Thursday, March 25, 2010
Vogue Patterns: Sewing the New Spring Vintage Looks
The newest collection of sewing patterns from Vogue has some great retro dress styles. Sewing dresses can be the perfect way to have your own vintage style, with a great fit too. Off the top, a cool little retro styled dress by Michael Kors (Vogue 1176) is just about my favorite. I love that neat twist at the neckline. It is like having a real vintage dress, but with a custom fit. The sewing level doesn't look too advanced and I would guess that the fitting part will be what makes the look a success.
This Anna Sui dress (Vogue 1178) has a soft retro look from the late 70's and 80's. In fact, it seems somewhat familiar, alot like the chiffon and georgette Diane Fres dresses from that era which are so creative with fabric patterns and drape.
This Cynthia Steffe dress (Vogue 1174) has a classic bustier bodice. Although the fittings are key with this style, once you have your fit, it should be a smooth project to complete. I think a contrast colored bodice could really add to the retro look of this style. Another point: this bodice could be paired with other skirts to create a huge range of looks, from straight pencil to circle skirt, so consider this bustier design worth the try, regardless of how much you like the skirt.
This Vintage Vogue style (Vogue 1172) is alot like an earlier pattern (Vogue 2903), but with fewer pieces and an easier skirt to sew. The princess bodice is a great fit, especially for a larger bustline, since those seamlines allow for finer tuning during alterations.
All of these styles offer timeless silhouettes with great retro details. If you plan to try one, go the distance by making a fitting sample first.
Muslin: This is a fitting garment of cotton broadcloth (muslin in the 50's). When cutting, add additional width to the pattern's 5/8" seam allowance (1" wide is preferred). Mark the actual seam lines with chalk or pencil so you can easily match them up, and see them when you alter.
Sew: Use the largest machine stitch possible in a contrast thread.
Fitting: Find someone who also sews to fit your dress.
Pattern: Once the muslin has been fit, there are several options: use the cotton broadcloth as your pattern, or use the broadcloth as under-lining behind the fashion fabric.
Underlining: For a 'one off' dress, using the now altered broadcloth as underlining would be an easy way to duplicate that perfect fit. By simply layering it under your fashion fabric and sewing it as one.
Transfer pattern: If you plan to make more, you will want to transfer those alterations first to the original paper pattern.
Okay, not an afternoon project, but good things take time!