When Tanya announced her Dress Like Your Grandma Challenge (#dresslikeyourgrandma) I immediately emailed my mom and my aunt for some photos. I was ok with any era, but what I got was mainly 1940s photos, which worked for me since I like 40’s clothing. But there were a couple of challenges. First, main of the photos were washed out or lacked details. Second, I don’t want to sew something that I’m only going to wear for photos for this blog post!
In the end I went with separates rather than a dress. For the shirt I used the Wearing History Smooth Sailing Blouse, which I modified to raise the front yoke. I overlaid the front and back yokes with a single piece of navy point d’esprit lace. I wasn’t sure if point d’esprit was around in the 40’s but found out it was after I researched it! I wish the Smooth Sailing Blouse pattern was available in the larger size range. I did an FBA to make it fit my bust but neck was tiny so I also had to enlarge that and the collar. I went way overboard and had to fix it. It ended up being okay, but I’m not sure I’ll wear the blouse again.
The skirt is a self drafted 3/4 circle skirt that I made from Telio Rayon Twill. This fabric is yummy but stretches on the bias like crazy! I put in a lapped zipper in the center back. The belt is made from some leftover navy ponte that I topstitched. I can definitely see myself wearing this skirt again.
You can see everyone’s makes on the Dress Like Your Grandma Pinterest board.
Butterick has just published their new patterns for Summer 2015. It includes two Retro Butterick dresses and one vintage inspired Patterns by Gertie top. Let’s take a look.
The illustration for this dress makes it look pretty cool and I appreciate them trying to recreate the same look for the sample garment.
But this dress just looks sloppy. Maybe it was poor fabric choice and the lack of a crinoline, but I find it very disappointing. The free edges of the overdress are bumpy when they should be crisp. Very meh.
My thought about the lack of a crinoline is that they are trying to make the dress look like the technical drawings. But maybe they should just include a crinoline pattern.
I don’t understand why pattern companies keep reproducing vintage apron dress patterns. I’m just not a fan. I actually love the front of this dress – the sweetheart neckline and the skirt yoke are totally cute. But the back is just unnecessary to me. Check out how adorable this illustration is!
Then look at the sample dress. The best I can say is that at least this one doesn’t look sloppy!
Here’s the technical drawings for 6212.
This pattern is for a vintage inspired top in Patterns by Gertie line. I might actually buy this one but I don’t quite understand the boob-dana tie On my adult sized chest this would look ridiculous. I like view B though! View A is actually cute minus the tie.
When Rochelle announced Spring for Cotton I knew it was finally time to sew one of my many vintage patterns! I have a huge stash courtesy of a family friend, but they are all single sized. Since they were also the wrong size, I was reluctant to try to make them but after taking my Palmer/Pletsch class I’m much more confident about fitting and grading!
This was my original plan for the dress. I had picked up this gorgeous fuschia crossweave cotton at Josephine’s Dry Goods before the downtown location closed. It was only 43″ wide to begin with and after washing it shrunk down to under 40″ and so I didn’t have enough fabric. Boo hoo! The funny thing about the pattern is that it’s a Size 18, which is what I use but is sadly from the old sizing system so it still needed to be graded up.
I was looking for a cotton with a little more body than just a quilting cotton and I didn’t want to shell out the money for something really nice until I knew if my grading was successful. I ended up finding red cotton pique in the “Designer Fabric” section of Joann for just $5/yd. Score!
The dress is constructed by first sewing the front and back plackets which are self lined. The dress pieces are then pinned along the stitching lines and top stitched together. Sleeves were added in the usual manner.
For pattern modifications besides grading up a size. I did do an FBA on this dress. I didn’t like how dart looked so I moved the excess into the front gathers. This dress is insanely long,unhemmed it hit me at midcalf and I’m 5’7, so I didn’t worry about the uneven length created by the FBA. I also had to deepened the front neckline as it was nearly choking me. Ladies in the 60’s must have had very skinny necks!
I also ended up edge stitching down the placket. The instructions don’t call for this, but it looked unfinished to me with the edges flopping around. So I did it and I like the way it looks much better. I also omitted the back zipper, leaving the yoke section open and adding a top hook. I’ve come to realize I can pull many of my dresses over my head and zippers are unnecessary.
My favorite part of this dress must be the buttons. I went to the Button & Ribbon Emporium here in Portland to search for the perfect buttons. I pulled out tons red buttons before I came across these beauties. They are slightly translucent/iridescent and I love the swirly design on them. At nearly $3 each I spent almost as much on buttons as I did on my fabric but they were worth it!
I will eventually take some photos of me wearing this dress, but I haven’t had any time. This dress is also my first project for the 2015 Vintage Pledge.
I actually have a pretty sweet vintage pattern stash that came from a friend of my parents. In the past I was loath to use them because they are single sized and the wrong size, but after taking a couple of Palmer/Pletsch classes I am way more comfortable with adjusting paper patterns! So I’m taking the Vintage Pattern Pledge this year!
During 2015, I, Lorene , will sew up at least three of my vintage or reproduction sewing patterns.
I can’t say I buy many Burda patterns, but since I was browsing the Simplicity website I figured I would take a look and I found a few great patterns.
Burda 6968 – This is a vintage pattern for a very cute top. It’s nice to see some retro patterns from the 1970s, and Burda has 4 in their new collection.
Burda 6970 – I just love the vavavoom style of this sweetheart neckline dress. The bustier/skirt combo seems very Kim Kardashian to me.
Burda 6916 – I’m intrigued by geometric construction of these dresses. I do worry about trying to do an FBA.