also have quite a bit of the dark grey fabric left. Trying to think if either a pair of trousers or an overcoat would be good (need to check how much of this fabric I actually have!)--even a pleated skirt would be nice.

Enjoyed playing with the Blade Runner props! haha. Living my Rachael cosplay dreams! teehee.  Are there any movies that you want to recreate the clothes from?

Photography: Alt Studio UK
MUAH: @evka.allen

Sunday, January 19, 2020

McCall 3872: The 'Mr Sandman Pyjamas'

Mr Sandman, bring me a dream..... the dream of making these lush velvet 1940s pyjamas. Thank you very much.

The idea for this project came when my friend Rachael decided to host a vintage pyjama party at her vintage store, Carnivale Vintage. I was so excited as I have been wanting to to make some vintage styled pyjamas to match one of the 1940s bed jackets that I bought from her. The peach bed jacket has amazing red velvet buttons and collar.

So enter McCall 3872, a 1940 pattern that I've been wanting to make for some time. I decided the cropped top version B might be perfect for a bed jacket.

I had originally wanted to sew with silk velvet but the fabric store didn't have any shades to match my bed jacket. BUT I did find some stretchy velvet which did. I've never sewn with this type of fabric but it was such a perfect match I had to get it!

The trickiest part was by far the bodice. The interesting thing about this bodice top is that there are NO closures. It pulls over your head. Also the bow at the bottom is mostly for decoration.  The pieces themselves were relatively easy to sew --the fitting is a bit tricky with stretchy velvet. Already, I'm thinking I might need to add either 1) some elastic in the bottom bit OR 2) another dart or pleat to the back because I think over time, this will definitely stretch because of the fabric I've used. What would you recommend?

The trousers were fairly straightforward--though a ton of fabric. But they are basically gathered to the waistband. I used some basic but soft interfacing for the waistband --as I do want to sleep in this!

The fabric was much easier to sew with than imagined. My feed dogs on the sewing machine had no problem and I didn't have to use a special needle.

YAY! Super happy with how it turned out (minus the need to address potential stretching in the bodice to avoid under boob! hahaha)

I think it's also interesting that the trousers close with a button AND zipper at the back! Ladies weren't kidding about dressing for bed!  It's actually very comfortable.  I did a feature over on my instagram about these type of pyjamas that could also actually be worn outside (with a jacket/coat if needed) that were popular in 1940 because of the war and the need to be prepared to go to the bomb shelter at any time of night. It basically meant you had to be presentable to the public even in your loungewear. Apparently Churchill himself had a pair of velvet 'lounging' pyjamas made for the likelihood of having to go the the air raid shelter!

I'm so happy to get to take some very vintage looking pictures with these PJs. These photos were taken by Nicola in her vintage bedroom set. I just love them!

This is part of my 1940 McCall project--where I attempt to find and sew all the patterns produced by the McCall pattern company from the year 1940. You can follow my attempts on this page. I'll be updating this soon with all my projects! YAY!

Friday, January 3, 2020

McCall 3601 'The Mulberry Hill Dress'

This may be my FAVOURITE 1940 McCall make of 2019. This pattern has turned into the perfect 1940s day dress!

Perhaps it's the fabric or maybe it's the autumnal/winter brown but with a splash of colour? Or maybe it's the tailored shirtwaist design?

I used McCall 3601, which has quite an interesting bodice design. There's these little pocket type things on a somewhat princess seam. The pattern also features a four panelled skirt and my favourite--pleated sleeve caps!!

The bodice shape is actually quite slimming. It fits really well but I probably could have done a minor  Full Bust Adjustments (FBA) to get rid of that horizontal crease on the bust line.  But I'm actually ok with it because you can't really tell it's there with the fabric print unless it's a close-up!

I was super excited to find this fabric as it reminded me so much of a very similar fabric I saw in one of my 1940 McCall's magazines! I was actually holding out to use the fabric with this exact pattern but I still haven't found that pattern and I really wanted to use the fabric!

I even had the most perfect buttons in my stash--I got these many years ago on a shopping trip with Mena from Make This Look to one of her favourite haunts!

My friend and stunning photographer, Darja Bilyk, took these photos at the Edinburgh Botanics Garden. All of nature seemed to match the colours of the dress! It was magical!

They had set up the park for a holidays light show in the evenings--so we conveniently used the Christmas props! Love it!

The fabric I used is a mid-weight dress cotton --which is nice for this time of the year and holds the lines of this more tailored dress well including the shirtwaist!

And I just love the pleated sleeve cap detail. One of my favourite fashion trends from the late 30s/early 40s! I actually like this sleeve detail much better than gathered sleeve caps (and it's much easier to sew too)!

My other lovely friend, Ariana, put my hair up into a nice 1940s set that lasted for days!

I'm wondering if I should make a matching belt for this dress or whether you think it's fine without? I opted for without as I don't know if it would show up--but maybe it would look nice? What do you think?

YAY for classic shirtwaist dresses. There's some blue in this fabric as well--so I think I can play with that and wear this year round, even in springtime!

I hope you all had a lovely holiday season and best wishes for a 2020 filled with sewing, vintage fashion or all the things you love!
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