Friday, 10 July 2015

Pattern Friday–an occasional series

As you know, I have been collecting vintage dressmaking patterns and thought I would highlight one or two of my favourites in an occasional series.

First is the ‘Greet the Spring’ dress, a 1950s/60sdress pattern produced by Woman’s Realm. 


Woman’s Realm was a UK magazine launched in 1958 aimed at post war women who were used to ‘running a house on a ration book’.  Goods of any kind were scarce and many women would make their own clothes.  Sadly this magazine closed in 2001, and was merged with Woman’s Weekly.  It was said that mature women were more interested in celebrity lifestyle magazines than cooking, baking, crotchet and dressmaking.  I feel that this tide may be turning back to craft magazines now, judging by the number of sewing, knitting and crotchet magazines on the shelves!

Imagine my delight when checking this pattern for completeness that I came across the original magazine article about this dress!  I love it when I find someone’s notes or a clipping in an old pattern or book!  It is the ‘Greet the Spring’ Dress, and the article suggests that ‘all the gay delights of spring are blended in this dress that cannot fail to flatter you’! 


All for the bargain price of 9d (about 4p in today’s money), incidentally that is the cost of a can of baked beans in 1965.  How times have changed!  You can’t buy a dressmaking pattern for the price of a can of baked beans now can you?

I think this dress looks very 1950s, but as the magazine only launched in 1958, it could be early 1960s.  I guess if the magazine was aimed at the mature woman, they wouldn’t be selling mini skirt dress patterns!  I love the gathers into the bodice at the neckline, very pretty.  The full skirt is created from soft gathers, but is flat between the bodice darts to hide a full tummy!  The article says that it has been made from the ‘new drip-dry cotton’, to avoid creases and the need for much ironing.  It is pretty much fabric-hungry as it takes 4 3/4 to 5 yards of 36” wide fabric!

This pattern is for sale in my Etsy shop   along with lots of other vintage patterns from other decades.  Do pop over and have a look.

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Casual tops

Looking back over Me Made May, I decided that I was in need of some casual tops to wear over leggings.  So I bought these 2 Kwik Sew patterns, 3593 and 3533.

First up is Kwik Sew 3593.  I sewed this from brown t-shirting bought from Fabricland.  The contrast yoke is from a big bag of scraps that was donated to me.  It’s a lovely stretch fabric with a slight nap, giving it a lovely velvety feel.  I deliberated over the length this top should be, and nearly shortened it to t-shirt length.  I decided t keep it longer on the advice of friends.


Here’s Kwik Sew 3533.  I sewed this using a remnant of jersey from C&H fabrics.  I really love the colours!  I found the black jersey for contrast bands in the big bag of scraps too!  It’s a light jersey that will be useful in summer and winter with a long sleeved top underneath.  I cut this as a large size and then took it in lots!  I am still not too happy about it, it still feels a bit big.  I decided on the modesty panel as it has turned out very low!  Maybe I need to lift it at the shoulders?


Finally, I made this little doggie messenger bag to carry essential stuff on dog walks!  I bought the printed hessian type fabric several years ago at Sandown quilt show.  I found the pattern in an old Better Homes and Gardens quilting magazine.


And here’s the little doggie that I am just beginning to take for walks!  His name is Barney and he is nearly 4 months old now.