Edelweiss Patterns

Hello, Ladies!

I’m sure you were all as thrilled as I was when Butterick released their early summer collection last Wednesday – mainly because of the pattern shown below!  Isn’t is so exciting that there’s finally a repro pattern with a shelf bust design?  I had been waiting for something like this for years.

Well, as you can probably imagine, I called the Butterick orderline at 7:00 am the next morning and had them ship it Express mail to my house!  It was not supposed to show up until Monday, but it arrived on Saturday instead!  So all day Saturday was spent cutting out the pattern and fabric, then constructing this really couture style dress.  The only I wanted to change was the shelf bust – it was quite a bit lower than how I like to wear my dresses, but there was another reason, too!  When you go to all that work to get the bias cut pleats just right, shouldn’t people see a little bit more of the pleating?  So I doubled the height of the bust pieces, and I’m really thrilled with the way it turned out!  There are tons of 1950s patterns and dresses that feature a more crossover version of the shelf bust, so this version I made is completely authentic.

I also added teeny tiny cap sleeves made from a white embroidered organza I had on hand.  It’s a good thing I keep a serious stash of fabric and trims!  The fabric itself is a 100% cotton sateen, and it has a lovely crisp feel.

The skirt was a breeze to construct, though I wish I’d had my crinoline to wear with it.  It’s not that I don’t own a crinoline petticoat, it’s just that the petticoat is currently at a certain sewing magazine’s headquarters being photographed for an upcoming issue….  Let’s just say you will be seeing it sometime this summer in a magazine we all know and love. :)

The dress itself is excellently thought out - I loved the couture details such as boning in the bodice, and it fits very firmly yet without being too tight.  I did do quite a bit of fitting to get it just right, but it was well worth the extra effort!

You can read all about this project plus my pattern review here on my blog!  I was so thrilled to get this version up and blogged about just three days after the design was released, and I hope it inspires lots of other ladies to use the pattern, too!

Happy sewing,

Katrina @ Edelweiss Patterns

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Hello, Folks!

Usually December is the busiest month of the year for lots of reasons.  For me, it can often also be my busiest month of sewing!  It’s not that I put stuff off until the last minute, it’s just that I often come up with all these exciting projects which simply cannot wait until next Christmas!

So between sewing lots of dresses, (or at least having them all photographed), I’ve been spending nearly every spare minute in photo editing, blogging, or just plain sewing! :)   This latest dress that I made is a dark green polyester faille which reminds me very much of something inspired by military wear.  I know that in the 40s women’s fashions were often inspired by men’s military uniforms, so I think it’s fitting that this dress is made of an olive green fabric and has a simple gold button at the neckline.

It is made from this pattern which was made famous by Casey’s sew-along, and while I didn’t actually “sew along” with her instructions I did enjoy seeing all her lovely versions of it!  For my rendition of the dress I used incredibly stiff interfacing for the bodice mid-section panel, and I did shorten the upper bodice so it didn’t “sag” like some versions I’ve seen.

I think airplanes make one of the neatest backgrounds for vintage dress pictures, and you can read more about this project and photo shoot on my blog.  By the way, I have lots more dresses waiting in the wings to be shared between now and Christmas, so you might want to follow the “Christmas dress parade” on my blog since I have some exciting Victorian projects coming up. :)

Happy sewing!

Katrina @ Edelweiss Patterns

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Hello, Ladies!

This Christmastime I am posting a vintage holiday sewing project on my blog each week, and since I started with a green velvet number in November I think I’ll have a pretty wide selection of Christmas frocks online by the end of December!  I have something very exciting planned for New Years Eve, too, but for now I’ll show you one of my Christmasy outfits!  (And I do celebrate Hannukah, too, so I might have to squeeze something blue or silver in the mix. :) )

This outfit is inspired by Vera Ellen’s fashion style (think Judy from White Christmas!).  I love her full skirts, tight belts, and fitted tops that had so much detail to them!  So I made a circle skirt from grey double knit for starters.  I looooove this skirt!  The fabric is so thick that it keeps my legs warm even in the coldest weather (that is, as long as I wear grey tights with them).

But the blouse is really my favorite part of the outfit!  I made it from this pattern by Mrs. Depew Vintage, and even though I didn’t make a mock-up (which I really should have done), I’m still quite happy with how it turned out.  The pattern has lots of intricate ruched pieces that all fit together to make a top that looks something like the upper half of an evening gown with a bolero over it.  I used a drapy knit material with sparkle in it, and I’m sure it will be a staple in my wardrobe for many Decembers to come.  (I have an actual review of the pattern here if you want to know more about it.)

There are many more photos over on my blog for those who care to see, and I hope you all have as much fun sewing holiday outfits as I have been having!

Happy sewing,

Katrina ~ Edelweiss Patterns

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Hello, Ladies!

I am very excited to share this pattern review of the brand new 1958 Party Dress Pattern by Sense & Sensibility Patterns!  If you have been into historical costuming at all, you are undoubtedly very familiar with S&S Patterns’ phenomenal Regency & Edwardian designs.  And even if you are strictly a retro dress fan, you have most certainly come across their famous 1940s Swing Dress pattern that was launched to pattern stardom through Casey’s Swing Dress Sew-Along!  So with such a history of producing excellent patterns, you can be pretty sure that any future pattern they release is sure to make waves in the sewing community.  And that’s exactly what is happening!  When designer Jennie Chancey held a poll for the next pattern era in 2010, the 1950s won hands down. : )  I was quite excited since I’ve always found the S&S designs so wonderful to work with! (And there’s nothing that gets me more ecstatic than a new 1950s dress pattern!)

But I was even more excited when I found out that I got to sew and model the dresses for her website!  Test-sewing the pattern was a new experience for me, since I usually look at the samples that other sewers have made, pinpoint the areas that seem to need more fitting help, then make those adjustments in my own sewing project so that hopefully my finished dress avoids the pitfalls that other sewers have run into.  In this case I had basically no pictures to go off of, so I thought to myself that I would have to be way more careful than normal to make sure the pattern fit perfectly.  But my jitters were groundless!  There absolutely were no fitting alterations, which really blew me away since I usually have to take in about four inches at the waist when working with a Butterick reproduction 50s pattern!

My measurements are exactly a pattern size 12 (size 6 in storebought sizes), so other than having slightly narrow shoulders I really should have all patterns fit me perfectly.  But I’ve found, as I’m sure you have, too, that most 1950s reproduction patterns don’t automatically give you that hourglass 1950s silhouette!  It takes wearing a corset/girdle, adjusting the above bust area, taking in the waistline, and wearing a big pouffy crinoline to look even remotely like a 1950s pattern cover.  Not so in this case!  I was really blown away by how perfectly and smoothly the bodice fit me as soon as I tried it on – the vertical darts in front and back are so flattering, and the bodice ends an inch or so above the natural waistline so the gathered skirt completely hides the “tummy” area!

This first dress was made with a white and pink polka dotted cotton, and trimmed with a ruched cumberband belt as the instructions suggest.  I made it with the round neckline in back and with the gathered skirt option.  Other alternatives would be using the more elegant low “v” neck in back, or pleating the skirt rather than gathering it like I did in the dress below.

Here we see the same dress pattern, but with no ruched belt over the bodice.  I tied a simple red ribbon around the waist and trimmed the neckline and sleeves with rickrack for a very “Oklahoma!” feel to it!

This dress gives you more of an opportunity to see how smoothly the bodice fits.  I was struck by how comfortable the kimono sleeves fit, as well!  Usually kimono sleeves can bunch up under the arms and add too much bulk, but not so in this case!  I love how the added width in the sleeves and upper bodice make the waist look smaller in comparison, and lend an hourglass look to most any figure.  (By the way, I was not wearing a corset or any sort of shaper with these dresses – this is just exactly how the dress looks over a modern figure.)

I think I prefer the gathered skirt over the pleated option, but both styles are very cute.  The two dresses I’ve shown are obviously quite casual, but you can make stunning party dresses or evening gowns by using a longer version of the skirt.  I got to make two sumptuous evening versions as well, which I will be detailing in the near future.

Lest I forget to mention, this pattern is perfect for beginners!  I was struck by how simple the construction was, and by what incredible detail Jennie Chancey put into the instructions.  If you have never sewn a dress before, you cannot afford to be without this pattern!  And if you are a seasoned vintage pattern enthusiast, you will adore it!  It is really the quintessential 1950s dress pattern, as I doubt that any other design on the market is quite as versatile and gives you as many options.

To read more about these dresses you can visit my blog post, and be sure to pop over to the new pattern itself at Sense & Sensibility!

Have a wonderful, rainy Saturday. : )

Happy sewing,

Katrina

www.edelweisspatterns.com/blog

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