Introduction

Hello, I’m Mel from New Zealand!

It’s winter in my neck of the woods, so for my first post let me introduce Marian Martin 9388 – made in a gorgeous authentically vintage dusty pink wool crepe.



I purchased the fabric on TradeMe (the New Zealand equivalent of eBay). The woman selling it was cleaning out her stash, and this was from her Nana’s stash! (Queue school-girl scream). The only bad thing about the fabric is that it was quite moth-eaten in places. I managed to get the dress cut out, but I had to cut the pieces out in a single layer to avoid the damaged areas. It took for-ev-er. Totally worth it, though. I pre-treated the fabric using the Washing and Drying method, with no felting issues.
 
 
Vintage fabric of this quality deserved to be made into something equally delicious and vintage…. enter Marian Martin 9388. I purchased this pattern on eBay a few months ago. It was easy to put together, but I had to alter the fit quite a bit. The pattern is a size 14 1/2 and the measurements of this size match mine, almost perfectly. Once put together it was fine around the bust, but I had to take it in at the waist at least two sizes. I used an invisible zipper, as I prefer the finish of an invisible zipper.
 
I am in love with this dress. I’ll be wearing it to the office on Monday!

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pattern envelope picture

Mailing envelope says "Marian Martin"

Hi, everybody! I really enjoy reading this blog and figured I’d better start contributing.

So, here ya go!

I love this style of dress and wanted to make it up even though it is three sizes too small for me based on bust-as-high-bust measurement.
I used the Threads article on slash and spread pattern grading.
My first muslin (bodice only) was plagued with large ripples on the back.

front of dress
So the second muslin – the full version in yellow flowers shown here – I assembled out of order from the pattern instructions, leaving the shoulders last.
Yes, it was a pain, yes it was worth it.
I adjusted the dress to accommodate my lopsided shoulders, then stitched it together.

I took horrifying shortcuts on this, doing nearly everything on the machine.
The material, a thin, unlabeled synthetic from Walmart was not too bad to work with, but the double fold bias tape would have been better single fold.

Back of the dress, showing the V neck

No wonky ripples!

Because my waist is one size larger than my bust (I’m 1/3 of the way done with my weight loss), the dress does not overlap as much as it ought, so there’s a pin at the V keeping my bra band out of sight. I’ve also pinned the back as I don’t have two buttons on hand at the moment.
So I can’t say it is done, but I can say it has a lot of promise.

I like the set in belt, which defines my waist a bit. I like the scallop details – even the pockets, which I might modify to protrude a little less next time. I even like the yellow flowered print, something I was very unsure about to begin with.

standing with hands in pocketsThe pockets are very high up on the skirt. Awkward to get my hands in there. Are they supposed to be that high?
When I graded the skirt, I added length through the middle of the pocket as well as the skirt. I may move that grading line to above the pocket altogether for my next try at this pattern.

A lot more of my ramblings about this project, and pics of the wonky ripples, are available in a post on my blog, Waltzing Sieves. You can also read there about my plans for a vintage-flavored wardrobe as a treat for when I’m skinny again.

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Simplicity 5237

Hi everyone! My name is Dilly, and I blog over at Dibulous. I love vintage and retro style, my favourite era being late 1940s to early 1960s. Despite having a vast collection of vintage patterns, since moving from London to Switzerland a few years ago my style has become a bit more conservative and I actually sew mostly modern patterns. However, I’m trying to move back to the clothes that I love, so signed up to the Vintage Pattern Pledge, to encourage me to sew up some of my cherished patterns.

This is the first of the vintage patterns I’ve completed, an early 60s Simplicity dress. It’s actually a half-size (petite) pattern, but after “unpetiting” and my regular changes to the back it fitted perfectly! I need to look out more of these…

Simplicity 5237 pattern envelopeDetails about the pattern alterations and construction can be found on my blog, along with lots more photos.

Simplicity 5237 back

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Hello all,

The usual – long time lurker etc. I’ve been sewing for at least two thirds of my life and am a part-time seamstress for hire. I also work in the theatre industry as a Stage Manager and Props builder. I’ve recently been making things from my vintage pattern stock, some of which are posted on my blog, and others which will be soon!

I thought for my first post, I’d share a project that I completed in the fall for a good friend’s wedding. Since I’ve been on contract for the past few months, I’ve just recently been able to add it to my site. I’ve been getting into 1930s styles, and the bride is a long time fan of the era, so it was a perfect fit that we design her dress accordingly. As a prelude, I don’t normally do wedding dresses. I feel that there is a large pool out there and I’m only interested if it’s a special, personalized gown. My previous versions have included a light green dress, and a Sleepy Hollow themed wedding party.

I did lots of research on 30s gowns, and working with fabric on the bias. Here’s the finished gown on the bride – in the end, I could not get it onto my dress form as there were no fastenings. The bodice is entirely cut on the bias and fits her like a glove (a glove that fits obviously…).

Late afternoon light on a lovely lady.

Action shot.

Princess seams, a beaming Groom and a fairy flower girl.

The pattern was self drafted. Pearl beads accent the front and back neckline.

Bodice beading and a custom veil too!

A train was attached with pearl beads also, which was removed for the reception (for dancing and sitting comfortably).

The back View without the train.

For more pics and nerdy sewing details, see the full post here.

More fun projects to come!

~ Heather

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