I received my Blue Gardenia package of vintage patterns, which I bought recently during the 30% off sale. Wow.
Those of you who know me well, know that I am endlessly fascinated by things of other eras. I love shopping for vintage clothes because I believe the pieces are invested with the experience of another time. Don't get me wrong. I'm not particularly nostalgic. I don't think that time is better than this time. But it was and there's an energetic current between then and now and I love the idea that those two times can merge in modernity.
Let's face it: modernity is just another word for tomorrow's olden days.
As I was filtering through the 8 zillion pattern's on Denise's site, I narrowed my search to those with a 36 or 37 inch bust; they had half size patterns back then, for petites, which is how one finds sizing in the odd sized bust measurement.
In truth, I'm not much into the 30s and 40s patterns. I do find some of them spectacular - and time was, the best vintage clothing you could find (and it was plentiful in the shops) was from the 40s. But I always feel I'm playing to type in the 40s silhouette.
I kept it to the 50s, 60s and 70s, searching for wearable items. Nothing frothy and delicious, but with limited application. I intend to bring these garments to life on a regular basis.
So, let's get started on the tour, yes? Today we'll focus on the earliest patterns I purchased.
McCall's 9805, from 1954, will assist me in my very firm intention to resuscitate the culotte. Not as silly as a skirt, not as intense as a pair of pants, culottes are the perfect solution for a day on the town! They look great with boots, in a winter fabric. Cute with a short heel sandal or ballerina flats in spring and summer. They have not gone out of fashion. They've just been sleeping in the recesses of our collective memory. Admit it: you want some!
Intriguingly, this pattern is from the first wave of those made with printed pieces (see The First Printed Pattern imprint). Before this, pieces were made with perforations to delineate instructions. As I am, frankly, afraid of those, this is my kind of 50's pattern.
It's starting to occur to me that I was so fixated on getting the right bust size, that I didn't pay any attention to the corollary waist and hip sizes. Fortunately in this pattern, the waist is 30" and the hips are 39". Alas, for the dress below, the waist is 28". Gonna have to work on that.
Butterick 8628, also from the 50s though the precise year is not identified, is another printed pattern, a whimsical "quick 'n easy" day dress. Oh, look, it's got a cowl neck. What a surprise! While "quick 'n easy" - it's not "light on fabric". This thing takes 6 yards of 35" width. (There's no mention of 60" width fabric on the envelope. Did it even exist, back then?) The dress has a waist stay, which seems very authentic.
The bodice is cut on the bias, the way many cowl neck bodices are. Intriguingly, the construction of this bodice is exactly the same as that on Vogue 8413, the dress I intend to make from the Spring Basics Palette.
Do you suppose one has to wear a crinoline (or some kind of voluminous slip) to get the skirt to fall that way?
What do you think of these? Which do you prefer? Do you have anything to add about the pedigree of these? Have you had the pleasure to sew with vintage?
Next up, the 60s!