1960s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

Grey dress from a 1960s Burda pattern

By on December 7, 2016

In summer I stumbled upon a beautiful and simple pattern for a dress in a 1962 wedding edition of Burda and immediatelly made a few versions of it, including one for a client who loved it as much as I did.

img_9671 img_9679

The pattern proved very versatile and looks great with a variety of fabrics –no wonder, because it’s just such a simple and staple piece. I really love the short sleeves, they add elegance to an otherwise simple design. I made it with different skirts. I usually freehand them, pinning tucks as I go but I also made one version with a circle skirt that I need to photograph.

img_9759 img_9674

This is one of my iterations of the pattern: I added a collar with a bow to it. For a moment there I was afraid it looked too much like a hotel personnel outfit! But I guess the bow helps distract the mind from this easy association ;). It’s fully interlined but with no lining. I’m having second thoughts about interlining this one… turned out quite stiff, even though the outer fabric was quite thin. I finished the skirt with a blind hem stich by hand.

Check out the original blog post for more photos.

Continue Reading

1960s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

Butterick 2137 the wriggle dress that almost wasn’t

By on November 18, 2015

Butterick 2137…this project sat in my ‘to-sew-to-fix-can’t-deal-with-it’ pile for a long time. I finished it early last summer, loved it. Wore it. But didn’t get around to taking good photos to blog it.

Butterick 2137 neckline2

This neck line is the reason I couldn’t face it. I cut this out of my fabric, which was not really enough for a dress, but I had to make into something wearable as it’s just sew lovely, and was from my nana’s stash. A bit special.

Butterick 2137 neckline

When I cut this out, I was short of fabric for all the facings, and needed to add a false hem, so really short on fabric, but it Would Work. What I was not that prepared for was that when I cut it out, I needed to make a hollow bust/chest adjustment (which is now even more apparent as I am no longer a breastfeeding sewing mama). So I had to deal a bit, with body not working or pattern not working…happily I persevered, I sewed the bias on three times, first attempt the print showed through the white tape (oh no!) so figured I’ll skip the white detail at the neck and make it a bias facing…but then I was not happy with that. So, unpicked the facing, realised that all that sewing, unpicking and fiddling around had stretched the neckline even more. Major neckline gaping…Urgh.

So then, I put it away, despairing a bit, also needed to improve my attitude, and my skills?

In the end I just decided to make two pleats to reduce the gape and add a, um, ‘design feature’….I used two thickness of bias binding to finish, and viola! Happiness.

Butterick 2137 tall again

I had been looking at heaps of lovely patterns, and some really sweet details like gathered bodices, around the bust darts, and some of those really simple pleats or details that are so typical of beautiful vintage sewing patterns. So, lots of inspiration, and a bit more confidence to make the dress work.

Butterick 2137 tall3

I love the print, and the dress is perfect for summer.

Butterick 2137 tall

I’m also wearing my other nana’s earrings!

Butterick 2137 check out my earrings

Here’s the original pattern for those who enjoy them as much as I do…

BUtterick-2137

More on my blog, of course, Mermaid’s Purse, Butterick 2137.

Continue Reading

1960s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

My first vintage pattern…

By on December 1, 2013

Hello, it’s my first post here, and my first try of using vintage pattern too..

Where to start? I needed a dress for a rather formal event.. After a lot of pondering and wasting time researching on pinterest and such, I thought I rather fancied this vintage Vogue Couturier Belinda Bellville dress:

V2112

The problem was I couldn’t find it (by that I mean couldn’t buy it for a reasonable price, the cheapest I found was £50+, and it’s not what I’m prepared to pay for a pattern.. )

To recreate this vintage pattern, I found another pattern from the same era, very similar Simplicity 8498:

S8498

As you can see the front looks absolutely identical. The view 1 even has a self fabric belt  buttoned in back that is very similar to a band with a bow in Vogue Couturier 2112. And it’s  much cheaper!

I was very excited to try a vintage pattern for the first time… but I’m afraid it was the case that on PatternReview website described as “pattern ok, but didn’t work for me”.  Well, it was a nightmare!

Now, according to my bust measurements, I’m between size 14 and 16. I bought size 16 to be on safer side.. but when I made a muslin for the bodice, there was no room in it for my bust! I couldn’t believe how small it was! (I mean the bodice, not the bust..)

I’m very glad that I made a muslin! I spent 3 days fiddling with it, and in the end there was no line or curve of the pattern that had been left unchanged!

You can read the whole saga of my troubles on my blog, here I will show only the result  🙂

DSC_1226

The back was a challenge.. Center back opening from Vogue 2112 just didn’t look good.. I ended up making a V-cut instead..

DSC_1239a

The fabric is lovely Duchess satin that I bought on Goldhawk road in London. When I was buying it I spotted discounted muslin, and I bought about 3 metres of muslin for making, well, muslin 🙂

It was the first time I made a proper muslin, and, as I said, it was the right decision. I couldn’t believe it, but it really speeds up the process! After all alterations were made on the muslin, it was so nice and easy to sew with actual intended fabric!

DSC_1245aDSC_1236
My thoughts on the pattern.

As I said, it didn’t work for me.. Maybe my shape is wrong for this particular pattern, or because it’s vintage. I don’t know.. Besides, I’m not sure about those french darts.  Next photo shows: the pointy problem with french darts; the second dart on the bodice that was not intended by the pattern; and that I could’ve done better ironing..

DSC_1235
DSC_1246aDSC_1253

Thanks for looking at my first contribution to this wonderful community (not sure whether there will be more, as this painful experience kind of put me off vintage patterns..)

You can see more photos and info on my blog.

Continue Reading

1960s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

Collars’n’cuffs

By on October 27, 2013
How nice it is to finish projects – especially those which are so simple and leave you feeling like an expert! 

This sewing project was an aim to get back to the simpleness of sewing and 60s design. A shift dress with contrasting collar and cuffs. No fussy bows or ruffles, just plain, simple and easy. 

Something reminiscent of the mid-60s. A simple silhouette which suited many, and which was so different to the dresses of the previous years. A Peter Pan collar to recall the clothing of their childhood and cuffs to balance.
After recent stressful occurrences in my life, doing something so basic is refreshing. Being able to be in control of something and knowing exactly how it will look in the end is awesome! 

Especially when sewing with Double knit, oh double knit, how I love thee! Let me count the ways! Its comfy to wear, forgives small mistakes and has a nice amount of stretch. (unlike the now un-trust worthy Lurex…)
  
However – there cannot be blue sky without rain. Everything was going along swimmingly until the hem where my machine kept skipping stitches, I’m not sure why that was. I changed the needle, checked the tension, re-threaded the machine and yet it still skipped. When I made a test on some cotton fabric it was fine. I’ll most likely unpick the machine stitches and hand-hem it later on.

Why must you forsake me machine!!!
The pattern I used was Butterick 4772 – I drafted the collar and cuffs, though now that I look at it, I should have tried to balance the width of the collar and cuffs a bit better.

The cuffs are fairly simple, though I didn’t put them on the way I should have. Why not you might ask, well it may be because I’d had a few wines before leaving work that day….

Here’s a tip – sewing while drunk/tipsy is not a good idea. It makes you lazy

They look okay though! 
I’m going to have many a fun times wearing this dress I think. Sensible enough for work and dressy enough for a night out. 
Cat xo

Continue Reading

1960s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

Simplicity 3107 in blue Crimplene… Complete!

By on September 18, 2013

Some belated photos of a dress I finished last year…

Simplicity 3107 in Crimplene, I had to wear it today, so better grab a moment for a quick few photos before Rob was off on his bike.

My first project working with crimplene, in this pretty pale blue that came from my Nana’s stash.  You can read a bit more about it in an earlier post, here.  Here’s the original pattern envelope, I have also made another variation in red synthetic satin.

I have all these unresolved issues with this dress, the crimplene doesn’t sit quite so well, so maybe not the best fabric choice, and the raglan sleeves… I love them, I’m not used to them.  I would like to make it again, but will need to delve deeper into my fabric stash….

You can read more over at my blog, Mermaid’s Purse.

Continue Reading

1960s | Dresses

1960 Tangerine Eyelet Sundress

By on July 12, 2013

Hello fellow vintage sewists!

Just stopping by to share my latest creation using Retro Butterick 5748, a pattern reissue from 1960.

Retro Butterick 5748 in tangerine and ivory eyelet

I made this out of tangerine cotton eyelet shirting that has butterfly print border and ivory floral eyelet.  My tangerine eyelet was in a Fabric Mart bundle, so I was working with limited yardage (2 1/2 yds) and had to be very careful to be able to cut out the circle skirt.  I barely had enough left to make the bow on the bodice!  I cut the skirt out of the solid part of the eyet and then cut the border and sewed in on to the hem.  I ended up with only a couple of small scraps left after this project!

Tangerine cotton eyelet shirting
Ivory cotton eyelet

I used ivory cotton eyelet for the bodice and also made a tie sash out of it as well.  I lined my dress with white cotton batiste and made a light summer petticoat with Simplicity 5006 in white cotton muslin.

Retro Butterick 5748 in tangerine/ivory cotton eyelet

I just love this dress!  This is the second time that I’ve used this pattern and it goes together quickly.  It’s perfect for summer and mine is light and airy and twirl-worthy. 🙂

Definitely twirl-worthy!

 

Happy Sewing!

 

 

 

Continue Reading