Tag Archives: 1940

The “40s Meets 80s” Bolero

The Facts

Fabric: random sweatshirting that’s been hanging out in my stash for years. Origination unknown
Pattern: McCall 804
Year: 1940
Notions: none
Time to complete: about 1.5 hours
First worn: out for coffee with friends
Wear again? yep
Total cost: free!
Bump on the day of the photo: 40 weeks (and two days – officially ‘overdue’)

After a couple of week’s of maternity leave, aka hanging out on the couch with books and cats, my sewing mojo is finally starting to reappear. Yay! So, for the first time in over a month, here’s a Sew Weekly challenge creation.

This week’s theme is ‘polka dots’. I love polka dots – I just find them super cute, don’t you?

I’m not sure where this fabric came from originally – it’s been lurking in my stash for years. I suspect it may have been part of my mother’s stash ages ago? My guess is that it hails from the 1980’s, that decade of crazy printed sweat shirting fabrics. (Hence the name for this garment.) There was roughly a metre left, in an odd shape due to whatever had been cut out of it previously. Which meant there was the perfect amount to make up another version of McCall 804. (This is the third time I’ve made up this pattern – previous incarnations were the 40’s Tartan bolero and the Bookclub bolero. I never would have guessed a bolero pattern from 1940 would become one of my go-to patterns, but hey, turns out it has! I’ll be using it again in the future as well – one day I’m going to make up the collared variant.)

Since it’s made out of sweat shirting fabric, I didn’t bother to line the bolero this time, or even use facings. I just did a basic overlock then stitch under around all the edges – anything else seemed like it would be overkill for this bolero. Which meant it was super fast to put together – about 1.5 hours all up from start to wearing.

It had it’s first outing to Rata Cafe on Sunday, for coffee with friends. Rata Cafe is up near Zealandia (a native bush and wildlife reserve), so we grabbed some photos with pretty native bush in the background. (And me squinting into the sun a bit, as it turns out. Not sure how I managed to not notice that while we were taking the photos…. Gah.)

The “40’s Tartan” Bolero

The Facts

Fabric: about 1 metre of wool (or acrylic?) blend woven stuff from my stash – I’m going with ‘free’ as it was a remnant from something else I made a few years ago. And about half a metre of red lining, also leftover from another project.
Pattern: McCall 804
Year: 1940
Notions: none
Time to complete: 4 hours
First worn: to visit the in-laws, then shopping for baby stuff
Bump: 25 weeks
Wear again? yep!
Total cost: free! Yay!

Not the most exciting title for this garment I’m afraid to say – the creative part of my brain is taking a nap right now. Hah.

Anyway – it’s tartan (well, technically plaid, but tartan sounds better I reckon), the pattern is from 1940, and it’s a bolero. Hence it’s name.

(I really do feel this deserves a better name, though. Any suggestions??)

I started this well over a week ago, for the 1940’s challenge over on Sew Weekly. Then the pregnancy exhaustion more-or-less knocked me out again for a few days (it goes in cycles – I figure it’s when the little creature is having a growth spurt), so no sewing got done for a week. (A week! Eek!! That’s almost unheard of around here!!!) But now, it’s done! Yay! And I love it, and intend to wear it quite a bit, so that’s all ok then.

There was, of course, some ‘help’ from a cat in the making of this. For this garment, the little helper was Roxy.

I’m quite proud of this one – I lined it fully, using a pretty burgundy lining. I love how it slips on nicely as a result, and there’s a flash of colour when I take it on and off. I must admit to ignoring how to line it in the pattern instructions though – it called for slip-stitching the entire lining to the facing. I say, screw that. So I bagged it out instead, and just slip-stitched the gap I left to turn it all the right way in. Far easier, far faster, far tidier, and far less incidences of me pricking my fingers with needles in my slow-and-painstaking hand-sewing process. I’m rather proud of where I slip-stitched the lining closed, too – you have to look reeeealy hard to find out where it was, haha!

This pattern’s been made up before, for the Bookclub Bolero pretty much right on a year ago. I must admit I haven’t really worn that one – after I wore it the first time, I decided I wanted to line it, and I still haven’t gotten around to it. *hangs head in shame* Now that I’ve got this tartan edition finished, I’m all motivated to line that other one and wear ’em both. After all, they’re the perfect length to wear over preggy dresses!

I like this little pattern. It goes together nicely, and has details I like, such as the four darts at the sleeve head. Just like with the Bookclub Bolero, I went for an amalgamation of the two styles – the curved, collarless front of style B, with the plain back of style A.

If I gaze into the crystal ball of things-I’m-likely-to-sew-in-the-future, I predict a long-sleeved version of this at some point. I’m curious to see how it would go long-sleeved….