1960s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

Grey dress from a 1960s Burda pattern

By on December 7, 2016

In summer I stumbled upon a beautiful and simple pattern for a dress in a 1962 wedding edition of Burda and immediatelly made a few versions of it, including one for a client who loved it as much as I did.

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The pattern proved very versatile and looks great with a variety of fabrics –no wonder, because it’s just such a simple and staple piece. I really love the short sleeves, they add elegance to an otherwise simple design. I made it with different skirts. I usually freehand them, pinning tucks as I go but I also made one version with a circle skirt that I need to photograph.

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This is one of my iterations of the pattern: I added a collar with a bow to it. For a moment there I was afraid it looked too much like a hotel personnel outfit! But I guess the bow helps distract the mind from this easy association ;). It’s fully interlined but with no lining. I’m having second thoughts about interlining this one… turned out quite stiff, even though the outer fabric was quite thin. I finished the skirt with a blind hem stich by hand.

Check out the original blog post for more photos.

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1950s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

I made a wedding dress

By on July 21, 2016

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Hi there! It’s been a while since I posted anything here or on my own blog but I’m back with something special!

I’ve been away from the blog for the last month or so and I’ve been busy sewing all the time! Here’s one of the pieces I take most pride in creating: a vintage inspired wedding dress, sewn from a modified 1956 pattern. The bride-to-be chose to have it in floor length and asked for sleeves. I decided to make a half circle skirt and added underarm gussets for comfortable wear. We chose beautiful rayon outer fabric and the dress is fully lined with silk. What a pleasure to wear it must be!

The pattern itself seems to be a real hit with my clients. I think it’s due to the wrap/tie front that’s incredibly flattering. This is the third time I made a dress based on it: first one was a test for me that’s still in my closet and the second one was already proper wedding dress for another elegant lady. I hear there are more brides-to-be waiting in the line to get their version… which makes me so happy! It’s such a pleasure to sew for other people, especially for special occasions!

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I’m really happy with how this dress turned out. So flattering on this beauty!

The only thing is… it got stolen on its way to the wedding! I was asked to make it two months in advance since the bride was moving away overseas for her new chapter of life and it seems someone took her baggage when she was at the airport. I can’t imagine what a horror for the bride it must be… and I can’t say I don’t feel sad about it. There’s still time to find it so please keep your fingers crossed!

This post originally appeared here. Click for more photos!

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1950s | 1960s | Pattern Catalogs | Vintage Sewing

Sharing my vintage pattern magazine stash

By on October 13, 2015

Hello everyone!

This is just a short note that might be of some interest to you if you’re up for some vintage eyecandy. For the last few months I’ve been steadily scanning and sharing my vintage pattern magazines. I’m going through my ever-growing stash of 1950s and 1960s now, some 1970s and more interesting 1980s items will come on later.

I upload them to my blog weekly, on Tuesdays, in a series I call Vintage Tuesday. All of them are full scans in good resolution, all yours for the watching. Here are some of the prettier illustrations, just to make your appetites bigger.

You can also check out the collection on my Issuu account.

Thanks for reading!

Klara from The Robot That Had a Heart

You can also stay up to date with my posts via facebook.

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1950s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

A dress with a story

By on June 23, 2015

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If you remember the pink gingham dress from my last post on WSR, you will find the shape of this new dress familiar. I often sew up a pattern more than once and this one I wanted to tune a little to perfect the fit. It’s still not all that perfect, at least on me, which might be because of my round back. It kinda puckers in the middle back when I slouch, which I do a lot of, sadly. I guess it would be fine for someone with correct posture. I need to work on the fit of my clothes, I tend to get these issues with the fit on the back often.

I sewed this dress from a semi-sheer poly (my guess, I don’t really know what it is but it doesn’t wrinkle and the skirt is fluffy without a need for a pettitcoat) that I got loads of and I’m willing to sew more of it, because it’s cute and satisfying to work with. The dress is fully lined with cotton and blind hemmed by hand. It has a zipper at center back.

 

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How I came about the fabric is a touching story, really, but I don’t want to keep this post too long on WSR so feel welcome to click through and read all about it on my blog.

 

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1950s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

Pink Gingham Dress

By on June 1, 2015
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I used a pattern for a cute party blouse that I’d found in a German sewing magazine –Der Neue Schnitt from December 1957 – you can see it pictured below. I chopped the blouse at the waist and then added a skirt –at first I thought I’d give a try to one suggested in the magazine but I was afraid it would be too obviously vintage. I opted instead for a simple one that’s sewn together out of seven panels: three broader and four narrower ones. They added up to a nice half circle skirt (in all honesty, I could’ve just cut a plain half circle skirt from my fabric but… where’s the fun in that?).

 

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The pattern for the bodice was, as usual, a bit large in the bust area and, which is in turn unusual, it was a bit large at the shoulders. This proved to make some wrinkling I didn’t suspect as it didn’t show when I was making a muslim. I’m in the process of making another dress out of this pattern and I decided to size it down and lower the shoulder seams this time.

 

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I finished the guts of the dress with my own bias binding, by hand in part (the neckline) and I’m really happy with how that looks. So neat! I still need to replace the zipper with a white one. I wanted to finish and wear the dress as soon as possible –obviously! –only to realise I’d run out of white zippers. Please tell me this happens to everyone else?

 

You can see more photos on my blog!

 

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1950s | 1960s | Skirts | Vintage Sewing

A skirt turned dress

By on April 13, 2015

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I was hesitant to show you this skirt although I have already finished it about a month ago. I didn’t have the right photos to tell the full story. I’m glad I didn’t make haste because now you can see how important this skirt it. Now that I’ve found the right photo, you can sit back and enjoy!

 

Fast backward to a few months ago. I’m at my beloved Granny’s and we’re digging through her closet. We’re finding a lot of long forgotten treasures like old handbags and purses and vintage clothes and pre-cut sewing patterns. My Granny is a very crafty woman, has been so all her life, and that’s something I’m proud to have inherited from her. So we’re digging through all the stuff… and then there are some fabrics. Dusty, hidden away for decades and gorgeous. My Grandma looks at the blue and red striped cotton and says “This used to be a dress, you know, one of my favorites. After I’d ripped the bodice by accident, I decided to leave the rest of the fabric and sew something from it but I never got to it. You should sew yourself a skirt. Here, take it.”

 

And so I did. I sewed myself a skirt from a cotton that is over 50 years old, was loved and worn to bits, and then stashed away –because it was a favorite. This is so touching to me. The life of things in our hands is so precious and so complicated, and so full. We give them meaning and keep their stories in our minds. They live as long as we lend them some space in our memories. You can see my Granny wearing her dress in 1965 below.

dok015The sewing process was easy enough and there isn’t much to describe. I was aided in making box pleats by small cuts along the edge of the fabric that have already been there, certainly from the time it was a pleated dress. I cut away a small portion of the fabric to use for the waistband –I made it from the fabric put vertical instead of horizontal, as you can see. The fabric was already hemmed so I didn’t need to do anything else there. I might shorten it a bit since I’m not sure this particular length is the most flattering to my otherwise perfect legs. If I do, I’ll shorten it just by folding the fabric and hemming with a blind stitch (as it was originally done to the dress, I think, judging from some loose threads hanging from the hem). In the photo of my Granny you can see that the skirt was shorter by one white stripe.

You can see more photos on my blog.

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1960s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

Spring dress for weird winter

By on January 23, 2015

We’ve been having this weird winter and it’s been neither freezing, nor warm, but overally gloomy. No sun in your skies? Make yourself a spring-y dress, I say!

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I made this dress based on a pattern that I’d found in a fashion/sewing magazine from 1969. It was a rather straightforward shift dress and I only needed to alter the neckline which was too narrow, and to add darts in the back for better fit. Otherwise, it’s just two french darts in the front. I needed a simple pattern like this to show off the incredible print of the fabric that I used. It is a thick and stiff curtain cotton –my favorite kind! I admit to feeling very awkward in sheer and delicate fabrics, as if I could destroy them by chance. No way to destroy this sturdy box of a dress! I’m also happy with facings that I drafted by myself and bound with a bias tape. The hem is hand sewn with an invisible stitch for an elegant finish.

For the pattern, photos and more notes on sewing, please visit my blog.

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