Sunday, April 25, 2010

Vintage Patterns

I love vintage patterns. Almost all my patterns are vintage to some degree. I do have a few new ones, but only a few - mostly for the Princess. I shop thrift stores (you can't beat 25 cents each!) and my favorite website - Momspatterns. Some folks also use Etsy and E-bay. If you go to the Dressaday blog there are also lots of links to vintage pattern sellers - but Momspatterns is my hands-down favorite. 

The photo above is my current vintage project and it is for the Princess's college wardrobe. It is a slip from the 1930's. The first version I am making is for a contest entry for the Pattern Review vintage pattern contest. This first version is a polyester crepe backed satin in white. I even learned to do french seams to be true to the vintage intent. After this one is done, I have plans for one in flannel backed satin, and another in black cotton interlock. The flannel backed satin will be great for extra warmth in the winter. The interlock version will function as a camisole on the top part - probably with a bit of lace edging. The bottom will function as an underskirt for a wraparound skirt to keep it modest when it falls open (as it seems to want to do.)  

Once you learn to look past the envelope art with its dated hair, fabrics, and accessories - and instead look at the actual silhouette of the  garment - you will be amazed that a skirt, is a skirt, is a skirt. Many times these older patterns are better made and have better instructions - depending on the decade. But once you venture back before the 1950's it was assumed you already knew the basics of sewing and the directions actually get really sparse - and the pattern tissue will probably have no printed guidelines on it, instead they use a series of holes and notches to show grain lines, darts, matching points and so on. They aren't really hard once you really study it, but it can still be intimidating. 

Don't overlook a great pattern just because it looks "old". They can be a lot of fun, save you money, and challenge your design ability. 

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