How to get the vintage look with modern patterns – 1930s Glamorous Beach Pyjamas

beach pjamas1

The 1930s saw a glamorous trend in beachwear – wide legged trousers – usually in lightweight fabrics known as beach pyjamas. It has been re-invented – you might see it in the sailor outfit style of the 1940’s and it was seen again in the 1970’s.

It is often the outfit I love to when I watch any of the Agatha Christie’s Poirot series – all that lounging around in the sun looking chic with big wide brimmed sun hats.

Long before lycra – these wide leg trousers give glamour to any girl – just ensure that you accentuate the waist and if you are short (like me) avoid going too wide! You want to roughly be balanced as an hourglass – try not to take the line beyond the shoulders. If you want to go wider – use a light chiffon or these beautiful light polyester silks – it will flow nicely but won’t stick out!

Beach Pjamas Vintage photography

Tops don’t have to co-ordinate but it can look very stylish if you do.  If you don’t want to go that far, just add a small matching detail – like covered buttons, a small scarf or a little frill edging to bring the outfit together. The illustration below shows just how many variations of tops work well with this style.

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I love the first detail in the illustration above with the turn ups, not quite so easy to make – but if you like the 1940’s style – well worth the extra effort.

All these designs have a central seam and very little gather at the waist, notice the garment is fairly fitting until about mid thigh, then it becomes fuller until the bottoms end up a lot wider. This is what makes this style work – it accentuates your natural curves – not hides them under voluminous material.

The  illustration also shows that the length you are aiming for – the feet just peep out. A good length is just above your shoe to avoid tripping up on them (especially important for dancing!)

Beach pjamas 1930

You know this is a 1930’s style from the hair styles – no victory rolls! The diagonal stripes are used very effectively in the centre – a nice challenge but you will need double the quantity of fabric to get the stripes right.

M7577_aThe McCall Pattern M7577 is just out this Spring, it is very similar to the beach pyjama style of the 1930s. What I love about this pattern is that it is flattering for nearly every body type – in a really fluid fabric it will ensure you look very Chic on your summer holiday and it will keep you cool as well.  It is very retro 1970’s with the full sleeves but as a basic for your 1930s style – it is a great start.

M7577

You don’t have to use the top section of the pattern, you can simply make the trouser element and then use delicate lingerie elastic at the waistband which will make it delightfully comfortable.

If you like your retro look to be completely authentic, then take out the gathering at the waist and insert a side placket to fit from the mid thigh to the waistline – not quite so comfortable but a neater finish if the waistband is going to be on show.

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I would also use a top from another pattern – the faux cross over is nice, if you added a sailor collar it would work, but the back lace detailing is a current trend not usual in Vintage style.

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If you love the 1970’s then the bell sleeves are perfect and look flattering as well. Given that I am shorter than the pattern average – I would shorten the sleeve length, so that it sits on my wrist.

M7577_01

This pattern would also make some great pyjamas – even in the shorter length. What attracted me to the pattern is the potential for the short length to create some pretty French Knickers – the line is very flattering.

Overall – this pattern is very versatile and makes a good addition to the sewing room.

 

 

 

 

 

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My love is like a red, red rose…tea cosy!

crochet-tea-cosy-red-rose-basket-stitch

This is my latest crochet project… its a completely made up pattern, because I find following a pattern the equivalent of doing someone else’s algebra homework!

When I was a child I had a beautiful tea set, with cups and saucers, a pretty matching milk jug and a lovely full bellied tea pot. Never, in living memory, did I ever play with a few mugs and a kettle! So it is no surprise that I am somewhat of a tea lover and a bit of a tea snob – I like leaf tea in a pot!

red-rose-tea-cosy-crochet

One of the many little things I missed – (when our house move fell through and everything… I mean everything went into storage) was our lovely big tea pot that my grandma gave me as a wedding present …over thirty years ago! (oh my! now I feel old) Given that we have three large containers full to the brim with boxes it was easier to be on the look out for a new one, than spend hours rummaging – plus visiting the storage yard, just makes me sad.

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This beauty was sitting, looking somewhat rejected in the most delightful tea emporium in Bath. It had a big red sticker on saying REDUCED to a fiver! It seemed in perfect condition – apparently it was missing it’s inner metal strainer – and they could not find one to fit – hence the huge reduction in price. The lovely assistant then kindly went through a complete stack of metal strainers until she found one to fit. (at an extra £2.00). I whipped out my card, faster than a whippet at a racetrack, and the tea pot was mine, complete with strainer for £7.00, before the realisation of what she was doing sunk in. Not only do we have a great pot but a lovely souvenir of Bath at the same time. (Jane Austen would be proud!) 

red-rose-teapot

The wool has a delightful tiny streak of glitter – Mayfield Yarn, called Sparkle Baby, that gorgeous vintage shade – a mixture of green/blue that works so well with the deep red, which is – (sit up straight now) from the WI Brand. Both were lovely to crochet with.

It might seem a little odd, but I am actually quite lazy, the great thing about making tea in a huge blue tea pot is that you can keep going back for more with the same effort it takes to make one cup!

Mr D, struggles to get his porkie pinkies into a delicate tea cup, so he has a manly mug, while I play, with girlie delight, use a delicate cup and saucer – half the size of his – hence I go back more than once!

basket-stitch-crochet

I love the pretty basket cosies with flowers on the top so decided to make one of my own, it is a very easy pattern. I find knitting hard on my hands so found a delightful youtube video on how to do a crochet basket stitch, it is quite a thick chunky stitch providing good insulation.

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The roses, too, are crochet, but in one long strip and rolled together – and they look so lovely. I made a little crochet button and button hole to go round the base, just to bring it together and to encourage Mr D to use it. (he hates fiddling around with cosies – so it had to be easy to slip on and off).

I am not sure how I managed it, but my roses are all ready for Valentines Day… of course it is all perfectly planned

If you would like to make one – I can send you the pattern. I would suggest a black and white 1940 version of Rebbecca to crochet to while the rain lashes to the window pane.. last night I dreamt I was in Mandalay…

ttfn x