Hello! After a very long sabbatical from blogging, I think I am ready to return, albeit in a limited way. I mainly plan to stick to posting reviews of my sewing projects. Nothing fancy, until I need to teach sewing again, because then I am planning on making some video tutorials to share. There is also a lot of editing to go back and do now that I have switched to WordPress, to get my links working again, but that is not a high priority in my day-to-day.
After teaching my first college-level sewing course, I am inspired by my students to get back into garment sewing for myself, especially from my vintage patterns. In my minimalist journey I have downsized my wardrobe a lot to mostly practical, uniform-like pieces (not unlike Doug Funny, I have 5 of the same pairs of jeans and mostly the same t-shirt in several colors with one scarf that matches them all). It is extremely freeing, especially when I have a rushed morning. However, I still like to have some unique handmade items, like dresses, which are also practical once the summer heat hits. It would not hurt either to boost my small selection of professional clothes.
I am trying to keep my plans concise so as not to overwhelm myself with options, which leads to indecision. None of these are wintery; I’ve never been one to make winter clothes, instead I cheer myself by making things in anticipation of warmer weather.
Dresses and Jumpsuits
I started a muslin of Simplicity 5889 years ago and have decided to pull it back out. Vintage half size patterns (or 1940s patterns) are the closest I can get to a pattern that fits me out of the envelope and most were produced during the 1960s. I like both the sleeveless and 3/4 sleeve options and both styles of collar. The bell shaped skirt shown on the black dress is a style I find very flattering for my body shape , whereas pencil styles are very unforgiving unless I can get my fit very exact and have had a light lunch that day.
I don’t know why I haven’t made a Parfait as the original Colette patterns seem to fit me excellently and this one would require little fitting anyways. I suspect I was wary of it looking too juvenile. Sundresses are in short supply in my wardrobe and there is already fabric waiting in my stash.
Why yes, I have been watching too many Nancy Drew television episodes from the 70s! It also makes me think of Star Wars, Charlie’s Angels and Mork and Mindy. I really love jumpsuits, but have rarely owned them. The fact that I found two patterns for them in my half size in the same store is practically a miracle. I do have my doubts about the fit as it is only belted and 70s patterns were made for very flat stomachs, so a muslin is in order.
I think this one will be no issue when it comes to fit, since it is so flowy. I don’t get the appeal of the vests over the jumpsuits, so I won’t be sewing those. This one requires serious yardage, so I’m waiting until I find the just right fabric, but I wanted to show it off.
This set is something I have been working on for a year now. I was surprised to find the bra top is much too roomy, while the shorts fit perfectly, usually I have not enough room in the bust and bottoms are too tight in the waist. It is a very cute set, so I would like to finish it. I am undecided about the overshirt. Now that I know I like the fit of the shorts I would like to make the pedal pusher version in a lightweight denim, as there is a photo of my Grammy in a very similar pair.
Here’s that bell skirt shape again that I love so much. I have plenty of fabric options in my stash for it, but none enough for a matching jacket. I also plan to make the blouse, so that will give me a jump start on some professional pieces. Eventually I’d like the shift dress too.
This pattern is more casual than the one above, but I would like some more sleeveless shirts and shorts in my wardrobe that aren’t from a hiking store! Maybe I’ll eventually make the skirt, but I’m really more into the other two pieces. These seem perfect for our annual trips to Maine. The cabin is still decorated in the style of the 1960s, so I feel like a bum when I wear jogging shorts and surfing sweatshirts there. Pieces like this allow me to live out my Nancy Drew summer camp dreams.
McCall’s finally put out a basic but not boxy shirt pattern with cup size options! For now my plan is to make View A, probably without the pockets, but maybe with a full collar.
I’m a little wary of this one – it seems like the fabric and styling choices can really make or break it. I also suspect there will need to be some alterations in the bust, but hopefully nothing crazy as it is really just two darts and a waist tie. Seems perfect for hot days and housework.
Another Dottie Angel pattern! Again, fine line here between cute country-girl chic and becky home-ecky frumptasticness. My lightweight jacket is in need of replacement and I thought this would be a good Spring option. Fall, in my opinion, calls for something more wooly and traditional. However, with the high cost of pre-quilted fabrics, this gets tabled until there is a really good JoAnn’s sale or coupon.
Summer pajamas are in short supply for me. I haven’t made any since my Madeleine bloomers about 4 years ago. I was thrilled when I saw this pattern – usually the babydoll style features a yoke with a lot of gathering over the bust, which I find to be incredibly unflattering on me. I also usually avoid Advance patterns as I always have problems with them, but I gave in for this Gidget perfection. The best part is it includes the bloomers for underneath! This will have to be another splurge though, as I don’t have stash fabric for it.