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Vintage Sewing

Target dress Update

By on May 16, 2007

Thanks everyone for the encouragement!

After

I decided to re-cut one piece and I like it much better. I now have the left side of the back matched up. I did realize not to match the right side because it would look too strange since both sides are from almost the exact same section of the design.

Now on to the rest of the dress…

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Vintage Sewing

A Sewing Project Finished

By on May 15, 2007

Well I wasn’t going to blog this, as I have a stack of “real” vintage patterns/fabric all waiting to be sewed up, but I have gotten so many retro aimed comments about it I thought why not.

Plus it actually makes me feel like I’ve achieved something this month ….been so busy with exams and manically itching to sew something, it is driving me crazy! So I caved and finished this up at the weekend, its from the Simplicity “it’s so easy” range, and it is … comes together right before your eyes. It ended up a fair bit longer than I thought it would, but I like it and I think it adds to the retro-ness.

Here’s to hoping with my last exam on thursday I will be sewing feverishly before I know it 😀

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Vintage Sewing

Return of the Target dress

By on May 14, 2007


This dress is the one from last year that I wanted to make out of a tablecloth from Target. I chose the pattern (McCall’s 5042) because of the amount of fabric I thought I had. However, the bodice uses princess seams in the front and back and I didn’t realize how much of a problem the print would be for this design.

Here are the pinned front and back of the bodice. I think the front is fine, as there is no way the pattern would match because of the seaming. Unfortunately, the back is not as attractive.

Now, it would be possible to cut out some more pieces for the back with the amount of fabric I have left, but it would still be a gamble. What do you think, is it alright like this or should I try again? Please help me.

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Vintage Sewing

Sew what do you think?

By on May 7, 2007

I bought this dress pattern a while ago.


And I finished the dress also a while ago too. The problem is that I hate making button holes. I don’t have an automatic buttonhole on my sewing machine. Well I finely came up with a solution. Sew the buttons on the front and use snaps to keep the dress close.
It came out pretty good. What do you think?


(The lump is the pocket)

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Vintage Sewing

thank god it’s spring!

By on April 15, 2007

Up here in Ithaca, NY, the weather keeps teasing us. I’ll leave the house one morning bundled up in jeans and sweaters, and find the day so sunny and beautiful I wish I’d worn a skirt and sandals. My thoughts turn to summer clothes, and then within a day or two it starts snowing again.

So, on the eve of another snowstorm (they’re predicting a foot by morning) I present my Yay Spring! dress. I actually cut out the fabric for it during the last few warm days of fall. It’s a shirt dress (Simplicity #4147) made of black cotton(?) with red buttons and red detail stitching. I used a rayon thread for the stitching; it’s very shiny and really stands out. And pockets! I love the pockets. I don’t think I’ve ever owned a dress with useful pockets.

My husband kindly modeled the dress while I took the picture. He’s giving his best fashion model vacant stare. What a good sport!

shirt dress

I love this dress and I expect I’ll make more like it. Unfortunately, while I was trying it on, my dog (the one sleeping so innocently in the photo) stole the pattern and ripped it to shreds! McCall’s patterns were on sale today, so I plan to try McCall’s 5378 for my next shirt dress.

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Vintage Sewing

Long-weekend + bad weather = new fancy lady clothes

By on March 28, 2007

I had this fabric in my stash for a couple years, having bought it at a thrift store, and never knew what to do with it. Then I was going through all my patterns (which have started to spill out all over the floor of my bedroom) and decided that it would make a perfect dress based on the Simplicity 4047 shirt.
For this one, I started in my usual size, but tapered to a size smaller at the waist and then flared it back out again. This way, I almost have an hourglass silhouette, without any of the crazy 1940s/1950s girdle problems.
In addition to lengthening the bottom pattern pieces for the skirt, I also lengthened and widened the neck line. (I would have been considered a bad influence in the ’50s, I’m sure.)
The skirt is also from the same pattern set and is also from fabric I thrifted years ago. I think the only reason I was able to hold onto fabric this beautiful for so long is that it was longer than it was wide and I really wanted to keep the scalloped lace edges. If the piece of fabric had been any bigger, I’m sure it would have been sewn up into something ages ago.
When I bought the lace, it was already underlined with a very soft cotton. Rather than change the lining, I kept the original fabrics together, hand sewing them together before cutting out the pieces. In assembling the skirt, I sewed through both layers, so the darts are practically invisible from the right side.
I also altered this patter slightly. To accommodate the size of the piece of fabric I was working with, the skirt is actually an inch or two shorter than specified (there’s that bad influence again). I also added a waist band in a matching champagne/gold satin. The closure, an invisible zipper and a mother of pearl button for the waist band, are in the back seam. There is also a really beautiful little pleat in the back seam (I which I wish I could take credit for it, but it was in the pattern).

Now all I want to is wear lady clothes, heels and drink cocktails.

Here you can see the scalloped edge more clearly.

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Vintage Sewing

1954 Butterick Dress – Perfect for Spring

By on March 25, 2007

I found this great 1954 Butterick dress pattern at an Antique Mall for $1.99 — it had all of it’s pieces, the instructions, and it was my size. How perfect!

It went together quickly with the most difficult part being the inset collar. For some reason the opening for the collar was too big and I had to take in the shoulder seams a bit to make it all match up. I have had a vintage mint green plastic belt buckle for years waiting for just the right project. This turned out to be the one. I’ve also been sitting on some vintage mint green piping I picked up at the thrift store that wanted to be included too. I piped around the collar and cuffs and think that it really makes the dress.

The illustration on the pattern envelope shows a really full skirt, which mine is not. I’m not sure if this is because the fabric I used is quite heavy or if the pattern envelope models were wearing crinolines. I’ve played around with the idea of making this pattern in a crisper fabric to see if it would be fuller.

This is the first pattern I’ve sewn with kimono sleeves, which are so easy to sew but unusual to wear. As long as I don’t really need to lift my arms higher than my shoulders I should be fine!

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