Yet again, I bring you another 1940s Simplicity 3688 skirt. It is so fast to make, nothing fiddly. I was going for a 1940s vibe, but with light makeup (office job and 3 hr rehearsal in the evening).
This grey wool skirt was started almost a year ago. It was too big and I never put on the waistband. I had a free Saturday so I pulled it out and completed it! Now it fits... :/ Let me tell you, it is warm. The fabric is deliciously soft and squishy and feels like a dream. It's a mid grey colour, not blue like the photos suggest. It was about 5 degrees C at 8.15am when I took these photos. Yay for Monday mornings.
The zip is handpicked and it's a beautiful finish. Hand stitches disappear into the squishiness of the fabric. Obviously I did that when I cared a bit more! The hem and waistband are machine stitched because I couldn't be bothered hand sewing it. Now I have figured out the best way to stitch-in-the-ditch for waistbands, I cannot think of doing them by hand. So lazy, I know.
Berets are a great option as hats for non-hat-wearing people. They are easy to style and make you look like you made an effort. Berets are also fantastic for pseudo 40s tilt hat styles. It just depends on how you slap it on your head. I have a range of berets in different colours. This one is from the TIGS winter uniform for senior students. It got me through yr 11 and 12, it is still serving me well 10+ years later.
As a person who owns a fringe ('bangs' for Americans), hats can be a real struggle. Hats that sit towards the back of the head are much better and it means I can still see. If a hat is too far forward, my fringe gets in my eyes. I get cross. And I can't see. It's a disaster. Berets and pillbox hats are the way forward.
Unseen are my heat tech tights and long sleeve top, my thermal socks, and standard singlet. It gets cold here. Time to layer like there is no tomorrow!
Greetings and salutations,
Sorry for the radio silence my dear readers. Life has been a bit crazy recently.
On the work side, we went from having a GM ( + sales), and two sales staff for Australia, NZ, and the Pacific Islands. Down to no GM, and just me doing sales of Australia, NZ and Pacific Islands.... So there's been that. Working stupid hours with crazy pressure. It's been stressful. I was working long hours and then going home to work some more to just get through the workload. Not much time for fun or blogging. I am now training another sales staff member, and we are looking to have a new GM in October. There is a dim and distant light at the end of the tunnel. But it feels a long way away.
On the personal side, I've started doing the choreography for a community theatre group's show of The Producers. It's a lot of fun but absorbing most of my time. I do love meeting new people and and creating dance. It opens in late August. Should be a blast!
The other day, I did get around to finishing my Jan Sweater (version. II) and a thick black corduroy Simplicity 3688 (lost count of how many I've made - perhaps 4 or 5? As I type this now, I am wearing a new grey wool version). It's a great winter skirt. Hope to blog about that one soon.
Black cord is basically impossible to photograph. Simplicity 3688 is a 6 gored skirt with a side zip. I should put one pocket in the side but I never do. The edges are zigzagged which is my usual go-to seam finish. The look of seam binding is gorgeous but most of the time it's too much effort. Perpetually lazy sewist - that's me!
This Jan is made in the next size up from my first one. I wanted it to be a little more 30s blousey. It's not as loose as I thought it would be, but I like it nonetheless. The purple colour is so vibrant, just like the last few pictures of it on my body form. The yarn is Luxury 4ply from Bendigo Woollen Mills. The colour is 'Lavender'. It's gorgeous yarn to knit with. Nice and smooth, not splity, soft to touch, easy care. 200g balls with 720m / ball! This top used one and a smidge balls. By smidge I mean, the neckline ribbing on the back and yarn to sew the seams came from the second ball.
My little 'made by m' labels give me such joy. I was only using them on items I had gifted to people. Then I started stitching them into slash neck tops to easily identify the front and back. And now I stitch them onto everything! They make me so happy.
Welcome to the second post in this little series. Let's talk about clothing. Our recent temperature was pushing the 40°C mark. Not only is that very hot, but the Aussie sun is brutal. I can burn in about 5 mins. Not just a little pink glow, but a solid red burn (thanks mum and dad). Clever dressing and sunscreen is the way to go!
A few general guidelines about clothing for super hot and strong sun days.
1. Cover as much of the neck as possible.
Clothes are a great UV protector. Crew necks are the best. Yes, they make you sweat, but that's a small price to pay. The pink top in the picture below is the Gable Top by Jennifer Lauren Handmade. Get into it, it's a wonderful pattern. Note the slash neck covers most of my neck, especially the décolletage which tends to burn very fast. (Skirt is made by me - Simplicity 3733)
2. Protect the shoulders, the arms and the pits!
If the arms cannot be covered, then at least aim to protect the shoulders and the fleshy bits around the armpit. Nothing hurts quite like sunburn around the armpits. The thought process usually goes "it's hot! I'll wear something small and then I'll be nice and cool." Let me tell you from experience, shoulder, arm and related area sunburn is really painful. Can't sleep in any position without significant discomfort. Kimono sleeves are a great option as they let the breeze through, but do protect the shoulders. The dress below is made in a linen blend from Vogue 8811. High neck, hat and sunnies for ultimate protection!
3. Learn to love the long.
Maxi dresses, maxi skirts and palazzo pants are the way to go. Legs should be covered. It has been well documented that behind-the-knee sunburn is off-the-charts painful. Sunburn in a hinge joint... ouch. The full length is delightfully stylish, swishy and helps move air around. The palazzo pants below are store bought though I do have plans to make some of my own. The teal dress is the Anna Dress by By Hand London. Kimono sleeves and wide boat neck. I did get sunburn in this dress just the other day - on the shoulders.
Hats, lightweight gloves, shawls and parasols can help protect the skin from sunburn. A sunburnt head and part is perhaps the most unpleasant type of sunburn I've experienced. Ever. Gives you a headache, makes you feel really hot, can't brush or style your hair, the skin peels and looks like dandruff. The worst.
I would also highly recommend carrying a little fan. Not only helpful in hot weather, but gorgeously cute. Polaroid sunglasses with Category 3 or 4 lenses will protect eyes from harmful UV rays. Most of my sunnies come from The Cancer Council. They have a great range and are high quality. The hats pictured below are all vintage and bought from markets.
The higher the number, the stronger it is. But most people don't know how it works. An example: 30+ means you get 30 x longer in the sun than you usually take to burn. So my 5 mins x 30 = 2hrs and a bit before I need to reapply. Basically, reapply sunscreen frequently to make sure it stops sunburn.
I apply it on my face pretty much every morning in summer. Toner > moisturiser > 50+ face sunscreen > standard makeup. If you need top ups through the day, just dab it on top the the make up. This can make you look a little greasy, but it's better than being sunburnt!
In regards to fabric choice, natural fibres are best. They breathe, they feel lighter, and they do not melt into the skin if alight (see post here for more about that). There are also fabrics that are 'moisture wicking'. That means they draw moisture away from the skin. A lot of sports clothes and active wear have wicking properties. Avoid polyesters like the plague. They are clingy, they increase heat and therefore sweat. No one needs that.
I hope this post has been helpful with dealing with summer and brutal sun! Good luck, cover up, use sunscreen and have a wonderful (and safe) summer season.
I love the A Stitch in Time books by Susan Crawford. They are a gorgeous collection of vintage patterns that have been written out with different sizes, as well as updates on yarn and yarn substitutions. If I could make one of every single pattern, I would! The time and effort that has gone into these books is off the chart.
It's great that the books walk through the decades and describe style lines and trends of the time. It's a great resource for knitters. The 30s patterns are all divine. So are the 40s ones. And the 50s... The whole thing is a delight.
I have styled the Jan Sweater a couple of different ways, but this so far has to be my favourite. It was paired with my Simplicity 3688 black skirt made from some polyester blend. It's been blogged about earlier. It's actually a very handy black skirt for work. Pearls are from eBay, marked as Avon. The yarn for Jan was a Debbie Bliss yarn that my wonderful mother found at a little yarn shop where she lives, and for a steal!
Link to my Ravelry page here for my notes and thoughts.
A second post about Simplicity 3688. This time, skirts!
I made the size 10 in the skirt (12 in the pants). They fit pretty well. I do have issues with the waistband though. It's like the pattern was printed incorrectly because none of the markings for buttonhole and buttons are in the right spot. If I cut the pattern face-side-down it all works out. And yes, I have check the cutting guidelines.
On to the skirts. The first one I made was an awesome burgundy corduroy from my local Spotlight. It's toasty in winter and I like the rich colour. It is such a great basic skirt. The colour goes well with other handmade and store bought items in my wardrobe. It does get a good wearing workout.
The burgundy skirt was such a hit that I had to make it again! This time in a basic black (it actually matches my black pants from a previous post). Still made it in the size 10 but boy, it is tight around my waist. I don't know if I did something weird. Perhaps the fabric is much more stable and doesn't give at all. Deploy the foundation garments!
I tried making a gorgeous grey wool version with the recommended top stitching down the front and back panels. In a size 12 because this black one is a bit tight over my tum. Size 12 was HUGE. Easily a few inches too big. What on earth happened?!? This is why Simplicity and I don't get along. Not-So-Simplicity-Patterns. I've left it languishing in a corner, thinking about what is has done. Shame really, because the wool fabric is rich and gorgeous. Machine stitches disappeared into it beautifully. Of course! What a pain to unpick.
On my sewing machine currently is a red version (that matches my red cuffed Simplicity 3688 pants). Hopefully I'll get around to finishing it soon, ready for spring. If only I had a light pink vintage style cardigan that would be perfectly tonal....
Knitter. Home seamstress. Dance Teacher.