Category Archives: vintage dress making

Itch to stitch

Last night was the turn of itch to stitch to have my money, I appear to have missed the sale, I had been looking at some of the patterns for a little while, we can just hope that left hand starts doing what it should do we have the Bonn shirt and dress, chai shirt and dress, mila shirt, Idyllwild top and dress and the Vienna Tank I had been eyeing up the chai dress and Idyllwild dress for sometime.

I am now researching into large format pdf printing, I have a couple of local places to contact.

Window shopping

Hi, I’m back in hospital, and looking for a bit of advice regards sewing machines,

I always buy singer, at the moment i have a quantum stylistic 9960
and a 9836c 

which is about 20 years old brilliant workhorse of a machine, in someways a lot better than the newer one, the clip on feet are a nightmare especially the zip foot, the 9960 doesn’t have the power for jeans making. The only time I strayed from Singer, I went to Toyota, now I love my little car, but the sewing machine was alway un threading its self. I also have a brother overlocker.

So is it time to branch out into Pfaff or benina or another make, or am I just trying retail therapy to make me feel better? 

Cover stitch machine yes or no? I am using a lot more stretch fabrics, what do you get with a cover stitch machine rather than overlocker.

Any helpful tips on other makes of sewing machines will be great fully received.

Vogue 9379

I had started making this dress before ‘the event’ I’d changed my mind about which dress I was going to make for the 1st august wedding, I’d run out of time for the pattern I felt that there could be some fitting issues so I decided to go with this dress instead.

It was all cut out and I’d even put a test muslin together checking the install of the under arm gussset and whether or not I would need to do a Small Bust Adjustment, which I did need to do, the underarm gusset went in faultlessly, which either means that it goes in a lot easier if the fabric is quite stiff, or I didn’t put the marks in the correct position after doing the SBA.

I had put the two back and two front skirt peices together and started attaching the pockets, it was while attaching the third pocket piece that I had realised something was wrong.

Now out of the hospital I have attempted to complete the dress, here is the front the shoulder seams are pinned the under arm gusset is installed.

You can see the slight pucker in the corner that means it won’t lay properly

The side seam point has gone in perfectly


This is the basting of the pleat over the zip

zip installed wth basteing


With the gathers on the skirt. Because I need to unpick at least half of the gusset I’m going to put this dress to one side now until I feel better able to manipulate the fabric into the correct position, as you can see from the photos above the gusset went in perfectly on the muslin.

I am going to look for something easier to do as my first make after coming out of hospital.

What does one do, while stuck in hospital with an internet connection?

One goes shopping of course 🙂

I bought a craftsy class – One Pattern many looks PANTS I started watching it while in hospital and while there were quite a few ah-ha moments, the instructor did keep sending me to sleep, this may of course not be her fault. I haven’t looked at it since I got home, because we have been redecorating the house this year I have a ‘new’ sewing room, but that will be a different post.

I have also brought some more fabric, just in case there is a world shortage (for 15-20 years or more)

It all has viscose/rayon in it, what can I say it was cheap and I had just finished reading some posts raving about how cool/drapey it is, so I completely blocked out how much of an arse it was to sew with the last time I used it.

We have:-

Printed Georgette might be nice as a Rhapsody Blouse

Looking at these photos (which aren’t my best work) it appears that I bought the same pattern in two colourways without realising it. These might have a sewoverit pattern in their near future. The fabric is lovely and drapey, hopefully not too frayey.


Hi, every one if you thought posting has been sporadic this year it is about to get worse, Wednesday evening last week 26th July after experiencing a sharp headache at about 8pm I went up stairs to work on my new dress, pictures to follow, while trying un successfully to step over Charlie (dog) a few time and being unable to make my left hand cooperate with undoing my trousers I realised there was something wrong..

Simon called an ambulance which arrived about midnight after doing some tests the paramedics notified Southend Hospital they had a potential stroke victim on the way in. This meant that I was assessed as soon as I got on hospital property. I was given a CT straight away which showed a small bleed on the brain which was restricted to one small area, unfortunately that one small area affects the use of my left arm and left leg.

Friday they moved me off the acute stroke ward and on to the ‘normal’stroke ward which means instead of hourly obs and having a bright light shone in my eyes at all hours of the day and night there is no bright lights just blood pressure temperature and blood oxegen taken twice a day. I have started physio therapy which has been complicated by my left bicep deciding not to co-operate with the tricep 

I seem to have full functunality in my left hand but the wrist forearm, upper arm and shoulder not so much 😦 my left leg is starting to take some of my weight when my foot decides to co-operate

You don’t realise how much you take for granted that both arms and legs will do what you want them to do when you want them to do it.

Goals for July

Going into July the house is still in a bit of a mess, the new flooring is going in next week, hopefully after that the posting schedule will be back to normal. I do have a couple of goals for this month, I’m going to a Wedding 1st August so I want to make a new dress, I have the pattern and fabric, I know that there will be some fitting issues so that will have to be sorted first. view b.


I am looking at the bra class again and am determined to sort the fit out on this, I don’t actually  wear full cup bras but until I sort out the pattern for this I can’t go ahead to complete the other two classes I bought which take you through foam cups and altering the bra pattern for different designs.


The third goal or goals three and four are to take patterns from these two pairs of trousers. I love these trousers but I wish they had a boot cut hem, they are prepared and I am just waiting for the organza to take a ‘rub off’. I do have some organza already but with everything boxed up I’m not sure where it is.


The other trousers are these cut-offs from fatface, they are so comfortable but they are just a little bit too long so I have to wear them with the bottoms turned up. I have an off cut of denim that should be just the right length.


More soon….

Summer Dress

Hi, well we are back from Florida so I thought I would show you the Summer Dress I made to take with us, I only managed to get it finished just before we left, I suppose you could say it is a self drafted frankenpattern.

I had a idea of what I wanted, and although the dress didn’t end up quite as expected it sort of evolved over the couple of weeks I worked on it.

I wanted a floaty boho type of dress, I also had just the fabric in mind.


As soon as the fabric arrived the end of last summer I realised that it would need at least the skirt lining so luckily I had already bought some white lawn to go under it.

Originally I was just going to cut the strips for the skirt straight of grain each one twice as long as the previous, then I checked out the pattern peices in this pattern


and discovered that they were curved. I’m not sure if it would have made much difference to the final dress, but I used the pattern peices I had, carefully shortening them, so now I had the skirt how was I going to sort the top, I tried draping and sort of got the look I wanted but, then couldn’t work out how to reproduce the effect.


I did actually get as far as this


before deciding I didn’t have time to mess around with the pattern. So I went back to this, which is a trial for the top of a different dress, I knew that the fit was fine it was just that the ‘band’ wasn’t long enough, I did cheat a bit, I cut it in half and cut across the centre of the top where I thought it should come.

I also wanted wider shoulders and a different neckline, I had a dress I had quickly made up from a Lutterloh pattern, which was totally the wrong size, but I liked the neckline so I superimposed the Lutterloh pattern on to the other pattern and cut out the top half of the bodice freehand.


this is not something that I would recommend, especially if you decide the line the dress after putting it


I had the neckline and the length but not much else.


I did have an issue with he arm holes but a lot of pinning and patience got them looking smooth.


the dress does look fantastic, but the downside is I won’t be able to duplicate it perfectly.

The last Florida post is coming up soon.

Challenge for March

The four challenges for March are:-

Number 1 A dress out of this fabric


I think it is going to be the same as this one


Number 2 make some fitting adjustment on this pattern


Number 3 is another dress  basic bodice and a box pleat circle skirt, similar to this one out of either img_4606

or this one


I’m not sure if the pink it too light for this but we will see.

I’m also in the middle of making a Plantain for Liz, but that isn’t part of my challenge for this month.


This post didn’t get published when it should have so here is the update

Numbers 1 and 2 got done but not finished in March due to the building work and training course, number 3 didn’t even get looked at. 😦 I did however finish Liz’s Plaintain T-shirt which she is very happy with.

March – where did you go?

March sort of ran away from me and now it is April 😦

unfortunately a combination of training course (getting up 2 hours earlier) and having work done on the house has removed most of my stitching time for March and looks to be taking over April as well.

I have a couple of part way projects I can show you but nothing finished.

The first project is view 2


I think this is the first time I have ever done all views of a pattern, this is going to have a better fit, fingers crossed than the other two versions, these I took extra fabric from the side seams this time I have shrunk the pattern and done a small bust adjustment.


The top half of the pattern is one size too big but the waist and hips are perfect, so I turned to my trusty printer and scanned the front and back bodice pieces then I printed them out at 95%, you can just see on the bottom of the two photos how much I lost, it was about 1/4 inch all round. Then for the SBA there were a few things I needed to do


the first thing I had to do was reinstate the 5/8 seam allowance, then decide where I was going to move the bust dart to on the side.


I closed up the underbust dart and moved it to the side


added a piece of paper to the now side dart.


I then cut up from where the original dart had been to bust point then across to the arm hole, and swung that piece over 1/2 inch, taping the top part down


you can see from the above photo that the centre seam part which hasn’t been changed is now longer than the side seem which has been changed, so you slice across from the middle and shift the centre piece up until it matches the side piece, because the chest is smaller than expected for the pattern there is too much fabric going over the bust and this removes it.


The last step is to move the side dart back to the under bust, slice up the middle of the added paper and the area where the underbust dart was and close up the side dart creating a new smaller dart, add a piece of paper under this to fill in the new dart.


as you can see by the drawn in seam allowance (pencil) this dart is far smaller than the original, all that left to do is to make up a bodice and check the fit.


for a full length bodice it is better to add a skirt to check this, but as all I needed to do was to check the fit around the bust I left it at this.

more hopefully soon


February round up

I have been stitching up a storm this month, I have managed to get all my goals finished and a couple of bonuses, after finally finishing off the the white plantain, I got the urge to make another two, still with short sleeves and no elbow patches.

I did make a couple of errors on these because all the t-shirt related items I make this month were all on the overlocker and with a 3/8 seam allowance, I didn’t bother checking  the instructions, if I had I would have realised it had a 5/8 seam so they are slightly too big.

They have wider neck bands than the previous one as I used the instructions from the raglan t-shirt but I’m quite pleased with them.

so february I managed

Two Monetas


Two Plantains and a Plantain finish


I finished a skirt


the 70s halter neck and shorts

Hey June Lane Raglan


and last of all the vintage shirt dress