This is a real meeting of decades. A 1920s flapper print and a vintage 1960s pattern. 1967, to be exact. Sometimes, you just have to sew as the spirit moves you.
The fabric is a silk/cotton mix from The Man Outside Sainsburys, bought for £5 a metre. It’s really lovely. A fellow customer and I gleefully compared notes on what we’d make with this fabric. ‘Dare I sew a dress?’ she asked. Absolutely!
I bought two metres. In the meantime, a friend had gifted me some vintage patterns. Then, I had one of those nights. You know the kind. Eyes ping open at 4am:
Angel: Just lie here. Even if you don’t go back to sleep, stay here. If you get up now you’ll mess your body clock up for the next 48 hours.
Devil: Or you could get up and sew…
Can you guess who won?
It was one of those wild-eyed, dressing-gown clad sewing sessions. Very spontaneous. My dog watched me from the sofa, judgement deep in her eyes. You’re going to regret this.
I didn’t really deserve for this project to work. Which makes me immensely glad that it did.
This pattern is so deeply and emblematically 1960s. I love it! Short skirt, fitted with eight darts at the waist (four front, four back), boat neckline. Of course, the danger point is fitting with such a simple silhouette. Did I mention that the instructions were long lost? I was going to have to wing it.
Fortunately I know my own body by now. Lowered the bust darts by 1.5 inches, added some extra at the seams, cut smaller at the upper chest.
It’s always fascinating to open a pattern that someone else has used. This one was full of pins and the dart sections were cut out. Have you ever seen this before?
Also – warning! – as well as the lack of instructions, I discovered that pieces from a different pattern had been shoved into this envelope. Check the pattern numbers, when working with a pre-cut vintage pattern.
I’m currently wearing this layered with a 1960s crop cardigan and the two sit together perfectly. I think I’ve just found my go-to autumn make!
Do you ever sew in the wee, small hours? Any tips of your own for working with vintage patterns?