Monday, July 12, 2010

The Final Cut: Dress Patterns

Whew - that was incredibly difficult! I have finally gone through all of my patterns and whittled them down to 50. It's just completely insane how many patterns I actually had! Actually, 50 is more than I wanted to keep, but I just couldn't cut it down to less no matter how hard I tried. Here are the 23 dress patterns that I chose to keep (and eventually make):

1970s Betsey Johnson wrap dresses. Versatile and perfect for layering!

Late 1940s/early 1950s Vogue pattern. I love the geometric lapped bodice design!

Late 1970s pleated yoked dress. This one is so cool!

1970s Jane Tise loose-fitting dress. I love this style of dress.

Late 1960s space-age dress. I especially like the color block version and the optional pockets on these are really cute.

Another 1970s comfy, unstructured dress.

1970s-meets-1940s Jane Tise dress!

Probably my favorite of the Built By You patterns! I like the tops, but really want to make the dress.

I adore the scalloped front closure on this 1960s dress! Honestly, I've had this pattern for a ridiculously long time - it's time to finally make it!

Very similar to Butterick 4865 above, but I like the fact that this dress has no closures and includes a pattern for an obi wrap belt.

Wish I had more 1970s John Kloss patterns, but I always get outbid whenever I find one on Ebay! Anyhow, I love this dress design with the surplice bodice and attached wrap around belt.

I've actually made the top a couple times and the design is really flattering. Now I need to make the dress!

Clever design by Kenzo. I love how the dress serves a dual purpose as a petticoat beneath the wrap skirt.

Another Kenzo pattern, another unstructured and flared 1970s dress!

Yep. More Kenzo! This probably counts as a separates pattern, but I like the look of the blouse and skirt, so I will probably end up making them to be worn together as an outfit.

Not a huge fan of the sleeves, but I love the yoke and bow tie collar!

Again, the sleeves on this one are a little too puffy for my taste. But I really love the collar and pin tucks, so I will make this one with modified sleeves.

This 1960s pattern is so cute! I've made this before for a Christmas party a couple years ago and I need to make it again.

Another cute 1960s mod dress!

This 1970s pattern is really unique. The back bodice wraps around and ties in the front, which I love!

I've used the bodice and puff sleeves from this pattern to make dresses from vintage skirts. Now I want to make the actual dress pictured (and, yes, it does have a "great fit" as the original seamstress noted)!

Another Betsey Johnson design! I don't really like the hooded dress (looks too much like a caftan), but the version with the collar is a keeper!

Saving the best for last - one of only four pre-196os patterns left in my collection. The draping is amazing, as are the shirred shoulders.

So that's everything! I won't be buying any more vintage sewing patterns. This is it, until I've sewn my way through every last one. The rest of my collection will be listed in my Etsy shop! There is a book with contemporary designer sewing patterns - Twinkle Sews - that I would like to add to my collection, as well as a few select patterns from Burda Style, but my plan is to get started next week on my first project from these 50 patterns.

I don't know if any of you can relate, but I've spent so many years sewing exclusively for so many other people that my own wardrobe is - in a word - PITIFUL. I hope you'll follow me on my journey as I make and build my own wardrobe one sewing pattern at a time!



  1. You've got some great patterns in that selection!

  2. Wow! I can't wait to see the results of this quest! I'm just a beginning sewer, but you've inspired me. Maybe I'll take up this challenge myself once my skills are a little stronger. :-)

  3. some of those dresses are just amazing i would never be able to make any of them (at a high standard).

  4. Thanks for so much inspiration! The stylizations from the 50ies and 60ies I normally find via Google search engine aren't as creative as these. Hope I'll get one of them one day. Regards!