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Vintage Sewing

Frock Lobster, ooh aaahh!

By on August 9, 2007
Before I show you la frock, I would like to send a special, personal, heartfelt thanks to the genius creator of the twin, collaborative splendour that is a) the blind hem stitch and b) the blind hem foot. Never again will I hand-sew a hem. Circle skirts, you no longer intimidate me. Bring on the metres and metres of hemline because I SHALL CONQUER THEE!

Anyway. I bring you the Frock Lobster.

This is the Butterick 1960 reissue, Retro #6582. Some of the gals on Pattern Review slammed it so I was a little wary, but she came together a treat. I got some terrific advice from you Sew Retro folks about how to adjust darts when you lengthen the bodice… which I ignored, accidentally, because I went ahead and sewed them before I had read your comments. More fool me. But somehow, it worked. Next time I’ll do it properly though and I thank you all – what a great community this is.

A couple of comments. One of the Pattern Review complaints was that there was a whole lot of fussing to create a drapey crossover neckline that didn’t justify the not-very-drapey results. I decided to structure it with three carefully placed pleats at the shoulder instead of the rather haphazard gather in the instructions. See below – I think you’ll agree it worked rather nicely.

Secondly, isn’t attempting the impossibly unnatural pose of the models in the pattern illustration half the fun of photographing the finished item? The classic stance – pelvis thrust forward, shoulders rolled in a coy fashion, arms all angular and hips twisted – cracks me up. This particular illustration has a vixen propped up on what seems to be an invisible bar, waiting for her martini. I couldn’t do that one without falling over.

I want to recruit an army of femmes in killer wasp-waisted frocks like this one to hit some really trendy part of town en masse where The Cool People are decked out in shapeless smocks. We’ll show ’em how silly they look. Yes, in a dress covered with lobsters, making THEM look silly. Hmmmm.

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Vintage Sewing

Burda goes retro

By on August 6, 2007

Hey, have you folks seen this frock at Burda Mode? Done right, this would look fabulous in a 50s fishtail wiggle dress sortofa way. Needs a few more darts for a better fit, methinks.

Of course, done the wrong way and it could be an 80s nightmare throwback. I’m thinking royal blue polyester satin and lots and lots of tulle.

A dangerous line to tread.

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Vintage Sewing

Vintage Nightie Reward…

By on August 3, 2007

for cleaning my sewing room. It was bad, very, very bad! I’m nearly done with the fabric sorting and on to the pattern pile after that. This will be my gift to myself when finished… a vintage nightie made from a 50 cent thrifted sheet. More here at my blog I hope you all are having a funfilled summer. (or winter, if you’re downunder)

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Vintage Sewing

Vintage Pattern Love

By on August 2, 2007

I am surprised no one has mentioned this already.

The latest issue of Threads is all about sewing vintage patterns and fashion designs. By following that link you will also be able to read some online extras from the issue. It’s a great issue.

One of the treats in the issue is that it takes you step-by-step through the construction of this great jacket* once worn by Katherine Hepburn in the movie, “Christopher Strong.”

*Pattern is available through Evadress.com

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Vintage Sewing

A Little Summer Somethin’

By on July 31, 2007

Hello all! It’s been a few months since I posted – there were several unsuccessful sewing projects going on. 🙁 But I did have one thing turn out well, a summer dress made from McCall’s 4796 (1975 – it’s as old as me!)

Here is my version, in cotton fabric I bought from eBay a couple of years ago.

The pattern is easy and fast to sew. The back is loose, no zipper or buttons and pulls on over the head. Everything gets cinched up with the attached belt. It’s very wearable, I’m planning on making a few more at some point, maybe with contrasting fabric for the midriff and belt.

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Vintage Sewing


By on July 30, 2007
I’m working on this pattern in this vintage cotton:

I made up a toile and it’s not too bad… still don’t have the guts to cut into the vintage, yet! I need to make the neck a little narrower and the bodice a little roomier than this:

(My dog doesn’t seem particularly impressed.)

Other sewing-room mischief involve these culprits:

I’ve read mixed reviews of this pattern. We’ll see how I go. How wild is the lobster print?

The thing I’m most concerned about is that the standard 2″ extra length that I put in the bodice have made the darts rather messy – they lose a lot of shape when I rule a new line. Anyone got any hints? See below.

livebird.blogdrive.com – swing by and say hi!

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Vintage Sewing


By on July 28, 2007

Hi Fellow Vintage Addicts!

My name is Wendy and I live in Northern New Mexico. I’ve been sewing since grade school, but just recently aquired the vintage pattern addiction. Here aretwo of the vintage dresses I’ve recently completed.

This is the butterfly dress from a modern Simplicity pattern (3781). It’s made with a stretch cotton from Fashion Fabrics.

This dress is made from another modern pattern, Butterick 4726. The fabric is from Make Me. The bakelite cherry pin is vintage.

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