Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Before and After "Hit Parade" - A 5-Star Salute to the 50s Sailor Dress

The Seamstress: "Polly Esther"
The Pattern: Vintage 1950s McCall's 4395 Sailor Dress

Who doesn't love that timeless sailor style? Well, Polly Esther took this great pattern from the 1950s and McCall's that she purchased from my shop to sew up an absolutely fabulous version of the slim-skirted view.

The Result:  And here is just one view of the chic results. Needless to say, she drew compliments and raves! For more pix and details of all the construction decisions and successes of this sophisticated sailor dress, see Polly Ester - A Sewing Obsession.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The A-Line - Iconic Dress of the 60s

I happened on this video of The Ronettes from 1965 on YouTube and look at those fabulous A-line dresses! Too bad this isn't in color. With scoop neckline and long sleeves, they look very chic and hip! Not to mention, The Ronettes totally rock! Sweet sounds! Enjoy!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Before and After "Hit Parade" - Picture-Perfect Sisters Dress Up 50s Style

The Seamstress: Stephanie Youngs
The Pattern: Vintage 1957 Butterick 8245 Girls Dress, Jumper, and Blouse

Stephanie chose this pattern to sew matching dresses for her daughters, Aubrey and Olive. 

The Result: Two adorable sisters looking picture-perfect in their beautiful 50s party dresses! 

In Stephanie's own words:
"Aubrey and Olive love their 50s style dresses! I love using older patterns because they are so simple and sew up quickly. I did, as many of us sewers do, make some changes to the pattern. Because my material was so light in color and weight I cut extra pieces and lined the top of the dress. My grandmothers especially loved the dresses because it took them back to the dresses their girls used to wear!"

The result shows true inspiration on the part of the Stephanie, when you compare it with the pattern illustration. The matching cummerbunds add the perfect finishing touch. Such cuteness - makes me want to hug these two!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Before and After "Hit Parade" - 40s Pinafore and Pinafter

The Seamstress: "Good Twin. Bad Twin."
The Pattern: Vintage 1940s Marian Martin 9378 Misses' Sundress

To see how super cute 40s fashions can be, I have to point you to the blog of one of my customers. She started with this pattern for a pinafore-style sundress from Marian Martin and the war years:

The Result:  And here is just one view of the absolutely adorable results. For more pix and details of all the construction challenges, decisions, and successes, see Good Twin. Bad Twin. :Sewfisticated.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

A Vintage Perspective on "The One Hundred": The A-Line Dress

I recently picked up the book "The One Hundred" by Nina Garcia, a guide to the pieces every stylish woman should own. I am inspired - not to necessarily build out my wardrobe to include the "basic" 100 - but rather, to feature patterns for as many of the basic items that Nina Garcia lists in her book. Obviously I'll be challenged on some of the non-clothing accessories, but I'm going to give it a try!

We begin with the first chapter, the A-Line Dress. I love what the author says, because it is true - no matter what, the A-line dress always flatters your figure. It's no-fuss, great to accessorize, and was THE iconic dress of the late 60s and 70s. It released women from the constraints of the New Look's hour-glass figure, and went hand-in-hand with the women's movement for equality.

In the coming week or two I'll be posting not only fab A-line dress patterns, but also some A-line fitting patterns from Vogue and Butterick. Here's a sneak peak of A-line dresses I'll be posting this week!

Vogue's Basic Fitting A-Line Shell
Simplicity A-line Dress and Cape
Simplicity A-line Dress and Tunic with Flared Pants
Butterick Mini A-line Dress and Tunic with Flared Pants
Vogue Basic Design A-line Dress with Empire Waist in Two Lengths

Friday, July 1, 2011

Before and After "Hit Parade" - Marvy Mod 70s

The Seamstress: Prefers to remain anonymous
 The Pattern: Vintage 1970 Simplicity 8889

The Result: In her own words: "I'm only an occasional seamstress but the pattern was very easy and I love the result. I bought some pretty vintage fabric as well as vintage seam binding lace to make a real job of this and I'm so pleased, I'm going to make others from it as well. I varied the sleeve length to a three quarter and used the scoop neck option and the fabric is a slightly heavy weave cotton."

Did you notice those fab hoop earrings? They're perfect with the dress! Altogether it's classically wonderful, delightful fashion straight from 1970!:D

Before and After "Hit Parade" - Chic Asymmetry

 The Seamstress: "Polly Esther"

 The Pattern: Vintage 1952 Butterick 6063

The Results: Polly Esther, who is keen on the fashions of the 40s and 50s, loved the asymmetrical bodice of this pattern, but chose a slim skirt over the full one.
Isn't it beautiful? What a gorgeous blue fabric. And check out those fabulous vintage buttons. To read the details of her adventures with this pattern, go to Polly Esther - a Sewing Obsession.