Tuesday, October 15, 2013


Hi my name is Amy and I am the owner of ViennasGrace. This coming January I will be celebrating 3 years as a vintage pattern seller on Etsy.  I am married, my husband Jim and I share the love of all things vintage. From classic cars to furniture, we love it all! My obsession is, you guessed it, sewing patterns! We have two kids, Tanner our son is 6, and Vienna, my shop’s name sake, is 8. I never planned on naming my shop after my daughter, it just happened and stuck. We live in a very rural mountain area in California very near Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.
            I’ve been sewing since the 4th Grade, a country girl and member of 4-H. I continued to sew as a teenager in the 1980’s I found that having the ability to sew could come in handy. I could buy the boring clothes off the rack and alter them to mimic Seventeen Magazine and fashions from MTV. I used every tool available to me to make my clothing unique. I used bleach, fabric dyes, and of course my sewing machine. My mother stood watching shaking her head and dismayed at my choice of alterations. Even today, in my 40’s, I still use my sewing skills and love of vintage to create a mix of vintage and modern fashions for my daily wardrobe.
            When my grandparent’s home was being cleaned out after they had both passed, I found a box of my grandmother’s sewing patterns in the dumpster. They were patterns dating from the 1930’s to the 1950’s. I rescued that box and my collection was started. I saw in vintage patterns so many possibilities of glamour and high fashion. My love affair with vintage fashion had begun. My collection continued to grow as did my desire to share them with others. I wanted to inspire others to create their own personal style.
 McCall's 4414

            When people ask me about my job, I say, “Oh this is never a job, it is something I treasure. I enjoy every minute.” I do truly enjoy and love what I do. The whole process of finding, researching, and even checking to make sure that each pattern has all of its pieces. Every pattern I pick up and hold in my hands has a history. My goal is to make sure it has a future.  I enjoy the patterns so much that that sometimes I forget to take the time to create fashions for myself. I think that every era of fashion has value. I don’t have an era that I focus on. Right now I’m drawn to the 1930’s and the 1960’s. Someone once said that my personal style was an even mix of Jimi Hendrix and Veronica Lake.
            I share my personal style and viewpoint on current fashion trends and mixing vintage and modern, as well as vintage sewing patterns every month on the Pattern Patter Team Blog.  I write about fashion trends and the history of the style. My most recent contribution can be found by clicking HERE .

            Viennas Grace  is offering blog readers a special coupon code for readers! RUFFLES2RUBIES for 20% off exp. 11-15-13

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Focus On: Skirt Styles

By Sherri of Sew Betty and Dot

Skirts, in some version or other, have been a part of the human wardrobe for millennia--prehistoric cave paintings show male and female figures wearing a type of skirt. Roman and Greek men also wore a form of skirt (as well as tunics and togas, more like a draped dress). In Western cultures, men  stopped wearing skirts by about the Middle Ages (14th century)--with the exception of kilts, of course--but in hot climates, they continue to wear skirt-like garments (the Indian dhoti, the sarong).

Women's skirts--and we're talking about the "skirt" part of a dress at the moment, not necessarily a separate garment--quickly evolved into elaborate constructions with elaborate underpinnings--crinolines, petticoats, and hoops, reaching a pinnacle in the 18th century: hoop skirts during the Civil War era were often an astonishing six feet across.

A brief history of the skirt in the twentieth century: French designer Paul Poiret introduced the hobble skirt, which was as it sounds: a skirt that was tight around women's legs, substantially altering her gait.
A hobble skirt: 1911 postcard. Image from Wikipedia
By the 1920s, Coco Chanel and Jean Patou helped raise hemlines to the knee--think Flapper dress--and then in the 1930s Patou reversed course and introduced longer, mid-calf-length skirts. World War II fabric rationing meant that skirts were fairly streamlined and tailored. In 1947, Christian Dior introduced the New Look: yards and yards of fabric to make a very full skirt (with a VERY nipped-in waist). In the 1950s, slim and full skirts were in fashion (and patterns from this era often offer a choice of skirts). Of course, the 1960s saw mini skirts arrive--thank you, Mary Quant and André Courrèges--and in the seventies, women could choose maxi, midi, mini, or micro-mini. In the 1980s, designer Christian Lacroix introduced "Le Pouf," a bubble skirt seen on socialites everywhere. All of these styles have made a comeback over the years, and in the anything-goes twenty-first century, we're free to wear any one of these that strikes our fancy (well, there aren't too many hoop skirts walking down the street!).

Let's go! Skirt styles, some practical, some fantasitc--and again, some are attached to bodices and are thus part of a dress--currently on offer from the Pattern Patter team. 

(As always, please click on the images to make them larger.)

Top row, left to right: 4-gored skirt from 1939: McCall 3188: She’ll Make You Flip
Accordion pleats: Vogue S-4832: RetroMonkeys
Middle row: Knife pleats: Simplicity 1279: JFerrariDesigns
Inverted pleats: Vogue 8668: Redcurlz
Bottom row: Pencil/straight skirt: Butterick 5594: VioletCrownEmporium
Modern hobble (1960): McCall 5320: SoVintageOnEtsy

Top row, left to right: Exaggerated full circle skirt: McCall's 4357: SewBetty and Dot
Two gores, inverted pleat/two gores, underlay, slot seam: McCall's5048: MidvaleCottage
Middle row: Tiered skirt: McCall 7258: PrettyPatternShop
Top row, left to right: 1920s wrap skirt: Butterick 1480: Vintage Needle Finds
Wrapped and buttoned: McCall’s 3887: EmSewCrazy
Middle row: Flounce in back pleat: Style 4859: All the Precious Things
Bottom row: Sarong style: Advance 8634: pinkpolkadotbutton

Left to right: Pouf/bubble/“harem”: McCall’s 4690: Frisky Scissors
High/low hem: Vogue 1686: SelvedgeShop

That wraps up--pun intended--this quick (and gorgeous!) trip through Skirt Land...there are so many variations and combinations of these styles available. Just search "vintage skirt pattern patter" and see what treasures you'll uncover! Tell us in the comments about YOUR  favorite skirt style!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

October Trends Alert Vintage Pattern Style

By Amy Russo of ViennasGrace
Beach Pyjamas…lounging pajamas anyone?
Yes please! I’m not talking about the 20 something girls wandering the grocery store aisles in drawstring PJ’s at 2:00 in the afternoon. Or the default soccer mom attire of the black velour hoodie and sweatpants with writing across the derrière. I am talking about the introduction in the 1930’s of women’s high fashion resort wear. The sporty beach girl in palazzo pants and halters for day and the glamorous hostess wearing a satin jumpsuit for evening parties. First seen in these beach gals, although their tops could have used a bit more support, they are wearing the forerunner of today’s jumpsuits.
1930s Beach Gals
Here is some of the most glamorous women to ever reach the silver screen in lounging pajamas, the early jumpsuits in fashion………I have no doubt that these Hollywood starlets must have glided into the room wearing their fashion forward ensembles.

We would see glimpses here and there of the jumpsuit in the 1940s, but more for the women’s workforce in an overall style. The 1960s-70s brought a revival of the halter palazzo pants and many other views of the jumpsuit.

Although I am sure Elvis would declare himself king of the jumpsuit and all of Charlie’s Angels the Queen’s court, I am pretty sure that we did not see the true return of the jumpsuit royalty until the 2012 SAG awards.
Standing on the red carpet like a glimmering beauty, Rose Byrne set a new standard in an Elie Saab White crystal jumpsuit, and single handedly brought the return of the glamorous jumpsuit.
It has been a fashion statement that continues to evolve throughout the decades. Even Mylie Cyrus looks classic in her red bloused tapered leg jumpsuit. Many of today’s fashion loving celebrities are smart enough to know that jumpsuits make the right kind of fashion statement, at casual and formal occasions.

As with all celebrity and designer trends the ready to wear market will be showing us a much toned down version of the high fashion jumpsuit. For those DIY fashionistas, there are options galore in vintage sewing patterns. I say “bring it on”, don’t wait for ready to wear to catch up to the demands of true fashion. Time to toss aside a cookie cutter look this holiday season. If you want comfort and fashion, a 1960s pantdress pattern, can offer both. It would be perfect for holiday parties in a glimmery knit fabric. Leave behind the same, safe, little black dress, go for the 1970’s palazzo jumpsuit on New Year’s Eve. If you ever have the worries of being over or under dressed, wear a jumpsuit with a metallic heel, bring along a pair of ballet flats, for quick fashion adjustments. Oh, for those that are just not ready to 100% commit to the “one piece-ness” of a jumpsuit, then separates are your answer. A matching wide legged pant with a tucked in top can give the perfect illusion of the jumpsuit’s flattering lines. For those that shy away from showing too much or their waistline, add a cummerbund for extra definition, a peplum blouse, or even a coordinating flowy unline jacket. From the vintage to the retro, sewing patterns offer multitudes of cuts and styles for every body shape and each individual personality. And If you happen to have a 1930’s beach pyjama or lounging pajama pattern…what are you waiting for? Go get sewing you lucky glamour girl!
Links to patterns can be found HERE.
Links to patterns can be found HERE.
Here's Keywords to search for or Tags to use so you can find the perfect jumpsuit for you!
 Beach Pyjamas, Lounging Pajamas, Pantdress, Palazzo Pants, Wide Legged Pants, Wide Leg Pants, Flare pant leg, Full pant, Giant Pants, Jumpsuit, Romper, Flared Pants, Hostess PajamasHERE