Thursday, 5 September 2013

A Vintage Day Out In A Handmade Top!

Vintage: "denoting something of high quality, especially something from the past". If you would like a gentle family day out, with cups of tea, ice-cream, cake, craft stalls and so on, a traditional village fete as held throughout the summer in England will surely delight you!

My very favorite is held on or around my birth date in August and I like to go every year.



I had a long cherished ambition wear an outfit that has a sense of celebration and a hint of vintage to this fun event. I made a top, Butterick B4685 'Fast & Easy', which I also used as a base for my men's shirt refashion here.



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I love this pattern! It IS fast and easy and I have discovered for myself why peasant styles have survived the test of time, popping into fashion at times during every decade of the 20th Century and still going strong in the 21st: quick to construct, more flattering than you might expect, comfortable to wear. I used totally unnecessary French seams in mine as I am practicing for the fear-inducing Vogue 1247 which I hope to attempt this autumn. Anyway, constructed normally this is the perfect beginners top. The only alteration I made was to reduce the length of the neckline elastic (by a little less than an inch), as I thought my bra straps might be on display otherwise.

Anyway, next time I will make this top an inch longer. Tops from commercial patterns always come up short on me which could be a long body issue or a pattern drafting issue, but I really need to measure every time. The bottom hem on this top is shaped and has a split at the sides which means it looks lovely untucked as well as tucked in, but the side splits sit a little higher than I would like.

Top untucked, maybe you can see a glimpse of the shaped sides.

My first idea was to make this in an original 50's floral fabric with a complementary semi-circular skirt, and I ordered what I thought was the perfect fabric for the top from Donna Flower (UK vintage fabric seller). It was listed as being suitable for dressmaking and crafts but when it arrived it was clearly furnishing fabric. I have been refunded, but be warned, be careful when ordering vintage fabric from the internet for sewing! (As far as I can see, samples are not offered on the site). It may not be cataloged by people who know what "suitable for dressmaking" really is. I still love the fabrics on the site and I would order from there another time, but I would look for keywords like "voile" or "lightweight" and would ring or email to check fabric suitability first.

All this meant time was becoming short, so I had a rifle through my trusty stash and made my top from a white cotton (or maybe polycotton) broderie anglaise that I bought from my local charity shop several years ago. I had no idea what I would do with it at the time, but it was such as classic fabric I thought I would want to use it eventually...I think it cost 50p, and there is still enough left over for a camisole! Positive proof that 1. Sewing does not need to be expensive, in fact it can still be cheaper than buying your clothes if you have some lucky finds. 2. Keeping a stash is not as indulgent as I believed (especially if well curated), because emergencies do happen!!

We loved this traditional black London taxi.

There was no time to make a skirt, so I thrifted this one because it seemed to fit the celebratory mood. It was £3. It's out of my comfort zone in both style and colour, I try to make or thrift stuff that works with most of what I already have, and red and white stripes on my bottom half are realistically never going to be a staple. But I really did have a fun day and I can always make something else from it if I never wear it again!


Skirt fabric complete with co-ordinating 'Jubilee' pancake!

The top pattern has been added to my short list of TNT's. I didn't progress my sewing skills much making this top, but I am aiming to make clothes I can wear everyday that make me happy, and this simple pattern scores on both those accounts.


Did I mention there were kites?

Thank you to my youngest daughter for patiently taking my picture. I rely on my family members to take photos for my blog, so thank you all again and particularly to my daughters to whom the task tends to fall!

My birthday treat was rounded off with a lovely evening watching an Audrey Hepburn film. Truly, a vintage day! I hope you are all having fun this season, and wish you,

Happy sewing, 'til next time! 


16 comments:

  1. Happy birthday! Your new top looks lovely.

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    1. Thank you! I had such a lovely day.

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  2. Sounds like such a lovely birthday! I adore this outfit. I had never really given much thought to the longevity of the peasant top, but you're right, it has stood the test of time! It's so great that the fabric for your top was thrifted as well as your skirt. Thank you for the reassurance that my stash isn't so self indulgent...I feel so much better about mine now. :)

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    1. Lol, I thought that comment might please a lot of people!!

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  3. What a lovely day out. I agree with you that sewing can be as cost effective as you let it. The top looks fab by the way! Fast makes....always A good thing :)

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    1. I do agree. Sometimes I just want to make something and wear it the same day and this top enabled me to do that! As quick as going to the shops but much nicer!

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  4. That's a very lovely classic white top. You'll get tons of wear out of it. I love peasant styles myself. Will have to look this pattern up!

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    1. It's a perfect sew for someone with a busy life and little spare time!!

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  5. I wanted to pop in and say how pretty this top is!
    I just saw the comment you left on my Burda post :D

    I replied but wanted to come here and express my thanks to you for mailing me the issue :D And getting me hooked on Burda.

    Thanks again and take care!

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    1. Thank you! I am really pleased you like the Burda. I will follow along and enjoy seeing what you make from your new source of patterns!

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  6. What a lovely top - and I have to say I think the red chevron skirt is very flattering on you.

    Sounds like a fun day. Happy birthday!

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  7. I love both your outfits with that top - it looks great on you! Your version is way more inspiring than the cover art. :)

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    1. Thank you! It's so simple, but I know I will wear it a lot :)

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  8. Oh I LOVE your top, that is totally my favourite style of top. You look lovely! Sounds like a gorgeous day out too. Wishing you a happy belated birthday, Philippa!

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    1. Thank you! I like a low-key birthday and this way of celebrating is perfect for me!

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