Vintage Sewing

May 26, 2010

Hey y’all! I’m Laura and I’m somewhere in rural Georgia. I’ve been sewing for as long as I can remember–I’m told that my Mom’s mother (who was an accomplished seamstress) put a needle in my hand at the age of three and started teaching me how to do chicken scratch embroidery. I made lots of doll clothes growing up, and by the time I was a teenager, I was making some of my own clothes. Mom and Grandma gave me a few hints here and there, but I mostly figured it out on my own. (This was pre internet!) I always figured I was some sort of throwback until I stumbled across places like this for people who sew.

My forays into vintage started when my adorable niece was born–

(Isn’t she a cutie? She’ll be two soon.)

And I started looking for some toy patterns for her and my nephew, who’s only a couple weeks older. I discovered that the cutest ones were vintage and bought some old 30s and 40s mail order patterns off ebay. I made Evie and Jeron clowns for Christmas out of mostly leftovers. (See above. Didn’t realize I couldn’t inset into the text! And I’m afraid it’s the best picture I have. Evie was begging for hugs for her clown at the time!) When my sister-in-law asked for spring and summer clothes for Evie, I started pattern hunting, and I noticed how much cuter the vintage patterns are compared to the modern. I’ve made her three vintage dresses so far, and I have designs on three or four more, plus two vintage slips and some vintage nightwear. Here is a 1984 vintage outfit that I modernized a bit, and here is a full view. It also has panties. 🙂 Here is one of her vintage dresses. I think this was from the 50s. I fell in love with the pleats! Now I had this one in a smaller size, and was kicking myself for not making it, so I just had to locate one big enough for her. I freely admit that being entirely self-taught, there are some pretty big gaps in my sewing education that I’m slowly filling in! And lastly, this one is from an Advance pattern that I just had to make.

I have a stack of other patterns to make up still, including an 87 dress, a ’49 slip and undies pattern, and a pinafore dress that’s either from the 50s or 60s.

One thing I’ve noticed is that the necks seem to be smaller than on modern patterns. Has anyone else noticed this?

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