Saturday, May 25, 2013

50s Dress Fabrics: Embroidered Borders @ Prints

Sewing vintage or retro dress styles requires a great fabric to compliment the silhouette. I was lucky enough to find a collection of embroidered designer dress fabric from the 1950's in silk and cotton recently. This type of fabric is perfect for skirts with fullness and shape, such as the ones in these new Butterick patterns.

Embroidered fabric is also a wonderful texture to add to any dress design. When they have borders, try using this fabric alone in the skirt and pair it with a sold colored bodice. All-over patterns work well sewn up in the entire dress. If you are going to try making a 50s retro style dress, take a look at these vintage fabrics.

This gingham check border embroidery shows how border designs are also perfect for strapless bustiers and other horizontal necklines. This is a cute cotton fabric with white embroidery, it's so 50's!

It's always nice to find light weight prints from this era when you want to sew a fuller skirt or summer dress. The gorgeous large scale butterfly pattern here would be perfect in a wide or gathered skirt where the design could be seen. It is a cotton crepe that has a matte finish and a very light quality.

Find these fabrics now at Pintuck Sew, or click on the description below:

Yellow sheer cotton voile with white embroidered leafy border

Brown silk organza sheer with white all-over daisy design

Yellow cotton gingham with white embroidered daisy border

Purple sheer cotton voile with white embroidered leafy border

Blue butterfly all-over print on cotton georgette

Friday, May 24, 2013

New Retro Dress Patterns from Butterick: 5920 & 5930

Have you seen the latest retro dress patterns from Butterick?  I especially love Butterick 5920 and 5930 for sewing vintage fashion styles .   These two dresses have great details and nice vintage silhouettes. What is even more fun? The model for pattern #5930 is a real girl with curves, so we get a chance to see what it will look like on many of us out here who sew for ourselves.

When it comes to making alterations, I think that either bodice will modify easily without distorting the style.  Model #5920 is a very simple design with few pattern pieces.  The bodice is darted to fit, without sleeves or other details that might add more difficult details to the sewing process.  The skirt is 'A' line with a smooth back and gathers only in the front.  This is an easy skirt to modify into full gathers or other shapes.  This fitted bodice can be made to fit tight or loose, depending on your style.  I also think it would be adorable in a summer cotton such as gingham, cut short and sweet.

The princess seamlines in the bodice of #5930 will help to create a great fit, regardless of the body type.  The gored skirt has fullness in the hem without the bulk of gathers at the waistline and hips, so it should be a very flattering design to wear.

If you have an event this summer, these patterns could be what you are looking for!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Get to Know your Serger Machine

If you are learning to use a serger or overlock machine, you may be a bit overwhelmed.  Looking for help?
Try Serger Basics.  It's easy to read, concise and full of good tips on how to use this type of machine.

This pdf file is also great for the experienced serger user.  It has clear diagrams for trouble shooting tension adjustment so your stitches come out even.  For the novice, there is a clear drawing of the average serger (shown above) with each part clearly labeled.  If you use a serger, or plan to, I suggest that you print this pdf article, so you have something to refer to as you get started, or come across little questions when you sew.

This pdf article is part of a wide range of sewing instructions and tips by the University of Kentucky.  It's really an entire sewing textbook available at no cost online.

Serger Basics, Level I:  UK Cooperative Extension Service: University of Kentucky, College of Agriculture, written by Marjorie M. Baker, Extension Associate for Clothing and Textiles.  A full list of articles is available online.