Elaine, otherwise known by the moniker of The Selfish Seamstress, says that she loves to design and sew garments, but only if she gets to keep them. What a greedy gal! Although she likes to swagger and say that she is tough as nails, we don’t think she is as selfish as all that; look at this free downloadable PDF sewing pattern she has on her blog! She says, “This is a pattern for a dress inspired by Hubert de Givenchy’s gown worn by Audrey Hepburn in the film Breakfast at Tiffany’s….. The dress is a lined sheath with armhole princess seams on the front bodice, darted skirt, darted back, and side invisible zipper.” We adore the elegant back, with its unique cut-out shaping that mimics swooping butterfly wings, and know the perfect black stretch wool tricotine it sew it in!
Category Archive: Sewing
We love how Andrea at Unsung Sewing Patterns: an archeology of home sewing reconstructed this 1898 men’s shirt pattern in tracing paper, and then stitched it up in working person’s blue chambray. She used Cosmopolitan Fashion Company 655 – Men’s Outing Shirt for this fascinating glimpse into the world of antique commercial sewing patterns. Typical for patterns of this era, it came with minimal instructions. I adore the hip gussets; they add a wonderful detailed touch!
Amber and Brandi of Hip Hostess, and our hostess’ with the mostest created a cunning bridal birdcage veil…and then graciously shared the tutorial! This confection is fashioned with Russian veiling, silk organza and feathers. You could just as easily make this millinery bon mot for other occasions; it would be a chic chapeau in dove grey netting, with black feathers and a gleaming silvery silk flower……perfect to wear to the opera!
Jessie from Some Things I Have Made created a four part tutorial on drafting a bespoke pencil skirt pattern, including a très chic French back vent. Once you’ve drafted this, you will have a pattern exactly unique to your charming curves! This style is perfect made up in nubby fall wool tweed. Jessie says, “It’s not that hard! Really. While a circle or A-line four-gore skirt may be simpler to fit, the classic pencil skirt is just as easy to construct, especially when you know it inside and out because you’ve drafted the pattern yourself. Furthermore, it’s a great one to make yourself because it’s so fitted–why wrestle with a pattern made for somebody else’s smaller hips and bigger butt when you can take careful measurements and make one that fits you perfectly? This pattern is unlined–I just wear a slip with mine and wash the slip instead.”
Whew! We are grateful that we live in San Francisco, where fog and chilliness are the summer norm….but it is the dog days of summer everywhere else. Charity over at IndieTutes has a lovely tutorial on making a shirred (not shaken!) top or dress from a length of lightweight cotton fabric. These breezy garments are perfect for hot humid days, so mix up a pitcher of icy lemonade, set up your sewing machine with some elastic thread, and whip up a summery frock!
Ahoy, matey! Aimee at Homespun-threads made a PDF tutorial for these super adorable baby high-top shoes out of scraps of fabric from her fabric stash. These would be fetching made up on gingham and chambray, or even silk (for the wee-est member of the wedding)
Sewing machine mechanic par excellence, Rain, blogs about refinishing, tuning, and repairing vintage all-metal Singer Featherweight sewing machines on his The Vintage Singer Sewing Machine Blog! Check out his specific information on models 15-91s, 201-2s, 206s, 221s and 222s, along with directions on such topics as how to remove and replace the rotating hook assembly, polishing the silver bits, and how to restore your stitch length indicator plate. These vintage machines are beauteous black enameled stitching workhorses!
Sunni, from A Fashionable Stitch has a fantabulous assortment of sewing tips and tricks on her creation-obsessed sewing blog, including directions for making a dependable ironing board cover….and we all know that proper pressing is necessary for correct garment construction! As she so succinctly put it, she wanted “something that would last a good long while”, that would “use all natural fibers that would “breathe.”, and lastly “did not want that stupid drawstring thing, which does not really work unless the drawstring is encased in a casing along with elastic. Encasing a drawstring alone in a thread serged casing is AWFUL!!! The drawstring and casing has broken every time for me.” Well, the last wasn’t so succinct, but we agree nevertheless! And to work your new fancy-schmancy ironing board cover, here is Sunni’s method for ironing newly washed fabric in preparation for cutting and sewing.
The clever and creative Dana from Dana-Made-It, has posted a set of free tutorials for sewing children’s pants. We particularly like the fact that these trousers have flat front and lined versions, and include bodacious pockets…. humongous enough for a peanut butter sandwich, a rock collection, a handful of crayons, and with room to spare!
There is hardly anything better to do with the hot lazy days of summer than to make an icy pitcher of mint tea or tangy lemonade, learn new sewing techniques, experiment with patterns, and make autumn duds. We forecast the recurrence of fabulously dapper casual clothing; the suave vintage-inspired Norfolk jacket is perfect for chilly days spent drinking hot chocolate while strolling through fall foliage. Kass at ReconstructingHistory has published patterns and directions for men’s Norfolk jackets and women’s Norfolk jackets, including embellishment suggestions, historical notes and period tailoring. We are planning on making our own sportif Norfolk jacket from coffee brown and cream wool tweed, lined with brown and cream geometrically patterned silk, and fastened with woven brown leather buttons….with all fabrics and buttons are available at Britex Fabrics!