Vintage Patterns & Me: #vpjuly

To launch #vpjuly, our dedicted month of Vintage Pledge fun, Marie and I are both blogging about our own use of vintage patterns. I love using vintage patterns, although my vintage tastes have changed somewhat since I began sewing in 2010 and first started to use vintage patterns. This was the kind of pattern I was first interested in:
Elegant illustrations and pretty dresses! I certainly made my share of those, but found that they didn't really fit into my lifestyle. Although I made some lovely dresses, it began to make me feel sad to spend my time sewing things that I rarely wore. So this is where my heart lies now:
Patterns from the 1970s and 1980s - the above are all New Look Maudella. I have found so many fantastic, wearable patterns from this era - and bonus, they are usually very reasonably priced. I really love trawling 1980s patterns on eBay and finding the gems amongst the large-shouldered monstrosities. Here's a favourite example:
Style Sew Simple 3597 - a pullover dress with elasticated waist and cut on sleeves, from 1982. This is the double of the Tilly & the Buttons Bettine dress. I first used it last year:
This dress totally ticks the boxes for being easy to make, forgiving to fit and easy to wear. I've made two versions, as well as two dresses merging it with a different top pattern. Here's my second version:
I made this dress as a wearable muslin last year but left it unfinished as I got on with making my proper version, above. I always intended to finish it, and months later I finally have. As it wasn't wearable until 2016, it's fine to count it as part of the 2016 pledge, isn't it? (The answer is yes).
Available here for £2/m
I used a polyester crepe from Regency Rags on eBay at £2.99 per metre. I'm not generally a fan of poly fabrics but I loved the fun heart print and cheap price, plus I also like the easy care aspect. I passed the rest of the fabric on to Franca of Oranges and Apples at a sewing meet-up, who made a top from it. The fit is a little blousier than the gepmetric version in viscose. This fabric is really a little thin to make a whole dress out of but it will be fine with a half slip or for warmer weather. It would be great as a holiday dress as it doesn't crease.

Here are a few recent purchases:
 All bought from a vintage shop for 50p each - bargain!
An eBay purchase - I'm planning to make it in a wool linen mix fabric - the middle view but knee length

I think you can see a theme here - simple shapes and easy to make and wear. It's taken a few years but I've really found my favourite types of patterns. I still admire the illustrations and styles of 1950s or 40s patterns, but I know where my heart lies!

Essentially what I love about vintage patterns is being able to have decades of styles at your disposal - you can mix and match decades or stick to your favourite. There is something for everyone.

K x


  1. So bummed I am away for half of July - I will have lots of catching up to do!

  2. Great post. 60s and 70s are my preferred eras. Such wearable shapes.

  3. I love the ease of your spirit decade(s) There are so many phenomenal designs from the 70s and 80s that are taken for granted!

  4. I've always loved the 70s but have, lately, found myself coming round to the 80s -which have for so long been my worst fashion decade!
    So I love these patterns and I love the Style 3597 dresses!

  5. Some lovely patterns and makes in this post. Loving going through the #vpjuly tag on IG ;o)

  6. You have such lovely vintage patterns. I haven't sewed any vintage patterns but have joined in the pledge this year so hopefully I will! I just watched dirty dancing again the other night & found myself wanting all Baby's clothes, so maybe 80s patterns are what I should be buying!

  7. You look really cute in these patterns,wonderful post of 1960s and 70s.


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