Vintage Sewing

Keep it simple, stoopid

October 25, 2009

I loves me a loud, garish print. Giant splashy flowers, bit of painterly abstract or geometric action, and I’m all over it. (Or, more correctly, it’s all over me.) Problem is that tricksy seams and details get lost in all that palaver, so I’ve been trying to find a balance between detail and pattern.

This rad fabric splattered with large, coral-coloured ranunculus demanded utter simplicity. I trawled the pattern cattledogs looking for the right sort of 50s-style plain fitted bodice/full skirt combo but couldn’t find exactly what I was after. So, time for a bit of frankensteining with the patterns I already had.

The bodice was a modified version of Vogue 8413, altered for bustiness and sleevelessness and collarlessness(ness). I was convinced by Catherine’s ace version which I reckon looks utterly smashing. However the skirt on this one is a bit too clunky for my tastes… all those loose folds can look bulky and lacking in finesse. And I’m all about finesse, dahling.

So I turned to trusty New Look 6557 for the skirt, with a couple of tiny pleats at the front where it meets the bodice seams.

I like it. Deluxe. Buxom readers should be gladdened by the ease with which I altered the bodice… princess lines are good that way. I cut a size bigger and then trimmed the side front pieces to take out a couple of inches in the armpit and at the waist. Easy peasy. Next time I’ll line it (facings suck!) and make a couple more tweaks to fit my narrow shoulders. Once I get the pattern perfect I’ll make several more, each more lurid than the last. Bwwwhooaooarrrhrhrhr.

But the real lesson here, folks, is before you buy a new pattern, see what you can hybridise from what you already have. Like Jenny just showed us!

  1. Nice job on the frankensteining!

    You inspired me to go back and add a "frankenstein" post tag to my post.

    I am starting to think frankensteining patterns is the sewing equivalent of that annoying fashion magazine advice to "shop your own closet", but in a good way!

  2. Oh I just love it when a fabric is so ugly that it's actually beautiful. Does that make sense? I have an ugly green printed fabric that I know will be gorgeous once I use it – so thanks for the inspiration. Beautiful job – I never would've guessed you frankensteined your pattern!!

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