TBT: Bra History

TBT: Bra History

Hi All!

Today I have something really cool for Throwback Thursday! Instead of a throwback to a project that I’ve sewn, I want to show you a throwback WAY further in time!

I’ve been sitting in on a couple classes at Bra-Maker’s Supply and in one of the classes we did a little lesson on Bra History, so I thought I would bring in a couple vintage pieces from my collection!

The first thing was an old brassiere (before they were called bras), I’m not really sure how old this is, but I’m thinking early 1900’s –

You can see how it goes around your arms and fastens in the back, and has a little strap that would attach to your girdle in the front!

The whole front of the bodice is boned inside, and has these little straps with sliders and rings for shaping! SO cool! but definitely give a bit of a uni-boob effect.

The next vintage piece I had was a children’s corset- which I would say was cute if the idea of a child wearing a corset wasn’t completely against the comfort level I feel children should have in their clothing!

So itty-bitty, with only four hooks on the busk!

With the proper lace-up in the back and some pretty lace trim top and bottom

The next two things I brought in are probably my favourite! Two Eaton’s Catalogues, one from 1928, and one from 1966. – It’s amazing how much changed between the catalogues, and again to today!

The 1966 catalogue was my grandmothers, and is from the year my mom was born, and the 1928 catalogue was given to me by a wonderfully generous lady I met in a ‘learn to use your serger class’- to whom I will forever be grateful
Just look at the contraptions that they wore back in 1928!

and the prices lol!

$3.95 for the FlexOsteel Corset with Abdominal Belt!!

They had such cherub faces- and straight figures!

‘Health-Style Corsets’

Even maternity corsets! – Can you believe that! 

Things really changed when it came to 1966!

All about the hourglass figures, new stretch fabrics, and pointy boobs!

Look at the point on those cups!

It so interesting how the styles change, and even how the ‘ideal woman’ changes- there were definitely no straight-figured, cherub-faced ladies in Spring/Summer 1966!

I also got quite a chuckle at the Men’s underwear section.

‘I say chap, your onsie is the bee’s knees!’

‘Golly gee! these boxers are quite swell!’

Anyways, I thought these were so cool, I was thinking that I might do a series of posts focusing on different parts of the catalogues, – it’s just too much for one post, and I really wanted to focus on the bra history!

Hope you enjoyed this little blast from the past! What was your favourite style?

I would love to make myself a bullet bra out of the 60’s!

Hope you’re having a great Thursday!

xo erin

TBT: Nautical High-Waisted Shorts

TBT: Nautical High-Waisted Shorts

Hi All,

For Throwback Thursday I have some cute shorts!

Mom made these for me two summers ago! Aren’t they adorable!

They are from this Kwik Sew K3854 pattern- view B
They fit so well! I think these were made in a side medium, and I remember something about mom taking the leg in a little bit.

I LOVE these so much! and I’ve been wearing them quite a bit this summer- they are just so fun!

I love that they have a bit of a vintage nautical feel- and they fit really well!

Even in the bum- which can be a tricky area for shorts lol!

I love the set of triple buttons as the front fastening and the way the connect with the pocket!

Beautiful gold buttons!!!

And they are actually 100% functioning buttons- not just for show- and to add a little extra fastening power, mom added a little hook and eye further down to make sure the pockets didn’t gape when I sit down.

These shorts have been such a summer staple for me 🙂 They really class-up such a short pair of shorts!

Have you made yourself any wardrobe staples that you’ve been living in this summer? – these are definitely mine! 
Although I didn’t make them myself- thanks mom 🙂 <3
Hope you’re having a great Thursday!
xo erin

TBT: Sorbetto Top Nightie Set

TBT: Sorbetto Top Nightie Set

Hi All!

Today for throwback thursday I have a little sleep set I made for my sister a couple years ago.

The top is the free Sorbetto top pattern, and the bottoms were a pair of pj shorts that I cloned.

 Super comfy, super simple, super sweet!

I made it out of this soft thin cotton seersucker fabric, and made a small self binding to finish the armholes and the neckline.

And for the bottoms I just added about 6 inches of width on each side, then did an elasticated waist and little elastic on the bottom to gather and give the poofy effect! I thought they were so cute! It’s also important to measure the elastic around your leg and make sure it isn’t tight, because there is nothing more uncomfortable than a tight elastic around your leg when you’re trying to sleep!

The bottom edge is just finished with a simple serge

 These are so perfect for the hot summer- and I have to say, my sister never really wore them so I stole them back and have been wearing them myself!

And of course you have to finish with a cute little bow with the leftover bias binding 🙂 

This was a SUPER SIMPLE project, and a perfect present for someone too. I love making pjs! 
Do you love making pjs too?
Hope you’re having a great Thursday!
xo erin 

TBT: My First Vintage Project

TBT: My First Vintage Project

Hi All!

Today’s Throwback Thursday is one of my first successful projects- and my first vintage pattern make!

I made this dress when I was 16, so almost seven years ago now *cries silently*, and this is a picture of me wearing it when I just turned 18.

 (There must have been something interesting up there. lol)

This is the pattern I used for this dress, Simplicity 5040

I think what really drew me to this pattern was the ‘Tall’ size (which I now know you can lengthen any pattern), but I was still concerned that at 5′ 11″ tall might not cut it. – but it did 🙂

This was a really great beginner project for me- so rewarding! I picked out this printed cotton from Fabricland and it was perfect- with the flowers on the bottom and using the white for the top!

The modifications I made to the pattern were all about making it easier- I shortened the skirt a little (so I would have enough of the solid white for the top. And I also omitted the sleeves and did a simple binding on the arm holes.

I remember looking at the sleeve pattern piece and thinking “no way – not going to attempt that” but I actually like the sleeveless version I made better 🙂

And the super adorable little pocket that has absolutely no practical functioning whatsoever.

I was also too afraid to attempt buttonholes, and I didn’t really have any buttons that I liked, so I would always just pin it together at the top and wear that yellow belt around the middle! It worked lol.

I’m still so in love with the print I picked out all those years ago, so summery!

I didn’t even have to hem it, I just used the edge of the fabric! 

Slightly weird photo, but I only have 3 photos of me in this dress so I thought I would include it. lol check out those jelly shoes!

I remember wearing this to highschool all the time- and I did not live in some really trendy city where that could have been normal- I lived in a small town where everyone wore ripped jeans and Hollister hoodies- people just thought I was eccentric- they got used to me after many years of my original fashion choices.

Were you an ‘eccentric’ dresser in highschool? or did you prefer to blend in with the crowd?

Also what was your first vintage sewing project?, or first sewing project of any kind?

Let me know in the comments!

Hope you’re all having a nostalgic Thursday!

xo erin

TBT: Vogue Charity Fashion Show

TBT: Vogue Charity Fashion Show

Hi All!

This Throwback Thursday I wanted to share something that I did in my third year of University: Vogue Charity Fashion Show (VCFS), which, as you can imagine from the name, is a charity fashion show hosted by a university club. I’m going to warn you right now- this might be a long post- this was quite an involved project!

(me and some of my models backstage in the dressing room- OMG I’m so cool, lol) 

I was one of 8 student designers who got to present a collection at the show- and this wasn’t just some little backyard fashion show- this was one of the biggest clubs on campus, and we presented at the Grand Theater in downtown Kingston!! It was so exciting!!

The theme for that year’s show was ‘VS. what’s your fight’, which you could interpret however you wanted. I chose to do ‘Modern vs. Vintage’- which for me meant lots of vintage silhouettes and colours but with modern elements like cut-outs, cropped tops and low-backs! I also based my whole collection around my ‘signature fabric’ which I used as a guide for colours and included in most of the looks- which was this beautiful floral rayon that I got from Fabricland a few years back (you will see this in the looks).

I designed an 8 look spring/summer collection. I wanted it to cover the whole range of what ‘my girl’ would be doing through the day so I had two girls with day looks, a guy and girl in swimwear, two girls in semi-formal, and a guy and girl in evening.

My big mission in this collection was to make everything the models wore including accessories, ties and headbands!  I used a combination of vintage patterns, modern patterns, free-hand drafting, copying the models clothes- you name it everything to make all the pieces, I’ve never been so challenged with fittings and design. And most of the garments were heavily modified from patterns because I designed them all from my mind without thinking to consult my pattern collection first…

Unfortunately I was crazy busy and run off my feet and I didn’t actually manage to take full front/back pics of all the looks- but I will try to piece the collection together with these photos!

Here are four of my lovely girls! From the left I have: Katherine (day look) in her 50’s silhouette red dress with cut-out back; Jackie (swim look) in her red high waisted cut-out bathing suit; Jordy (day look) in her cute little white high waisted shorts with little signature fabric waist belt and green crop top; and Morgan (semi-formal look) in her LBD with deep V back and complimenting belt.

In this next photo from the left we have: the smokin’ hot Ming (swim look) in his red/black swim trunks; Me- happy to be in the company of such gorgeous models; Effie (semi-formal look) in her high waisted wide leg white pant (very Katherine Hepburn) and fancy rayon signature fabric top; a very hidden Shannon (evening look) in her long flowing bias cut gown; and Jordy again in her day look!

That actually covers everyone except for Howard (the other evening look) who will appear in the later photos from the stage!

But I have a few more- close ups of a couple of the looks

Here is Jackie again in the swimsuit- and I made her a matching headband with the signature fabric.


Here is Katherine again with her day-look dress, and here you can see how the back is a deep V with side cut-outs. (this might have been my favourite look) Also I made her a matching neck-tie in the signature fabric to match!


And here is a slightly better shot of the evening dress on Shannon, along with the semi-formal pant/top look on Effie! with me in the middle of course- can you tell I spent all my time inside working (I’m so pale!)

Then I got some shots from the stage!

This was Howard’s look- a very slim fit black pant (I prayed that these would fit him- they were quite a slim fit!) A tailored cream shirt, which had a slight pattern on it, with a cream vest over top and red-tie made from the same fabric as the day-look dress, which was a wool crepe. – how classy does he look! I had the best male models ever!

I think all of the clothes looked great on the runway- and I couldn’t ask for better models, they were all fantastic!

They had a whole choreographed routine with music- I wish I could have seen it but I was stuck backstage!

They all had professional hair and make-up too- I felt like a real designer!

And I got to walk out on stage at the end of my runway show and bow to the audience!

The show ran for three nights, and lots of money was raised. Between a combination of not having a use for my pieces and a love of all my models, I decided to let them all keep their clothes- so they are out in the world still being enjoyed- occasionally one of my models will tag me in their facebook pics while they are wearing them! 🙂

My only regret is that this show happened right in the middle of a busy time at school and I have to say, looking back I was SO overwhelmed- third year of a psych degree is not the best time to be doing this- but honestly I wouldn’t trade it for the world- getting to go out on that stage and have everyone applaud my work, and having all my models love the way they look in the clothes after months of fittings and rehearsals. It was something I’ll never forget- and it gave me a great opportunity to learn so much about sewing, and fitting and making things work! not to mention mens wear!

I can’t believe that this was over two years ago now! And this was pretty much all the sewing I did for the whole year! What a journey that was!

xo erin