In progress: A Claire McCardell bolero, In love: a Tina Leser dress

When my son has a night at his grandmother’s the hours I get to myself are precious- and yet I am torn between domestic drudgery (ie the need to get the house cleaned and vacuumed etc) and to sew or progress my projects. This morning will be a bit of both.. and as with all my projects this one is coming along incrementally.

Not the best photo but you get the idea- the dress beneath the bolero has just been used as a prop fopr this snap but it is a Tina Leser Original hostess dress from the 1950s that I fell in love with

Not the best photo but you get the idea- the dress beneath the bolero has just been used as a prop fopr this snap but it is a Tina Leser Original hostess dress from the 1950s that I fell in love with

Retro style pineapple design on Japanese poplin

Retro style pineapple design on Japanese poplin

The bolero on the mannequin has been adapted from the bolero in SPADEA 1055 by Claire McCardell (late 40s/ early 50s design)? An example of the original dress produced by McCardell can be seen here. I lengthened the sleeve a bit and instead of making it in something soft and drapey I have made it in a retro style poplin that I sourced locally but loved,  (by and large I like Japanese made cottons).

As you can see the bolero isn’t meant to meet in the middle and has piping and a spaghetti strap at the waist. I am still thinking about whether I take the same path with this bolero… it is unfinished, but I do see it being worn over a dress in same fabric or a white tshirt and skirt. In the short term, I plan to use it as a quasi bad-jacket at the hospital after little one is born.

Here is another 1950s bolero I have on my to sew list, for this Summer or next- this one does make an appearance in my 1957 Advance catalogue so i can date it pretty accurately.

Talmack for Advance- a tie-at-back bolero

Talmack for Advance- a tie-at-back bolero

 

I appreciate the photos here aren’t marvellous and I would typically show whole pattern images and snaps from my catalogues. However, after I recently found a professional and well known vintage pattern seller was using images from my blog to sell her patterns- WITHOUT acknowledgement I was a bit surprised. I recognised my own work immediately. I was even more surprised (and disgusted) when she said the images were her own and maybe I was “mistaken”. All I wanted was an acknowledgement of the source. Every other image on the page was watermarked except that one.

So blogger beware. The image in question, was of a Givenchy dress  (McCalls 3625)I posted about a couple of years ago.  Same angle, same lighting, same page blemishes, just cropped. Cropping someone’s work doesn’t make it your own… I suppose I was just surprised that someone would do that, put it on their sales website and argue it was theirs… without shame. Fortunately, I do believe in karma. AND I will never buy anything from their online store. So very vintage or not.

So fellow bloggers… maybe watermarking every single image is the only way to go?

Its unfortunate, but until I have the time to watermark images from my catalogues, I cant share them here… sorry fellow sewists!

Anyway, what do you think of the humble 50s bolero? I think they have a place in my wardrobe! Especially with out harsh Aussie sun.

2 thoughts on “In progress: A Claire McCardell bolero, In love: a Tina Leser dress

  1. It’s fun to see that pattern being made up, as I’ll be making one myself this fall. Are you using the pattern directions to make the spagetti straps? (Using a sewn-in tape to turn it inside out over the cord.) I’m going to be experimenting with that. I love Claire McCardell, and I have some Spadea Tina Leser patterns that are great as well. Good luck with your new arrival!

    • Still thinking about that part! 🙂 I’ll be honest, making piping is one of my least favourite things. I am thinking about contrast piping particularly if I am planning to wear a dress of the same fabric underneath just for a little definition of the shapes… Looking forward to seeing how the pattern works out for you! Thanks for the well wishes.

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