1970s | Dresses

Black For Early Summer – Patterns Pacifica 3068

By on May 2, 2017

 

 

 

I made this dress from a vintage pattern designed and printed in Hawaii—Patterns Pacifica.  I’m not quite sure whether it dates from the late 1960s or early 1970s, so I am tagging it as the 1970s, since I have seen quite a few similar styles from that decade.  Has anyone used a Patterns Pacifica pattern before?  I have two, and my husband has one that he has sewn up.  I have tried to find out more about the history of the pattern company, but haven’t found a thing.  I’d love to hear if any of you know more about it.   For more information about the details of sewing it, and more photos, please visit the blog that I share with my husband, who also sews and wears vintage:  mrandmrsrat.weebly.com

Continue Reading

1970s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

Prairie-palooza: Simplicity 9778 (1971), Butterick 4888 (1977 or 1978), and McCall’s 4872 (1975)

By on January 27, 2017

Three-fer!

This project started out as Simplicity 9778, a Mother Hubbard-type dress from 1971.  It’s cute, but you sort of suspect it will work out less well in reality than in theory:

I have a weakness for these prairie dresses with yokes.  #dontjudge

But I found some hideous-slash-amazing Concord print in dull green with brown/purple flowers on eBay, and some awesome deadstock buttons in a weird raisin color, and got to work.

I knew when I got to the collar that I was making a mistake.  The band collar is drafted–well, “drafted”–as a straight strip of cloth.  It’s not contoured toward the front of the neck the way a band collar should be.  Seamsters, take note: If you make this pattern, IGNORE THE COLLAR.  Draft your own or borrow from another pattern whose designer wasn’t so lazy.

Predictably, it sat around my neck like a section of pipe.  This looks a lot better and far less amateurish in the picture than it did in real life.  Plus, it was uncomfortable.

It looked cute with a belt, though:

But that didn’t help the collar.  It also turns out that this pattern, obviously, is basically a nightgown:

Even with the belt, it tends to shift forward as you walk so all that fabric ends up bunched around your stomach.  I sewed six tucks into the back waist, which helped a lot, but . . . eh, I still wasn’t wearing it that much, which made me sad because I loved, loved, loved the fabric.

Patiences pays off: Surfing eBay netted me another yard, so I decided that I would try to salvage the skirt (well, lower half) and sleeves from the baggy dress and attach them to a new bodice.

Butterick 4888 is from 1977 or 1978 and I want us all to take a moment to contemplate the phenomenon of the wedding gown or bridesmaid dress that comes with an apron.

With an apron, people.

That woman is wearing an apron to her wedding.

However, it’s still a cute pattern and, since I wasn’t planning to make the sash, I was pretty sure that 1 yard + scavenged pieces from the old bodice = just about enough to scrape together a new bodice.

I hate long back zippers so I altered it to button up the front (I had to put a placket in the skirt) and made the facings out of scrap from another dress to save on the “good” fabric (this is the waist seam, finished in bias, with the front facing tacked over it):

I cheated on the sizing.  I’m usually a 12/bust 34 + slight FBA + added width across the upper back + added bodice length + lowered bust.  My 4888 was already a 14/bust 36 so I experimented with just taking in the shoulders and leaving the back width and bust measurement alone (although I still lowered the bust point and lengthened the bodice a little).  This time, at least, it worked.  I might still do a very, very, tiny FBA the next time because I added more of a front facing than was intended so it takes a little more room.

I actually got some brown/purple solid to make an apron to wear with this.  I have no idea where I will wear it with an apron, but whatever (this is the old bodice with the yoke).

As a side note: If anyone is into loose prairied dresses with yokes, try McCall’s 4872 (1975)–it’s similar to 9772 but the bodice is trimmer and the skirt/lower half is more flared, and it’s more flattering and less bunchy around the waist.

Sorry, you can’t really see it in a black dress, but it worked a lot better than 9778:

Continue Reading

1940s | 1950s | 1970s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

A pattern mash up, 50 plus 70s equals 40s

By on November 20, 2016

advance-6190-complete-bodice-necklinedetail

Perhaps the pièce de résistance that a woman might have in the 50s, that rather special pattern in the stash of work and household clothes. Advance 6190 was a delight to work with! And I am so pleased with the results.

advance-6190-pattern

I was very short on fabric for this project, but the fabric, a wool blend crepe, given to me by a friend, was perfect, so perfect, I had to use it, so I teamed the 50s bodice up with a simple skirt from a 70s pattern, and voila!

advance-6190-tall

I now have a very 40s looking dress, win!

advance-6190-complete-talljpg

I have more photos and making details over on my blog.

I hope your sewing projects are going well as we approach the end of the year.

Happy sewing, Angela x

Continue Reading

1970s | Blouses | Vintage Sewing

My first blouse

By on October 16, 2016

70s Blouse

I’m a newbie, newish to sewing and brand new to WeSewRetro. Vintage sewing and I have had a bit of a rocky road on the way to where we are now. I’ll admit at first, I didn’t see the appeal.

Then my great aunt heard that I wanted to sew and sent me a box of patterns she had used when she was a school sewing teacher. The patterns ranged from mid 60s – mid 70s, and slowly as I looked through them all I kinda fell in love with the style.

Style 4721I used Style 4721 from 1974 and made View 2, but shortened the sleeves. I also used snaps instead of buttons. The fabric is vintage cotton that I inherited from my grandmother, so I’m not sure how old it is.

 

Close up

This is the first blouse I have ever sewn, and while it’s not perfect I’m actually pretty stoked with it. I’m really digging the neck tie. I think this is definitely a pattern I will make again.

 

Continue Reading

1970s

Retro Upcycled Dottie Angel Frock Using Vintage Laura Ashley Textiles

By on October 11, 2016

Dottie Angel Frock by Karen Vallerius

I used to wear pinafore frocks like these back in the day, so when I saw this Dottie Angel frock all over Pinterest I decided I had to try the pattern out (Simplicity 1080).  I adapted the pattern by using a vintage 80s Laura Ashley floral button through skirt as the main body of the frock.  The hemline contrast section was an earlier 70s Laura Ashley cotton and the pockets were cut from a 90s 00s LA blouse.  Following photos show the textiles more closely.

Will definitely be trying this in the “dress” style too.  I love vintage florals from the 70s and 80s by Liberty of London, Laura Ashley & Marion Donaldson and plan to make many more “pieced” garments using treasured textiles from my stash.  Please visit my blog if you would like to read more

 

Dottie Angel Frock by Karen Vallerius

Dottie Angel Frock by Karen Vallerius

Continue Reading