Vintage and Modern Fine Sewing Techniques for All the Veteran’s Who Love to Sew

I would like to dedicate this post to my youngest son serving our country since 1998 and all like him–Happy Veteran’s Day.

SSG Lunkins

SSG Lunkins

I know there’s great pride in wearing your uniform–but when the uniform come’s off you want to so off your individuality –some go shopping other’s bring out the sewing machine. Tonight I would like to share some of my favorite links for the best dressmaking tips, tricks and patterns.

Sewing Diaries with Paul Gallo

Trompe L’oeil with the Sewing Divas


Trompe L’oeil Sample

Tutor Couture: How to Drape on the Stand

How to Drape a Dress with Master Tailor Sten Martin

The Art of Draping

Threads Magazine editor Stephani Miller – Draping

How to Make a Hat Base – Threads Magazine

Fabric bow and feather embellishments transform the hat base from simple to stunning.

La Couturiere Dimanche – Designing by Draping

1930s Draping Book

How to Sew a Vintage Style High-Waist Play Suit

Two Piece Playsuit

Two Piece Play-Suit

Beach Suit Pattern 1937 courtesy Vintage Chic

1937 playsuit

Designing a Corset Part One with Ralph Pink

Die Alma Mode German 1948 Sewing Patterns

Vintage Men's Sport Jacket and Slacks

Vintage Men’s Sport Jacket and Slacks

Die Alma Mode 342

40s Lounging Pajamas

40s Lounging Pajamas

Vintage Bathing Suit Patterns

Vintage Bathing Suit Pattern

Shrimpton and Perfect – The Haslam System of Dresscutting

I plan to try this vintage Dressmaking System it’s available from, I have not located original copies yet, but you can find all the volumes as reproductions from by Bramcost Publications. I think it’s well worth the cost for the entire library.

Vintage Pattern Making for 1920s, 30s, 40s and 50s Fashions (Haslam Chart and Foundation Draftings)

To all that serve–Happy Veteran’s Day!

knitting crochet sewing vintage pattern PDF downloads

Vintage Sewing and Dressmaking Advice | Great Blog Round-Up

Hi there, yesterday I came across some really good blogs that I want to share, you may already know about some or all of these sites but you may not.

Most are about vintage sewing, dressmaking and various techniques. I hope that you’ll find them useful.

A Good Wardrobe – her blog offers advice about what makes a good wardrobe and how to make it. I was going to pass on this one, but I decided to check out the content and it’s really good and personable site and I think one the deserves bookmarking. The post that got my attention was “Independent Pattern Designers“, her page provides great links to pattern designer websites.

Megan Nielsen – was another blog that I found interesting, I like the idea of sew-a-longs and at some point plan on conducting my own. In the meanwhile the site has tutorials and a lot of little quickie DIY projects, it’s a good resource.

Kestrel Makes – a lively site, what caught my attention was that she features vintage knitting patterns as well as sewing projects, what caught my eye was this 60’s vintage V neck pullover pattern.

Julia Bobbin - 1960's dress with Butterick 5747

Julia Bobbin, I think this blog is my favorite find of the week, the blog was really informative even for an experienced seamstress and crocheter such as myself, especially the post on Bound Buttonholes, I have to say it is really good and will become a permanent link on our tutorial page.

Sewing Your Style is another favorite of mine, the primary reason is she’s bustie and has hips which mean every pattern requires alterations or style changes. How to do them can be tricky, hurrah for us not really plus size bustie and hippy women with their own sense of style. Remember this; you can wear most any style providing you can make the necessary alterations and style changes to account for your full figure.

The next site has nothing at all to do with sewing, but is does have to do with good foundations for us who can’t buy our foundation garments at big box stores such as Target, Kmart or Walmart. last year my daughter and I went for out annual bra fitting and my measurement was a 36F, you can’t find that size at most stores, so two really good bras cost about $140…ouch! Well Facebooks targeted ads were right on the money with this bra website called Brayola. At first I wasn’t all that keen about going through the process, but I did and found my Panache Andorra bras for 50% less than what I paid at the store in Royal Oak, Michigan, so check it out. Yes, the personal fitting was worth it, but not at that price.

Lucky Lucille – is another site that I found absolutely delightful to browse around. Rochelle focus is mainly 40’s patterns, but she also has a vintage knitting page, over the years I have tried many times to just finish a knitted scarf, I’ve given up on learning how to knit except by machine. However, I love knits, and I’ve come to this conclusion — crochet is my thing. The other phenomenal find is that she does vintage fabric reproductions worth checking out for sure.

By Hand London – is another site we liked a lot, the primary reason is because it’s full of resources. Try out the Tracing and Altering Patterns or the Victoria Blazer Sew a-Long. Finally,the Zippers Hems and Finishing Touches, they were all well laid-out and very useful.

I leave for Detroit for a few days, I’ll be visiting Haberman’s Fabrics in Royal Oak, the only really true fabric store remaining in southeastern Michigan. Living here in northern NY in the woods, I might add, New York City is just as far as Detroit from where I live and cost me less once I’m there. My other fabric option which is truly a gem is the Fabric District in Montreal which is closer than both of my other choices. One of these days I’ll tell about my truly inspiration trip to the Fabric District in downtown Los Angeles — I was truly overwhelmed and came away with just some velvet–go figure.

I came back to add a link that started by link chase yesterday and Gertie answered the burning question once again that I find from anyone who wants to sew vintage patterns realizes very quickly, the raraity of large size patterns and even when you do find the right bust and hip size additional grading and alterations are still needed. Vintage pattern sizing is a quest that you can never have too many sources for guidance.

Stay tuned for the next installment of the Spadea’s Collection of Designer Sewing Tips

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Spadea’s Collection of Designer Sewing Tips Vintage | Tailor’s Slip Stitch | Hidden Buttoning | Pages 30 to 39

Tonight, there’s another glitch with E Bay’s listing form, so I decided to add more from the Spadea’s collection of sewing tips, here’s pages 30 to 39.

Hidden Buttoning – Many innovative styling techniques were innovations by Mr. Tiffeau’s, one of the most popular was the hidden button closure, giving a fluid unbroken look, which gives no hint of the button closure beneath. In his 1960’s collection, he used this closing in his loosely fitted jacket of a two piece dress made of flannel. Spadea’s N-1288 Two Piece Dress from the Vintage Pattern Wiki is an example of the technique.

Hidden Buttoning | Spadea

Hidden Buttoning | Spadea

Hidden Buttoning Continued

Hidden Buttoning Continued

would you like to see more of Tiffeau’s designs, check out Reading Vintage Vogue, on my birthday in 2003, the New York time sprinted an article call “The Hustler” which I think gives a great summary of how Tiffeau influenced the fashion industry.

Decisions Decisions Decisions - Sleeves

Decisions Decisions Decisions – Sleeves

Detachable Sleeves not a new idea, but how to do it? Well that might have escaped the knowledge base of the average seamstress including me.

Face the Facing | Jo Copeland

Face the Facing | Jo Copeland

Facing the Facings – This tip isn’t just about facing it’s about flawless finishing techniques. If you have the chance to use this technique or have used a similar finishing, please share a pictures with our growing community.

Face the Facing | Jo Copeland Continued

Face the Facing | Jo Copeland Continued

Face the Facing | Jo Copeland Continued

Face the Facing | Jo Copeland Continued

The Tailor’s Slip Stitch – a sign of couture is your skill at hand stitching and your finishes, this is a hem technique worth learning to do. In the modern-day, most machines give similar hem stitch, but I think taking the time to practice and learn this technique is well worth the effort.

Tailor's Slip Stitch

Tailor’s Slip Stitch

Cover-up for A Collar

Cover-up for a Collar

Cover-up for a Collar

Cover a Collar Continued

Cover a Collar Continued

Sizing Up a Button

Sizing Up a Button

Vintage Sewing Pattern Fashion Trim Detail

Sewing for me has always been about the details–distinctive, one of a kind details that make the garment uniquely mine.

That’s what I love about sewing vintage, especially the 40s and 50s..These details are not simple, but boy they can transform a piece from simple to spectacular.

Here’s some examples of spectacularly beautiful vintage sewing detail. These examples range from buttonholes or bias binding, tabs, collars and pockets.

Take a look at these and examples and tell what fashion sewing detail you’d like to master?

vintage sewing pattern detail pockets

1950s Bound Asymmetrical Pockets with Covered Buttons

Bound buttonholes are challenging — but what do you think about these pockets, is this a sewing technique you want to master?

50s sewing pattern vintage

Vintage 50s Sewing Pattern Neckline Variations

How about these necklines–which one do you like the best?

Here are some other examples of sewing patterns from the 1950’s with dramatic show-stopping accents.

Now let’s look at the 1940s–in my opinion some of these accents are not difficult to master but other’s given that vintage patterns were not marked with any detail, you really had to know how to sew. Not only did you have to use the machine proficiently your hand sewing skills had to be pretty good because some of these accents are difficult even with the technology of today. Here’s where your vintage sewing books would come in handy and I have a collection spanning from the 20’s through the 1970’s.

Now lets a visual journey through the high-end sewing patterns of the 40’s and please tell me what technique would you like to master?

In closing tonight’s post, I want you to know that running my vintage pattern store is time consuming and it leaves me very little time for sewing–but I do have some great projects already cut and ready–stay tuned because I really need to take the time to finish these pieces. Remember browse and let me know what trim details you crave to master.

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