Tuesday, September 24, 2013


Want to get a behind the scenes look at how crazy some of us pattern sellers are? Want to know how we got started and what you're in store for if you keep falling in love with vintage patterns?

Pop over to The Monthly Stitch. They've done some lovely interviews for their Vintage Theme.
Sherri of Sew Betty and Dot
Emily of EmSewCrazy

Pssst... I hear there's some coupon codes being offered as well....

Thursday, September 19, 2013

The Perfect Wrap Dress

The September issue of Threads magazine featured "Wrap Dresses - Easy to Fit and Sew". Visit ThreadsMagazine.com to subscribe or to see more Threads publications.

Threads September 2013

To get you started, take a look as some of the wrap dress patterns offered by the Pattern Patter Team.

Ruffled Neckline
Flared Skirt
More Wrap Dresses

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Lucky Lucille Works With Unprinted Tissues - A Tutorial

Rochelle blogs over at Lucky Lucille. It's a pretty little blog on the outside but look closer.... some serious sewing is going on. Her love of 40's fashions and sewing expertise combine to create some very easy to understand tutorials.

Lucky Lucille - The Basics

I find her latest, Tips for Using Non-Printed Vintage Patterns, to be particularly useful. Never fear the unprinted tissues again. Visit this tutorial and take a gander around Lucky Lucille. It's a blog well worth following.

Interested in a Fall Sewing Challenge

Fall For Cotton

Lucky Lucille and By Gum By Golly have teamed up to host this Fall for Cotton Sewing Challenge. Pop in here for all the details. Hurry Deadline is September 30th.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Focus On: Buttons as Design Elements

By Sherri from sewbettyanddot

Button, button, who's got the button? Vintage pattern designers, that's who!

In today's post, I'm looking at buttons as design elements, not as the practical closures they are. Buttons were in fact first used as decorative items, not as ways to hold your clothes together. The earliest button found dates to about 5,000 years ago in what is now Pakistan, and it was, as you might expect, made out of  a shell. Buttons became status symbols in the Middle Ages, and they often were used--again, decoratively--to follow the curve of a body part (along an arm, up the back, etc.--and they still are: think of gorgeous wedding dresses with many many tiny buttons up the back of the dress, which are also suggestive of the pleasure of undoing of them!).

Poorer people had to make their own buttons, often carving them from bone or shell. Making buttons to sell, as piecework, was also a way to make money; this cottage industry continued until the Industrial Revolution. Dorset buttons, elaborate buttons made with thread, were a way for women, in particular, to support themselves. Again, the advent of mechanized button-making machines meant the demise of this handicraft (which is being revived today: here is a tutorial on how to make your own Dorset buttons).
(Button facts drawn from an article on Slate.com)

Vintage Dorset buttons (The Textile Society.org/UK).

Below are some lovely garments that use buttons as design elements (some are only decorative, some serve both practical and decorative purposes). Buttons were often used to create pleasing asymmetry, as well as to accentuate a scallop, a tab, the midriff...

I've only included adult garments...we'll look at children's clothing another time. And as for buttons themselves--vintage buttons are a whole world unto themselves.

 (Be sure to click on the image to enlarge it to see more detail.)

Images read left to right, top to bottom rows:
Top row
1. Simplicity 4701: PaneenJerez
2. Vogue 120: Anne8865 
3. Advance 9860: BlueTreeSewing  (the classic cheongsam)
Middle row
Bottom row

 Top row
Middle row 
2. (I liked this one so much, it's here twice--oops! See above)
Bottom row

Top row
1. Marian Martin R9053 (a button on/off capelet)
Middle row
Bottom row

Button loveliness galore! 

The Pearly Kings and Queens of London REALLY know how to use buttons as design elements (picture is blurry, but all of the white elements are mother-of-pearl buttons)!
(image from Wikipedia)

What do YOU think is cute as a button? Please tell us in the comments!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Lace on the Cutting Edge

I had the fantastic opportunity to visit the Powerhouse Museum In Sydney last week and view this absolutely stunning lace exhibition. The objects in this competitive show were curated and included many non-objective works as well as pictorial and wearable artworks.

Powerhouse Museum, Sydney NSW

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

September Fashion Alert: What About The Pantsuit?

By Amy Russo of Vienna’s Grace

I am sure most of us would agree that there is nothing more perfect than a man in a great suit! This, and of course functionality, must have been the allure for the 1930s androgynous look of Marlene Dietrich. Photographs of her in a trouser suit by Coco Chanel began to make some fashion waves during this time. The style was quickly embraced throughout the Hollywood Scene, with Lauren Bacall and Lucille Ball as some of the high profile stars to sport the new popular trouser suits. But no other comes to mind than that of Katharine Hepburn, with her casual trousers and matching jacket, from which we start to see the first signs of feminine tailoring in the women’s pantsuits.
During World War II, when men were called to war, all the men’s suits left hanging in the closet sent women to their sewing machines, altering and darting in waistlines to create a working women’s suit. They sported this new fashion with pride for the men defending their country and with pride in themselves for changing the workforce forever.

In the 1960’s, two styles of the pantsuit hit the fashion designer scene. Andre Courreges created what was thought of as a space-like pantsuit. The close fitting design, with collar and sleeve variations, was made in the newest stretchable fabrics. I think this look later evolved into the women’s leisure suit. Although it is not my favorite fashion look, this did serve a purpose for the style evolution of the women’s pantsuit. Then in the 1960’s, Yves St. Laurent hit the disco fashion scene with the femme fatale look of the Le Smoking suit, a men’s classic tuxedo designed for a women’s body. No doubt, the well-known tuxedo scene in Flashdance owes some credit to Yves St. Laurent.
Here are some of the pantsuits that have hit the recent runway, some with bold prints, and others classic in design. There is something so flattering to a women’s silhouette in a suit jacket and trousers. I guess that is what has sent women through the last 90 years, in search of the perfect fitting pantsuit.

Etsy treasury for individual listing links
(reading left to right)
1. Kinseysue-Simplicity 6193 2. Finickypatternshop-Simplicity 9215
3. Fancywork-Simplicity 2395 4. Sutlerssundries-Butterick 6929
5. Retromonkeys-Hollywood 899 6. JFerrariDesigns-Butterick 4202
7. ThePatternSource-Vogue 2956 8. CloesCloset-Vogue 8491
9. Vogue 1326 10. Patternshop-Simplicity 6104
11. MantueMakerPatterns-Simplicity 8866 12. Paneenjerez-DuBarry 6038
13. ErikawithaK-Vogue S4640 14. DesignRewindFashions-Butterick 3916
15. Sewbettyanddot-Vogue 1428 16. Allthepreciousthings- Vogue 8519