Du Barry

1940’s Jacket: Fall for Cotton Sewalong

I haven’t felt like blogging lately… And I keep putting off this post, even though I’m super excited to share my jacket with you all.  But the Fall for Cotton Sewalong is coming to an end, so here goes!

The Fall for Cotton sewalong combines the use of vintage patterns or styles with cotton fabric.  I chose Du Barry #5233 from 1941; I think the jacket style is classic and easy to pull off when mixed with a modern wardrobe.  I don’t own any vintage clothing, so it’s important to me that any vintage patterns I use coordinate with what’s already in my closet.
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I found cotton flannel at moodfabrics.com, and for the lining I used some quilting cotton from my stash.

I will share some detail photos and references that I used tomorrow.  For today, here’s the jacket from the outside:
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It is still too hot in Texas for wearing a jacket, even a light one.  Fortunately, last week I went to CA to visit my family and run a 5k with my mom and sisters.  I took my jacket and camera along, and the stars aligned for my photo shoot.  My twin sister is a hairstylist and makeup artist, so I asked her ahead of time if she would do my hair and makeup for a 40’s styled photo shoot of my jacket.  It just so happened that she also needed to bathe the horse she rides the same morning, so I jumped at the chance to take my photos with a horse.  I figured the jacket could easily be styled as a “riding jacket.”

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The mare’s name is “Prada,” and she was quite the model.

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She was drying off from her bathe at this point, so you can see some wet spots on her.

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I went in for a close shot, and Prada wiped her nose on the jacket.  Typical horse behavior… And that’s why in real life, people don’t wear nice jackets to ride in (except for in the show ring).  The nice thing about a cotton jacket is that I easily washed it at home in the washing machine!  Of course it needed a serious pressing afterward, but it survived.

And here’s an outtake for laughs:

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I think I was trying to tell the photographer what to do ;)  Many thanks to my sister Jessi for all her help with the photos, as well as my mom and dad who helped out.  My dad is a professional at waving his hat in the air to get a horse’s attention.

1940’s Dress–Part 2 (the muslin)

Last night I finished my muslin, sort of.  It was after 10pm and I’d only set one sleeve, but I needed to snap pictures and go to bed.
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But I feel I got enough done to get a feel for the fit and construction.

I didn’t want to take pictures wearing the dress last night because this was post-workout and shower, and my hair was doing crazy things.  No time to blow-dry, I had sleeve(s) to set!  But here’s a photo from the night before, pre-sleeves.
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I feel pretty confident in the fit of the dress–I added 2″ to the waist and hips when tracing the pattern, based on the size chart measurements.  The bodice has tucks and gathers, so it’s slightly loose and billowy–but I think that’s the design, right?
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The sleeve went in quite poorly, despite gathering and basting first.
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So many little tucks!  I think I might try setting in the sleeve flat on my final garment.  It’s a tight space to work in with the sides sewn up.

The addition of the sleeve did seem to limit my arm movement to an extent.  I would like to improve on this, but I’m not totally sure how.  It fits at least as well as any RTW button up shirt I’ve worn, so dare I say this seems “normal” to me?!  From what little research I could do online, it seems I need to raise up the armscye for a closer fit, which enables better movement?  I think I’ll try tapering down on the seam allowance around the under arm of the sleeve to slightly bring it up.  I would love input from anyone who knows more about this though!!

The collar and vestee were a bit challenging–I didn’t find the directions to be very clear.  But now that I’ve done it once, I’m sure I can do it again.  I think the collar points and the vestee points look a little extreme and pointy, so I plan to make those a little smaller and softer around the edges.  Although the addition of a sleeve seemed to balance out the collar some, so maybe it’s not so bad?
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The muslin was a great opportunity to practice the construction of this dress, including my first hand picked zipper.
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There’s definitely room for improvement on the zipper application, but I did enjoy this method and will try it again.  (And Sallie, I totally used fabric glue to “baste” the zipper in place before stitching–worked like a charm!)

I didn’t have time for any saddle stitching, but I will probably practice some decorative stitches on the muslin before the final garment.  I don’t think I have time (or the desire) to do the saddle stitching by hand, so I’m hoping that top-stitching with a thick thread will do the trick instead.

I don’t find the pleated skirt to be especially flattering to my shape, but it really reads “1940’s” to me, so I’m gonna stick with it.  I hope with a shorter hem I’ll like it more.

I’m excited to get started on my final garment now!  This dress has way more details than anything I’ve done recently, so it is definitely challenging me and a lot more work.  But I think the time investment is totally worth it.

Talk soon,

Qui

1940’s Dress – Part 1

I’m sewing for victory, and I finally made a start.  I’ve had my fabric and pattern picked out for months now, but this weekend I actually traced the pattern, and tonight I’m cutting out the muslin.  I’ve got one more weekend between me and victory (March 29th is the deadline), so it’s now or never.

I’m using Du Barry 5947 and some green fabric I got at Mood LA.
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The green fabric is a soft shirting fabric with a small pattern in the weave.  The color is hard to see in the photo, but it is a pale green.  I’m having some doubts about this fabric… I like it, but I fear it is such a plain pale color that it will make my dress look like a boring muslin.  The pattern suggests decorative saddle stitching around the seams, and I wonder if this could add enough interest?

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The first contrasting thread color to come to mind is red (my fave), but I think blue could work to.  Any suggestions??  I’m not very creative with color mixing…

I do, however, have a red buckle I could use for the belt.  I found myself at the Santa Cruz antique fair last month and came across a lady with a booth full of vintage buttons.  I’m sure I paid too much, but check out the pretty red buttons I got:
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Yep, I bought all red buttons.  What can I say?  When you know what you like, why fight it?

I was showing off my button purchase at lunch with friends, which led to my friend offering me some of her mother’s sewing supplies she had in storage.  I was given some great fabrics and A LOT of buttons, seam binding, threads, buckle and button kits, a Singer buttonholer and feet attachments, and TWO pairs of pinking shears.  That took my number of pinking shears from zero to two, just in time for the 40’s sew-a-long!
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I’ve never pinked seams before, so I’m excited to try this vintage finishing technique.

Well, I better get cutting.  Time’s a wastin’!