Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Sewing Inspiration: more Shabby Apple

As promised in my previous post, here are more Shabby Apple inspiration dresses... (if you're reading this on the home page, don't forget to click "Read More" to see the rest!)

(I have this pattern, can't wait to make it!)

(Butterick has the WORST line drawings-- I can't believe I had to use the pattern cover.)

Co-Ed Skirt - BurdaStyle "Kasia"

Pineapple Princess - Simplicity 2282 OR New Look 6124
(I have this Simplicity pattern as well. I didn't realize until I saw this dress that I wished the peplum went all the way around the front.)

Monday, June 18, 2012

Please Reissue: Simplicity listened!

Seems like we've gone several new pattern releases without Simplicity putting out a new re-issue of a vintage pattern.

Well, it seems they read my first "Please Reissue" post, because they've put out a new 1940s dress pattern... and it's AWESOME looking! They even styled the model with victory rolls!

Simplicity 1777 is a sweet 1940s dress with gathers down the front and long sleeve or three-quarter sleeve options:
Simplicity circa 1943 Misses' retro dress includes front inset with V or jewel neckline with button detail, front bodice ruching and pleated front slim skirt. Dress can be made with long or 3/4 sleeves. Simplicity archives vintage pattern.
The red and black contrast one is a little Star Trek looking for me, but I'm loving it made up in the floral like the brown one on the model. I can't wait to buy Simplicity 1777!

Just on an aside, nothing else from the Simplicity Early Autumn 2012 Pattern Collection really jumped out at me... what about you? It's probably a good thing, my pattern stash is overflowing as it is.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Sewing Inspiration: Shabby Apple

Even though I'd seen it mentioned around the blogosphere, I'd never visited online clothing retailer Shabby Apple. I thought it was just another "The Shabby/Lettered/Tattered/Old/Rustic Cottage/Nest/Home/Farmhouse Blog" or something.

I finally clicked on one of their ads the other day and was pleasantly surprised with their cute dresses. While most were out of my price range, I liked that they went up to my size-- as long as I were to order a dress that goes by their "Fits Generously" size chart.

Alas, it seems like they may be phasing out that size chart in favor of more petite sizing. So I guess I'll just have to stick with them for sewing inspiration... something I found plenty of on their site! In fact, there were quite a few dresses that I knew instantly the pattern I would use were I to make up a Shabby Apple inspired dress...

So many that I don't think I'll be able to include them all in one post. But here's a few to get started. Please let me know if you make any of these, and send me pics!

Bernini - also looked like a Danielle to me

Friday, June 8, 2012

WIP: craft desk & sewing nook makeover

Well, I'm still plunking away at my sewing nook. You may remember I did a DIY wallpaper collage on the back of it. I covered up a non-functional cork board.

Next order of business was a sewing machine cover.
sewing machine cover1

I basically drew my inspiration from here, but my sides are rectangular instead of trapezoidal. Trapezoidian? Trapzoidular?

They have a free pattern that I followed loosely.

Mine's muslin, not upholstery fabric like theirs, so it's much droopier. But I like it.
sewing machine cover2

When I was researching this project, I came across a lady on a message board who responded to others talking about their own sewng machine cozies who said "why would you want to sew a machine cover? It comes with one..."
  sewing machine cover3
Um, huh? Am I the only one who thinks that's a weird reaction from a person who enjoys sewing enough to own a sewing machine and to be participating in a sewing message board?

In other news, I'm working on Simplicity 2176. Hopefully that's done soon.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Please reissue more...

I shouldn't be complaining, really.

Us vintage fans are lucky that the big four pattern companies re-issue patterns at all. But I've noticed a certain... propensity... of said pattern companies to mostly stick to the slight variations of the same full-skirted 50's dress. Even the ones they label circa the forties seem to have the same silhouette.

Don't get me wrong, I love the full-skirted 50s dress as much as the next gal. And clearly, so do most other sewers, as they're pretty much the most popular pattern reissue I see sewn up again and again.

Or is the 50s dress sewn up so much because that's the most easily obtained vintage/retro pattern re-issue? It's like the chicken or the egg question.

So I'm calling on the big four to add more variety to their pattern re-issues. Something besides dresses, jackets, dresses, suits, and oh yeah, dresses. And something more than a bunch of 50s, with a couple of 30s, 40s, and 60s thrown in for good measure.

I suppose you're wondering why I just don't do like everyone else in the online sewing world wander on down to my local thrift shop and pick up a vintage pattern. That's all well and good if I'm looking for a 90s patterns fit for Elaine Benes (I complain a LOT about my local thrift stores, in case you're not a regular reader). Or you may be wondering why I don't buy what I'm looking for on eBay or Etsy. And I tell you because they either don't have my size, or the pattern costs too much, or both. In some cases, the pattern maker didn't even originally make my size. And as for grading-- I don't want to spend 15 bucks on a pattern only to have to adjust it.

And as long as I'm on the subject, why doesn't McCall's have any reissues? Two others under the McCall's umbrella do (Vintage Vogue and Butterick Retro). And while Simplicity is the only one who's at least provided us with some fun pants and tops in it's Simplicity Retro reissues (in fact, they currently only have one 50s pattern and it's not a full-skirted one), it's total number of retro offerings are scarce at best.

Of course, I'm not talking about the indy brands. There are a few indy brands that specialize in new patterns modeled after vintage looks, including Wearing History and Decades of Style. And it's widely accepted that Colette Patterns are contemporary clothes with vintage flair. If you're new to sewing, the "Big Four" I've been referring to are McCall's, Vogue, Butterick, (Kwik Sew is under their umbrella as well), and Simplicity (which includes New Look and Burda). Burda does have a small handful of reissues as well.

So, at the risk of sounding like I'm giving a 4-H presentation... in summary, the major pattern conglomerates should include more variety in their re-issues because of...

  • Cost - Hey, it's no secret that Simplicity, McCall's, and Butterick can be nabbed for $.99 to $1.99 a piece during sales at a certain chain, while sale Vogues can run you $3.99. Real vintage patterns, on the other hand, can sometimes command a hefty price on eBay, Etsy, flea markets, and other outlets.
  • Size availability - Am I the only one who can never find vintage patterns in my size? Seems like they're mostly in the 32-36 bust range. Petite girls and fuller girls alike enjoy vintage styles too. Not to mention, we're larger than we were back then. And I don't mean fatter. Each generation gets taller as well.
  • Availabilty in general - There were only so many patterns made back in the day-- before they became "vintage". There isn't an endless supply of patterns from the 40s, 50s, and 60s, and they're bound to become more and more scarce. Re-issues are like history books come to life, enabling individuals to experience fashion from the past.
So, I had planned on making this a single post with a list of specific patterns and styles I wished the biggies would reissue. But I just kept thinking of more and more patterns, and decided to make this a series on my blog. There's one specific pattern I'll be discussing at length, that when I asked Simplicity's Facebook (that's a hint) to about reissuing it, tons of people chimed in and agreed.

Are there any specific patterns, styles, or eras you'd like to see reissued? Remember, if you go too far back in time, some of those patterns are available in the costume section as opposed to the various "Retro" or Vintage" sections.
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