Sunday, August 11, 2013

Vintage Pattern Love

I bought a vintage pattern from a thrift store recently after finding out that my other pattern didn't work out :( It was ripped and the seller didn't want to send it on good conscience, but was very sweet about the whole thing. These things happen. I figured if I purchased a pattern that gave me a nice fitted bodice, I could do several things with it. I could add a band and a circle skirt and tah dah!: fifties dress. I could also do a peplum top since those are all the rage now, but I think my hips are a little too hippy for that.

Cutting out the pattern was fairly simple, and I traced it onto some sturdier paper afterwards. I don't want to handle something this old too often, especially if it works!

The muslin on the dress form looked nice enough, with fancy darts and tucks (I have worked with darts, but I've never done tucks before) but I could tell right away it was too big. I tried it on and it was just a size too large, so I turned to Colette Sewing Handbook for a lesson on adjusting patterns.

Adjusting a pattern is not the easiest thing ever, I have learned, but I have made too many clothes that didn't fit right because I didn't test or adjust the pattern. If I'm going to spend some good money on fabric, I don't want to waste it.

Do it right, and do it once!

Once I got started and figured out what I was doing, it was not that bad, just time consuming. (Though, to keep it in perspective, much less time consuming than starting over!) I slimmed the pattern by a quarter of an inch all over, as it was just a hair too big for me, brought in the darts and tucks, and brought out the hips a little bit.

The result was a second muslin that fit wonderfully! Time to commit to the real deal!

I worked with this cotton lawn from Lisette that featured popsicles and ice cream. A perfect fabric for summer, for teaching, and for giggles. I like clothes with a sense of humor. My favorite dress to teach in is covered in cats.

For my first foray into vintage clothing, pattern adjusting, darts and tucks together, and installing an invisible zipper, I feel fantastic about the results!! I feel very Mad Men in this top, especially paired with my favorite circle skirt from the Limited. I'd love to get a nice grey skirt together to go with it--I think the black may be a little harsh, but other colors might be too matchy-matchy.

Or should I go blue skirt? Mad Men ladies match pretty well. Let me know what you think!

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