Vintage square neckline

High square necklines are easy to do for a vintage look.

I’ll show you how.

New Look 6000 has a wide round neckline. I’ve extended the shoulder seam in by 1.5cm and pinned the square on an angle so it covers my bra straps.

I’ve used full lining in the animal print for this dress. What you see above is the interfaced neckline and the lining now stitched to the dress. The square needs to be clipped before trimming back the seam allowance.

I’ve clipped the corner and stopped before the stitching. Then trimmed back the seam allowance.

Here’s the neckline post trimming and ironing.

To get it looking sharp, I’ve pinned it ready to topstitch.

Those pins make top stitching easy.

Now the zipper in sewn in and the lining and side seams are ready to finish.

The back neckline is square.

The front neckline is now square and more vintage like.
Try it!

Vintage military – New Look 6214

Nothing to wear. Hardly. But what do you wear to a vintage show?

Yes, I bought fabric and buttons.
Sewhopefull made a gorgeous shirtmaker dress version from this fabric too. She has classic styling taste. I thought I bought this from Pitt Trading but Sylvia who was at the vintage fair said it wasn’t one of hers. Sewhopefull bought her fabric from Spotlight so that’s probably where I bought my fabric from too.
This is the New Look 6214 pattern pic.

I cut this dress out and fused it on Friday night, sewed it up and bought the buttons on Saturday and wore it on Sunday.

This is a simple shirtmaker dress. I kept adding military finishings to balance off the floral rose print. Love the buttons.

A back inverted pleat makes it easy/comfortable to wear.

This shows the waist carrier tabs and self-made belt.

The collar tab was a breeze to make. It was my third one in a week, so it should have been. See the shoulder epaulets? I know it’s not that clear in these pics.

And every seam is bound and gaged – sorry – french seams and bias binding have been used to finish each seam. This is a cotton woven so it’s going to crease but this print will hide that!

The vintage show made me realise while I enjoy drooling over vintage clothes, I prefer to use vintage styling when I sew and wear new clothes. It was a day of admiring past styles, reinventing classic designs and catching up over coffee and sushi with good friends.

Vintage in development

This Butterick 3833 dress style was one I bought while managing the PR Vintage contest. The participants were very vintage inspired and knew their stuff so I did buy a couple of patterns.

The dress below is made of a Cue remnant fabric from Pitt Trading. The bodice is interfaced because the fabric needed more body to fit firmly.

What you see here is the first fitting. Now I want to wear this dress so I’ve:
– added lining to the skirt to give it a smoother flow
– taken 2cm off the centre back seams for a better fit
– replaced the zipper with a darker blue and the white bias strips now match up. 
I’m at the handstitching stage so that’s going to take some patience but the hand stitching that Anne and Sharon have done recently has convinced me that it will be worth the effort.

The white bias strips are a white shirt remnant. The bias strip edges will not be finished because they won’t fray. There are some white buttons to be purchased but I might use self covered white or blue buttons. What do you think?

I do have some more Cue remnant pieces but I’ll use those later. Much later.

Vintage ‘apple’ – Simplicity 6870

This 1966 dress is made from a slippery apple green fabric from the remnant bin at Pitt Trading. Pitt Trading had a $20 garbage remnant fabric bin bag sale earlier this year and this fabric was one of the pieces from this sale so I thought this would be useful evening fabric to test out.

I don’t use silky fabric often but because we have a few family functions this year I thought it would be handy to have a couple of options so that I don’t groan: “I have nothing to wear“.

This pattern is a size 18 so with my wacky maths brain I checked the tissue pattern against me and decided to make it as is. My back up idea was that I could take out any fullness from the side seams if it was way too big.
The sleeve length is bracelet length and the front gathers were not that difficult to achieve but I did as instructed because I wanted to see how full the gathers were. And they’re not that full.
The pattern does state that the back darts are optional so I did a sway back adjustment and added in the back darts. I also decided to make the tie in case it would be useful for future styling. I’m guessing so if it doesn’t work it’s no great loss of time or effort.

I’d be interested to try the top/skirt combination next try.

Today Mum tried on her new gear before everyone arrived for lunch. The skirts are now shorter and only one of the tops has had a neckline change. So she’s happy with her new Easter clothes. Well today is Greek Easter so I’m technically on time. Yes we had lamb on the spit with all the Easter trimmings – red eggs, pastichio, cheese triangles, eggplant dip, bbq chicken and lamb skewers and a buffet of desserts. And we had an Easter egg hunt in the backyard – for chocolate Easter eggs.

Vintage halter #2

The changes from the first halter dress were made to this version. Basically all the adjustments made to cater for my size were removed. Maybe a refresher Maths class might help me…

This fabric was meant for weekend pants but I thought the plaid lines would be better used (less blocky) for this dress. In reality, I only tried to match the lines on the bust but the lines matched most of the way around the dress.

The pattern doesn’t have bias trim under the bust, that’s just my adjustment to play with the fabric lines. Nuts huh?

Nuts and bolts:
I used the normal sewing foot, a walking foot, a hemming foot and a basic zipper foot as well as the coverpro machine for the hem.
One of the last construction steps is to sew in a zipper and I swear this is a very smart move because you can really get the bodice fit right (no tears).
And I’m also getting better at using the ‘fast turner’ tool for straps.

Next is a 60’s tunic dress.

The pattern pieces were all in the pack, precut and used but they’re all there.
I’ve got a medium weight fabric that will work and I’ll source a zipper – if not from my stash – at the Remnant Fabric warehouse on Saturday.
At this stage, self cover buttons are my preference.
I’ve not made pockets but I’ll give them a crack for this dress.

Vintage update – Style 4859

Happy St Patricks Day. This was my first run at getting this vintage pattern to work. 1974 doesn’t seem that long ago… On paper I added room for my bust and waist. Once I made this test dress, I removed the added width. What will remain is the extra length in the bust area for my own comfort and have included a bust dart for shaping. This dress is 10cm/2″ shorter than the short version. I added in the zipper late in construction as the pattern suggested which worked out great for getting the fit right. I will need to do a sway back adjustment because there were some gathers across the back when I wore the dress.

This fabric came from 3 years ago.

This fabric is a kiddie print and I’ve added green poplin bias trim on the dress and for the dress ties cause I’m still into green and I wanted to tone down the pinks. I used the fast turner tool for the dress ties. The skirt has a bit of twirl room that I will tone down for the next version maybe.
These two have just arrived in the mail. And Love Vintage fair is on in Sydney on 23 -25 March if anyone’s interested in everything vintage.

This will need some hacking for size.
This won’t need too much grading – I think.


Vintage is something that lots of you are great at and I’ve done nil vintage and I have no vintage knowledge.You may have noticed in PR I’m managing the Vintage Contest this month. I did a bit of research and there’s lots of vintage info around and so many wonderful vintage sewers who really know their stuff. Locally I’ve noticed an increasing vintage trend so I’m looking forward to seeing how sewers develop their vintage outfits to suit their needs.

I’m not a vintage sewer but I found this Style 4859 from 1974 so today I decided to adjust this dress to fit. My entry won’t qualify because I’m managing the contest. Vintage patterns up to and including 1978 are in.

These are really crude adjustments. After tracing the pieces off the original pattern, I’ve split the bust piece and made it 2 cm longer and added 1.5cm to the width. I’ve also made the waist 4 cm wider.
Next – the muslin.