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Showing posts from July, 2014

Dress of the Century: 1920-1929

As worn by the everyday woman as illustrated in Sears catalogs: 1920: 1921: 1922: 1923: 1924: 1925: 1926: 1927: 1928: 1929:

The Ease Problem

I have only been sewing since 2008 and I am by no means advanced, or an expert, or anything like that. I'd say I'm low intermediate. I only really sew cute little frocks from common apparel fabric -- nothing too extravagant. That said, it took me all those years (and still learning) to figure out what fits me with zero alterations. I am lucky -- my measurements are perfect stock sizes! 39-31-41. And I never got the hang of refitting. I can go one size up, but more than one size up and I make a mess! LOL. Going down a size I could never do right, but beginning to learn (just ONE size down, though!) Then there is the issue of EASE. I candidly put my measurements out there: 39-31-41. Through trial and error, I've found that these sizes for these eras and brands fit me perfectly: Hollywood Patterns, late 30s/early 40s, Size 20: Simplicity Patterns, late 30s/early 40s, Size 18: Simplicity Patterns, late 60s/early 70s, Size 14: All modern patterns, Size 14: These just …

Dress #23 -- Simplicity 4019 (1942), 2014 & 2009 versions!

I'm on it! My next creation is from 1942: Yea, that's me modeling it! Ha! This was a very simple-to-make WW2-era day dress pattern that went together fast -- much like almost every other pattern from this era. The most time consuming part was the pockets. You have to hand-fold them, iron them, make sure they are pinned on evenly...all that fun stuff. I also decided to make use of the fancy stitches on my machine: You can also see a closeup of the fabric that is called "Butterfly Spice." It's made for Jo-Ann, but I couldn't find it anywhere online. I bought it in a physical store because it reminded me of a feedsack from that era. As for the construction -- everything fit together like a perfect puzzle and the size on the envelope is the SIZE IT IS (no 4 inches of ease!) And how do I know it's from 1942? I found this stamp on the back: Simplicity 4019 was very easy to make. So easy, I didn't even really use the instructions. But I'v…

When People Find Out You Can Sew....

...they think you can sew EVERYTHING. Lol. NOPE! I've had offers to repair car seats, make a wedding dress, and custom-fit dresses from my pattern collection for strangers. I can't do any of this. Upholstery is something completely different from sewing little cotton dresses...lol. I have no interest in it. There's also those who think my little plastic sewing machine can handle heavy-duty fabrics/upholsteries. NOPE. You would bend and break everything on my machine. An intricate wedding dress is way beyond my skill level and so is refitting patterns. Frankly, I have no desire to learn to refit patterns for anyone other than myself. I have zero desire to sew for profit, since I know that would take all the fun out of it. For me, sewing is one of my all-time anxiety relievers. I love seeing a flat, 70-year-old piece of paper turn into something with life in it! Sewing for other people would just crush that. I'm quite happy making my little cotton frocks…

Dress #22 -- Butterick 6055 (1950 reprint) "Honey Nielsen"

Hola! I have completed a dress! I had a little bit of inspiration with this one. Back in 1991-1992 there was a short-lived sitcom on Nick at Nite called Hi Honey, I'm Home. The basis was a wholesome, naive 1950s sitcom family gets cancelled and they are relocated to modern-day (1991) New Jersey. The comedy comes from the clash of the time periods. I recently re-watched it on YouTube and I fell in love with the dress worn by the 1950s mother, "Honey Neilsen" (played by actress Charlotte Booker): I knew I HAD to have a pink dress with white polka dots and black trimmings! I do love the combo and my dress turned out pretty sweet, but there are a few things I don't like about the pattern Butterick 6055. I HATE the sleeves. HATE THEM. They make the dress look "nautical" (to my eyes) and that's not the look I want. I cut the sleeves off the first rendition of this dress. I really liked the way it looked and it really brought out that "Jane J…

McCall's Archive Collection, Fall 2014

Hey all. Some of you may already know, but McCall's patterns announced they were going to start reissuing their back catalog, much like Simplicity, Butterick, and Vintage Vogue have been doing for years. The patterns were released last week and I have to say I wasn't too terribly thrilled. The skirt Let me start by saying I LOVE THIS SKIRT!!!! I would have bought it even if it wasn't marketed as vintage. This photo is the actual pattern I received in the mail today. I love it so much it's a HIGH PRIORITY on my "to sew" list. You can't see the details on the photo, but the skirt has some awesome seam work! There is nothing about this skirt I don't love! I will add that I'm fully aware this pattern is more "vintage inspired" than I think it's an actual reproduction of a 1933 pattern. The first giveaway is that there is no photo of the original pattern artwork (like the other pattern brands always include!) The second giveaway…

Dress #21 -- Simplicity 7355 (1967)

Hey there. I made this quickie dress in a matter of a few hours: Copyrighted 1967. This dress was EASY to put together and it was drafted beautifully! Everything matched up perfectly. Dress #20 had a few drafting errors where pieces didn't line up as well as they should have. This is why I love vintage patterns best -- they go together perfectly! But enough about that. The pattern envelope makes this dress out to be a bit dressy, but I saw some "youth quake" potential and had a go at it. First, my fabric choice was spot-on. It's kind of ugly-ish and garish! Not uncommon in the late 1960s! I then made the sleeves wider at the end and shortened the skirt to a less matronly length. As I said on a previous post, sometimes shift dresses can teeter on the edge of being too "Thelma Harper" if I don't execute them right. Simplicity 7533 is the most 60s dress I have ever made. It's more 60s than some of my real 60s dresses!