Lily’s Flat Felled Seam a’thon…

It’s not and easy trick to learn, especially with a think denim… but it’s a great tool to use if you are teaching a child to sew straight. Bright mustard yellow thick thread and a beautiful indigo denim… a really cute 70’s overall dress pattern and VOILA! Here she is… Lily in her very cute outfit (that will last many a growing spree)!  And…. Note that patch pocket!.. well done Lily! lilyspattern lilypattern1 lilypattern2

Vicky’s Summer Dress – Simplicity 3532

Meet Vicky… She is aged 13 and a bona fide dressmaker. This is her very first garment… I am so proud to be able to post this, she has tirelessly, every Wednesday after school (but with a fair amount of chatting and biscuit munching in between) stitched this fine cotton lawn dress and lined it with muslin.. Her hand stitching is effortlessly neat, a real natural. The fabric was her choice and it’s beautiful from Merchant & Mills. The pattern is from the pattern library at the studio…Simplicity 3532We went through a fair amount of adaptations while the project progressed, she didn’t like the cap sleeves so we modified the armholes … the hem was too long and got a rather hefty chop, she took it all within her stride and now rather than having a dress she wanted to put in the bin (out of shear frustration) ….. SHE LOVES IT! (As do I )


vicky2What are you going to make next Vicky?

The Peoples Pattern

peoplepattern3I had an interesting find today…More clothing patterns to add to the pattern library here, which I will share with you today.  I am given quite a bit of vintage haberdashery at the studio.  Our home is the row of shops underneath the imposing but magnificant Marine Court in St Leonards on sea, and above us are over 150 apartments …marine-court-1930arrow We have come to know many of the residents that reside above us over the years, many of them pop by for a chat and some have donated old sewing boxes and fabric to use in the studio for classes. Today was just such a day, a huge box of dress patterns from the 60’s to the exceptionally unflattering 80’s. (I’ll pass on these gems in another post – they’re hilarious…)

Did you know The Sunday People Newspaper had a sewing pattern service? No, neither did I. Open your Sunday paper and choose from their patterns, collect the tokens and send 20p! They’ll post it right on back to you.

peoplepattern1I collect dress patterns and pattern books as much for my intrigue for social history as for my love of dressmaking. The history of dressmaking at home and how we consumed fashion and clothing in the past is as much a  reflection of our social culture as the food we eat.  As culture changes so does how we consume fashion and how we clothe ourselves. Personally I would  choose to read about clothing patterns over the size of Kim Kardashians nether regions any day, and I reckon I belong in the 1950’s for that reason…

peoplepattern2Nowadays we dart about the blogosphere for inspiration and shopping, but it’s warming to know sewing was as much apart of the daily lives of the past as the consumption of news and sport and here is the evidence. There was a sewing machine in every house hold – it was as necessary as the washing machine. Still is in my house.

Advance 9487

Over the years I have collected hundreds of vintage dressmaking patterns… I will share them with you and hopefully build a little archive for you all to browse … These patterns are here in the studio for sewers that attend the classes to use as projects.

Beautiful day dress pattern with a little peter pan collar… Advance 9487.