A Vintage Pattern Confession & Pledge

Like many seamstresses, I got utterly sucked in by vintage patterns soon after I began sewing. The 1950s was my favourite era  - the gorgeous illustrations give a tantalising glimpse into a glamorous life in which you swan around in a slinky dress with perfect hair. Back in real life however, I got fed up of slaving over lovely dresses which I rarely had the opportunity to wear as they just didn't fit into my lifestyle.
 (To be fair, I've made both of these dresses, but they were both made to wear to weddings)

Of course, some ladies can make glam vintage work for them on a daily basis, but for most of us, it's not practical and frankly, who could be bothered? But after a period of buying said lovely but seldom-made patterns and realising that actually I was buying pretty much the same pattern over and over again, I got a bit more canny. Maybe I should be casting my net wider across the decades as well as getting better at picking patterns which had interesting and unusual features, and that might be practical to wear more often than to a wedding? Great idea!!

I've got a couple of vintage patterns which I've made more than once and have become firm favourites. The one seam skirt from this pattern, made several times:
 
 
 And this dress pattern:
 
Both are classic shapes which I know suit my figure

Here are a few other patterns from my stash:
 This is what I'm making at the minute - fabric already bought and cut. It wasn't until I cut it that I noticed the cute shaped collar and front pleat

Really want to make some nice new nightwear
Love the details of these 1940s pattern, and could imagine both being worn today
This will surely be the year I make some kind of slip or similar...
This dress is very cute and apparently easy, but I'd have to grade it up (can I be bothered?):
Maybe it's time to revisit this vintage classic, previously abandoned in frustration, now I have cracked the broad upper back adjustment?

So this leads me to taking the Vintage Pattern Pledge, as initiated by Marie of A Stitching Odyssey.


"During 2014, I, Kerry of Kestrel Makes, will make 3 items from vintage patterns"

I'm hoping that 3 items will be achievable and am looking forward to making use of some of my stash. Do you sew from vintage patterns and are you taking the vintage pledge?

K x

34 comments:

  1. Ooh that's some lovely patterns you've got there! What is that simplicity personal fit dress pattern number? I love it! That one seam skirt you've made up a few times is such a great style and fit. I'm hoping to take part too, thinking 2or3 is the most I could manage as well. Now I just need to find my pattern boxes under all the baby toys!

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    1. Hi Kathryn, it's Simplicity 7578. There are a couple available on ebay.from the States at the minute (I've checked - how's that for enabling! :) )

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  2. Ohh, hello lovely patterns!
    I appreciate vintage patterns from afar but I haven't taken the plunge yet... And to be honest my collecting tendencies may kick in so it is best I don't start ;)

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    1. Yeah, it can get pretty addictive!

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  3. Lovely makes, those pared-down styles really do suit you! Loving that slip with the cheeky cut out, love to see that made up! x

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    1. Thanks Vix, will see what I can do!

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  4. Oh, what a good idea for a pledge - i love the look of your 3426 pattern! I have quite a lot of vintage patterns, so I should be able to manage this pledge :)

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    1. That pattern is definitely right up your street!

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  5. I'm really enjoying everyone's pledges as they crack out all their fave vintage patterns for us to enjoy!! Yours are no exception. Looking forward to undies!

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    1. Thanks Winnie - you'll notice that the slip pattern is there as I'm determined to get around to it one day!

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  6. Oh this is a really great idea. You go-to patterns look fab, and yes you can be bothered to grade that one up!! (I'm sure it will look lovely on) :D

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    1. Thanks Helen, I'm sure it would be worth grading up, hopefully if it actually is easy then that's a time saver :)

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  7. You have some really lovely and actually quite wearable patterns there! I'm really looking forward to seeing how your dress turns out and i love those PJs with the rounded collar and 3/4 sleeves - so cute!

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    1. Thanks Helen, I'm trying to pick ones that I might have some hope of wearing. I'm also a big fan of those PJs too.

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  8. You have some great patterns there - I love those pjs :)

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    1. Thanks Jacq, they're also a firm favourite of mine, they're so cute

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  9. I've currently given up making things for me entirely, as I'm absolutely disgusted with my size and shape right now, but when I do, much as I love the look of the vintage patterns, like you, it's entirely unsuited to my lifestyle! I don't even get to wear them to weddings lol I wish you luck with your pledge :o)

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    1. Thanks Katy, hope I can stick to it and get some useful items out of it in the end!

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  10. My "era" is also the 50s! It's so hard to make those work in my current life - what with the stiffness of most of those fabrics and cuts (given my shape). I mean, I could do it - and I certainly try for aspects of the 50s in many of my garments, but I prefer to work with modern patterns (designed for current bodies) for the most part. Where was the lycra in 1952??

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    1. Yeah, that 1950s support underwear has a lot to answer for! Most of us have no hope of achieving those kind of silhouettes without it and like you say, not very comfy either. I'm definitely also finding that modern patterns are best for me, on the whole.

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  11. Yipeee! You've got some gorgeous patterns there Kerry! So pleased you're on board...added you to Pinterest and everything ;o) http://www.pinterest.com/stitchodyssey/vintage-sewing-pattern-pledge/

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    1. Cheers Marie, I'm excited to be part of it :)

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  12. Good luck with your pledge! Ah such pretty patterns <3

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    1. Thanks, I do have some nice ones to choose from :)

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  13. Gorgeous patterns, can't wait to see your pledge makes! I actually have that McCalls 9458 pattern too: mine is too big all over for me and my one (and so far only!) attempt to grade down was a fiasco. One day I'll conquer it...! Good luck with your nightwear project!

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    1. I so love that pattern and am really hoping I can make it work, it's a great basic. Hope you can crack it too!

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  14. I have quite a few vintage patterns and have signed up for the pledge too. I think I committed to five, oops, must check that!! I look forward to seeing yours. That tunic with the collar detail is adorable.

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    1. Thanks Liz - I'm sure you can manage 5 no problem!

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  15. I love the pieces you made from these patterns - especially the skirt with the tree/fruit graphic. Once I got to work with a pattern from 1890. It was nearly a blank sheet of paper! That was the last one I tried...but this post is inspiring...maybe I'll reconsider. :)

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    1. Oh wow, what an old pattern, that must be one of the earliest dressmaking patterns

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  16. You've got some wonderful patterns! Good luck with the challenge, I can't wait to see them made up!!

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    1. Thanks Jen, I'm really looking forward to getting stuck in :)

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Thanks for reading and commenting - I love to hear what you have to say