1950s | 1960s | Dating Patterns | Dresses | Mail Order Patterns | Pattern Sizing | Vintage Sewing

A Fish Trap Tiki Dress

By on November 2, 2014

It’s just about summer down here in Australia – and that means it’s time to start sewing summer dresses!

I’ve just finished a ‘Design by Clothilde’ pattern 3170, and it’s from 1960 (although I tried my darnedest to make it looks 50s).

And the pattern – isn’t the neckline killer?!

The fabric is an Indigenous Australian design called ‘Fish Traps’, another Babbarra Women’s Centre print from Spotlight. Thank goodness I got it for $7 a meter on sale, as this sucker took five meters! (The fabric was originally $20/m).

I’m in love with these Babbarra prints, they looks really ‘tiki’ in my opinion!

I had to re-size from a 36″ bust to a 40″ bust (and the waist of course), but it worked out fine. I completely lined the bodice and added some side boning for stability.

I also changed the skirt from a pleated circle skirt, to box-pleated skirt cut straight on the grain – the fabric pattern would have looked a bit odd otherwise.

If you’d like to read further, I have more on my blog!

 

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1940s | Dresses | Introduction | Mail Order Patterns

Marian Martin 9154, WIP

By on April 19, 2014
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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1960s | Mail Order Patterns | Spadea | Vintage Sewing

1962 Jacket from Authentic Chanel Pattern

By on January 6, 2014
Jacket made from Chanel Pattern

I made this jacket using a pattern released in 1962 by the Spadea company. From my research, it appears to be the only officially licensed Chanel jacket pattern ever released, and it was drafted directly from a retail Chanel jacket, that was sold in the US by the Suzy Perette company. I loved the 60s boxy look, and the extremely thorough instructions, which made constructing the collar and welt pockets a breeze. You can check out details at on my blog, jetsetsewing.com. http://jetsetsewing.com/2013/12/04/im-tired-of-coco-how-about-you/

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1960s | Dresses | Mail Order Patterns | Vintage Sewing

The ‘cut out dress’ from the 1960s

By on September 10, 2013

Hey there We Sew Retro community.  I had a fabulous time at The Auckland Vintage Textile Fair, I pick up some lovely sewing patterns a pair of gloves and I came across some mail order ‘cut out dress’ packages, complete in their original packages.

This one with lilac fabric is a ‘Woman and Home’ cut-out dress, the rest are ‘Woman’s Weekly’ ones.

All ordered from London and posted to New Zealand Aotearoa.  I love them, I am keen to make one up – but might have to trace one and try it.  I have more photos over on my blog, mermaids purse, and I would love to hear from anyone who has come across or used them before.

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1940s | Dresses | Mail Order Patterns | Vintage Sewing

Mailorder 8111 quirky shirt dress

By on May 28, 2013

You might have already seen this if you are following my blog as I wrote about this dress on there last week.

I am currently working my way through my so far unused pattern stash and this pattern caught my eye. The unusual front flappy button detail got me interested in making a version of this dress. I’m sometimes unsure about such details as they can look a bit over the top when they are actually made up but I’m quite happy with the final result.

I think I will use the pocket on other future sewing projects. It’s such a simple design with the added buttoned down bar.

There are more pictures over on my blog if you are interested. Thank you very much.

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1940s | Mail Order Patterns | Vintage Sewing

mail order maid of honour

By on March 18, 2013

Greetings vintage enamoured kindreds,
I was well pleased to (literally) stumble upon this most excellent blog and after a short perusal was grinning broadly. Knowing there is a significant community of vintage sewing addicts is a wonderful discovery.

This being my first post, perhaps I ought give a description of myself:
I’m a fervent DIY type who makes as much of everything as reasonably and physically possible; my interests belong to a couple of generations ago (I’ve long felt that being born into this one was somewhat of an unfortunate mistake) – I knit obsessively in the winter months, sew during the rest of the year. My grandmother taught me the necessary basics of deciphering patterns in grade 10 and from that point hence, fabric stores have become dangerous places. I have always loved vintage styles, but for more practical reasons vintage sewing patterns provide sizes I can actually wear.
I strive to live simply but happily on 1.3 acres in a 128 year old farmhouse with my mathematician husband where I make lots of mess making various creations, vegetable gardening, preserving, root cellaring, obsessively learning about and carrying out home improvements, and trying not to feel guilty about my two rounds of education leaving me unemployed.
Like many others out there, I catalogue my creative adventures through a blog: jurisdiction of nifty.

This particular project was an important and interesting one – my greatest friend got married last summer in a vintage themed style. I was tingling with anticipation to find a suitable dress pattern and eventually came across this promising specimen. It was the first time I’d seen or used a mail order pattern ( Sue Burnett – 8299 )  and though the instructions were incredibly thin, managed to make it through.

it begins

Though vintage sizing usually works out well for me with minimal customizing, this pattern required judicious taking in of seams and the addition of darts in order to make it fit.

front darts
thinning the front

It took several tries to get these back darts sorted – much basting and hand sewing.

basting back darts
creating back darts...

I had to fashion shoulder pads at the last minute as well as the shoulders were too droopy.

I made a back buckled belt, shortened the skirt length by about half and in the end was pleased with how the dress turned out:

finished back
the back
front detail
yoke detail
front view

I look forward to sharing future endeavours as sewing season approaches!
Thanks for existing We Sew Retro (:
x

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1930s | Dating Patterns | Mail Order Patterns

1930s Mail Order Pattern

By on January 4, 2013

Hi all! I just got back from my favorite fabric and pattern dive. I almost squeeled when I saw this pattern. It was marked as a 1940s vintage pattern but I shake my fist at that. It’s 30s if its a day. Anyway, it’s for a 30 inch bust which usually fits me so I bought it anyway for a whopping $0.95. I got it home to measure it and found it to be completely pullover. Even the shirt! No zips, snaps, and the buttons on the blouse are cosmetic. The pattern was also in undisturbed factory folds and in pristine condition. Once everything was all measured the jumper has a completed 37.5″ bust and a 30.75″ waist. The blouse has a completed 36.5″ bust. That’s quite a bit of ease for a 30″ bust pattern. I cannot wait to make it, I may have to lengthen the jumper top a bit but I think everything will fit swimmingly.

Also, I was hoping someone had some insight into which company manufactured this pattern. There is no date, no names etc. and it appears to have two pattern numbers. Maybe one is a coordinating adult pattern? I did find this picture to validate my tentative date right here on the site. Any help would be great! Thanks!

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