Thursday, July 29, 2010

Contemporary Pattern Lust

I have a confession to make....Lately, I've found myself becoming more and more interested in contemporary sewing patterns. There! I said it!

I used to make everything from vintage sewing patterns, but ever since I've been a member of Burda Style and have been reading more and more contemporary fashion sewing blogs, I've started to lust after several specific patterns. So enamored am I, that I am seriously considering adding these to my pattern collection and swapping out several vintage patterns to make room for them!

I have seen the Beignet skirt literally everywhere on the web lately. High waisted designs really suit my figure and I've become accustomed to making lots of buttonholes, so the bazillion buttons on the front aren't as intimidating as they look!

The Sew Convert has made several lovely versions of the Macaron dress and, of course, I have seen many other versions out there. Again, I think this would suit my figure and the endless fabric combination possibilities are an exciting prospect.

Although I've been gravitating towards more fitted designs lately, I'm still a sucker for a good pair of comfy wide-leg trousers! The plaid version is featured on the Sew Tessuti blog. The only drawback about this pattern? It's from 2007 and is out of print!

Cute and simple tops. I fear that I may have to withdraw my pledge to take part in Self Stitched September because I'm only averaging the completion of one garment per week and I don't have enough handmade clothing to wear every single day of September. I need to focus on simple separates like this top if I want to make any progress at all! The lovely red gingham version is featured on the Bura Ellen blog.

I immediately fell in love when I saw these cute denim shorts on Burda Style (made by DarcyFarcy and featured on the front page for a couple days, too!). I like that she didn't make the bubble version pictured on the envelope, which looks completely odd. I may be able to make these before the end of summer (fingers crossed)!

Another high waisted skirt that I've seen just about everywhere lately. Erica B. just posted her version of this skirt several days ago and it is so incredibly pretty! I like the attached belt that ties into a bow in the front.

I'm not wild about all of the tops included in this pattern, but I do love the view with the dolman sleeves that was made by Satomi and posted on Burda Style. It looks slouchy (that's a good thing), stylish and comfy all at the same time.

A free pattern from Burda Style that I've recently downloaded - the Kasia skirt. And, since it's free, there are many different inspiring versions out there....180+ completed Kasia skirts can be found on Burda Style alone! I already have the fabric chosen to make this. Soon.....

And last, but not least, these high waist Marilyn trousers from Burda Style. I like the pleats at the front and the tapered legs. These are going to be my next sewing project! I have already downloaded it and pieced it together + I purchased some lovely brown herringbone suiting fabric to make them - YAY!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Joan Holloway....BEFORE Joan Holloway!

I found this vintage Advance sewing pattern about a year ago and saved it because the illustration of the lady in blue reminded me so much of Joan Holloway from Mad Men. She has literally the same hairstyle (plus the red hair!) and, of course, this is an early 1960s Mad Men era pattern! What do you think of the uncanny resemblance?

Sunday, July 25, 2010

A Look Inside VOGUE PATTERNS Magazine - July/August 1975

Here's a look inside another fabulous 1970s issue of Vogue Patterns magazine! This one is the July/August 1975 issue so it has a great mix of summer and early fall fashions. Be sure to click on the photos to enlarge them so you can read the text!

Does anyone know who this model is? She was absolutely everywhere during the 1970s...she did lots of modeling for Vogue patterns and I think she was a favorite of Halston too!

I have a hard time believing what this ad claims...that double knit fabric can be made to feel and look like linen, silk, etc. I swear it's just not scientifically possible!

This is an interesting side note on how Sonia Rykiel finishes the hems on her couture garments versus the Vogue technique.

This issue introduced Karl Lagerfeld / Chloe patterns into the Vogue patterns cannon.

"Fall Firsts" in glorious plaid!

A brief profile of Sonia Rykiel. Her pattern run with Vogue was quite limited, I think. I do know that her patterns are super-rare and highly collectible, though!

I love the detailed line drawings included with these designer pattern layouts. It's hard to see most of these details in the model photos.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Finished Project: 1970s Chambray Dress

Here's the first completed projected from my whittled down sewing pattern collection: a denim chambray dress with contrasting yellow stitching and buttons! The total cost of materials, including the vintage pattern, was around $12.00. The 100% cotton fabric is quite wrinkled in the photos; I've been wearing the dress all day and it's super-comfy!

Now for the truth......I don't know what to think about this dress just yet! It was easy enough to sew (although the front placket and collar band gave me some minor troubles) and it's insanely comfortable to wear, I'm just not sure if I like the "tubular" shape or the side slits or the curved hem. I don't think the tubular shape is particularly flattering for someone like me who has a curvier figure. A belt will probably solve the fit issues, though. Oh! And here's my next project:

I'll be making view A (without the bow, though) and will use the plaid cotton fabric pictured above; the contrasting yellow fabric will be the collar. Hopefully I'll have it finished by this time next week!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

A Good Reason NOT to Sew

I try not to post photos of my son Brydon on this blog since it's a vintage sewing blog and I like to stay on topic. However, I couldn't resist posting a few photos of him since he wore his vintage 1960s Winnie-the-Pooh blue gingham romper today. This romper is nothing short of amazing - check out the pointy white collar and buttoned belt! And the appliques of Winnie the Pooh and Rabbit are also belt carriers! Genius! Funnily enough, my husband said: "It makes him look like such!" Ha ha! I guess there is a current trend for dressing babies in adult-style clothing with skulls and guitars and shorts and sneakers. I would love to have some professional portraits made of him wearing this but, for now, my ancient camera will have to do!

A lot of people ask me why I never sew for Brydon.....well, first of all, he's growing way too fast to make it economical. I have made a handful of things for him and plan to keep them for him to have one day as heirloom items. I would like to make him some 1970s style corduroy bellbottoms to wear once he starts walking around though! Second, I just don't have time to sew for him. I barely have time to sew a simple blouse for myself! But I have discovered that he is the only reason in the world that makes it perfectly okay for me NOT to be able to sew. It was hard at first not being able to sew whenever I wanted and as much as I wanted, but I have learned to adapt and work around his schedule. He does like to visit fabrics stores with me, though - he likes to feel the different fabric!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Here are the Winners!!!

First of all, thanks to everyone who took the time to enter the giveaway and check out my pattern shop! In fact, the response to the giveaway was so great that I've decided to not only giveaway a $25.00 gift certificate, but also 2 $10.00 gift certificates! I assigned everyone who entered a number by the actual placing of your comments (if you linked back to the original post or commented on a fave pattern from the shop, you were assigned 2 different numbers), plugged them into a random integer generator at, and here were the results:

Winner of the $25.00 Gift Certificate:

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:

80 - Fog City Vintage & Such

Timestamp: 2010-07-19 17:46:23 UTC


Winner of a $10.00 Gift Certificate:

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:

42 - Allison (from

Timestamp: 2010-07-19 17:46:50 UTC


Winner of a $10.00 Gift Certificate:

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:

11 - The Long and Winding Bobbin

Timestamp: 2010-07-19 17:47:09 UTC

If you are a winner and have not yet heard from me, please contact me at: missdandy [!at] so I can give you the details.

Thanks again to everyone who entered....please stay tuned to my blog because I will be featuring giveaways like this often!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

And So It Begins...The First Project!

Here's the fabric, pattern and notions that I will be using to making the first project from my newly reduced seamstress-friendly sewing pattern collection:

I'll be making the dress - view B. I think it will be perfect to wear during the rest of the hot summer months and I believe I will be able to get a lot of wear out of it this fall as a layering piece! I absolutely love chambray so that's what I'm using. The photo makes it appear a little darker and heavier than it actually is. This pattern requires lots of top stitching, so I'm going to use contrasting bright yellow thread for that. And top complete the look - bright yellow buttons for the front placket!

I just had to show everyone this vintage pattern from 1965. Sadly, it's a super small sub-teen size (31" bust). I think the illustration is one of the neatest I've ever seen, though - it looks like everyone's having a great time, listening to the latest Beatles or Kinks 45, no doubt! I just listed this in my shop this morning if any of you would like to take a peek at the back of the envelope.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Pattern Collection Collage

Here's a digital collage that I've made of my pattern collection - all 50 of them! The image has been shrunk by Blogger, so be sure to click it to see the full size version:

I begin the first project from my whittled down collection tomorrow! First, I will post photos of the pattern, fabric and notions that I will be using and then I will take photos of my progress along the way. I'm so excited!

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!