Monday, 23 January 2017

An interesting vintage pattern

I really like the new blog called Catherine's Patterns.  She is talking about vintage patterns and showing very beautiful examples. She will also introduce some of her own designs in the future. I am looking forward to that.

She showed a really lovely floaty number from the Jazz Age exhibition and a 1920s pattern from her own collection - both dresses have the bodice wrap around towards the back.  A really fascinating detail!

I must say that I didn't used to be that keen on vintage patterns because most of them look best on figures that are very different to my measurements so I feel that most vintage garments would not be ideal for me.

What I love about them is that many patterns show details and design features that you can't find in modern patterns. Take the side seam that Catherine wrote about: how lovely is that?  Have you ever seen a sewing pattern with this kind of side seam?  I don't think I have.

The follow-on thing from the above that I like about vintage patterns is that you can find very intriguing design ideas and if it is possible to isolate them from the rest of the pattern, then they might be a fantastic source of inspiration for copying to your own sewing projects.

Reading Catherine's blog made me think about what vintage patterns had found their way into my pattern stash (why does a stash feel like the Star Trek episode with 'The Tribbles'? They seem to multiply when I'm not looking).

And see, I had bought several!  Oh boy.

But most of them have some kind of detail that I really like and hope to use by Frankenpatterning the vintage element with a modern pattern that will fit me.  Not that I have already developed a template block pattern that fits me really well just yet, but I fully intend to get there one beautiful day.

Here is one I just had to get because of the collar, - well, the front view of the collar:

Vogue 9083. I believe this is a reprint so you can still buy this pattern

Just look how gorgeous this looks both as part of the dress and under a jacket too!  I just love it.

It is this kind of structural looking design element that appeals to me.  Having said that, the skirt is not at all bad either.  In fact I really like the pocket placement at the bottom of the side panel seam.  I wonder how difficult that is to sew?  It is probably a good idea to strengthen the corner of the centre front piece with a little bit of interfacing...

Never mind, back to the collar.

It tunrs out that it is not part of the dress.  The dress in fact is shoulder and strap less. The bodice part is a bustier shape with a horizontal seam across under the arms, and parallel to the ground all the way around. Who'd have thought.

The collar then buttons onto that bustier in four places on the front, the back of the collar hangs down and is not attached.

When I looked at the collar before I could study the pattern pieces, I had intended to make the back of the collar a very different shape to this sailor's collar rectangle. Perhaps a gentle curve across, or some more shaping to this curve.

I still want to go with a design change like that but I may have to make a top or dress that does have shoulders.  A collar that's much less high at the centre back could flip up in windy weather.  I am also thinking of sewing this to my top or dress (made from a pattern that fits me well) as if the back of the collar is a back yoke instead.

It would also make it easier to slip into a jacket without getting the back all squashed up.

What do you think of the idea?


  1. I also love that collar detail and would never have guessed it covered bare shoulders. I am not comfortable in strapless so I would make a more traditional dress and layer the design feature over if. A jacket to fit over it might need to replicate the swing shape of the original to gov you enough room, but I am looking forward to what you come up with.

  2. I was also thinking traditional dress (ie with shoulders on it) rather than strapless, particularly when I first saw the pattern.
    I do hope I can make this soon, this one is in my pile of 'would love to' and 'one of these days', ahem.