Vintage Pattern on Sunday

SIMPLICITY 5953 c. 1960

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This pattern would look great in a block bold colour. From top clockwise: Cream silk dupion, plum sheer striped silk, green linen, blue linen, baby pink cotton lycra blend.

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My favourite view-fabric combination is probably this purple silk (above) with view 2 (below).

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And here’s all the pattern pieces carefully noted so you know what you’re getting yourself into

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Modcloth Inspiration

I think I’ve got about ten million emails this week from Asos and Modcloth and other online clothes shops. Don’t get me wrong, I love these emails, they give me an excuse to peruse their websites and look at all the beautiful dresses they have.

I always particularly enjoy the retro and vintage inspired dresses with their full skirts, floral prints, high necklines and self-fabric belts. Here are some of my current favourites from Modcloth.

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Daisy In Love

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Luck Be A Lady in Powder Blue

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Event Planner Dress which looks a lot like a wedding dress I saw at Unveiled at Te Papa

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Reading By The Riverbank

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Beachfront View

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My Personal Favourite – Jewelry Box Beautiful Dress

What inspires you?

Velvet Dress Finished!

As I mentioned yesterday I finished my velvet dress. It’s first outing was to Florence and the Machine. Whilst the dress is not perfect, nothing in life ever is, so I’m very pleased with how it turned out. Here are some pictures:

    

I wore it with this necklace that I bought from Tiger Eye Beads in Wellington (check them out – they’re pretty cool).

In order to get the dress finished on time for Florence, I had a mad rush of sewing the zipper in and slip stitching the facings down. I did a slack version of a lapped zipper where I just lined the zipper up off to one side of the centre. If you want a tutorial on how to do it properly Gerty has written a great one or here’s my slack one:

Somewhere along the line I forgot that my Sewing Class tutor had suggested that I only put in half the darts as there were eight in total. Whilst this seemed a good idea at the time, it meant that my dress was MILES too big for me!

I was in quite a hurry by this stage, so I decided, that rather than doing it properly and sewing the other FOUR darts in I would take it in on the sides and whack off the excess from the sides (I know, I know – slacker!).

I’m very pleased with how the dress turned out and will post photos of me wearing it soon. For now here’s one of me and my Lovely at the concert:

Sewing Class: Week Three

Monday was my thrid week my sewing class where I’m making this dress. During the week I had already finished putting the darts in, joining the facings together at the sides and over-casting the lower edge of the facings by hand. (Here’s how to do it)

My (not very neat) version of an overcast stitch:

Attaching the facings using my Grasshopper

So when I got to class I carried on making the sleeves:

I sewed 5/8″ edge down

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Trimed the excess:

 Matched the front and back shoulder seams and machine sewed them together following the folded down edge as a guide. The facings sat nicely together so I then I hand sewed the facings together. 

 

Here is the finished sleeve – voila!

How’s your sewing project going?

Sewing Class: Week One

A few months ago I was talking with a colleague of mine about sewing. I mentioned that whilst I enjoy sewing I don’t have much in the ‘skills’ department. Not for lack of trying… I just don’t have a neighbour I can ask, or mother or sister who sews, or really anyone who I can ask for sewing advise.

Her advice: Join a class. She’s so wise.

So yesterday was my first class of Sew, Sew, Sew! (Great name, right?) It’s a night class held at the local high school. We all brought along our own patterns and fabric etc and the tutor went around the class helping us.

I brought this pattern with me:

McCalls 6564, circa 1960: Dress consists of three main pieces plus facings, has long darts at back and front. Neckline is rounded at front, dips to low V at back. Center back zipper and vent in seam. I’m going to make the shorter version

I’m going to make it out of the navy velvet I bought in Wellington a little while ago.

I didn’t get very far in the class, as I find that laying out and cutting the pattern is the most time consuming part of sewing for me. Also, as this pattern is a size 14 I had to add a 1/4 inch to the bust pattern pieces and 1/2 inch to the waist and hip pattern pieces. I just added these to the side seams of pieces as the adjustments were only small.

Things I learnt:
Vintage patterns come in one size – you will always need to alter the pattern pieces (unless you have a oddly perfect body)
Fold the right sides of the fabric together when cutting the pattern. This is so the markings are on the wrong side of the fabric which you look at whilst sewing. (Logical, right?)
 

Simplicity 3426

I just bought this pattern online! I can’t wait for it to arrive in the mail. It is a 14 so it will require a bit of alteration (outwards) but overall I’m very pleased with this pattern.

 

It is c1960, hence the black and white photo. Its a bit hard to see in the photo but the inset shows that there are three choices for the back of the dress – V. 1 has a V back neckline and a contrasting band and bow at neck edge. V. 2 has a low square back neckline with bow trim. V. 3 has a low round neckline in back and contrasting rick-rack trim (what does that mean?)

I think I’d probably go with the low square back as I have a dress I wear all the time like that.

I was also just having a quick look at some Natalie Chan dresses online and found this beauty (which I love):

I love the full skirt and the subtle pattern on the fabric. I think I’ll use this dress as my inspiration for my pattern. So now I’m thinking of perhaps adding a contrasting belt instead of a self fabric belt.

What are your thoughts?

 Also, does anyone have any thoughts on sewing with vintage patterns? I’ve just starting cutting (a different) vintage pattern and it seems there are rather a lot less instructions…

And I promise – I won’t make this in navy!

A Slight Etsy Obsession…

Recently I’ve discovered Etsy (I told you I was new to the sewing and blogging). At the risk of sounding exceptionally naive – I was so pleased with this website. It was like walking into Aladdin’s Cave. And I’ve become slightly obsessed.

I have many items on my favourites list – mostly dress patterns – but also coat patterns, vintage dresses (for inspiration), blouse patterns and copious amounts of material.

Here are the patterns I bought:

Clockwise from top left: PatternRunway 1302 (easy Kimono dress with elasticated waist); Simplicity 3599 (c.1960s, dress with Kimono sleeves, gathered waist, full skirt); Simplicity 6227 (sleeveless scoop-neck dress with over-skirt and/or over-top) and last but not least Vogue 2050 by Calvin Klein (strapless fitted dress with semi-fitted waist length jacket).

Immensely excited to start making these…. Having some issues with finishing Vogue 1102 (far too distressing to discuss at present, will come to that on a later post)