Thursday, July 29, 2010

Ah, Yes, Another One!

Is the Flying Nun getting married?

You ask, is this also a costume pattern? Sorry, NO.

So, if not, what is Vogue trying to sell? This pattern came out in the 1970's so they must have been aware of the 1967-1970 running TV show and Sister Bertrille. Right?

Note: Okay, research has revealed that Sally Field's costume looked nothing like this, but still...

Daughters of Charity cornette

But get this, the veil/headdress/cornette/wimple contraption isn't even a part of the sewing pattern? So, why Vogue, why?! Why come out with a wedding dress pattern that evokes a celibate nun's habit? I just don't get it.

The envelope illustration is a much better representation of the dress. However, it still gives off a futuristic very Star Trek or Star Wars circa 1977 (the original) vibe. You know, "Obi-Wan Kenobi, you're my only hope ..." But then, the Star Wars costumes in that first movie were also very medieval influenced.

It was probably good news for the modest brides that it was evidently designed for because there is no hint of skin visible, not even that tempting and highly scandalous wrist area!

Images: Mom's Patterns, © Fayrouz Hancock /

Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Uniform Project PATTERN!

Check it out!

The dress from The Uniform Project is now for sale here.

But even better than that is the fact that a sewing pattern for the dress has just been released here for $20 (10% of which goes to the Akanksha Foundation that inspired the project.)

And if that was not enough, you can even buy a kit that includes the pattern and 2 yards of their own fabric, a sustainable blend of organic cotton (75%) and silk (25%) in a jacquard weave.

The pattern is created to resemble the new 2.0 version of the Uniform Project dress (seen at right) that Sheena Matheiken and new team member Tara St. James created using the feedback they received about the first dress. This has resulted in a streamlined version with a hidden button placket and a detachable collar, and cuffed sleeves.

So if you loved the dress, you can now make your own version!!

Image: The Uniform Project (U.P.)

Friday, July 23, 2010


Well, this week I visited both Hancock Fabrics and Jo-Anns to drop off applications for part-time work (yup, I live dangerously) and took the time to peruse their fall offerings.

Hancock had some rayon challis prints, nothing spectacular but it made me notice I hardly ever see this fabric anymore. In high school, most of my sewing was with challis and I loved it for long skirts with just a bit of structure and lots of flow. In the fall, there were always some incredible prints in fall colors. I wore a lot of rust, brown, and cream back then.

Also did you know that Hancock carries an entire John Deere collection of cotton, fleece, and flannel prints? Um, yeah.

Gray-Red, Larkspur brushed plaids - English Accent collection

Grey-Brown, Purple-Black, and Black-Grey-Blue brushed plaids British Frenzy collection

At Jo-Ann's I fell in love again. They have two new collection of plaids, houndstooths, and tartans called British Frenzy and English Accent that are just lovely. I would want skirts, shawls (and I don't even wear shawls!) jackets, and maybe if I were feeling frisky, a pair of plaid cigarette pants.

Oh my, what the wardrobe I would have if I ever had the money, time, or motivation. Some day, some day...

Images: My own photo (from high school), Jo-Ann Fabrics

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

I Do Not Mean To Scare You...


Advance 700

The Advance company didn't date their patterns (bad company, bad company!) but from looking at the location of the logo and the font style, this was issued somewhere between 1947 and 1959. Doesn't look it though, does it?

Since this really puzzled me I did some research. First thing I found was that since the Advance company's first pattern was #1000, the fact that this number is so small (#700) implies that it was part of a special series or a promotion. After a look on the Vintage Pattern Wiki, I found that the next pattern #701 was a clown costume for adults, #707 was the same one for children and (dealbreaker!) #709 was a Peter Pan costume, so I am quite sure that this one was meant as a costume. Well, I sure hope so!

Because this pattern is so far from 1940-50s style as you can get. The ruffled banded collar, leg-of-mutton sleeves, faux weskit with basque waist, ruffled overskirt and simulated bustle detailing the back could be fine as individual elements, but together? The only thing that seems to be missing is a true back bustle. It looks a lot like an Edwardian restyling to me, but I'm not sure. Anybody?

Available both at Woodland Farms Antiques and Carynification's Etsy shop....if you dare.

* Pattern dating information from Cemetarian's site.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

In the Details: So Sew Simple Blouses

Do you ever wish for a pattern that you can just whip up in an evening that will still look good and add interest to a simple pencil skirt or jeans? Check out these, not only are the patterns simple to create but they seem like they would be quick to make up too. Yup, my kind of sewing!

What looks like the simplest top to be made. I must try to create this without succumbing to buying this pattern, right? I think I've worked up the correct dimensions of the one pattern piece, 48" x 24"?

Another incredibly simple top that should not require a store bought pattern. This should be a simple little drafting exercise as it is basically a rectangle with side darts and a neckline created with a French curve. However, the detail I like the most is the folded tab that is used both as a breast medallion and at the throat as sort of a fabric brooch. I especially like how it seems to be folded over the green ribbon trim and is monogrammed.

This one is very simple to the one above, though the view at upper right offers a lot more interest. A split neckline, contrast yoke, top stitching and false pocket flaps. This one is currently available at Catnip Hill for $10.

I began to believe that these types of tops could be easily drafted after I found this top and drafting instructions here on the Sewing Vintage blog from the Spool Cotton Co. I think this can help in drafting the tabbed top above and it is almost identical to the Pictorial Review pattern below.


Note how the scarf is an integral part of the design, wrapping around the neck and coming through the ready made opening as the base of the throat.

And now, I've found this one.

McCall's 4632

Surprise! It's not really vintage, it's only from 1989, but I think it has a lot in common with these tops. This one is actually available in my Etsy shop for $2, but I copied the shape of the pattern pieces and the instructions for my own use one day. Simple button loop closure in the back. Again, basically a rectangle like the first design but the shoulder gathers add some pizazz.

Images: Vintage Patterns Wiki, What-I-Found patterns, Catnip Hill, Spool Cotton Co., Vintage Fashion Library

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Fashion In Film: Can You Believe It?

I had another post planned for today but then the new Vogue Patterns came out...and I couldn't believe what I saw among them:

Vogue 1212 - a Donna Karan design*

Look familiar? Think hard.

Now go back, like 70 to 80 years, ok? How about 77 years?

An Orry-Kelly design from 1933's "Baby Face"

Ta Da!!

It's uncanny, right? The drapey dolman sleeves and that gathered back neck closure?! Donna Karan's version is updated in the draped, surplice peplum and the alteration of the back opening to be not as daring and exposed as the original.

So, do you think she's ever seen "Baby Face"?

*This top was seen in her 2009 Fall RTW collection where she also showed a few versions with a cold-shoulder (another image seen in the movie) but then Donna is old friends with the cold-shoulder top, she even got Hilary Clinton in one during the last millennium. However, the skirt in this pattern is actually from the current 2010 Pre-Fall collection!

Images: Vogue Pattern Company, Small Earth Vintage

Friday, July 09, 2010

In the Details: Vintage Details for Modern Blouses

In Months ago, Gertie wrote a post about button-back blouses. It made me think of the interesting and unique details that used to be so common to home sewers in their pattern choices. Of course, those details were commonly copied from the fashions of the day, where clothing seemed to be designed with more care and details in order to facilitate the garment's longevity.

Even though most modern patterns, even the independents, may not provide these types of details now many of these sharp details can easily be added to your favorite TNT pattern or any of the commercial pattern designs out there. Come on, spice a simple blouse up!

c. 1950. Easily could be just a simple almost boring shirt. However, this little pocket was just too cool to be tacked down by "the man" and it's hanging free and loose. Also a perfect opportunity to include a different print or pattern on the pocket's other side.

c. 1947. Check out the strange elongated and pointed breast pocket. While I don't personally find this one attractive if brought up the idea of designing your own unique pocket for blouses. Just because the pattern suggests one shape why not make something else?

c. late 1940s/early 1950s. This pattern used the addition of top stitched tabs to add interest to the shoulders and I like it. How about also adding a double ended tap running around the sleeve's cuff and buttoning together?


c. 1950's. I love the little pin tucks around the neckline. To create, just add a little slash and spread action when making up your pattern, right?

Butterick 5954

c. 1950s. So Romantic! This one is part of my new love of blouses with cut on sleeves. It means no setting in of sleeves and easing them to fit armholes, hurray! I'm also in love with the deep v-neck and how by adding a banded collar you can make the neckline modest. In addition, the little stiff winged cuffs on the sleeves are just too sweet!

Vogue 7919

c. 1953. Check it! Diagonal pockets or at least faux pockets add design flair rather than practicality. Love it, especially with the kicky little wing collar and cuffed sleeves.

Vogue 6886

Date unknown. Note that the sleeves and shoulders are cut together with portions of the front and back yokes. I love the addition of the over bust gathers which eliminate the need for darts to add shaping. This might be a great way to perform a more decorative FBA too.

Images: Vintage Fashion Library,, Stitches & Loops, What-I-Found

* Note how this pattern seems to have come in different colorways.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Summer To Sew

Feel the need for some summer sewing?

Well, then check out some of these season appropriate patterns available at my Etsy shop, Dragonfly Metamorphpursuit:
Vogue 1723

How about this pattern by Ralph Lauren? Easy breezy skirts and full-legged pants in a tissue faille or crepe de chine as the pattern suggests, though I would probably go with a drapey rayon.

A perfect Asian inspired warbrobe made in linen? I have to admit I hate ironing so a little poly blending in that fabric would be a very good thing.

Another great summer wardrobe is to be had in this design by Adri, available in sizes 8-10-12. Makes you feel cool just looking at it, right?

Vogue 2112 by Issac Mizrahi would be pretty cool (and cool) wouldn't it? Available in sizes 8-10-12. I love that little dress with the split neckline, in fact, I have a tried n' true pattern for a similar one. So this one is available to you for only $5!

Last but not least,

Simplicity 7538 - Simplicity 6672

Seems familiar right? I think it must have come out at the same time as this Internet favorite, Simplicity 6672 . Don't you think so? However, 7538 is unique and rare on the Web, a size 8 and is only $2!

Monday, July 05, 2010

Whazz' up?

  • Drafted pattern and starting stitching the CraftStylish 1-hour dress (as opposed to this One-hour dress). Made stupid pattern miscalculation which actually turned out to be a good thing in this stretch fabric!

  • Drafting pattern for the Spool Cotton Co. slip-over blouse found here.

  • Had friend A. over and she thankfully photographed the rest of the patterns for the shop. Now need to do some cleanup in Photoshop and then they can all go on sale by next weekend!

Sunday, July 04, 2010


I'm sewing...

don't spook me.

Friday, July 02, 2010

Update to the Heat Situation

I doubt anybody has been too worried about how I was making out in the heat, but I thought I'd put out an update anyway for archival purposes.

Here is the improved installation of the little DeLonghi Pinguino (Penguin, get it?) unit in the bedroom, complete with baby blue Tyvek paper over the two windows, a proper hose, and no further use of my personal bathroom towels. It's a bit weird living inside a room that glows blue in the daylight (see below) but it's better than the former 'sweating on top of my sheets before passing out' that was messing with my sleep a while ago.

Daytime with interior lights out*

The Danby Premiere

This is the better situation in the living room. Though there is no access to fresh air, at least here I can still open the curtains and raise the blinds to get some sun. However, in the bedroom, both sunlight and fresh air are out of the question until the replacement ceiling unit is installed.

And guess what? Since these two have been installed, Richmond has just had some of the best cool weather and beautiful, breezy nights.

* Does this remind anyone of the escape from the quarantined house scene in E.T?