The spring patterns are coming out, so it’s time once again to show the new releases, “vintage” or not, that will work for a retro look.
Not like I actually need to buy patterns–I have hundreds of vintage patterns that are making me feel guilty right now. I love finding them. I love looking at them. But when I open their fading, ripping envelopes to gingerly unfold little scraps of unprinted tissue crumbling into dust, I often think “boy, that looks like a project.”
Sometimes it’s fun just to fake it, and the big commercial companies have released some inspiring patterns recently.
First–“Panic At The Disco”
If you’re around my age (and you know who you are), you made this pattern, right? Admit it!
The apron dress was such a huge deal in the early 70s. Of all the patterns, I think I’d make this again to wear with a tee on a hot day. It looks comfy and not too kitschy.
Here’s McCalls 7366, a chic disco jumpsuit:
Fellow disco chicks, you remember wearing jumpsuits, right? And you remember having to pull the entire top off to go to the bathroom at a crowded club, right? If you’re young, go ahead and wear a jumpsuit–you’ll look hot and you’ll never forget it. As for me at this age, ease of peeing takes precedence.
Ditto the Simplicity 8095 jumpsuit that can be wrapped a variety of ways. It reminds me of those 70s knit designs pioneered by Halston and John Kloss. Not an easy look to pull off if you weren’t flat. Cute pattern, though.
(Sorry I’m not putting the links to the patterns in this post. If I did, I’d never make it to the hairdresser at 11:00.)
This surplice dress, McCalls 7350, also reminds me of Halston and is universally flattering:
That would be fun to wear to a formal wedding.
Let’s go back to some earlier eras, shall we?
Eek, not that far back! (Does he look like Borat to you?)
I’ll stick to this doll pattern for pre-20s historic sewing.
For a 30s look, how about this bias-cut “flutter” dress from Vogue (9168), with an underslip and sheer overlay?
I had a boyfriend in college who knew I was into vintage, and he gave me a dress like this from his aunt’s attic. Long story short, I dumped him and gave away the dress. But later I was filled with regret–I should have kept the dress.
The dirndl became very popular in the 30s as well, and you could use this pattern to make a longer vintage version.
Moving on to the 40s, how about this “Agent Carter” look? I like View A, with the trim.
Super cute romper and skirt!
(Though, let me tell you, my granddaughter wouldn’t wear it, because, as she said of the Liberty dirndl I made her, “It doesn’t have a princess on it.”)
Loads of 50s-style patterns out there, and I know people love that “I Love Lucy” #pinup look, I do. But I remember when crinolines were the itchy things we wore to school, and aprons were a symbol of pre-feminist drudgery. So I’m pretty picky.
Nevertheless, here are a few that caught my eye.
The striped one on the right has a timeless 40s into 50s “Peggy Guggenheim in Venice” look that’s still workable today.
I’d use this to make a 50s Norell Mermaid/Chanteuse type dress. (Though I would underline it with power mesh, like I did last winter when I was struggling through the WORST winter in Boston history and trying to make the dress from HELL by Madame Gres and…) Oops, had a flashback. I like Mimi G’s designs. They’re more “retail”-looking than a lot of the commercial patterns.
Two companies are doing versions of the “Walk-Away” dress/cobblers’ apron that are cute:
(Mother/daughter patterns from McCall’s Archive Collection, M7354.)
Here’s a classic 50s/60s shirtwaist dress that comes in a range of sizes and skirt/sleeve options–very Grace Kelly meets Betty Draper:
A fun “wiggle” skirt with a high waist, also Butterick (6326).
And a classic tunic pattern, a style that really hasn’t changed much since the 60s:
CUTE BABY ALERT!!!!
(It’s not super-retro, but it does make me want to go find a baby to snuggle. Must be the toxic chemical hair product on his widdle head.) But don’t make these unless you sew really fast, because the kid will grow faster. As the nurse said to me when she looked at the 9 1/2 pound baby I’d just popped out, “I guess you can return those newborn-sized onesies.”
Lots of fun patterns to choose from ! What’s on your sewing agenda for the next season?