Tuesday, May 30, 2017

1940's Casual Summer Outfit ~ Wearing History Sunkissed Sweetheart Separates

The kids are out of school for the summer and the last week has been a blur. So far our days have been filled with baseball, playgrounds, trails at local parks, sidewalk chalk in the driveway, bike races with neighbor kids, telling ghost stories on the street with the neighbor kids, gardening, frozen lemonade and mass watchings of the old PBS kids show Wishbone on YouTube. (They all LOVE it! Why did they take this program off the air?! It was my favorite as a child.) And I've had poison ivy for over two weeks. And then got a sunburn on top of it.

But, I sewed! This time I jumped into something completely different and made up a version of the Sunkissed Separates from Wearing History. I've been kind of tired of Victorian sewing and wanted to make a few things I can wear for everyday. 

I purchased the e-pattern so had to print and assemble it before I could start. This whole project took me a really long time since I only worked on it a little each day. I wanted to have it done by Memorial Day though, so I did make my deadline (just barely). Vintage sewing is a ton different than mid 19th century sewing. I feel like such a, as my oldest son would say, noob. 

This outfit is basically a glorified mock up. I wanted to see how the pattern would fit and if any adjustments needed to be made before I make up my real fabric - a lovely green and pink Hawaiian print cotton that I've had in stash for many years. The fabric for this one is truly vintage, at 34" wide and with a few age spots here and there. I got it so long ago I cannot even remember when, at a thrift store. I probably paid less than a dollar for all of it. I had 4 yards and it was just enough for the top and the short version of the wrap skirt. 

I cut a size 16 and the only adjustment needed was to take some width off the back piece of the top. I knew going in that I have a narrow ribcage so was expecting that adjustment. Other than that, the fit is pretty much perfect! I love how the armscyes come up to right under your arms. One thing I hate about modern blouses with set in sleeves is that so often they are baggy on the shoulder. It makes for a pretty unflattering line (at least, for me) and is hard to move in. I like the slim fit of the sleeve, too. It is comfortable and easy to wear. 

The gathered sections on the top and on the skirt hip were hard for me to figure out. The instructions call for facing a slit where the gathers go, then gathering up the long edge and sewing it to the faced slit. I followed the instructions and it came out fine, but still made no sense to me. For the skirt I just thought of the gathered-and-slashed area as a dart, and that made sense to me. I didn't face the slit on the skirt, just sewed it like a dart with one edge of the dart gathered. It worked!

Instead of a hip tie on the inside of the skirt to keep the wrap section closed, I sewed on a hook and eye. I thought this would reduce any bulk at the hip that would come from fabric ties on the inside of the skirt. 

The other change I made to the instructions was the finishing of all the edges. All the raw edges of the top and the skirt are meant to be faced with bias. To me it seemed easier to trim off the seam allowance and just bind the edges with bias instead. So that's what I did. And I like how it came out. I will probably do the same thing with any other versions of this pattern that I make. 

I'm super pleased with how this came out and am looking forward to make up a version with a long skirt in my green Hawaiian print. I also plan to make the shorts but maybe with a tuck-in blouse instead of the wrap one. 

Thank you to Judah for taking these pictures for me. And! Speaking of my kiddo, I just must brag on him a little even though its not sewing related. He was selected for the all star baseball team this year and had his game this weekend. I am SO PROUD of this kid!!! He is SO good! What a wonderful thing to see your baby growing up and doing so well in something he loves so well. Future MLB player, right here! (no, I'm not just saying that!) ;) 

Happy beginning of summer you guys!!

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