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Vintage Sewing

My first project!

By on August 14, 2007

Since I am also trying to keep a pledge to Wardrobe Refashion (even though I haven’t heard from them yet), I decided to work from my stash to create this Butterick 6655 pattern for my 8-year-old daughter. The polka dot fabric was supposed to be valances, but I didn’t end up needing it. I bought this pattern AGES ago, and was disappointed to discover that I only had the directions and the skirt piece. So, when I pulled it out, I had to create the missing pieces from newspaper. Here are some pics!

You can see a couple more pics at my blog—nakedinfluence.wordpress.com

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Vintage Sewing

That 70s Dress

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I can’t remember where I got this pattern (probably from a lot on ebay or from the Sally Ann), but it’s been sitting around for a while now, waiting to be made. The pattern was unused and came with a special (new at the time) feature: 2 sizes in one envelope! Although it’s not my usual style or era in terms of vintage clothing, I had the perfect fabric in my overflowing stash, so I decided to make it.
(Making this dress was also the perfect way to procrastinate from a much more important sewing project – a dress for my Dad’s wedding. Does anyone else have the strange need to start a completely new, and unnecessary, project when they have a very limited deadline on another project? In my case it seemed to work, as both dresses are done, with 2 whole days before I fly to Vancouver for the wedding.)
Here’s the front:

The yellow and orange fabric is from a bed sheet I bought at a garage sale years ago. The blue fabric was a gift for my roommate. She finished her project and luckily there was enough left for me to use as contrast. I omitted the pockets from the original and cut the skirt front in one piece, but other than that everything is unaltered.
Here you can see the back:
I couldn’t decide what colour buttons to use. I didn’t want them to blend in with the contrast or with the main colours and didn’t want to introduce a new colour, so I stacked small blue buttons with bigger (15mm) orange buttons.

I think this will be my “I refuse to accept the end of summer” dress. I shall wear it with sandals, without a cardigan and ride my bike, ignoring the stares of those who will already be wearing scarves.

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Vintage Sewing

Simplicity 2389 – A Wearable Muslin?

By on August 13, 2007
I recently purchased this 1948 Simplicity dress pattern on ebay.

The pattern description is as follows:
Misses’ and Women’s One-Piece Dress: the bodice, seamed down the center front, is styled with a V neckline. The shoulder yoke, cut in one with the cap sleeves, releases soft front gathers. The gored skirt falls in an easy flare.

I wanted to try out the pattern with some inexpensive fabric first, so used a thrifted bed sheet. I don’t know what it is about green and/or blue roses, but I an inexplicably attracted to them.

The dress went together really quickly, but I’m not sure if the bed sheet dress is presentable out in public. My boyfriend calls it the von Trapp children’s play clothes. What do you think?

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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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