Tag Archives: vintage sewing patterns

Hang Time

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Stitching a lapped, piped seam

I’m teetering in that awful mid-project spot, peeps. I’ve hit a few snags—pattern match? Fail! Where’d all that ease come from?—it’s hard to imagine it being awesome when it’s done. The promise of the pattern illustration has faded, and the reality isn’t winning me over yet.

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Yeah, that pattern. That promise.

Usually, I rely on momentum to get me through this phase (and really, while not all projects have it, it’s pretty common). But I’ve been sewing at the pace of a snail lately, what with constantly running into “I could sew but I need THAT”, with THAT being everything from piping (no, Tanit, one package is never enough) to lining to that pattern piece I had last week, dammit.

And with the whining out of the way—fitting photos! Because that makes everything better!?!

I did do a muslin. Really.

(Click image to view larger)

So, re fit—the left-hand side under the arm is the opening and I did a piss-poor job of pinning it shut, so focus on the right for the fit. Aside from the complete pattern-match fail at back and the fact that it’s way more high-cut than the picture seems to suggest (and no, I did not do any preemptive petiting here), what do we see?. The biggest thing that’s annoying me is that blousing in the back. I don’t get along well with blousing. I can certainly take it in, either at the CB seam or the sides. The waist seems a bit long at the sides, not so much at the CF. Maybe shorten all around the waist except at the CF? The hip yoke seems really short, too. I’m pretty sure I’m going to have to re-cut the skirt pieces as I think I cut them WAY short (since I was expecting the yoke to come down to, oh around my hip crease….) That might be a good thing, though, as I can try again with the plaid-matching. There’s lots of material left, fortunately.

I was planning to not pipe the waist seam (I prefer not to emphasize my waist) but to pipe the bottom of the yoke.

The fact that Osiris got Skyrim for Christmas might just have a little bit to do with my slow going.* I’m a sucker for an open-world Fantasy RPG, even if it does have a few too many load screens… and while the thrill of discovering even more mysterious zombie-filled ruins may not outweigh the thrill of a new dress, when it’s accompanied by hunny-cuddles and laziness, well, I’m distractable, especially when the dress is being problematic.

Bodice, flat.

Bodice, flat.

That being said, I’m cautiously pleased with how the piped yoke went together with the lapped seam—I suck at lapped seams bigtime, but they are infinitely easier with piping and lots and lots of pins. Oh, and a stitch-in-the-ditch foot/attachment, courtesy of my Pfaff 360′s attachment kit (which you can kinda see in the very top photo). I generally pin as little as possible, but I don’t trust myself to keep a lapped seam together without it. There was too much length in the bust panels along the bottom seam, so I wound up gathering them a bit at the lower-centre corner. I could’ve skipped it and just trimmed off the excess length from the side, but I kinda like the gathering. I don’t remember any extra length from my muslin (which I graded differently, /headdesk) so I’m not sure if the problem is the pattern or me…

What do you do during that mid-project slump? I’m fighting the urge to start something else tooth and nail, because I loathe UFOs…

*Seriously, I am the Ultimate Gamer Girlfriend(TM). Not only do I like the videogames… I like watching him play them! Yeah, I know, embarrassing.

 

PS I feel like this was the whiniest of whiny posts ever, and I’ve gone over it fifteen times and I can’t seem to de-moan it any further, so bear with me, k? Or better yet, share your latest whine in the comments. 😉

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My first pattern

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Butterick 6206

Long and long ago (I’m guessing I was about sixteen), I found this pattern kicking around the house. It was, presumably, my mother’s, and I was (just barely) able to look past the 70s styling to the romance of a sweet peasant blouse.

Being me at sixteen, I turned it into a crop top and made it sheer. Subtle, I was not.

The only thing I didn’t do was lengthen the sleeves. My congenital arm-length abnormality hadn’t really sunk in yet, so it didn’t even occur to me that the pattern drafter wouldn’t magically know that my family has ape arms*.

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Pattern pieces

I’m pretty sure I had some help from my mother, if only of the “this is a grain line—you know what grain is, right? Yes, that bit goes on the fold” variety. I had been sewing (Barbie clothes) for years at this point, but this was probably my first commercial pattern. I know I did no seam finishing, but it wasn’t a ravelly fabric. Not that that would’ve made a difference.

It was not a terribly practical garment, but it looked pretty much how I had hoped and served whatever costumey goal I had in mind. So when I found the pattern the other day while digging around my mom’s sewing stuff (she has a surprisingly large stash for someone who “doesn’t sew”) I had to throw it up here, for old time’s sake.

In hind-sight, this was actually a pretty damn good choice for a beginner project. Not that I thought of that.

 

*This is the spot where I stop and point out that humans are apes because you can’t construct a natural group that includes all apes but excludes humans. For the same reason, although much further removed in time, birds are also dinosaurs. Dontcha love cladistics? 😀

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Carol Evans’ Wardrobe

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Moving stress + running errands our last day in Cow Town + 50% off sale at Value Village facilitated a bit of a splurge on vintage children’s patterns, I fear. How can you resist a bit of retail therapy for a quarter apiece?

The patterns range in size from 4 to 6X, and all seem to have been intended for wear by a girl named Carol Evans, who I presume was a vampire trapped eternally in a child’s body, since the patterns range in vintage from 50s through 70s. Or they might have been collected more recently by a mom-stitcher with a thing for vintage patterns, not unlike myself. But really, I think it’s the vampire thing.

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This fifties housecoat just may be the child’s version of this pattern, which Peter and Cathy rehabilitated so stunningly into an “Opera Coat.” I’m going to assume that our little vampire was at least as capable of turning something so drab and basic into something luxe and glamorous as Cathy is.

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This might just be the quintessential fifties little girl dress. According to this website, it’s from 1954, as is the preceding housecoat. Also, I love the little capelet. Every vampire (child) needs a capelet. Not to mention plenty of variations on a dress, for when she gets blood on it. Also, those of you who did time in Vampire: The Masquerade, dig the black satin version with the rose.

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Something about the white version of this sweet little sailor dress just makes me squee. Presumably this had a similar effect on Carol Evans. Or possibly she ran away to sea to hide her lack of aging. You have to keep moving when you’re a vampire child.

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Doesn’t this one looked sophisticated? I want to say very Jackie O, but I wasn’t around back then to observe and haven’t really researched, so you can correct me if necessary. Or maybe it’s Chanel. Doesn’t that little jacket need to be made of boucle, with a quilted lining and chain in the hem? Poor Carol has been size six for at least a decade, after all—she has to be feeling more grown-up inside than out. This is just the dress for when she wants to look like a miniature (and very chic) adult

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These two McCall’s patterns fascinate me, not so much for their contents as their style. I had instantly pegged the dress as sixties (based on the illustration style, the dress itself is such a classic I think with minor hem-length variations it would look at home in any decade since 1900. Possibly 1850.) The pants wardrobe, on the other hand, I had pegged as classic 70s. The fashions, the art, the bell-bottoms, the gingham. Then I checked the dates on both patterns. The 60s one is indeed earlier—1968. But the “70s” pattern is 1969. I kind of feel like I’ve captured the cusp of a decade in pattern form—a snapshot of the transition from one style regime to another. Especially since both are by the same company. As for Carol, well, they both obviously cater to her need to appear childlike and innocent to manipulate the adult humans around her. Can’t have anyone suspecting, after all.

The patterns go on (It appears later in the 70s Carol headed somewhere chilly and needed some serious winter gear) but I think I’ll leave it at that. Speculation on the life of Carol the vampire child welcome in the comments! 😉

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