Vintage patterns and me

June 14, 2010

Hi everyone.  My name is Melanie Conomikes, I live in Kew, a suburb of Melbourne, Australia, and this is my first post on Sew Retro.  I have been wearing vintage clothes since I was about 15 (a few years back – the 80’s) but just started sewing two years ago.  I was looking for someone to alter a couple of vintage dress finds and decided to learn how to do it myself.  I thought it would just be a good practical skill to have, but I’m hooked!  

This was one of the first things I made in a beginner’s sewing class with Lisa at The Dancing Queen fabric store in Richmond.  I made number ‘3’, the green one with top stitching. Unfortunately, the style made me look huge and I’ve never worn it.  Must alter it someday…

I LOVE this pattern below!  The mid 60’s…the era of women with concave spines on pattern illustrations.  What’s up with that?  The handbag is described on the back as a ‘Burmese Fishing Basket’ (obviously pre-military regime and zero human rights in Burma).  And you can turn the hat upside down and it doubles as a salad bowl!  I made view ‘A’, pants with CUFFLINKS!
My finished version below made with Italian seersucker from Astratex.  I wear these alot in the summertime, even though John calls them my ‘clown pants’.  I LOVE wearing something I made that nobody else has!  Did I mention I love these pants?
Next, I made a 3/4 sleeve cowl neck (view ‘3’ the pink one) with a very groovy red, grey and black stretch viscose from The Dancing Queen.  Will take photo and upload.  The cowl neck was a real bugger to get right.  It sat in the ‘to do’ pile for a few months before I tackled it.
In progress:
1930’s Day Dress from the Vintage Pattern Lending Library.  This dress looks almost exactly like my favorite but very worn out stretchy dress from Jeans West.  Classic, wearable feminine styles never fade.  I’m making a modified version without the cape (unless I decide to become a sewing and organic veggie planting super-hero).  Last year when I was in the U.S. I dragged myself to the Vintage Fashion Expo at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium the day after I got off the plane from Melbourne.  Vintage overload and bliss!  Did you know there’s a group that gets together once a month and dresses up in vintage clothes and practices vintage makeup, hair, etc.?! Only in L.A. (I would love to attend one of their soirees)!  I found a 1930’s rayon that I’m going to use for the dress when I get the toile right.  I do have a good hat to wear with it but I think I’ll skip the gloves.
Here’s the toile in progress:
Please visit me at my blog: Turnips and Toile 
  1. Clown pants?! No way… they are too cute for such a label. 🙂

    What awesome projects. LOVE the dress the best.

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