Sunday, December 16, 2007

Mondrian Memories

One of the most memorable clothing exhibits I saw the Yves Saint Laurent retrospective at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1983. I clearly remember seeing the "Mondrian" day dress of 1965 there.

I am sure that there was a Vogue sewing pattern with a similar design. Here are two "copy cat" versions of that pattern from 1965-66.

McCall's 8131

circa 1965: High waisted dress w/ bateau neckline

Simplicity 6400

circa 1966: - slim dress with jewel neckline

There are dresses like that out there today - look at:

Diane von Furstenberg 'Mondrian' Shift Dress - at Nordstroms
Do you want to make the pattern into your own fashion?

If you are looking for these patterns for sale try  or  the vintage pattern wiki

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Double Breasted Coat Mania

Not one but two teen idols wore double breasted coats for the Macy's Parade! I really liked Jordin's coat, but Ashley's had WAY too many buttons for me!

Ashley Tisdale

If I was going to sing on a float - here is what I would wear.

McCall's 9490

I think this coat has a great Lauren Bacall look to it. Here she wears a lot of buttons, but I think they are better placed.


If you wanted less buttons - maybe this one would work.

Simplicity 4022

Jordin Sparks looked adorable

Simplicity 5381

I like Simplicity 5381 - it has that Audrey Hepburn look to it - maybe they would let me have a breakfast at Tiffany's?

Still need some other ideas to keep warm? Try these on for size.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Princesss Diana Wedding Gown Pattern

Prince William and Kate Middleton will be married at the end of April. Let's take a moment to look at Will's mom's famous gown.

There are a few celebrity weddings people remember. Princess Diana's was up there for a Top Ten event for the 1980s. That classic scoop neckline.

That full skirt with a train that went on forever, not to mention those sleeves!

Do you want to make that dress for your wedding? Try McCall's 9452 circa 1985. This pattern comes with or without a train (not as long as Di's). Many dresses from the mid-80's have some of these elements in it, either the scoop neck, the puffy sleeves or the ruffle neckline.

Good luck in creating the dress of your dreams!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Trick or Treat - Vintage Halloween Costumes

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. I love sewing costumes for my kids and seeing all the creative costumes out there. Let's go in a time machine to Halloween of the past.

Here is Pictorial Review 1935 - for a 6 year old child. Description: Girls' Fariy Costume. Butterfly wings add charm to this delightful costume. The long waisted bodice has an oval neck, and may be work with or with ruffles at armholes. A 3 piece tunic, open in front, is arranged on the 2 piece gathered skirt and both are joined to the bodice. Circa 1925.

Let's skip to the 1940s to look at McCall 792 - A dance costume for tap dancing, Gipsy [sic.] and Italian Costumes for a 16 year old girl.

One of my favorite costume patterns is probably not a costume - but a dress. This one really reminds me of Alice in Wonderland. This pattern was printed in 1951 - which is the same year that Disney produced their animated Alice in Wonderland. I'm guessing this is not a coincidence. This is Simplicity 3701 for a 10 year old girl. Printed 1951. 1 piece dress and pinafore.

Here is an authentic Peter Pan costume produced by the Advanced pattern company.  It is very likely that this pattern was produced the year the movie was release (1953).  This is an unprinted tissue pattern.  Notice the Disney logo.  Pattern information: Advance 709.  Just too cute!  In the 1980 - 90's Disney worked with the Simplicity pattern company to produce a line of costume patterns.

More designs from the 1950s: Butterick 6550. Set of Costumes: Uncle Sam, George Washington, Ring Master, Full Dress.

I happen to love these flower fairies. Simplicity 4863 for a 10 year budding ballerina

For those of you who want a truly throw away costume. You could make one out of large pieces of crepe paper. I've seen similar books dating back to the 1920s. This is the 1960s edition of the boo: Easy to Make Colorful Costumes of Dennison Crepe Paper. You have to be really good at cutting to make these. Some of them still require sewing - some costumes you can tape together.

If you want to throw a 1920s Halloween party. I have included an invitation from the book My Book of Parties by Madeline Snyder. This book was printed in 1929.

Here is what my kids where for Halloween. My daughter the demon. Yes, I sewed her dress.

My son as Harry Potter. The Hogwarts robe is my college robe hemmed up. The scarf was knitted by my mom years ago when my daughter was Hermione.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Who was Butterwick?

Every once in a while I get an order for a Butterwick pattern. Who was Butterwick, and when did they produce patterns? The Butterick Pattern Company. Has been around since the 1860s. Are people not seeing the company name right, or are we hearing it wrong? I see listings on ebay for Butterwick patterns with the name of the company clearly spelled Butterick. Everyone can't be typing it incorrectly. Can someone show me a pattern with it spelled this way? Or is it we are just not used to that name and try to pronounce it another way?

Here are some images from the company over time. I don't see any W'd do you?

The Delinator November 1895
publication of the Butterick Publishing Co.

Butterick 1313

Turn of the century sewing pattern from the Butterick Publishing Co.

The New Dressmaker
Published 1921 by the Butterick Publishing Company

Butterick 9922 - 19teen's peplums

Butterick Pattern

The Condensed Butterick Sewing and Dressmaking Book

Published 1944 Th Butterick Company Inc.

Butterick 7053

Zipper Front Robe and Brunch coat -
1950s - Butterick Company, Inc.

May 1970 - Young American Creates

Butterick Fashion News

Butterick 6514

Sailor dress
Butterick the Fashion one

This blog was brought to you by a fan of the Butterick Pattern Company - not Butterwick - whoever he or she is.

Friday, August 10, 2007

A Survey From the Past

I found this survey in a pattern from the 1930s.

Anne Adams 1755

Anne Adams Pattern Company is long gone. This pattern is in mint condition - never used. What would you do? Would you fill it out? Where would you mail it to? They wanted to know how the pattern worked for you!

Monday, August 06, 2007

A Vintage Sewing Pattern Sewing contest! is having a Vintage sewing pattern contest from August 1 – September 30, 2007 You have to register to become a member of – but registration is free. The 1st and 2nd prize for the contest is a $100 gift certification and a $50 gift certificate to Please see the discuss board for the rules right now. They want patterns that are from 1920 – 1980s.

I can't enter the contest because I'm a sponsor. But I hope to have a moment to sew soon! I can't wait to see what is going to be sewn!

Today was my daughter first day of "fashion design camp" at a local community college. Two weeks of half day classes on sewing and design. I was thrilled to send her off with my old Kenmore. We'll see what she completes by the end of the course. They will have a runway show at the end of the two week. Will she be a future "Project Runway" member? Who knows!

Monday, June 25, 2007

70s easy to wear clothing

I was checking out Kara Janx's (from Project Runway Season 2) designs. I think her clothing is great, but it looked very familiar. Check out her convertible skirt. She able to convert a 70's fashion into something new. I'm thinking if you took this skirt pattern and widened the belt - you would have something pretty close to what she designed.

Butterick 4843

Here is another fashion from 1976 that is making a comeback- Lydia Silvesty's Infinite dress. I think it is a great concept - but my body is just not built to wear something like this, at least not in a stretch knit, and I can't see it working in anything other then a knit.

McCall's 5360

I recently went to Montreal and poked around at the American Apparel store. I never saw one of these stores before! Much to my surprise, they have them in my own state. They have a Bandeau dress that is the same concept as the Infinite dress. They shortened the hem - but you can you the directions for both of them. The one thing you can do with this dress that you can't do with the Infinite dress is wear it as a halter. The Bandeau dress is a little more flared at the hem.

Here is another 70s fashion that might work like the infinite dress.

Simplicity 8086

If you don't want infinite choices - you could choose only 7 ways with the Seven Way Wonder Dress! This dress completely wraps around - where the other three are tube dresses - or flared tube dresses.

Butterick 5230

In 2000 another version of the 7 Way Wonder - or Infinite dress shows up as a pattern. Debra Moises wrap dress for McCall's.

You can probably combine all the instructions from all of them and end up with lots of ways to wrap the patterns. This pattern has more gathers then the original 70s one and the American Apparel Bandeau dress.

I'm going to have to play around with my Bandeau dress to see if I can make it work for me. I may not be built for such garments.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Happy Fathers Day!

It is that time again, time show our love for our Dad's. Let's look a typical Dad present.

Is he a Father's Knows Best kinda guy from the 1950s?

Or where you one of My Three Sons from the 60s?

Or where you just one of the Brady Bunch in the 70s? Look at the WIDE tie!

To get a better look at the tie patterns and some more information on how to layout your tie fabric - check out my website.

My kids know their Daddy is a bow tie kinda guy, but would probably stick with chocolate. :)