Pattern Drafting

Or, What do you do with your old North Korea maps?!  We have been weeding lots of out-of-date maps at work (Soviet Union, anyone?), and I’ve been doing my best to put them to good use.  One vintage-related use is to redraw patterns onto these maps, to make them sturdier.  Another, which I’m actually more pleased about, is to turn the old maps into envelopes, mark the pattern name & number on the front with a short description, and then put the original pattern, its envelope & the newly-traced pattern all inside. Because the new envelope is a LOT bigger, it requires much less folding (ergo, less frustration), and it means the more fragile vintage pattern doesn’t have to be manhandled back into a tiny envelope, which, by the way, is probably tearing, too!  

Here’s Bella, supervising me from under a North Korea map…



Hi Everyone!

I’m back with a pinafore dress I’ve made using various patterns and ideas.  I’m quite pleased with it and hope you like it too?

Apologies for the back photo first – I’m having problems getting photos into the right place on here?

Anyway… I used 5 different pattern pieces from 5 different patterns to make this dress.  The back bodice is from a 1960′s pinafore/jumper dress I loaded onto here recently.  The front bodice top piece is from a purple 1960′s dress I posted too.  The midriff section is from a 1950′s dress that I drafted the pattern from.  The front skirt is from a pencil skirt I drafted and the back skirt is a half circle pattern I just chalked onto the fabric and cut out.

I wanted to play with the check pattern on the fabric and see how it turned out.


I added self made black piping to bring attention to the waist and midriff part.  There is an invisible zip on the side and I fully lined this dress.

Some of you may recognise me and this fabric from a circle skirt I posted recently.  In the shop I asked for 2 metres hoping there was enough on the roll.  As it happened there was about 2 and a half metres on the roll and the shop gave me the extra half metre for free as it was the end.  Happy days!  That is how I managed to get a dress and a skirt out of the same length :-)










I think this must have been my last dress for this winter. We didn’t really have much of a winter here and it already felt like spring when I went outside to take these pictures.

Oh well, I know I’ll still love this dress in December.

As usual, I drafted my own pattern. The dress is made from cotton flannel in a large, obvious plaid.

I knew I wanted to make a 1950′s style dress and I wanted to show off this fabric. I don’t often work with such bold plaid, so it took me some time to pluck up my courage and to develop a good idea for this fabric. In the end, I designed this bodice which is shaped with pleats instead of darts and made a circle skirt.

Those buttons are functional (and have bound buttonholes) and there is also a short blind zipper at center back. And pockets in the skirt side seams.

For the whole story and more pictures, please visit my blog.

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Hi, I’m here again with a 1/2 circle skirt I drafted myself and a bolero that I knitted from a vintage pattern.

As circle skirts are notorious for being difficult to hem I decided to add a feature of self made black bias around the bottom edge.  I really like the way this picks out the black in the tarten fabric.

The pattern was easy enough to draft.  I used an old drafting book from the 1950′s and chalked directly onto the fabric.  I used an invisible zip on the side seam and love how the squares of the fabric are distorted.

This is a better picture of my bolero.  I needed to do some crochet around all the edges and this was my first proper attempt at crochet.  I quite enjoyed doing it even though as a knitter I found it feeling odd holding the yarn in my other hand.  Aren’t the pointy cuffs cool?!

This is the pattern I used.  I found it on Etsy from a seller called Vanessalovesvintage.

So, another new outfit!  I hope you like it too?