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If I had one piece of advice to aspiring costume makers, it would be BUY PATTERNS!!  Doesn’t matter if you think you will use it anytime soon or not.  If you like it and can afford it buy it.  My compulsion to buy patterns is really working in my favor right now.  I am a self taught seamstress and have had no formal sewing, draping or pattern making lessons.  This being the case I depend on my patterns. This has allowed me to piece things together, alter existing patterns and just some just for their general shape.
This is what I have been doing the last couple of days.  I found my perfect Dicken’s fair inspiration dress.
http://www.antique-frock.com/earlyvictorian/products/dress102.html
I am in love this dress.  It is an acutal 1860 gown and being such, there is no specific pattern for this dress.  So, this is where my pattern collection comes in to play.  I am using 2 different patterns to piece together and create this dress.
I am using the jacket of this pattern, which i used for my Dicken’s dress two years ago. ( I just realized I never posted that dress, guess I will have to soon!)  I will also be using the skirt for the over skirt section.  I like how this skirt isn’t very gathered and will fall nice in front.  The back will be more gathered than the front to give the right shape.

Burda 7880

I will be using the skirt from this pattern for the under skirt the from will be pleated (not looking forward to this!)
Butterick 4954

I am currently working on the sketches for all the modifications I will be making to the patterns and the details of what need to be done.  Keep an eye out!

Read the original article at http://retro-phile.blogspot.com/2011/10/loving-my-pattern-collection.html
To read what else I have going on visit http://retro-phile.blogspot.com

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Well I loved the first dress so much, that I decided to make it again.

This time in a seasonal Liberty tana lawn called Becky Jane. I love this dress – it’s just perfect for spring!

As with my first version of this dress, the bodice was made with Simplicity 3461 and the skirt from Simplicity 4841, both from the 1960s.

I love the the kimono sleeves and really love the shape of the skirt. The two pleats at the front add a little interest, but all the darts shape it nicely. I think next time I’ll shorten the bodice to the petite size as it does sit just a fraction below my waist. I also inserted the zipper on the side this time, just because the fabric is so lovely I didn’t want a nasty zipper to break up the design. Other than moving the zipper and shortening the hem, this dress is very true to the original design.

More sewing adventures can be found on my blog.

Happy sewing!

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I had so much fun making this dress! My boys are having a Halloween party for their friends and as Mom-hostess, wanted to make something fun AND appropriate!

The skirt is from a Halloween cotton, “Bellknobs and Broomsticks” by Alexander Henry. The bodice is dupioni silk, embellished with decorative stitching and black glass beads at the neckline. I wore a petticoat that I made several years ago to give the skirt the correct fullness. The bodice is underlined in silk organza.

This was a great and easy pattern to make. The only thing I didn’t personally like is that the styling on the midriff. It’s designed to sit 1″ above the natural waistline… that isn’t the best style for me because my small waist is one of my better features that I usually like to make the most of.

Anyway, Happy Halloween!

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 It seems early to be thinking about Fall, but it has rained here all night and drizzled the best part of today. When I look up on the Mesa it is covered in snow. How did October already get here?
Here is my version of Simplicity 2591
The fabric is vintage and was from my stash. The fabric has that stylized brushstroke thing going on that makes me believe it is 50′s fabric (also was 35″ wide).
Happy Fall.

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