I bought a vintage slip and knickers in July 2018, for less than $8! Quite a bargain, when I consider that the silk jacquard they are made of is probably worth $30/yard! And when I examined the seams, I found that the things were constructed with a mix of very tiny machine stitches, and equally tiny hand stitches. The front and back panels were machine stitched, then hand embroidered. The side seams were hand stitched in French seams, then the bottom hem hand-embroidered. I believe this would have been called "hand-finished" back in the day. (Perhaps by French nuns?) As I gushed to the shopkeeper (she knows me as a regular at that shop, since it's enticingly close to my bus stop), I realized that she didn't know how I could tell that it was hand-sewn, and I thought I should post some pictures to show the difference between hand stitching and machine stitching.
If your pattern calls for "gabardine" fabric, what is it, exactly, that you need? When we talk about fabrics, we usually describe them by fiber, fabrication (weave, knit, felt?), and finish. We don't always use these in a predictable order, though. For example:
sueded silk charmeuse (FINISH/FIBER/WEAVE)
wool flannel (FIBER/FINISH)
cotton twill (FIBER/WEAVE)
cotton/spandex jersey (FIBER/FIBER/KNIT)
polyester crinkle chiffon (FIBER/FINISH/WEAVE)
The term "gabardine" is a little slippery, though, since it can encompass both fiber and fabrication.
All my travails with fitting the sleeve/armscye of the Red Fox Vintage dress make me realize I need to understand better how these things are supposed to work. I can't use the Red Fox Vintage bodice as a sloper if the armscye is screwy, can I? So, after over five years of sewing clothes, hacking patterns, and altering things, I am ready to make my own sloper so I can make patterns that are right from the start.
While I was researching my Anne Adams pattern (Anne Adams 4882), I found myself on the Vintage Patterns Wikia. They did not have an entry for my exact pattern, but they had quite a few other patterns by the same company. I started clicking through, delighting in the inspiration. After all, now that I know I can make my own, perfectly fitting patterns from my sloper, I can make any of those, and not need to buy patterns for them! Wow!
Today's post will be a collection of Anne Adams inspiration pictures... things I'd like to make or learn from, as well as some thoughts about the internet. I do not own these pictures; they were made available on the Vintage Patterns wiki by other folk, for the purposes of study and inspiration, which is exactly how I'm using them.
Almost two years ago, I got excited by a vintage pattern that was far too large for me: Anne Adams 4882. I set it on the back burner of my brain, thinking I'd try grading it down someday.
Combining my new sloper with the nice pattern illustrations for Anne Adams, I was finally ready to make myself this dress! This won't be a comprehensive project diary, just a highlight reel.
Patterns are expensive... around $20, sometimes, for the Big Four ones. I understand why they cost a lot: a ton of work goes into making a decent sewing pattern! But I am glad of that work and want to support the people who do it.
I also like to scrounge through the second- or third-hand patterns at a thrift store and find cool patterns to try! I find patterns I might not spend $20 on (because I would save that amount for a truly unique or special pattern), but patterns that nonetheless are fun to sew and often become favorites. My thrift store experience is broad: I grew up with the Salvation Army thrift store and local church and charity shops, and as an adult, I now frequent Goodwill thrift stores, which are plentiful in my area. So if you want to buy second-hand patterns, here are a few tips.
For the cost of two dollars and ten minutes, I have made a set of clip-on stirrups to keep my pant legs in my boots. This will make my winter easier! Here goes:
In the picture below, my left leg does not have the stirrup, and the pant leg is riding up, not staying in the boot. Bad pant leg! Down! My right leg is in its stirrup, and the pant leg stays tucked.
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