Hello fellow vintage sewing enthusiasts! I have been a long time stalker of this page, and I love to see the beautiful creations you all make! I have been sewing using vintage sewing patterns for about 8 years and still have a tendency to get impatient and sloppy (whoops). I also tend to get obsessed when Ihave a project in mind. That being said, I have a couple questions I’ve been thinking way too hard about and would really like to hear some opinions!
I like to make separates for more versatility, and I am preparing to make a nice full fluffy skirt with a halter top for a night out. My dilemma is, do I make a gathered skirt! or a skirt with small box pleats? Will small box pleats give the same type of fluffiness as gathers? I HATE gathering, but I’ll do it if I have to …..
The other thing I am wondering is if I can make a tiered skirt from a softer fabric and get some of the desired volume rather than an itchy petticoat/crinoline. I’ll be dancing and probably pretty sweaty, so I’d like to avoid a stiff crinoline. And I hate making them haha. Anybody have any advice on one vs the other? It might seem like a silly post, but I have a baby, so not much time for sewing anymore. I need to have everything fully planned before I execute!
I think I should call this the ‘dress of seven needles’ as seven machine needles were harmed in the making of this dress. I knew at the time when I was handing over the cash to purchase a sequinned and beaded fabric that it would be a nightmare to sew and I this occasion, unfortunately I was right!
I was working towards making something for the spring racing carnival so I wanted something pretty and floral. I did a bit of a pattern mash up for the dress, using the back bodice of Butterick Retro pattern 5748, the bodice front of Simplicity 1873 (which seems to be a bit of a go to pattern for me!) and then just a gathered skirt, using Vogue 8723 sans pockets. You could really do a gathered skirt without a commercial pattern which I should just do but I guess using the pattern takes out the work of measuring and drawing up a pattern piece, so it’s purely a time saver.
Pulling together the dress itself was pretty easy apart from the struggles with the fabric. I did some internet research on how to work with sequinned and beaded fabric and some sites suggested using a hammer to smash where the beads and sequins run on a seam before sewing the seam together but my fear with that, apart from mess, was too much of the beading unravelling. Thankfully the fabric did have sequin and bead free areas of pattern so I was saved a few times without having to worry about breaking more needles. I used a bemsilk lining in a light pink and lined the lace material as well as having a lining to the dress. So lots of pattern pieces to cut out! I don’t think I could have gotten away with not lining the bodice pieces before putting in the lining as it would have looked too messy showing all the seams and darts which are now nicely hidden between two layers of lining. It gives the dress a bit more stability too.
I made the lining of the skirt about two inches shorter than the dress to show off a bit more of the lace and put in an invisible zipper down the side. Funnily enough the zipper insertion wasn’t as bad as the rest of the construction, when I feared it could have been the worst bit! It was finished off with hand stitching the skirt hem. I’m happy with the outcome, especially given the pain of the fabric and I do still have some of the fabric left to make something else, but for now I can’t face seeing it for a while.
More piccies on my blog: http://www.bobbinandbaste.com/2014/02/pink-sequins/
The Betty Skirt pattern is the debut pattern from Shaffer Sisters!
I thought some of you retro sewists might like the 1920′s inspired deep yoke, and 8 or 16 gore pleat options. It goes up to a girls size 10, but I hear rumors that it may be sized up to teen & women’s soon!
You can see photos, pattern options, and a link to the designers at SewsNBows. I’m really proud of Shaffer Sisters for working so hard to release their first pattern!
I know I’m a bit late posting this but I made a cute pink 40s dress for Valentine’s Day!
I made up Simplicity 3583, an early 40s shirtwaist dress pattern, in some great pink rayon.
I opted to pair this outfit with a blue knit bolero for a non-traditional color pairing.
I just adore this dress. The pleats are so flattering. One thing I dislike about early 40s patterns is that they usually have darted sleeve caps. This dress had pleats instead. They were much easier to make and look so much more flattering on me.
Do you like pink or is it best left for Valentine’s Day treats?
More construction details *coughwoescough* on the blog: http://star-spangledheart.blogspot.com/2014/02/hsf-3-pink.html
I posted once, years ago but have recently found the motivation to post some finished garments. I finished a Diploma in Fashion Technology last year and am now studying costume which is very exciting! I make my own patterns unless I state otherwise and every now and then I delve into my collection of vintage patterns. I’ve been very busy sewing the past few months and here are some of my more retro/vintage garments.
Pink Seersucker Dress
Day of the Dead Crop Top with Black Full Skirt (Alexander Henry Fabric)
A-line Lobster Dress with Matching Belt
Blue Floral Border Print Dress with my 1964 VW Beetle
Senorita Dress (Alexander Henry Fabric) with my 1964 VW Beetle
I’m slowly working towards my wardrobe being a majority of handmade or second hand clothes. I post my sewing and op shop finds on my Instagram: “sharpscissors” http://instagram.com/sharpscissors and would love to see other fellow retro sewers and vintage lovers there!
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.
Hi everyone, this winter I’ve been working on a 60s bateau-neck top with a pleat in the shoulder seam, making it a “crushed” bateau. It has a very Mad Men feel to it!
I made it from Italian wool from Janssens et Janssen in Paris, and lined it with silk crepe de chine.
Crushed Bateau-neck top
I used a “frankenpattern” I created from three different patterns, a 60s dress, a current Vogue, and a 50s Lutterloh. You can find details about how I made the muslin on my blog, JetSetSewing.com, how I made the frankenpattern muslin.
The top has French darts in the front, waist and shoulder darts in the back, and two darts at the elbow. The here’s a picture of the dart in the shoulder seam that gives the neckline the crushed drape:
The wool was very soft and stretchy, so not all that easy to work with, but in the end it became beautiful top! You can find construction details on my blog: Making the crushed bateau-neck top.
Hi everyone! I have been lurking more than posting these days, but I recently made a discovery I couldn’t keep to myself.
I just love Craigslit. I check it with enthusiasm daily. A few weeks ago a man posted that his wife’s Grandmother’s trunk had been found in the attic and it was full of Victorian clothing. Not just any Victorian clothing I would soon find out, but some as old as 1840. I was stoked. The only thing I didn’t like about the listing was that it said to make an offer, which is something I HATE to do. Not because I’m uncomfortable doing it, but you can never tell if people are going to be offended with what you offer them, weather or not it is a fair or more than fair price.
So I made an offer and he took it! So I drove the 1.5 hrs across the state and picked up my lovely trunk contents (he kept the trunk, which was fine with me!) I am a happy girl!
Here are a few bits of eye candy. See more on my blog!
Finally, I have been able to sit down in my studio and get something accomplished! Lately, it’s been all school, work, and no fun.
This was a fairly simple garment to make. I thought it was to perfect project to get inspired to work on more challenging items.
Something interesting that happened, was me choosing what fabric I wanted to use. I normally choose the pattern first.
The fabric I went with was this great mid-late 1960′s knit with a funky print. I’m really obsessed with the colors in it. I’m pretty sure I found this fabric at a thrift store around 2010 for a dollar or so.
As of now, I’m still at school and I don’t have access to a better picture of the pattern I chose. I actually don’t even remember the number. However, I do know that it’s simplicity and I want to say that the pattern is from 1966. I will update you as soon as I can.
Like I mentioned before this was a fairly simple garment to create. I went with view 5 (red dress above). Something that I could easily wear during cold or warm weather. It’s actually something I always try to keep in mind when I make something.
I suppose the most challenging part of making the dress was gathering the knit material. It took me two attempts because the thread kept on breaking. The other challenging bit was making sure that the stripes matched. I think I did an alright job (;
Here’s the dress paired with a 1980′s stretchy belt because it fit me a bit big. Excuse the messy hair, it was extremely windy!
For more pictures and to see how I “styled” my dress check it out on my blog, Through the Alley
A few weeks ago I decided to begin sewing this years summer wardrobe and I just finished another garment – Retro Butterick B5708, a sweet early 50s dress. I used a deep blue cotton with a weaving pattern that looks like wood grain and a white poly blend for the lining of the bodice. The dress is very pretty but the pattern has a few issues. The bows can be tied multiple ways, for example off-the-shoulder or the way I did it. That’s a very nice idea but the problem is that all these variants use the same pattern. This results in a much to wide neckline when you tie the dress on the shoulders. I therefore sewed several darts and it’s ok like this but still a bit too revealing… apart from that I was not happy with how the darts looked like and decided to use embroidery to cover them up. My boyfriend created a very pretty Art Nouveau/ Rick Griffin inspired pattern and so I stitched for the first time in several years and am very happy with it. The second problem is that there is too much fabric at the lower end of the costal arch, there is a small fold at the back and front of the dress. Others had the same problem with this pattern and the version on the Butterick website looks not quite right as well… as the bodice consists of three parts I have no clue how to take it in, does anyone have an idea? However, I still like the dress a lot and look forward to wearing it when summer arrives!
More about my sewing projects on my blog, Draped in Cloudlets.