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1950s | Vintage Sewing

Don’t Let the Pattern Matching Get You Down…

By on May 22, 2017

I can’t say for certain that we have all been there, but I know I’m not the only seamstress to have had a definite plan and then once you actually take a hard look at the fabric you have to work with in more detail, you realize the plan is just not going to happen! Such was the case with this dress, as I had planned originally to cut everything with the print mirrored along the center front, but as soon as I laid the fabric out properly I understood that certainly was not going to work out.

The fabric I used to make this dress had some pretty serious downsides going for it. Firstly it was left over yardage from another project that had been languishing in my stash for years, so the piece I had left was an odd shape to start with. The other issue was more of a problem; though the print was hypothetically perfectly mirrored…it was actually off-set by about half a centimeter. I assume this fabric, being flocked (mimicking cut velvet) , was made by printing down a layer of glue in the areas where the black fibers would be, and then applying the flocking powder and then repeating this process along the center of the yardage, and when they did this it was obviously not perfectly lined up. So my original plan to cut this dress with the mirrored center of the print going down the center front of the dress had to be scrapped, for if I cut it like that it would appear as if I had done a very poor job of it since the fabric itself was off kilter.

It is in moments like these, when you have your pattern pieces strewn around you on the floor trying to figure out how to place and fit them on your fabric, that it is very easy to get too frustrated and give up before you have even truly started. I was tempted to scrap the idea of this project entirely, but instead took a deep breath and the time to look at other options. I decided, after much deliberation, to use the white space between the printed motifs to my advantage and cut the center front bodice pieces with their center in the white areas so when they were sewn together there wouldn’t be a jarring break in the pattern along the seam. Next I had to determine what to do with the skirt, and though I knew no matter what I couldn’t get the print to match along the side seams, to try and find an angle where the print would at least sort of flow. I ended up cutting the skirt pieces diagonally, but not perfectly on bias. As Tim Gunn would say, make it work!

Though this dress was a challenge to cut out, and looks different that I had originally planned, I am happy I persevered and still made it despite the puzzle like conundrum at the start.  Lessons learned, don’t get too attached to your original idea lest it not work out, and two- take your time and consider all the possible solutions when pattern matching. Such lessons came in handy recently when making another dress and matching stripes! If only fabric was always printed perfectly on grain and perfectly matched up, but such is not the world we live in.

I wore the finished dress on a recent trip to Paris and if you would like to see more photos, you can check out a full outfit post over on The Closet Historian.

Thanks for reading, and don’t let the pattern matching get you down! 🙂

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1950s | Dresses | Mail Order Patterns | Vintage Sewing

First Time Re-Sizing: Anne Adams R4769

By on May 15, 2017

I have spent a long time trying to build up the courage to attempt re-sizing a vintage pattern and I finally took the plunge last week. While I definitely need to work out a ton of kinks, I could not be happier about finally trying. After a lot of unpicking and re-stitching I was able to stitch up Anne Adams R4769 in a wearable size!

You can read more about my adventure (and all of my mishaps) with this garment over at my blog. This experiment has rekindled my passion for sewing and I now can’t wait to start on another one!

Until next time . . . happy sewing!

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Dresses | Vintage Sewing

Show your Patriotism with a July Sew-Along

By on May 11, 2017
Join the #4thofJulyProudDressProject and/or #FlagsOfTheWorldDressProject

With the success of the #EasterSringDress2017 sew-along (see the roundup here) I’ve teamed up again with some amazing seamstress to bring you the next big sew-along.

Renta from Running In Style contacted me, along with  Judith of Judith Dee’s World and Bianca of Vintage on Tap, to team up and host two sew-alongs in one.

Announcing the #4thofJulyProudDressProject and the #FlagsOfTheWorldDressProject 

The idea behind both is to show your patriotism and make a dress or outfit that represents your country or nationality with the big reveal the week of 4th of July.

Vintage Ideas

While the sew-along doesn’t stipulate any specific pattern or style, I’d love to see some vintage style dresses in the big round-up.

4th of July Dress from early 1900's
4th of July Dress from early 1900’s

A quick search on Pinterest for 4th of July fashion will yield lots of ideas from early nineteenth century gowns to 1950’s novelty dresses.

Matching Mother and Daughters 4th of July 50's dresses
Matching Mother and Daughters 4th of July 50’s dresses

Of course red, white and blue also often bring a slew of nautical inspired outfits as well. I’m not sure why, but I love the idea of a nautical dress for 4th of July.

Nautical 4th of July dress 1900
Nautical 4th of July dress 1900

Join the Fun

If you plan to join in the fun post your creations between Saturday, July 1 thru Friday, July 7th  on Youtube, blog or Instagram using the hashtag #4thofJulyProudDressProject and/or #FlagsOfTheWorldDressProject 

1930's actress Marion Shilling in her firework stockings
1930’s actress Marion Shilling in her firework stockings

For full details on the sew-along and to sign up be sure to see my full blog post at: http://wp.me/p3yKY3-2Cv 

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1950s | 1960s | Dresses

Retro Nautical Inspired Moneta Dress

By on May 4, 2017
Akram's Ideas: The Moneta Dress an Astonishingly Quick Make

I recently took part in the #MonetaParty hosted by the Triple Stitchers made up of Rachel, Abigal, and Elle . The idea was that all participants sew up the Moneta dress by Colette patterns and share their makes on Instagram.

Retro Additions

At first, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to participate after all the Moneta dress is just a simple knit dress.

However, I after exploring Colette patterns website I found a free collar extension pack for this pattern. The collar variations really added to this dress.

Akram's Ideas: The Moneta Dress an Astonishingly Quick Make

 

I was especially taken by the tie collar and how it gave the dress a bit of a retro nautical inspired look.

Along with the tie collar, I also made the largest size skirt and then gathered it. It gave the skirt a much fuller look than the more relaxed fit of the original dress.

Akram's Ideas: The Moneta Dress an Astonishingly Quick Make

The length of the skirt I cut as directed, but I’m short so I feel like it seems longer to me than most of the Moneta’s that I see online.

With that said, the fuller skirt and longer length also help to give this dress more retro appeal.

Simple Make

Akram's Ideas: The Moneta Dress an Astonishingly Quick Make

The Moneta dress is so easy to make and I managed to sew it up in around 4 hours.

While it might be simple, a few additions really give this dress the retro style I love.

For full details about making this dress  be sure to see my full blog post at http://akramsideas.com/moneta-dress/

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1970s | Dresses

Black For Early Summer – Patterns Pacifica 3068

By on May 2, 2017

 

 

 

I made this dress from a vintage pattern designed and printed in Hawaii—Patterns Pacifica.  I’m not quite sure whether it dates from the late 1960s or early 1970s, so I am tagging it as the 1970s, since I have seen quite a few similar styles from that decade.  Has anyone used a Patterns Pacifica pattern before?  I have two, and my husband has one that he has sewn up.  I have tried to find out more about the history of the pattern company, but haven’t found a thing.  I’d love to hear if any of you know more about it.   For more information about the details of sewing it, and more photos, please visit the blog that I share with my husband, who also sews and wears vintage:  mrandmrsrat.weebly.com

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1950s | Dresses | Mad Men Inspired | Pattern Drafting | Pattern Sizing | Vintage Sewing

Vintage Vogue 8789, Fitting and sewing videos!

By on April 20, 2017
Pinup Sewing, Vintage Vogue 8789 | Vintage on Tap

Hello, everyone!

A couple of my favorite sewing bloggers (Abi and Akram) have both posted their Easter dresses, so I figured it was about time I posted mine 😘

Pinup Sewing, Vintage Vogue 8789 | Vintage on Tap

For my Easter/Spring dress I made the super popular Vintage Vogue 8789, which always seems to make a return this time of year.

I actually really love how versatile the pattern is and it still continues to be a vintage sewist favorite, even if the reproduction pattern is out of print!

Pinup Sewing, Vintage Vogue 8789 | Vintage on Tap

I made my version out of a stunning linen fabric that sews like butter and has such a yummy hand that looks great over a petticoat.

Pinup Sewing, Vintage Vogue 8789 | Vintage on Tap

I went all out on the interior of my dress, stabilizing the neckline like crazy, using petersham ribbon this way and that to stabilize the seams, and added a waist stay for good measure. I’m equally- if not more so- happy with the interior than the exterior!

Pinup Sewing, Vintage Vogue 8789 | Vintage on Tap

Pinup Sewing, Vintage Vogue 8789 | Vintage on Tap

 

I actually filmed a fitting video for the girls out there that have to do some insane FBA action, with a petite frame. Shifted some darts around, shortened the length, took in the shoulder seam. In the end, it fit like a glove.

Check out the video for fitting Vogue 8789.

And if you just want to see my sewing tips for it, check out the sewing video for Vogue 8789.

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