Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Sewing Vintage Patterns

I was reading Scruffy Badger Time’s post recently on her latest vintage reproduction finished object, and saw that there is a Vintage Sewing Pattern Pledge for 2015.  So I wandered over to A Stitching Odyssey and checked that out.  Long story short, I now have a pretty button on my blog and have pledged myself to sewing up at least two of my vintage patterns this year.

All that and it wasn't yet 9 in the morning!  Some days I inspire myself with the efficiency I have with getting in over my head.

I sewed a couple vintage reproduction patterns last year, both Butterick.  One turned out super, the other not as much so.  I’m not yet sure if I want to go all out and use only sewing techniques that would have been common practice at the time the garment was designed, or if I want to just get ‘er done.  Likely the latter as I’m generally an impatient sort and want to focus on making my garments look as good as possible, not necessarily as historically accurate as possible.

The first pattern I have in mind is Butterick 5209, a delightful little sundress with a not so full skirt. I love the triangle waistband and the gathers for the halter front should make a Full Bust Adjustment easy.  But what really drew me to this pattern is view B.  It looks like a little bordello over the halter dress, but it’s actually a clever back piece with cap sleeves sewn into the pattern.  Can you make out the halter strap at the top of the back piece? It’s all sewn together!  I have plan to use that piece to adapt all my halter top patterns into regular tops.  I don't care for halter tops anymore, but I-am-seamster-hear-me-roar!  I can overcome a design feature I don't like and change it into something I do.


Now, this pattern features a gathered skirt.  Typically, those don’t look so hot on me.  Very barrel-esque.  So I’m thinking of taking a cue from TheSewing Lab and her Vogue 8789 and swapping it out for a ¾ circle skirt.  Or a Full if I can swing it from my fabric.  Might as well use up as much of the cut as possible.  Also, full circle skirts are so much fun to twirl in!  However, I'm open to a pleated skirt as well if that's what I can get out of the fabric.

The second pattern I plan to use is a vintage swim suit for toddlers for Itsa.  The Kandel Knits no. 75 I picked up at a thrift store in February.  That should be straight forward and a quick two day sort of project.  I'm undecided yet if I'll add ruffles to it.  Itsa loves girly looking clothes with flouces and ruffles and such, so I probably will.  Maybe I'll just troll Pinterest for ideas. Warning: do not Google image search for "Toddler girl swimsuits" unless you think it's cute to see little girls in adult cut swim suits.  *sigh*  I don't find it cute.  I like little kids to look like little kids and dressed to play and move.  I'm going to line up all my suitable fabrics and ask Itsa to choose which one she wants me to use.  She knows what she likes.



I only have one sewing pattern in my stash from pre-1960.  A mail-order type pattern by Marian Martin, 9138.


A nice little shift dress with an interesting collar.  The french darts are a nice touch. This may get made up next year as a LBD.

I love, love, love the fashions of by-gone days.  The 20th century was full of beautiful colours, fabrics, silhouettes, and designs, however, I have never said that I was born in the wrong time.  I am a strong woman living in this modern age and loving the freedoms and rights I have that the women before me fought for.  I simply admire the clothes, designs, and handcrafts of the past.  I believe in efficiency in many aspects of life, but feel that sometimes we all need to slow down, calm down, and meditate over a hand-stitched invisible hem on a ball gown.

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