Monday, February 21, 2011

My First Vintage Pattern!

WIth my goals for 2011 in sight, I've been perusing Etsy's sweet Vintage patterns. During my search, I discovered I'm drawn to the late 1950s & early 1960s. There is something about that era that just says "Classic." And while some may find it demeaning, I like the idea of the "little woman" always being put together & presentable.

I also discovered patterns that include views for both slim & full skirts. What a great idea!! So when SewUniqueClassic was offering free shipping, I picked this "instant dress" pattern up. Here are some of the considerations I had when I was shopping & why I settled on this pattern:

I never knew it, but most (all?) vintage patterns come only one size to an envelope. There are tutorials out there on how to grade up/down, but I wanted to get as close to my measurements as I could (particularly in the bust)

Pattern Pieces/Construction
Since vintage patterns have the reputation of assuming the sewer knows more than I do :) I wanted something that had few pattern pieces. With this particular dress, I can envision the necessary steps without seeing the instructions--I think. Hopefully that will help with the construction process.

This dress also has a reasonable amount of pattern pieces. Which is always nice.

Design Details
Ah, the belt. Almost all dress patterns from these eras are pictured with a belt. Some require a purchased belt and others instruct to make your own. I have doubts as to how thorough these directions are, but I didn't want to have to find a RTW belt that meshed with my dress. I prefer constructing my own. 

The neckline. I seem to be pretty picky about necklines. I didn't want to mess with a collar, and as much as I love square & scoop necklines that were/are popular, one of my biggest pet peeves are peeking bra straps (though it occurs to me just now that lingerie guards are an easy addition)

The sleeves I found many, many patterns that were sleeveless, but came with a view for a bolero. While I like that in theory-a little ensemble, I find it a little overwhelming. Other patterns included a sleeveless & long sleeved view, which I also considered.

The Concerns
Fit: Women were shaped differently then. Or, rather, maybe it was just the undergarments. The hip measurement for this pattern is 34". Mine is closer to 38". However, the pattern back does say, "If your hip is larger, adjust pattern as shown on Easy Sewing Guide." I will definitely be checking that out.

Closure: It isn't noticeable on the pattern front illustrations, but this dress has a front zipper. It's not something I've ever seen. I was contemplating moving it to the back, but with the dress yoke, it's impossible. I just don't know how I'm going to make it look ok. I mean, it actually kept me up at night. So, the next day, I went back & ordered this pattern, too. Yikes. It's got all the design details I liked about the first one, but with a traditional back zip closure.

Needless to say, I'm implementing a pattern buying ban immediately. :) But fabric purchases are allowed, of course. How else am I supposed to sew up some of these beauties?!

1 comment:

  1. I wish you the best with your vintage patterns. I especially like 6179. I haven't tried a vintage pattern yet, but you are right about how nice a classy pulled together look is!


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