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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I have absolutely fallen. in. love. with vintage fashion. I can’t get enough of it! So, being as I am a bit of a novice sewist, I chose an easier pattern for my first vintage-style dress. It was SO nice to not have any zippers, buttonholes, or interfacing to deal with. I used a vintage-style cotton, and it worked great. It does wrinkle a bit, but not enough to be a problem.

It took a while to complete, since I hand-sewed the seam binding and the hem, but it still was fairly fast. I can’t wait to make another one of these dresses – they look cute with a shirt underneath, or with a cardi on top.

Stop by my blog for more pictures and details!

[click to continue…]

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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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I’m currently making plans for my ordination (assuming I pass my final ordination interview later this month), and have been looking at robes/cassocks/albs to decide which one I want.  However, they are ridiculously expensive!  Since I’m unwilling to pay $400+ for a robe made from “linen-look” fabric, I thought I would look into making my own robe.  That was when I found this lovely vintage pattern, McCalls 2079.

I think it’s from the ’60s, and it’s exactly what I’m looking for!  Unfortunately, I can’t seem to find a physical copy of it anywhere!  Has anyone seen this, or does anyone happen to have it in their stash?  Or has anyone seen a similar pattern anywhere?  I will take any size.  Thank you so much for your help!

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This is a little thing but it’s been nagging me forever.

What do you call the kind of pocket seen in this Flickr set (Simplicity 4717, 1943).  (This is my set; I made the dress a couple of years ago.)

I’ve gotten in the habit of thinking of them as “Colonial pockets” because they’re similar to the pockets women wore as a separate accessory before pockets installed in clothing became common, but I know that that’s only my lazy term for them and they must have a proper name.  Unfortunately, since I don’t know what that name is, I can’t search for it, and since they’re not a terribly common kind of pocket they’re not coming up on my various “types of pockets” searches.

 

 

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Yay! I finished my Sew For Victory dress! The pattern I used is Hollywood 1335. My aim was to make a perfect spring/summer dress. I think the fabric just breathes those seasons with the bright colors and floral print. 

 

 

What I love about this pattern are the ruffles and the pleated skirt. Actually the pleats hold little pockets, which is such a smart design feature!

Sewing this dress went pretty ok. I had a few difficulties during the process. The sleeve cap had too much ease. I tried different methods to get the sleeves in smoothly, but with no good results. So I gathered the sleeve cap to create a little puffed sleeve. 

I also had some problems with the buttonholes. Well one buttonhole, to be more precise. I had to redo this particular button hole 4 times before I got the result I wanted. How frustrating.


And I couldn’t use my serger because it has some difficulties. Instead I choose to use seam binding. This seam binding was a gift from a friend! Look how beautiful the inside looks! This is really the best way of finishing edges! I really want to use seam binding more often in future projects. We don’t have this in the Netherlands as far is I know, so I really need to find a good online shops with reasonable (shipping) prices. Any suggestions are very welcome :)

The best thing about this dress is my boyfriends opinion. Normally he doesn’t really like my floral dresses. But this one he does like. He said he thinks the dress and colors really suits me. How cute!

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These are some matching Easter shirts I made for my boys. Both are made from vintage 40s/50s patterns and will work for my Sew For Victory entries. (I’m hoping to sew up some more 40s patterns before the April 30th deadline.)

They were so easy to sew up and I already have plans for a few more shirts for them.

See more on my blog.

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Sewing while on holiday? Not a feet-up do nothing at a beach resort holiday but a visit to my Mum- without husband and offspring, where the weather was warm and sunny and and I wasn’t working … so definitely still a holiday!
While still home in the UK I’d bought and had some patterns delivered ahead of my arrival, just to save international postage, no sewing was intended. Well I only lasted 6 days without sewing before this 1940′s Hollywood shirtdress just begged to be made up.
The pattern was one size smaller than needed so I just added ½inches at waist and hip seams as I cut out. It had many many perforations needing marking for the pleats… I cheated big time and used a lead pencil to mark (no chalk to hand and pins kept falling out of the loose weave linen). Unfortunately many of those dots ended up on the right side as that was how the pleats needed to be folded up but fortunately an eraser took the most obvious dots away. The sewing instructions were minimal – the horizontal slashes that the sleeve pleats go into were therefore confusing at first as the illustration in the instructions really wasn’t helpful and the slash and pleats didn’t match up too well. They got done in the end, a topstitch on the outside helped and cotton bias binding strips on the inside to make it all neat.
The 4 front buttonholes are bound and I bought some pretty shell buttons locally but no belt buckle was to be had…I’m sure I have one at home that will be good. So for its first outing the belt was safety pinned closed. It has its second outing tomorrow being worn on the looooong trip home.

Definitely a pattern I will use again and soon too but in a soft fabric, like a thin crepe next time so it will seem quite different.

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For Julia’s third Mad Men challenge, and my first, I tried my first ever knit dress. I was after a look inspired by Joan. Joan wears many gorgeous figure hugging frocks and often some amazing long necklaces to complement her look.

I used Simplicity 1653 which is a mock-wrap style with wool modal knit. It was a steep learning curve sewing knit for the first time. I have more info over on my blog. Thanks for reading and happy sewing.

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