One thing I’ve often wished I had the skill set for is sewing. Knowing how much even simple pinup dresses and skirts cost to buy, and knowing that I could make them so much cheaper if only I could sew, has irked me.
My mum learnt to sew as a teenager, and when I was young, she made many lovely outfits for me. And my grandma, with the exception of underwear, makes all of her own clothes – and has two cupboards and two sets of drawers brimming with outfits to show for it!
But one way or another, through lack of time and distraction by other hobbies, I’ve never learnt to sew. I’ve come close a few times, buying fabric for projects and borrowing patterns, but have never seemed to get around to actually doing anything.
That’s changing this summer. One of Australia’s big craft and fabric stores, Spotlight, is currently having a sale on Vogue patterns where they are all just $5! That’s a huge saving on patterns that are usually $25-$35 each. So I sat down and chose six “easy” to “average” difficulty patterns to buy.
Four of the patterns are accurate reproductions of original dress patterns from the 1950s, and the other two are modern patterns for a high-waisted circle skirt and a voluminous split skirt, respectively.
The circle skirt (Vogue pattern V8980) is first on my list of clothing to make. I’m planning to first make it in a pretty novelty print – I’m eyeing off some pineapple print and flamingo print fabrics – then, if it works out well, make some skirts in basic colours such as black, teal and pink.
Then I’ll move on to the equally easy split skirt (Vogue pattern V8955). I rarely wear trousers because I don’t like the way they highlight my large thighs, but these should be elegant and flattering on my figure. Basic black will be the colour I’ll make.
Providing that those projects go well, it’s time to hit the vintage dresses! The patterns I chose to buy are:
Vogue V9106: an original 1952 design which will make a lovely day dress in a floral fabric, and which includes the pattern to make a matching belt.
Vogue V2960: an original 1954 design with a low scooped back and cap sleeves, perfect for summer. This pattern is suitable for making a day dress or a dressier frock, dependent on which fabric and pattern I choose to use.
Vogue V9105: an original 1954 design for a lovely short sleeved dress that has an interesting asymmetrical button feature across the bodice and waist.
Vogue V8789: an original 1957 design for a very full skirted day or party dress, with options for a v-neck or a boat-neck bodice, plus an elegant cummerbund.
I’m really, genuinely excited at the thought of all the beautiful clothes I’ll have as I learn to sew- and in a good fit, at a good price! The thought of having dresses that are original 50s patterns is particularly satisfying.
Do you sew? What was your first project? What is your favourite of the things you’ve made?