Sunday, June 22, 2014

Vintage Sewing Pattern Pledge checkin - a.k.a. "Are the 80s vintage?!"

A few weeks ago, I added the Vintage Sewing Pattern Pledge button to my sidebar - I love this concept!  Marie from A Stitching Odyssey created a pledge to sew 5 vintage patterns from her stash in 2014.  What a great challenge!  She invited readers to join her in sewing vintage patterns and customize the challenge to suit them.  From one in the year to one every month, folks are incorporating vintage patterns into their sewing for 2014.

As for me, I love this pledge because it makes use of vintage patterns and it is spread over a long time frame with open-ended parameters... sounds like a recipe for success - so I thought I'd join in the fun.

This year, I've really enjoyed getting familiar with indie patterns and designers and I have a wishlist a mile long of new patterns that I'd like to try - but I'm also on a budget, love to wear vintage, and love thrift-store shopping... so I have been collecting patterns from across the decades lately. This pledge is great inspiration and motivation to experiment with my finds.  Here are my most recent acquisitions in the thrifted pattern category.  I'm collecting them faster than I can possibly sew them all, but it's great to have patterns on hand for future projects. (And lest you think I paid a whole 45 cents for each of these - fear not!  They were actually 75% off since they had been sitting around the Salvation Army for so long.)


So, without further ado:

I pledge to make at least 5 garments this year from 20th century patterns.

Sorry. I can't quite comfortably call 80's and 90's patterns "vintage" yet, so I'm just saying 20th century, which will cover most of the patterns I've found at thrift stores. I guess I'm just not ready to think that stuff I once wore brand new is proper vintage yet.  Please humor me for a few more years, as I come to accept this & maybe in 2015 I will make a pledge to sew 5 patterns from before I was born!

I read a recent update on the Vintage Pattern Pledge and realized that my current project actually fits the pledge, which inspired me to do a little roundup of my own.

I'm currently working on an Eighties top from a pattern I got on one of my Grants Pass thrifting adventures. It's from 1988. It's a really simple shape that I have sliced up to incorporate a fun bit of fabric I also found in a Grants Pass thrift store.  This modified pattern has been a great opportunity to practice the French seaming method I learned from Gertie's New Book for Better Sewing.  I am a little embarassed to admit this, but the finishing method I used to do that I thought was a French seam was actually a flat felled seam.  It makes a similar finish only stitched down, but little did I know - there is an easier way! I learned so much from Gertie's seam finishing chapter and now proper French seams seem easy-peasy, so I am really enjoying them. Look: it's a French seam convergence!

More on this project in another post, once it's finished... now back to the vintage pattern sewing pledge. I'm working my way back in time, slowly.  So far, this year I've sewn a dress and a skirt from 1994 and a sweatshirt from 1988, as well as adapting a smock dress from the 1970s.

Here's that 1970's smock dress muslin that got me back into sewing my own clothes! I ditched the pattern after making the muslin because the shape I was dreaming of from doll clothes doesn't really flatter my body type at all... but I am still glad that I tried it because it made me realized how much I love to sew for myself.

And here's my 1994 babydoll dress, my 1988 knit pullover made with vintage fabric, and my 1994 skirt.
I feel like I'm working my way back in time through retro/throwback patterns, but what I really consider as vintage patterns are things from the 1970s and earlier... so I went through my stash to pick some older patterns for the rest of the year.  Here are my top three.
I love the 1974 wrap skirt and the 70's knit tops, especially the collared ones.  I also think this high-waisted dress is adorable and may give me the feeling I was dreaming of with that first smock dress pattern and the Chelsea, but in a more flattering shape.  It's an undated pattern, but I am guessing 1960s as the fashion era for this one.  I'm also beginning to search etsy and ebay for a 1950's New Look style shirtwaist dress to delve even further back in time as 2014 progresses.

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