Vintage Sewing

Because it is summer somewhere….

A friend had an amazing piece of fabric and wanted a vintage bathing suit made from it. The border print fabric had 9 individually blocked and decorated ballerinas and the pattern that she really liked was Simplicity 2441 (sorry about the photo quality of the fabric… )

Being woefully short of fabric to actually make the bathing suit, I started to experiment with placement of the ballerinas on the fabric with my computer first (because I am pretty sure I will never see fabric like this again!)

 

We finally came up with a design that involved my completely discarding the plain blue fabric (because there wasn’t enough, and I couldn’t find a perfect match) and patchworking the border print fabric to the 8 panels of the bathing suit skirt. Apart from being a bit busy on the inside of the bathing suit, it ended up being not too noticeable from the outside. And I still have a leftover ballerina!

And the best part of all is that she got to wear it earlier this year on the last day of summer here in Australia at Red Beach –  so you could say it was sea-worthy.

 

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I have a soft spot for vintage party dress patterns. The problem is, I almost never have a reason to wear a vintage party dress. Imagine my excitement when I was able to make my own bridesmaid dress for a friend’s wedding!
I decided to use Butterick 9561 from 1961 . I was instantly drawn to the faux wrap bodice. I did make some changes to the pattern, for instance, omitting the modesty panel and reducing the skirt volume by half . My fabric is also vintage; though I estimate about twenty years more recent than the pattern. I bought nearly seven yards of this lovely double layered lace fabric from an estate sale and it was perfect for the occasion!

I’ve written in further detail regarding my modifications and posted additional photos over on my BLOG. It was a lot of fun to have a reason to sew a ‘fancy’ dress. I also think this pattern would be great sewn in cotton as an everyday dress, so there may be more Butterick 9561s in my future.

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Hello retro sewists! I haven’t posted in awhile, but I’m here today to ask you for some help. I’m getting married next year and I’ve decided to make my own dress. I found a gorgeous vintage dress online that I would like to re-create, but I’m having trouble locating a pattern (I don’t really know how to draft my own, so I want something to go off of). Below is  a picture of the dress I would like to re-create (in my size), from Dear Golden Vintage:

(Source: Dear Golden Vintage)

I think that this pink dress below, also from Dear Golden Vintage, might have been made from the same pattern, which makes me think it may have been sewn from a commercial pattern, rather than being custom-made.

(Source: Dear Golden Vintage)

I looked through many patterns on the Vintage Patterns Wiki and online, but none seemed to be quite right, but then I stumbled upon and image of this pattern, Advance 8394. It seems like the closest approximation so far, despite the skirt being completely different.

(Source: Vintage Patterns Wiki)

The trouble is, there are no copies currently for sale online that I can see, so I was wondering if anyone has a copy of Advance 8394 that I could buy, borrow, or rent. I would pay the shipping both ways if I could just borrow one to trace off. Any size is fine!

Or, alternatively does anyone have the actual pattern for the two dresses that I can’t find? That would be pretty amazing!

If I can’t find the pattern, I’ll go ahead and try my hand at drafting one, but I thought it was worth a shot to see if I could locate a pattern first.I also posted about my search here on my blog, Scavenger Hunt.

Thanks in advance for any help you can give me! I’m so glad I can tap into this amazing online community!

Happy Sewing!

-Melissa

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I participated in the Vintage Playsuit Sew-Along hosted by Stephanie over at The Girl With the Star-Spangled Heart. I’m a few days behind on the final playsuit posts because I ran into a few technical issues (first my iron died and then my skirt was too small and had to be fixed), but I finally have all four pieces finished and photographed. I’ve shown you all the patterns before, so I won’t go into much of that today; it’s pretty much be a photo post, but I will explain a little about this skirt. The pattern illustration indicates that this is a fairly full, A-line garment. Let me tell ya. It’s not. At all. The skirt actually turned out looking a whole lot more 70s than 40s. It’s a super narrow A-line, and that plus the mid-calf length really make me feel like I need to part my hair in the center, go braless, and carry a macrame bag. That being said, I do still like the skirt, it’s just not quite what I had originally planned on. The other issue, was that despite all the pattern measurements and everything checking out, the skirt was entirely too snug, causing pulling at the pockets and the button placket over my stomach, not to mention the lack of room in the waist. Not appropriate for pizza feasts, this one. I had already done a lot of the finishing and really wasn’t looking forward to taking everything apart and recutting the waistband, etc, so what I ended up doing was adding a placket extension to the underlap in order to give myself some room to shift the buttons over. That made a huge difference. I also had to shift the buttonhole placement quite a bit so that I wasn’t getting the gapping across my stomach that was happening with the original placement. Despite the issues, I’m pretty happy with the end result, and it will work well with all of my solid t-shirts/camisoles and sweaters as well. So here it is, followed by the other three pieces.

 

 

 

For more information about the patterns I used, along with a few more pictures of the garments themselves, the previous two posts about the sew-along can be found here and here.

 

-Evie

 

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