Marie and Kerry's Vintage Pledge sewing initiative has concentrated my mind this year on more vintage inspired sewing than ever. Seeing the pattern collections and beautiful clothing that come up as part of Vintage Pledge is further incentive. A few weeks ago at the local carboot sale I stumbled on an amazing vintage find: a sewing kit dating from the 1960s, complete with original fabric label, zips and the 'Woman' magazine page and coupon feature. It was size 34"- equivalent to a dressmaking size 12. The fabric is ready cut out with notches snipped into the seam allowances.
I made the top a few weeks back and this week I finished the skirt so that I could wear the whole thing on Christmas day. Yesterday the sun shone so I borrowed my daughter and went on a quick photo shoot down our road.
For the top, I made the top as it was with the addition of a plastic zip rather than the original metal which I didn't fancy against my skin. I took in the sides as it was rather boxy and I am more of a 32" top half, but otherwise unchanged. This is quite a contrast to my usual vintage styles, I don't usually wear 1960s designs but I was so taken with an original kit that had never been sewn. The fabric is a British made twill and it feels like there is some wool content in there as it is a little itchy- I am wearing a slip underneath. I love the yoke front detail and the neckline which is again totally different to all my other tops. Shoes are Hamble Oak by Clarks.
All hems are handsewn with catch stitch and slip stitch following the instructions. There's only one line of top stitching (on the yoke detail) and the invisible hems fit with the original 1960s aesthetic.
It's not perfect, the fabric around the back zip rippled a little and would've been better with a strip of interfacing to stabilise it but I can live with that. I was lucky. The fit on the skirt is spot on and the top was relatively easy to adjust from the side seams only. I shortened the skirt by an inch or so and added a lining. As well as the hand stitched hems, there's also a hand stitched loop on the back neck collar and press studs on the waistbands- my preference, I find little hook and bar can dig in.
So it has ended up as probably my last Vintage Pledge make of 2015- although my Betsey Johnson jacket might get sewn next week. I won't be wearing it all day tomorrow, but when I go on family visits later in the day it will make a change to dress up in something so smart- I don't have many 'smart' clothes. I am just finishing up a dress to wear for Boxing Day- I am hostess for this one, so I'd better get it finished. If you are celebrating, amidst the wrapping paper, pins, needles and thread, I wish you a very merry Christmas xxx