Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Next Up: The Bolero!

Now that my friend's wedding is behind us, it's time to get back to Vogue's New Book for Better Sewing. I'm quite looking forward to the next project, which is "the cropped, cutaway bolero."

I was lucky enough to find this pattern in my size, so I just plan on doing a simple tissue-fitting before going whack-whack into my fabric.

And oh! the fabric. I'm following VoNBBS's directives to the letter. Here's what they say: "we suggest a black velveteen, lined with black crepe, because it lends texture interest to any skirt you may combine it with." Seems like a good idea to me. I saw this black cotton velveteen on Gorgeous Fabrics, and was amazed by the low price. When I received it, I wasn't disappointed in the least. For $10 a yard, this compares to some $40 per yard velveteen I've seen in the Garment District. I have some black silk crepe on hand, so I'll be using that for the lining. See how good I am at following your instructions, VoNBBS?

This pattern has several fantastic variations, and VoNBBS offers instruction for a short-sleeved one as a bonus project. (It's the blue one above, but Doris drew in long sleeves. She wanted a long-sleeved version, dammit. To each her own!)

I think this variation is adorable, so I'll definitely be making it next. VoNBBS suggests sewing it in white pique, but I'm thinking a nice plum-colored wool boucle will be just the thing for fall.

I discovered a delightful little surprise in the pattern envelope: a flyer from Vogue Patters, singing the praises of separates. They've gone out of their way to suggest several skirt and blouse options to go with your new jacket. Isn't that kind of them?

So, "why separates," indeed? Well, according to Vogue, the reason is thus: "for a lot of variety at little cost to you." Okay, I'm with you there. But now check out this totally unintelligible sentence that follows:

"That's why to sew separates, designed by Vogue for now, is to be smart in fashion."

Uh, pardon? That has got to be the most awkwardly constructed sentence I've read in a long time. Perhaps it made more sense in 1952?


  1. That's one heck of a sentence. Is "Vogue for now" a line they were pushing? That's the only way it makes sense to me.

  2. Perhaps the author of that clunky sentence was cross-eyed with tiredness after a long day's sewing?

    I have just discovered your blog, and I love it! I am looking forward to seeing the bolero

  3. I was just thinking of a bolero to go over a corset dress with a tiered skirt. Hmmm...do you know of any similar patterns in todays pattern selection. I really like the shape of this one but I don't have time to wait on shipping.

  4. I don't mean to be a nag, but what about that crinoline tutorial? Pretty please.

  5. I love boleros. And I love that filled in sleeve on the pattern envelope. I can picture this in a lovely green wool, with a patterned silk lining. Of course, it would have a matching dress, a green wool skirt with a contrasting patterned (the same as the bolero lining, obviously) blousy top.

    Silk and wool go so well together, no?

  6. Ah, the crinoline tutorial! Thank you for nagging me; now I know someone is interested. I'll get it up this week, I promise.

    Giulia, thanks for stopping by!

    SLP, look at Burda 7686 and Simplicity 3921. I did a quick search, and those two might work.

  7. I was missing these VoNBBS things (reading you, it really seems the book has a 'voice'), and I was eager to hear of the bolero! It looks so simple and smart, I wish I'd find that pattern. Also, I can't wait to see your version of the background dress, which is my personnal fav.

    A 40's tailoring leaflet of mine mentions a 'bolero suit' with a high-waisted, flaring skirt. So elegant!

  8. I love a bolero! Make a beautiful thing and show us!

  9. Oh, that's awesome. I love that the leaflet was still inside, and that's a killer pattern!

  10. I had a red taffeta A-line, empire-waisted cocktail dress in 1958. It was topped with a black velvet bolero which buttoned up the back, 3/4 quarters length sleeves and a cowl collar. The buttons were covered in velvet. It was devine. I wish I still had the dress and jacket. Good luck with your project.

  11. Perhaps if you read it as, "Vogue for Today," it would make more sense. But then again, that would be a little redundant.
    And I so totally am down with Doris; long sleeves!
    Does the book name the photographer?

  12. Oh, I just can't wait to see your bolero!! It is so fun to follow along on your sewing adventures!
    I think you and Doris kindred spirits. I am glad you happened upon her patterns. You are doing them justice!

  13. oh! I can't wait to see your finished product! :D


Thanks for your comments; I read each and every one! xo Gertie

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