Vintage Sewing

An introduction

April 1, 2009

Hello there,
After a few months of lurking on here I finally decided to join. My recent obsession with vintage patterns began quite innocently enough when I was looking at wedding dresses for myself. I positively loathe each and every current style with the exception of a couple from Pronovias Vintage collection.

Because I am freakishly short (4’11”) I knew that buying an off the rack gown would be silly, as the entire thing would virtually have to be taken apart and reconstructed in order to fit me. A friend of mine directed me to where I discovered more vintage gown patterns than I knew what to do with. A lot of internet searches left me longing for McCalls 3788 by Givenchy, but it appears that anyone who owns a copy of that is not letting it go. I was able to find a pattern that had a lot of the same elements as the Givenchy and Pronovias dresses:

Success! I had my perfect wedding dress pattern and because I was making it myself, it would be guaranteed to fit.

Oh wait, did I mention that I had not sewn since middle school, and that the only projects ever completed in my life were a stuffed beaver toy and a 9 patch pillow that earned me a grade of B-? Fortunately, my mom is a compulsive quilter, and prior to her foray into the quilting world she used to sew all of her clothes, as well as mine and my siblings’. She even made me the dress for my 8th grade semi formal, and when I told her of my wedding dress dilemma she offered to make the dress for me.

However, mom lives on the other side of the country and I had this urge to take up a new hobby, so the result is a mad attempt to learn to sew. Fortunately we haven’t set a date for the wedding yet, so I have plenty of time to learn.

After the acquisition of the wedding dress pattern I discovered Sew Retro and suddenly I was snatching up vintage patterns at an accelerated rate! I have about 20 in my possession at the moment, and am slowly making my way through them, with the goal being 1 project every 1-2 weeks (I am one of those people who, upon starting a project, does not stop until it’s completed, which can lead to 8-9 hour stretches in front of the sewing machine. Since I am a full time graduate student, this is my “study break” if you will, from writing my thesis).

I’ll post pics of some of my recently completed items soon. In the meantime, here is a description of my new hobby on my blog.

Thanks for all the inspirations!

  1. That pattern would make such a beautiful wedding dress! not too fussy…but still has a very charming quality to the cut.

  2. I’m so glad to find someone who finds modern wedding dresses as disappointing as I do! I’m no where near ready to get married, but I’ve already vowed that I will not get stuck with a modern monstrosity. I’ll either make my own from a vintage pattern as you are, or find a vintage dress that I can buy.

    Good for you! Can’t wait to see the progress.

  3. beautiful pattern – I love the scoop back!
    I also admire your discipline because I lack it. I’m curious if you are a Capricorn….

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