Thursday, 23 June 2011

Mock halter dress plans

I have in my possession an extensive pattern stash of modern patterns from the four big companies, as a result of my time working in a fabric shop. The majority are discontinued designs that were no longer allowed to be sold as shop stock. I must easily have over a hundred of these; I've never actually counted them. On flicking through, I came across this Simplicity pattern:

Simplicity 2981
View B (bottom left) is knee-length, with a mock-wrap front and godets to the skirt, and has a vintage-inspired feel to it. I like to use patterns already in my stash where possible, adapting a close design to what I want rather than spending on a new pattern. This pattern would easily alter to a mock-halter style, which I find more flattering on myself than the existing shape might be.

Some vintage patterns this style:

I think I might also swap the sash for a self-fabric or contrast colour belt for a more tailored 50s feel, and add the large patch pockets often seen on 50s era dresses. For fabric, I have decided on this cotton poplin:


Despite red having been my favourite colour for years, I don't own a red dress. It's time I did!

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Baby sewing!!

In between sewing projects for myself, I like to squeeze in the odd project for my daughter, who turns one next month (and is currently trying to turn a shoe into a convincing hat!). I like sewing small things. They go together quickly, with none of the fitting issues that, for example, a ladies dress might. These are a couple of things I threw together this week.

Mix and Match PJs

I picked up some really cute cotton jersey with a trick or treat theme, in pink and lime colours on white. I paired this with plain white to make two sets of mix and match pyjamas.

  Fabric detail

The pattern: Simplicity 5874 (now out of print)
I chose a pattern with a raglan sleeve, and very glad of it. I think it works best with the use of two fabrics and contrasting neck bands, and went together far more quickly and easily than a set-in sleeve would.


Neck and cuff detail
Two finished sets
 Denim Pinafore

Made from a home-drafted pattern, this was a quick dress made up from a lightweight stretch denim, decorated with woven daisy flat lace and recycled brass buttons from an old garment. Oddly, the lace was the first thing I found, with the design working from there. I added pleats to the front and back of the skirt to add interest and extra volume.


Front view
 Lace detail

Friday, 17 June 2011

New vintage pattern finds

To make a start on my goal of using more vintage patterns, I hit eBay a couple of days ago and was thrilled to receive this little beauty in this morning's post:

Purchased from this seller who has lots of lovely French vintage patterns dating right through the 20th century.

It is a copy of a 1957 French magazine Femmes D'Aujourdui, has four pieces and is to be made up in jersey fabrics (just to make it even more complicated!). The pattern is in the form of mulitiple outlines on one sheet, as was usual with this type of pattern:


To say it looks difficult would be being polite, but the seller kindly included her own working translation of the instructions. As a bonus, the pattern is printed with a teens' dress pattern on the same sheet, and although only the cutting diagram is present on the intruction page it doesn't look like it would be complicated to figure out its construction.

My second pattern comes from neu4bauer's blog, and is a free pattern download in pdf format, adapted from a German fashion magazine. This has the wide winged collar and turned up cap sleeves that I love, with the added interest of diagonal buttons, and a pleated side panel to the skirt:

I just love how unusual this dress is! This one's going in my stash until I find some suitable fabric (and a printer to Print the pattern out of course).

Mid-Year's resolutions

This year I made several half-hearted resolutions at New Year, none of which have as yet been followed through on. Of these, there were a few that stood some sort of chance: to start a blog, give myself a wardrobe overhaul, and do more sewing. Why not do all three at once, I thought. As it does every year, summer weather brings new energy and inspiration for sewing, and so the wardrobe blitz begins... with a few goals!

  • Work with vintage patterns and styles. I have a love of 1950s styles in particular, yet have never worked with any true vintage patterns, only ever modern ones. Let's face it- it's just not the same.
  • Stash Bust!! I have too much fabric. This is a fact. It's about time I got through some of it I think, preferably without adding more to it as I go.
  • More dresses. Jeans and scruffy tshirts are not an attractive look, and do nothing for your self-image.
  • Wear my work. I have too many things I have made and never worn