PatternVault

I made our little niece a vintage tweed coat using a 1930s Pictorial Review pattern: In true 1930s spirit, all the materials were re-purposed or came from my stash. We had some purple Woolrich tweed and black lining, and I cut the pocket flaps from an old pair of leather gloves. The buttons are vintage [...]

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I made myself a vintage 1920s swimsuit using Vintage Fashion Library 145, which is a reproduction of Simplicity 7041: I made the one-piece with scoop back, using some lightly textured, black swimwear fabric and matching white fabric for a contrast belt. The repro is a B38, so I needed to grade it down to fit [...]

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For my Halloween costume this year, I made a 1970s evening dress by Givenchy, Vogue 2014. I was making my wife a Daenerys costume based on the character’s outfit in the season 2 finale of Game of Thrones, so with the help of a red mask I went as Quaithe of Asshai (the version from [...]

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Last year, in my first post to We Sew Retro, I posted about a late Thirties comic strip called Sally Makes a Conquest. I wanted to share another J.C. Penney advertising comic strip: How Ginger Got the Job! (Is it me, or did someone disagree about Penney’s prices?) Unlike the earlier comic strip, this one [...]

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This winter I was fortunate to get some fantastic photos of my version of Vogue 1556, a dress from Yves Saint Laurent’s famous ‘Mondrian’ collection. (You can see my post on Vogue’s Mondrian collection patterns here.) Some of you may remember the dress from my We Sew Retro profile a while back. For the pattern’s [...]

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My latest 1920s sewing project—an evening wrap by Martial et Armand—is finished! Here’s the pattern envelope: Like the other three, this one’s also from 1926. Although it isn’t called an evening wrap on the pattern envelope, the catalogue promotes it as a design for evening. I made the plain version (without shirring) in black velveteen. [...]

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This week’s Twenties designer pattern is McCall 4464, an evening dress by Chanel. Here’s the pattern envelope: This one is also from 1926; it’s shown on the same catalogue page as Naomi’s Patou dress. Apart from grading the bust down one size, I made the pattern as-is, but without the rosettes. I used a black [...]

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My 1920s designer pattern for this week is McCall 4459, a cape by Miler Soeurs. Here’s the pattern envelope: This one is also from 1926. The Ladies’ and Misses’ size Small (14-16) seemed just right for Naomi, so I didn’t make any alterations at all. The pattern gave two lengths for the cape; I cut [...]

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For this Halloween I did a Twenties sewing blitz. I chose four 1920s designer patterns from my collection to sew for me and my wife to go out as flapper vampires. Until this project I hadn’t sewn any vintage patterns earlier than the 1960s. Naturally I was a little too ambitious and didn’t finish everything [...]

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Hi everyone, I’m Sarah, from Toronto, Canada, and I love to collect and research fashion ephemera (sewing patterns, advertising, catalogues). I’m especially interested in designer patterns as a resource for fashion history. When I have time I also sew; my (not-quite-vintage) wedding dress was recently pictured in Vogue Patterns magazine (see my scan here). Right [...]

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