This project took what felt like forever and were in fact three years. In autumn and early winter I never had time to finish it and after christmas motivation was gone because I so longed for spring.

It was one of the first vintage pattern I ever bought and I had no experience in sewing with these at all. This led to a number of mistakes and a wrong sizing, most of them clearly visible in the final coat, at least to me.

Fabric is a felted cotton, the lining matches the colour of the burgundy bias binding accentuating the front seams. Pattern is a 40ies Beyer-Pattern, the coat is meant to be a “traditional style”-coat and with it came patterns for different dresses, blouses and skirts, all in “dirndl”-style.

An enumeration of all the things that went wrong as well as more photos can be found on my blog www.parvasedapta.ch.

Thank you very much for reading, love

ette

 

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Hi guys and gals!

I’ve finally finished making Gertie’s Shaheen-inspired sarong dress (Butterick B6019) and I hope you like it!

The pattern:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My version:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This pattern was HARD! If you want the full story, it’s on my blog here.

The fabric is an indigenous hand-printed cotton from the Babbarra Women’s Centre, available from Spotlight (Australia).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The dress definitely needed a little bolero, and Butterick 6087 (from 1952) looked like a good match.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While the dress nearly drove me mad, the bolero was very easy – which I greatly appreciated by the time I came to sew it!

If you’ve been thinking of sewing this pattern, definitely give it a go but don’t get down-hearted if it’s a bit of a struggle. Unpick, resew, keep going – you’ll have a killer dress in the end.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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VintageSaddleBagHi All!

I wasn’t at all certain this post would be welcome here because this baby is not a garment but an accessory! Anywho here goes, hope you all still find it interesting and inspiring!

This gorgeous retro-inspired bicycle saddle bag was not actually made by me… but by my ridiculously clever husband! I just had to share it with vintage lovers and since this is where I share my vintage makes I thought it would be the place.

I’m so very proud and awed by my vintage bike mad, non-sewing, non-leatherworking hubby who conceived of the idea, created the design from scratch (including drafting the pattern), sourced the leather and hardware, dyed and finished the leather himself, and then sewed it completely by hand. The man’s talents are limitless.

The part I like about it the best? That I could easily see it tweaked to make an amazing 70′s style shoulder bag with long strap… I may have already put an order in! If you’d like to see more feel free to pop over to my blog to check out the deets.

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Hi there!

This is my very first post on this site as well as the very first dress I have put out there on the world wide web!

It’s very exciting!!

I love vintage and vintage inspired clothing, accessories…well everything really. I wanted to create a perfectly fitting vintage inspired dress pattern that I could use time and time again, changing the necklines and skirts for different looks.

So, I took this vintage pattern as a base…

I have searched the internet for more details on Reveille patterns but I can’t find anything. Does anyone out there know anything about them?

I spent many hours tweeking the bodice for the perfect fit (seem my blog for more details). But it was all worth it.

Here it is, the finished product…

Since my fabric features lighthouses and boats, I thought it would be a great idea to head down to the beach for photos.

Unfortunately, it was freezing cold and blowing a hooligan, hence the crazy hair and pained expression.

And a sneak peek at the inside of the dress. I love bias binding seams and hems. It makes it so tidy!

I’ve shortened the length of the dress for a slightly more modern silhouette so that I can wear it for work if I want to. I might make another one in a proper 1950s mid-calf length for the weekends :-)

Thanks for reading, I hope to see you all again really soon!

Love, Eliza Brown x

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To be honest, I’m not entirely sure I should publish this here.

Some vintage inspiration definitely went into making this jumpsuit but I’ll be the first to admit that it’s a bit of a mish-mash of styles.

The leg shape was inspired by some of the hobble dresses from the 1910′s. Because I wouldn’t much like to eh… hobble, I made trousers rather than a skirt.

The bodice is rather similar to what I would use for a 1950′s style dress and at first viewing, my boyfriend was thinking 1980′s (which I didn’t really like).

And yet, I kind of like it. After all, who can resist a garment you can twirl in? I look forward to wearing it when it gets colder again (spring has really started this week, here in the Netherlands)

More about the jumpsuit (the pattern for which I drafted myself, as usual) on my blog

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30s coat pocket

I made our little niece a vintage tweed coat using a 1930s Pictorial Review pattern:

Pictorial Review 6128

Pictorial Review 6128

In true 1930s spirit, all the materials were re-purposed or came from my stash. We had some purple Woolrich tweed and black lining, and I cut the pocket flaps from an old pair of leather gloves. The buttons are vintage Civil Defence buttons from wartime Britain.

This was an experiment in both coat-making and tailoring for me. The pattern instructions said to pad stitch only the undercollar, and because the coat is a size 1 there could only be so much hand sewing. I love working with wool and heavy fabrics, so the project was a lot of fun, especially the pockets and lapels.

Here are some photos of the finished coat:

1930s child's coat front

1930s child's coat - front view

1930s child's coat - back view

1930s child's coat - back view

Here’s a closeup of the front buttons. I also tried out some handworked keyhole buttonholes:

Civil Defence buttons

Civil Defence buttons

For more details and tailoring progress pics see my blog post.

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I made a cape and so far it’s perfect and I love it!

I used Vogue 6032 from 1963 and I used a charcoal wool with purple satin lining. It’s fairly warm, except for the no-sleeves bit so it’s perfect for the spring now that it’s starting to warm up.

I had a bit of trouble converting all the hand stitching in the pattern instructions to my new serger (as I’m fairly inexperienced with both hand-stitching and serging), but I think it came out really well.

It took a bit of practice to get used to walking with my arms out front instead of to the sides, but really it’s like going out with a fashionable blanket on so how can you go wrong??

More construction details and pictures on my blog.

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Is there anything more frustrating than finding the perfect vintage button for that project and only finding one when you need 10? Or a button on your favorite shrug breaks in the wash? Or you find an awesome button but want it in a different color? Well, I found a solution! As promised I have made a tutorial for using vintage buttons (or vintage-like buttons or charms etc) to make new buttons!

Molded pre-bake on left, original on right

The full tutorial can be found over on my blog!

Final button with jewel and wash

Happy Crafting!

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Hello everyone! I just launched a collaborative Google map which might interest a lot of the readers here – it’s a collection of costume and textile museums from around the world. You can open the map here or by clicking on the image below.

I was inspired by Vicki’s Map the Sewintists project which has been so successful. If you haven’t checked out the Map of Sewintists yet, get on it! The map portrays sewing enthusiasts around the world – each of whom contributed to the map by adding a pin of their location and links to their blogs (if they have one).

Costume Collections of the World is the same idea – anyone can add and edit the information on the map. I started the map out with a small selection of museums and collections I found through Google searches, but I would be extremely grateful if anyone would like to put additional locations on the map – either collections you have visited yourself or places that you know about. The goal is to have a thorough, world-wide map of museums and other institutes that focus on all manner of costumes, accessories, or textiles. My hope is that it will become a useful resource for anyone interested in sewing, fashion, textiles, etc., whether they are sewists on vacation, researchers looking for information, or people who like to browse online museum collections looking for inspiration.

If you haven’t created a custom Google Map before, here’s the low down. You can add locations to the map in two ways:

1. Enter the museum name in the search bar and press enter. Then click on the green pin that appears on the map,  and click “Add to map.”

2. Click on the “Add marker” button located directly below the search bar and place your pin in the appropriate spot on the map. Give your pin a title and a short description. A link to the museum’s webpage is very helpful!

You can also add photos by clicking on a pin, clicking on “Edit” (pencil icon), and then clicking on the camera icon. You can add photos found online or upload your own if you’ve visited the museum yourself and would like to share. Just be sure to click “Save” when you’re done editing each location.

(For more info on editing Google Maps, you can click here.)

So if you have a minute and the inclination, please add a pin! Or spread the word if you know others who might like to contribute or look at the results. I have high hopes that this map will get the same frequent usage as Map the Sewintists and become a valuable resource for the sewing community and anyone else with like interests.

Thanks for listening! If you want to read my original blog post on the subject, you can click here.

** UPDATE **

Thank you everyone who has added to the map! I’m so pleased how many new locations appeared just overnight!

Also, I discovered it is incredibly easy to accidentally delete or move things on the map, but if you press ctrl+Z you can quickly undo any error.

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I’m always cold in the Bay Area, so instead of wishing the weather to be warmer by wearing lightweight cotton dresses, I have decided to be more practical and start making things in flannel and wool. This dress is a wearable muslin I made from an inexpensive cotton flannel that I had in my fabric stash. After wearing it a few times, I am afraid to wash it since it already has several nicks where the thread has pulled through the other side. I wore it on a chilly night in San Francisco, and I was still cold even in a heavy parka. But cotton flannel is still heading in the right direction, so I think that the next few things I make will be flannel. This wearable muslin has served its purpose of being a practice garment for fitting, and I will certainly wear it again, if it does not disintegrate when I hand wash it.

McCall's 2481 vintage sewing pattern, front

Front, vintage McCall’s 2481 in cotton flannel.

There was a time when the majority of my dresses were A-line and modish, and I am thinking of making more of these. This dress has some of my favorite features: a scooped boat neck and A-line. It is one of the fastest things I have sewn recently, and the simplest pattern. What do you think? Maybe the sleeveless jumper with the cut-out in a solid color flannel, to be worn with a long sleeve high neck shirt under it?  Or two-toned color blocks made by the princess seams, the sides a darker color?

McCall's 2481 vintage sewing pattern

Vintage McCall’s 2481 sewing pattern from 1970.

The Fit

I would fit this dress slightly differently next time, and make it a little larger all around. I made the dress without any alterations to the pattern, since the standard body measurements were correct for me. I didn’t even bother to shorten the back waist length by the usual inch, since the fit looks so tubular. I did this partially since I have made several A-line dresses in the past and they turned out bell-shaped, gigantic and tent-like – see the photos of Style 3070, at the end of this post.

Actually, the fit is pretty good, and if I made McCall’s 2481 again, I would make it slightly bigger all around, especially in the hip and skirt by two or three inches. By adding just a few inches, I’d be careful to maintain the A-line, without going in to a flared skirt. I would also shorten the back waist length by an inch and a half. The center front seam contributes slightly to the bust shaping, which is a nice touch that is visible in the small plaid. When the darts come out of princess seams, it can be a hassle to alter, so I was relieved that they fit right exactly as the pattern had them. Another interesting feature is that when the dress is viewed from the front the skirt appears pretty straight up and down, but view it from the side and the fullness of the skirt is all in the back. I sometimes have to alter patterns for a sway back, but this pattern can easily accommodate a sway back, even as snug as this size is on me.

I’m thinking that my next version of this dress will be two-toned, in one way or another. I’m leaning towards dark blue and green.

McCall's 2481 vintage sewing pattern

Side, vintage McCall’s 2481 in cotton flannel. It was bright, and I’ll try not to squint next time.

Vintage McCall's 2481 sewing pattern, sewn in cotton flannel.

Back, vintage McCall’s 2481 in cotton flannel.

Style 3070

A while back, I made the A-line dress below. I’m showing it here as an example of how illustrations and standard body measurements are often horribly, horribly wrong. This is one of the patterns I mentioned above with sizing so far off that is more of a tent dress than an A-line dress.

Style 3070 vintage sewing pattern, 1970.

Style 3070 vintage sewing pattern, also from 1970.

The sizing runs large – there is at least 3 to 4 inches of ease beyond normal! This is not a slim cut dress. The illustration looks like a slim cut dress, but it is not. My bust measures three inches larger than standard body measurement for the size, and there is still plenty of ease in the bust. If my bust had been the actual measurement quoted for the size, presumably the dress would have been about six or seven inches too big in that area. My waist and hip are the exact measure of the size, but the dress is tent-like in these areas – easily four or five inches too big, if not more. The illustration looks like it has relaxed semi-cap sleeves, but the actual sleeves are certainly not cap sleeves at all, and they bunch up under the arms like t-shirt sleeves. It might not be obvious in the images, but this dress is huge. It could be a maternity dress.

style 3070 vintage sewing pattern, example of bad fit

Aarg! Bad fit and grading problems! Front view, Style 3070 vintage sewing pattern, from 1970.

I’m glad that I made it out of a cloth that I have no problem giving away. I altered it to fit me, wore it a few times, then took it back out to the original pattern sizing so that I could give it to someone who it would fit.

Since I had recently made several A-line dresses similarly oversized like this, I decided not to alter the McCall’s 2481 for the plaid flannel. The sizing looked about right on the standard body measurements and also when I measured the pattern pieces. And it was about right, so next time I’ll just make it slightly larger all around.

Sizing done wrong

Something must have gone wrong in the drafting of Style 3070, or some bad math involved in the pattern grading. Or maybe this pattern company always has this type of fit. For example, Burda sewing patterns are horrifically oversized and misshapen on me, even if the measurements are correct. In fact most contemporary sewing patterns have atrocious fit on me, and they are terrible, horrible nightmares to fix. The biggest problem is the wrong armscye fit, but there is also the too-big shoulders, arms, back and waist. And, hip too small. What is left? The bust measurement is correct, but the fit all wrong, bunching above and below the bust. I’m much better off with vintage patterns or drafting my own.

To see more that I have made, and for more opinion on pattern sizing and grading, please check out my blog, WesternSpinster.

Style 3070. It might not be obvious in these images, but this dress is huge. It could be a maternity dress, there is so much extra cloth in the front.

Back view, Style 3070 vintage sewing pattern, from 1970.

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