Saturday, October 22, 2011

the great vintage pattern hunt

For my birthday, my mother-in-law gave me some pretty material (above).
As part of the gift, when she comes to stay over Christmas, we are going to
make a dress together (I can't sew). So, I need to find me a pattern. I've been
cruising etsy for vintage ones in my size (bust 38'') and I am trying to work out
what era would work with the material. I am thinking a nice 50s dress, but it
can't be too complicated. Does anyone have advice, an opinion on some patterns
(below) I am contemplating? Thoughts would be appreciated.


  1. Beautiful material. This is such a great idea to make a dress. My mother in law has helped me with sewing before too. I hope you have fun.

  2. The last one - without the bow (view 1)....a pretty and busy pattern like that will need a fairly simple dress that doesn't have any fussy details - they will get totally lost in the print.

    UNLESS - you make the details out of a contrast fabric (green, white or pink).

    The top pattern is really nice too, the short sleeved view 2 .

  3. Oh oh that fabric is so pretty! ROSES!!!!
    I think you are so right to make a gorgeous 50's style dress, it will be heavenly. Summer sweetness at it's best. V

  4. Dearest, I cant seem to comment on my own posts (!) so am going to repond to your comment here (and tell you how adorable your blog is while I am at it !)Fancy Pants did end up taking a nip out of a cup cake after the photo - funny you should mention that !! And we adore our chooks too....hoping that if I end up moving to Melbs next year I can manage to take them with me !! And if I do, we must catch up and do coffee sometime !! XOXO

  5. What a great gift! So I wish I could sew well, actually mediocre would be fine with me. The first dress pattern I tried was this one.. It comes in every size and is easy to understand and the pattern isn't insane.

    It is a B4790 Retro Butterick Misse's wrap dress. Online the patterns are 12, but if you go to any Joanns fabrics, its 2$. Hope that helps!

  6. That material is beautiful, it's going to make an awesome dress. I love the middle pattern - have you checked Vogue patterns perchance? They have a great range of 40's and 50's dresses in their vintage collection and also have a 'very easy' section for newbies which are a doddle - even I can make them! and , hope these help! xx

  7. Oh dear I wonder what happened to my comment?

    Anyways - my choice would be the last one without the bow. Any fussy details like bows will get lost in your busy pattern so the cleaner the lines of the dress the better :-)
    Unless you do your bow or other details in a contrast fabric of course. :-D

    I know others have recommended the reproduction patterns but I don't really like them. They have inches and inches of ease (making the sizing way off) and they 'modernise' the patterns which I don't think they need.
    Also, my Vogue repro pattern was on much flimsier paper than all the vintage (60 year old!) ones I have. And they cost more!
    The instructions ARE easier to understand, but if your MIL is an experienced seamstress then she wont need uber-detailed instructions.

    Hope that helps!

  8. Oh I really like the second pattern! will look gorgeous in that fabric :) I can see u wearing it with some cat eye sunglasses haha

    I never seem to be able to work out patterns, I also get my mum to help me. Too many pieces to cut out, and interfacing...what the heck!?

    Talitha xx

  9. Oh ladies, thank you so much for the pattern suggestions. I shall go and research them all immediately. I have no clue what is a cinch, what is over-ambitious...

  10. hehe you saw christian! where did you see him? we were at savers in the morning but my foot was hurting so i went home and christian went out again! so funny!!!!