Tuesday, July 14, 2015

༺ Stitching Stories: Adventures in Baby Cord ༻

A me-made 1940's look created with vintage patterns | Lavender & Twill

Color blocking fun - white, aubergine, grey and blue | Lavender & Twill

1940's vintage style | Lavender & Twill

Gum leaves, a beaded purse, and shoes with bows on them | Lavender & Twill

A daytime 1940's outfit with Simplicity 3688 | Lavender & Twill

Welp, as you might be able to tell ~ simply by the fact that a whole month has gone by without any progress posts on the Sewing All The Things challenge ~ that things have gone a bit squiffy for me recently!

After all the trouble I had with my wrap dress, I was kind of feeling a bit ‘meh’ about sewing and wanted to do something simple. So I picked Advance 3886, and some mauve jersey knit I had in my stash, and went ~ “This should be fairly simple right?” …..

Advance 3886 - vintage 1940's pattern | Lavender & Twill 
Ah, about that?

Spoiler alert: it wasn’t!!  ( ̄。 ̄;)

Firstly, I was wrestling with a super stretchy knit fabric with tons of give, and all the pieces I cut ended up being around two inches shorter than the pattern pieces! Which would be okay ~ except for the bodice where it really wasn’t.  I thought I’d have to bin the whole thing, but then I had the dubiously “genius” idea to add an extra piece in at the shoulders to make up for the missing length.

Okay, project saved right? 


Number one tip for cutting knits? NOTCH OUTWARD NOT IN! All the little “v” cuts I made to mark the seam joins went into the seam allowance, and apparently that makes it super, super hard to make sure the cut is all caught up in the overlocking seam so that there aren’t any holes in your dress. 

Really hard.

As in going over the same seam five time in a row hard. 


I’ve got to say, that was bad enough, but the lovely gathered detail at the shoulders ~ that really was the last straw.

I tried to follow the instructions, but I don’t know ~ something went wrong somewhere and the ruching just looked… wrong.  So I ripped out the stitches and went “I give up!”.  Hence the overly long story of how July’s dress ended up in a UFO* bag on my shelf. Humph.

Then I dusted off my unhappy sewing self and went with a really simple pattern ~ the blouse from Simplicity 3688.

Simplicity 3688 - retro re-release pattern | Lavender & Twill 

This pattern, thankfully, was actually easy! Score! (ง •̀_•́)ง ☆

I used some pinwale corduroy from my stash in white and aubergine {or eggplant for us Aussies!} and while I don’t know what I was thinking when I bought it {one meter of each color? Really?}, it turned out to be a happy accident because I love how the color blocking turned out with this pattern.

Because the blouse construction is so simple, it really lends itself to playing around with your fabrics. Also, it’s a fun pattern to sew. I really enjoyed the process of putting it together. The sleeve heads are super cute with darts to add structure, rather than typical gathers, and the yoke section with bias binding around the neck line looks nice.

This time I cut the blouse to fit my nursing bust size rather than attempting an FBA, and while that helps with the chest squashing problem, I can see that the fit across the shoulders is too big. And I had to run two one inch darts down the back of the blouse to take in four inches of excess fabric from the back. I know the blouse is supposed to be “blousy” in fit, but there’s cute puffy and then there’s way-too-much-fabric-to-tuck-in puffy!

I paired the blouse with my grey scratchy wool skirt ~ yes, that’s it’s name ~ and thankfully in winter, stocking seem to negate the scratch.   (¬ ᴗ ¬)  I really like the combination of the simple colours, although *gasp* I just realised I don’t have any patterns in this outfit at all!  This must be a first!

Now at last I can mark another pattern off the Vintage Sewing Pattern Pledge ~ I have three down, {one, two and this one obviously!} and two to go. While my sewing schedule may be all out of wack {annoying my OCD list ticking self}, I am definitely learning things along the way. We are getting there!

~ Project Details ~

  • Year: A retro re-release of a 1940’s suit pattern 
  • Pattern: Simplicity 3688
  • Fabric: 2 metres of pinwale corduroy; 1 meter of white, 1 meter of aubergine. From the stash: $7.00 a meter
  • Notions: A button and a hook and eye for closing the back slit 
  • Time to complete: Two weeks
  • Make again? Yes. I think this blouse is pretty, and I’m keen to play around with some different fabrics using this pattern. It’s easy to make, comfortable to wear and has a nice authentic 1940’s look.
  • Wear again? For sure! I need some more 1940’s separates, and this is a good start.
  • Total Cost:  $14.00, but that was ages ago. Stash busting ftw!

So color blocking? What do you think ~ yes or no?  Personally, it’s not something I feel compelled to do all the time ~ {unlike floral prints. Yay! Florals!} but it’s certainly a fun change. ヾ(^-^)ノ



*UnFinished Object kind of UFO for all the non-crafters. Not the abduction, Area 66, X-file kind.  ; P

༺ ♡ ༻

Ice Blue Crochet Snood | Me Made, 2012
Baby Cord Adventures 1940’s Blouse | Me Made, June 2015
Lilac Duet Flower Brooch | Thrifted
Scratchy Wool 1940’s Skirt | Me Made, 2014
Jade Stone Bangles | Thrifted
Vintage Beaded Tapestry Purse | Nikki B’s, Milton
Dusty Blue Swinging Heels  | eBay

༺ ♡ ༻

Find me:

Instagram | missbjvear
Pinterest | bjvear
Ravelry | BJVear
Twitter | bjvear
Youtube | Bonita Vear


  1. Darling gal! I was very impressed with your "made by me" :-)
    I was was going through the pictures first as I always do before reading and I loved so much your outfit, you look stunning! And than I got to know you made everything! :o) Wow

    Many hugs from Beta
    (I disappeared a little because my up and downs of life, but still here!)

  2. Good save! My sewing schedule has basically stopped.

    Colour blocking is very much growing on me, and I love the particular colours in this outfit. It is oddly lacking in print for you, but I am a solids girl really, so I love it.

    And it's funny, because I was just thinking that what I need is tops without collars and wondering about good patterns (for all the mythical sewing time that is going to suddenly appear). But I must be very bad at imagining finished garments, because I wouldn't have given that pattern a second look, but I love the result!

  3. Bonita, I love love LOVE this outfit!!! It is SOOO darling, no wonderful, no, oh what is the word I am searching for??? Oh I know, gorgeous! The color blocking is positively marvelous. I thought that you had made your skirt and the blouse was vintage, but the fact that you made both? I applaud you! :D

  4. This blouse is lovely! I have that same pattern but have never used it, I'll have to pull it out to use this fall. I'm sorry to hear about the frustrating dress, I hate it when sewing projects go wrong. That looks like such a cute pattern too! I admit I don't really understand how to work with knits, the strech just seems to create more problems than it solves!

  5. Esther @ Dolly CreatesJuly 15, 2015 at 5:47 AM

    Oh my!! I LOVE this whole outfit!! The blouse looks absolutely gorgeous on you, and I love the color scheme!! I had thought of making a contrasting yoke, but never though of making the sleeves the same color. SO lovely!! I never even thought of it as "colorblocking" (a rather modern [~shudder~] technique) because yours looks so utterly vintage and beautiful.
    I can definitely relate in the problematic project department; I just made a '40s skirt with pleats front and back, only to find out that it's too small! The waist fits just fine, but the hips are tight, and that's with having the skirt eased onto the waistband! And I'm definitely more of a tree-trunk than a pear shape! It's so frustrating.
    But all these failed projects build sewing character, if nothing else. And hopefully you'll be able to salvage your dress! It would be so gorgeous and comfortable, without a doubt.
    Lovely, lovely outfit, Bonita!! Gorgeous as always.

  6. This is such a cute outfit! I love the purple and grey combination. I've used the pants from that pattern a few times, but have never made the blouse.

  7. Thank you Beta! I'm glad to see you are still around, hopefully things are going well for you even if they are a bit up and down! :)

  8. I know right? Usually I manage to sneak in a print somewhere - even if it's my hair bow or shoes! Lol. Although - I suppose the purse might count? :P

    I would totally recommend this blouse pattern. Like I said, it's really simple to put together, and I enjoyed making it. I think that's always a sign of a good pattern!

  9. Thank you Brigid! I am really happy with how the colors turned out with the blouse. It certainly makes for a fun change. :DD

  10. Thanks Liz ~ it can be so tough to get through bad sewing mojo. I'm sure the only reason I did was because I'm too stubborn to give up even when it's good for me! >__<

  11. Ugh.. Stretch... Seriously, I have no idea how it was cut so completely off. I was being super careful *not* to stretch the fabric as I cut it, but still!

    I'm going to try again, mostly because I'm determined to conquer knits, and secondly, I have another length of knit fabric in my stash that I got given. So you know, guilt free experimenting! (- ‿ •)

  12. Yup ~ I'm totally with you on the "colorblocking" movement as a whole Esther, not really something I am into! It definitely has strong roots in vintage fashion however ~ particularly the 1940s. It makes sense though. If you don't have enough of one fabric to make a dress, combine two and there you are. Just like I had to do with my blouse! Hehee.

    Yes. Loads of character. *cough* :D Actually, it's not all that bad. I think I can finish the dress at some point. I just was too fed up with it at that point to keep on pressing on through all the problems. Plus, I did learn somethings for tackling my next knit project, so that's good. ^__^

  13. I so want to tackle the pants, but I don't have the right fabric yet. I'm eyeing some off ponte knit though, so maybe soon!

  14. I think you've just summarised why I don't even attempt to sew!! I get so attached to the idea of something that even if it went so wrong I couldn't wear it, I'd probably keep going and try to get into it even if two sizes too small anyway! Fortunately you know when to give up and instead you made this cute top, which I love the colours of. I don't think I have any colour-blocking in my wardrobe as I associate it so much with modern fashion, but this top is perfectly cute and retro. I'd definitely wear it! xx

  15. Ahaha, I don't think that I do all that well on giving up on a project either Cici... Like yourself, I get an idea locked in my head and it's so hard to let it go! I plan to finish my dress at a later date when I feel more sane about it. :P

    Yes, color blocking is one of those funny things ~ perfectly vintage, yet I have such a modern association with it that I don't think I'd deliberately set out to do it - ever. Yet here we are! XD

  16. Gorgeous, that top turned out lovely - and I now know what "aubergine" means haha, I've always wondered what on earth that was :P I love the beautiful winter light in these photos - your photos always have the dreamiest lighting and colours.

  17. I'm digging this 40s style on you. I really like the top - it's got a great vintage meets modern feel that works very well for you. I'm sorry the first top was such a pain in the butt for you, but this one looks like it was worth taking the long way around to get to!

  18. This look is stunning! I can't believe you sewed that top (I'm lucky if I can properly sew a button). Your hair is incredible, too!


  19. Thank you Lindsey! My hair actually gave me more bother than the blouse... : / I'm not very adept at styling snoods yet, I need more practice! (^ ^)

  20. Positively beautiful outfit! I tend to lean towards separates a lot more in the cooler months, too, including a beloved 70s does 40s grey skirt. Next winter I'm going to pay homage to this lovely look and wear my purple sweater with it. Thank you for the terrific style inspiring!

    Big hugs & happy weekend wishes,
    ♥ Jessica

  21. Ah, thank you Jessica! It's a bit tricky being out of sync with the seasons in the top parts of the world ~ I think that's where Pinterest is so awesome for keeping around the cute outfit I see on all you Nothern gals!



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