Sunday 8 March 2015

Sewing Vintage - My Vintage Pledge

Vintage Sewing Pattern Pledge

Considering that most of the time, I use modern patterns to sew from, I do seem to have an awful lot of vintage sewing patterns. They're something which I like to buy for multiple reasons; a) the cover art (swoon!) b) the style of the patterns (ain't nothing like finding the perfect tea dress pattern) c) the design features (when did we stop using sleeve darts??) - I could go on! As it is though, I find it a lot easier to use modern patterns to sew from, especially as a less experienced sewer. So, to actually give some of these lovely patterns a use, this year I've decided to sign up for Marie and Kelly's Vintage Sewing Pattern Pledge. To read my pledge, and to see some of the patterns I might choose to make, read on...

I want to set myself a sensible target, something I know I can definitely achieve, whilst still pushing myself to use more vintage patterns than I normally do. A lot (read: almost all) of my vintage patterns are dresses, and whilst I do love me a good dress, I also want to make a variety of garment types. I wish I could wear dresses all the time, but unfortunately my lifestyle (and the climate!) often dictate otherwise. So, I want to make a few different types of clothing that will be used throughout the year.

So, without further ado, here's my pledge:

I, Charlotte Phillips, will endeavour to sew up three of my vintage patterns or reproductions throughout 2015. 

It's by no means as time challenging as the challenges on Great British Sewing Bee, but it's fun to set a little target. Here's hoping I can do it!

Of course, the best part is now searching through my collection of sewing patterns picking out what I might be making. Here's a look through some of my favourites!

Vintage Sewing Pattern Pledge

The Dresses

Le Roy 597 is a vintage sewers dream - have a look at that classic 50s silhouette! This is a rather scary pattern, in that none of the pattern pieces are marked in any way, and also involves using boning. Paired with the fact that I have no place or event near fancy enough to wear this to means that I think I'll wait a while before making this up.

Simplicity 7120 is a fairly straightforward looking a-line dress. I picked this up because I've been looking for a dress pattern with minimal darts to use with some very specific fabric, and whilst I have not found the perfect pattern yet, the 7120 is a very wearable dress in its own right.

Words cannot express how much I am in love with Burda's range of reproduction vintage patterns - I've got a fair few of these beauties ready to use, and I love the fact that each pattern usually has more than one pattern in it - the cropped jacket in 7113 is particularly adorable.

Sometimes I'll buy vintage patterns in a job lot, and what this means is that there are usually a few standout patterns mixed with ones that don't appeal to me straight away. Butterick 4554 was one of these patterns that on buying, I didn't really give it a second look, but whenever I'm looking through my stash it always stands out as something I would love to make. It's a fairly simple shape, with gathering above the bust, and an option for cut out shoulders. I'm imagining this in a chambray type fabric for summer perfection.

Vogue 9157 looks like such a fun garment to sew - Vogue aren't lying when they class this as being 'Very Easy' - it has a total of 3 pattern parts! Of course, the fabric used on the sleeve illustration is one of my favourite parts of this pattern, but I can imagine it working in something plainer too.

Vintage Sewing Pattern Pledge

The Separates

Okay, okay, so I definitely bought Woman's MP3 solely because of that dress (so 60s!), but the other patterns in it are also rather appealing to me. The top and shorts are so simple and plain, that they'll never go out of fashion, and I'm also strangely drawn to those flares. They'd probably look better with a less exaggerated shape though! I'm thinking that the dressing gown would make a great kimono type throwover (minus the tie belt), although I think I need a lot of convincing on that bathing suit. Someone with a lot more confidence would look great in it though!

I actually bought Style Print 1314 believing it to be separates, but it's actually a sneaky pattern which looks like you're wearing separates, when actually you're wearing a dress. Not the easiest thing to wear, I have to admit. Instead though, I'm thinking that the top half of this could be made up on its own - it's a fairly standard boxy little top. In houndstooth, obviously.

Vogue 8125 is a pattern which I found exactly at the right moment - I've been planning to make an a-line skirt exactly like a few of the variations included here for what feels like forever. However, when buying I didn't consider a couple of things - the sizing is completely wrong, so I'm going to have to alter the pattern completely, which is a little intimidating to me. Also, a page of the instructions is missing, so at the moment I think I'd feel out of depth using this pattern. It's definitely one I want to use in the future though, because I love pretty much everything going on here - the 70's button down styles, the jean-style pockets, and that wrap around maxi skirt all look very interesting. If you know of any good tutorials for grading patterns up, please let me know!

I'd love to hear any tips or stories you have of sewing from vintage patterns!


  1. These look lovely! Can't wait to see hear how you get on :)


    1. Thanks, Gemma! Fingers crossed, I'll reach my target :)