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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Hello everybody!!

Here in northern France the spring is almost there.

And also it is still very (too much!) cold, I had a sudden will to make me a “paradisiac island dress” !

I used a 1950s pattern from “New style” for the top, and a retro high waisted skirt pattern to make my perfect Waikiki summer dress!

 

If you want to read and see more about this project, feel free to come and visit my blog! :)

http://wildchildsophie.wordpress.com/

Thanks for reading!

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This is my first post, but I have been a longtime lurker.

This is a 1950 blouse pattern I made out of some turquoise polycotton, if I make it again it will be with something with more drape in it.

it went together quite easy, the only adjustment I made was to take half and inch out of the length.

more, not a lot on my blog blog

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I’m (mostly) happy with how this dress project turned out.  I had just enough fabric from a friend to squeak it out, and it’s still not totally done (it’s missing a hook and eye and one dang button), but I’m pretty pleased.

The main problem I had was that once I’d gotten the whole dress together, nothing I did would convince the collar to look like the pattern picture!  I ended up folding it over and tacking it down instead, and I can see now that I need to tack it down a little further, because it got pretty rumpled in the test wearing.  I’d really like to make the view with the front scallop detail once the weather warms up a bit… at least that one has a straightforward neckline.

More pictures and babbling on my blog.  And, uh, if anyone sees another green heart button like these, let me know, will you?  I’ve only got six, and I need seven.

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I am not sure whether to call this a mod dress or not.  I am not terribly familiar with the fashion terminology of the 60′s so I’ll refrain from attaching any labels lest they be incorrect.

Anyhow, this is a 1968 pattern that I bought as part of a lot in 2009. I immediately fell in in love with the scallops and the color of the green dress but for a sting of reasons didn’t get around to working on it until last July.  The muslin went well and revealed that the only adjustments I truly needed were shortening the length and adding some width to the sleeves.  Yay for big upper arms! Not.  I also removed some of the ease from the sleeve cap because it was unruly.  I cut the fashion fabric….last July…. and didn’t pick the project up again until a couple of weeks ago.  Seven months sat the cut pieces somewhere in my sewing room.  Seven months.

I really love the dress.  I love the scalloped edge and I do love the lime green, even if it is a bit obnoxious.  Now I need to learn a hair do to go with it.  There’s a ton more blurb on my bog.

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here we are and finished in all it’s splendour is my blummin gorgeous 60s blouse a la Joan Harris (nee Holloway).

Joaniegreen

Having never made a blouse before I wasn’t entirely sure what material to go for. I decided on a trusty poly-cotton which meant the drape would be a bit stiffer than the one shown in the picture but I did want the collar to be a little stiffer, and as I wasn’t sure how this would all play out I thought not splashing the cash on fancy fabric would be the best option.

I went about cutting the pattern, fabric and interfacing out and I was quite happily thinking “less pieces, less work than a dress”. Ah, the young sewing fool inside me.

At the end of the first day I’d made the bodice and the collar. It dawned on my when I finished that I’d absolutely breezed the collar this time, I think I’ve been so caught up in worrying about the set in sleeves that I appear to have somehow mastered collars without thinking about it. Pretty good eh?!

Butterick 2475

Now, I made a little list of goals at the beginning of the year (some have totally fallen by the wayside already) and one of these was to master set in sleeves by the end of 2014. So when I went into this part of making the blouse I did so with a new determination that I would not simply settle for “that’ll do” and I would set these sleeves in over and over until I got them perfect.

Plenty of people gave me advice (thank you everyone for all of your helpful tips and guidance) but I really owe massive thanks to Clare at www.sewdixielou.com for spurring me on when I was halfway through ripping the sleeves out for the second time (and on the verge of having a little cry) who simply said “I never use gathered way hate it. I do it by hand gently easing larger fabric pinning every 1/2″. Then when happy pin in between pins then baste by hand. Remove pins check how it looks then machine”.

Now, this may strike you as odd (but probably goes a long way to explaining more than bit about me) but I never considered for a moment that I should use any other method than gathering.

It’s what everyone had shown me; books, sewing tutorials online, pattern instructions. All gathering. It’s a rule right?

Wrong. I am learning more and more that sewing is about finding what works for you and just because people say you should do it this way, it doesn’t mean you have to do it this way.

In the end I went for a bit of both, I gathered a little and then pinned and pinned. I sewed from the inside of the sleeve ; calmly, slowly, gently and smoothed as I went. Et Voilà! A perfectly set in sleeve!

Butterick 2475

So overjoyed was I that I ran about the house and told Tim he should come and look, at which point he did and we embraced and then I did my little happy dance (literally). Then I proceeded to set the other in, with no problem at all and then made Tim come back every five minutes to look at my beautiful set in sleeves on my fantastic blouse.

Needless to say, it wore a bit thin (for him- certainly not for me) after the 50th time, saying that though he was very chuffed for me.

Next up were buttonholes and buttons, which I forgot to buy.  I finally located some small-ish ones and add them to the cuffs and the front of the blouse with a pop stud opening at the top (which is covered when the collar is done up) and here we are, the finished article.

Butterick 2475

Butterick 2475

Butterick 2475

Butterick 2475

Butterick 2475

I have refrained from modelling this as I really want to get the skirt made in March so that I can wear both together, just like Joanie.

I really feel like I’ve made sewing skills progress with this blouse.

If you’d like to read more or check out other things I’ve made, please visit my blog www.staceystitch.com 

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Hi there,
I wanted to share another sewing project I finished recently. It’s Vogue 6136 a blouse with lots of pintucks and lace.  For some time I wanted to sew a white/cream colored blouse, but never came to it. But when I found this pattern on Etsy I knew this would be perfect. I really like the extra details and it has a bit of a victorian flair.
Vogue 6136 Blouse and skirt made by Anthea
I was doubting about adding the bow, maybe it would be too much.
But I did it anyway and I’m happy with the result!
The back of the blous does also have pin tucks and lace insertion:
As always, there is more on my blog :)
Enjoy your weekend!

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