Mum and I decided that we were going to move away from jeans as our go-to casual pant. It turns out we were having similar thoughts about jeans for a while. We wanted a casual-appropriate tailored trouser. Mum found some good trouser options for her from local fancy shops, and I dove into my pattern stash.
The pattern that solved my problem was Simplicity 7584, circa 1984. View A tickled my fancy. No fly zipper, no back zipper, no side zipper, and POCKETS. Yeah, these pants have no zip! The left pocket is only sewn partially and the waistband closes with a skirt / trouser hook. That's it. That's the closure done. Incredible! The pants can be made in less than 1 day and have already been in heavy rotation.
The pattern is for a size 30" waist which is perfect. The only mod I made was to add 4cm in the back rise (ie, not messing around with the crotch curve, but adding the length just below the bottom of the lowest dart point). I came to 4cm by measuring the back length of a pair of trousers I liked the fit of and comparing that to the Simplicity pattern. It was a fly by the seat of my pants (get it? rofl) adjustment and I didn't make a toile. Super glad that is worked out well in the end.
The trousers are slightly tapered at the knee-to-ankle, but there is so much width through the hips that it's barely noticeable. I suspect they will be easy to cut straight down to 40s-er-ise the style.
I am so chuffed with these trousers, I can't even explain it. They are easy to make, easy to wear, comfortable, AND I can stash stuff in the pocket! I was so delighted that on their first outing, I had to do a "I Made These Pants Dance". Please see images below as proof.
These trousers definitely fill the brief for me: a casual pant that is not made from denim, but are still very practical. So much win.
After the success of these trousers, I immediately shopped my stash and found a mystery beige/black woven something as well as a herringbone stripe brown drapey blend something. I have already finished (and worn) the beige/black woven pair. The brown herringbone pair will hopefully have a wider 40s leg and will be made soon!
Jumper: Knitted by me from a 1970s pattern
Trousers: Simplicity 7584 with wool blend from Spotlight
Warm squishy socks: Somewhere in New York, c. 2013/14 ish
Shoes: Ziera from eBay
Making my 40s blouse dreams come true!
This is the wonderful Smooth Sailing Blouse by Wearing History. I've made this shirt twice before, both times in a linen with the standard short sleeve.
I've always loved bishop sleeves with drama. As I've said before, they are the sleeves that you wear when the private detective turns up at your door with the news your husband is dead. You start crying, quickly drawing one hand to your forehead and the other to your heart. It can't be! What a surprise! Who would do something like this? The PI comes inside, you go to the drinks cart and make yourself a whisky sour. So on and so forth, with lots of sleeve flipping. The dramatic sleeves are from Simplicity 8736 View B/C which I have also made before. There is a lot of possibility in sleeve-mix-and-matching when the sleeves have a gathered cap. I made sure the top gathers sat in the same place as the original Smooth Sailing sleeves - in line with the front and back yoke sections.
The sleeves could cope with being longer - I think about 2" would suffice - and with a much wider film noir style sweep. Rest assured I will make those changes on the next blouse. And there WILL be a next one!
The fabric is a rayon from Spotlight which was nice enough to work with. You know, it's a rayon. It's slippery and annoying and frays. But that's to be expected! Buttons are from the stash and not a perfect match. Even though the base colour is an off white / cream colour I had to use white thread. This is definitely a self isolation project!
At the end of the day I love this blouse, I love this pattern. Even though I have no where to wear it (I'm unemployed) it's nice to be slowly building the wardrobe of my dreams!
Blouse: Smooth Sailing by Wearing History
Trousers: Vivien of Holloway
Sunnies: Local Supply
Bangles: Splendette & Etsy
Lipstick Notes: Rimmel - Kate - Retro Red
A new knit has been finished! This whole project was started and completed in less than a month, and that included a few days off while I waited for new yarn to arrive. It's a fast knit but there has been a lot of 'down time' where I have been in my house, listening to music or watching Star Wars to help pass the time. Knitting makes me happy so of course I have been doing a lot of it.
I was short of yarn by 3 rounds of decreases, 10 stockinette rows, 13 rows of ribbing, and a stretchy cast off. So.... yeah, that's a bit short! I'm not sure if the pattern underestimated the amount required, or if there wasn't the correct amount in the skien. Perhaps both? More yarn was ordered, and it turned up a few days later. Imagine how relieved I was to discover it was the same dye lot as the original ball! :D
This gorgeous yarn is by Bendigo Woollen Mills, Luxury 4ply Sweetheart in the colour Sienna Kiss. It's such a rich and warm colour perfect for autumn and winter. If you are a fellow Aussie knitter, you should know and use Bendigo Woollen Mills. Seriously, their yarn is an absolute dream to knit.
If you want more tech notes then have a look at my Ravelry page for the project.
Here, it has been styled with some old faithfuls from my wardrobe on an overcast day.
This button back blouse pattern has proved itself a strong staple in my casual and professional wardrobe. If you don't have this pattern and you dig 1940s fashion, you should go and get it!
Rayon isn't the best fabric to work with, but boy do I enjoy wearing it. It's light and floaty, delicate and soft. What a dream! It gathers nicely too, especially at the neckline in this top. The fabric was wriggly to cut out, so I pinned and pinned. I cut it on the fold because LAZY, but it all worked okay in the end.
For the sleeves, I didn't add the gathered binding at the cuff edge. I wanted this to flow and settle over my arm rather than bind it. That means the sleeve hem does droop down a bit, but I actually like the softness and shape that results. Not to mention, I can drive a car without tension over my biceps, and its nice and breezy in the summer.
The blouse was paired with a tonal matching pencil skirt which I wore to a job interview. (Unsuccessful with the job, but successful in style!) Now there are three of these blouses in my wardrobe and I think I might be done with this particular pattern. At least for a few months... Doesn't mean I'm done with button back blouses though!
I have some of this rayon fabric left over. I wouldn't mind making something to match, like 40s shorts or skirt? If you have any ideas, please let me know! I'm open to suggestions here as my mind is blank.
Blouse: Button back hack of Simplicity 1692
Skirt: Simplicity 8652
Brooch: Sarah Coventry, bought at Rock N Roll Markets at Manning House.
Hair: Princess Leia on Endor #leiaforever
This Halloween, my lovely said to me, why don't you whip up something for the Halloween party? You can make a dress in a day or so, yeah? ... Paraphrasing here of course. But that was the general jist of the conversation.
Cue a trip to Spotlight where their Halloween fabric range was on special for $8.00 / m. Sign me up! Bought 4m in total - 2m for the skirt, 2m for the blouse. The fabric was pre-washed and then thrown in the dryer for ultimate shrinkage. I prepped the pattern at about 10.30pm and cut everything out. As the skirt is a collection of rectangles, I didn't cut the fabric but just did the ripping trick. If you have a rip-able fabric this is such a great and quick technique to get on grain rectangles.
While working on the outfit, he kept saying this looks like my shirt from London... You know the one? I couldn't remember the one. He kept describing it in detail and I truly had no recollection. Turns out the fabric was a perfect match! Look at him remembering exactly what his clothes are. This is a Vivien of Holloway shirt that was purchased in London April 2019! We were all matchy-matchy for the party. It was fun.
The skirt is a basic gathered skirt with side seam pockets and back lapped zipper. The blouse is the button back blouse hack of Simplicity 1692. I didn't use the little loopy ties for the neckline and cuffs. Ain't nobody got time for that.
Seriously, I love this button back version of this pattern. I don't like side zippers at the best of times (especially with my shoulders) and invisible zips in side seams for tops is just plain dumb. Why make something so hard to put on with no give through the high bust / armpit to armpit section of the top? Silly. Button backs are great and the spacing of these tops mean I can get fully dressed myself. I'm a regular dressing wizard.
As a side note, I also put the grey ribbon on his hat along with a little mottled brown feather for Guys and Dolls in September 2019 - he played Sky Masterson. Grey suit, black hat with matching grey ribbon. Perfect.
The plan was that if I made separates then I might be able to split them up and get a bit more wear out of them. And so far, I have! All in all, a very successful hurried Halloween outfit.
Please see the success of separates below.
Blouse: Salme Patterns Kimono top in silk from Marrickville
Skirt: Self drafted pencil skirt
Blouse: Simplicity 1962
Knitter. Home seamstress. Dance Teacher.