We’re just a mere 24 hours or so into 2016 so it’s time to do all the wrap ups from activities in 2015. I suppose a lot of people get on the ball and have this ready to go before the calendar turns but I actually tried to sneak one more pattern in under the 2015 wire by making a New Year’s Eve dress. I did the mock up and as it had issues and I had a great, never yet worn dress in the closet, that will be conquered in 2016.
My personal goal for the 2015 Vintage Sewing Pattern Pledge was to sew five vintage patterns (for me personally, repros did not count, although I sewed those as well). Additionally, one of the patterns had to be made with vintage fabric. I’m proud to say that I ended up with completed projects from eight different vintage patterns and two repro patterns! While I didn’t exactly sew with vintage fabric quite as I had envisioned, I did use some fabric and trims of unknown age. I also made a skirt with vintage Christmas fabric, but I didn’t use a pattern to make it. I figure I came close enough though with this requirement to consider it fulfilled.
It was really fun to take this pledge and play with vintage patterns. I must say I’m quite obsessed with them now and regularly search etsy and eBay for more to add to my collection. I’m not particularly interested in doing serious grading work so I tend to look only for patterns that come close to my actual measurements. That makes things tougher but I’ve found that the size 22 1/2 from the 50s-60s seems to work quite well for me. I wish they still made the half size patterns “for a woman who is 5’2″ to 5’3″” I think it would make a lot of sewers’ lives much easier!
Take a look at my makes below. I’m quite happy with them. I even tried sewing with knits! I’m far from having that mastered but it’s on my list of things to keep exploring for 2016. I also plan on doing the pledge again!
1. Tentacular Robe. Vintage Simplicity 8510 from 1969
2. Jiffy Knit Tunic. Vintage Simplicity 5556 from 1973
3. Derpy Mouse Toy. Vintage Butterick 3419 from the 70s
4. Groovy Flannel Tunic (modeled by my mom, made from what was originally her pattern. I gave her this shirt. It fit her much better than it fit me). Vintage Simplicity 7446 from 1976
5. Zip Front Step-in Dress. Vintage Simplicity 6499 from 1966. I used a goodwill sheet for this.
6. Batman Fabric Dress. Vintage McCalls 3191 from ?. I believe this Batman fabric is “vintage” of some variety. My friend Megan bought it quite a while ago at a fabric store in Florida that was going out of business. Based on the color and the style of the Batman design it has to be at least as old as the 80s. This pattern was a real pain for me. I ended up putting a dirndl skirt on the bodice versus the one from the pattern. I wore the dress successfully at Dragoncon but the fit was really problematic.
7. Rockabilly Day Dress x2. Vintage Simplicity 1577 from 1956. I made this one twice. The first dress was the test and it came out basically perfect. No adjustments! That never happens. The 2nd version was my Christmas dress. I used vintage red scallop trim on the collar and pockets. This is my current favorite vintage pattern.
8. Pencil Skirt. Vintage Simplicity 4491 from 1953. I used this skirt for my Rockabilly Boy Wonder costume for DragonCon. The top is Simplicity Retro 1460.
I wore a variation of this outfit to a Halloween party. I think I look cuter in this photo also!
My other reprint makes were both Butterick Retro 5748 from 1960. I’ve sewn this dress three times now, twice in 2015. I made a version with “steamderp” cotton I found in the NYC garment district and vintage tan eyelet trim. I also made this dress for the Nancy Drew tea at Costume College in a blood splatter print. I don’t have a good image of that one but I do have a photo of the matching Clue game fascinator I made.
Finally, I made a skirt from vintage Christmas fabric. No pattern used and executed about 90 minutes before I wore it to see Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer at the Puppetry Arts Center. I only had two yards of the 36 wide border print so it’s not as full as I would prefer, but what can you do? Not bad considering.