Saturday, September 26, 2009

Patterns Focus for 2010

I have some very special vintage designs from which I will create a fantasy line of costume patterns in 2010.
These will be perfect for a formal occasion where something a little more unusual is appropriate.
I am naming the line 'The Silk Bat' (Die Seidene Fledermaus) for the 1887 Bat costume with which I am beginning this line (but will be ready in summer of 2010). All of the patterns are historically accurate and very do-able (if you will), and definitely have an intense edge.
Of course, I will continue with very practical, yet beautiful patterns for everyday wear as well.
Here is a nice preview of the first pattern I expect to have finished in time for Easter:

As printed on the original art:
'Evening gown of tulle. Leaf-like design for back and large bow. Chic New York, Hollywood.'
I estimate this design to be 1930, but I need to research that more...

When I do things, I do them BIG (can you tell?)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Die seidene Fledermaus

(The silk bat)
This is what I want to sew for the Kelton House masquerade evening next May-it is an 1887 bat costume:

I found it in the French pattern publication 'La Mode Illustree', yet there is no pattern for it, so I will draft one making use of an 1886 corset pattern I already have.

I will start building the corset this week, but may not have the silk gazar for the crinoline in time for Halloween this year, but there is always next year, yes?

Once I have developed the pattern and built the final silk version, I will make the pattern available from my site. I will love to hear your feedback about that prospect-cheers!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Flatback Fun...

Had a great weekend finishing this 1953 halter style gown and put the last of many Swarovski crystals on tiffany mounts. They are fire opal on a sunny orange silk taffeta!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

'Slick' Simplicity Details...

Just had to write about this right now as I review instructions for one of my 1930's Simplicity patterns!
Simplicity has had so many of my favorite 1930's patterns for their ingeniously engineered details!
Case in point, this mid-30's ensemble pattern:

I LOVE how the cape 'slips on' via buttonholes through which it buttons on under the revers of the jacket. The suit has lines which make me think of the design Stella McCartney put on Gwyneth Paltrow in 'Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow'-do you remember it?  I picture this suit in chocolate cotton moleskin.

The cape attachment is not unlike this highly deco Simplicity design, about 1934:

The difference here of course, is the crossing scarf. It is sewn into the back neck of the blouse under which the cape is buttonholed-just HOT!
This is one of the earliest patterns I ever picked up when I started with vintage patterns and I often envision the sleeves contrasting to the rest of the blouse.

This has been a customer favorite among 30's blouse patterns:

The large button at the front fastens over the stiff jabot, is not just for decoration. Being the purist I am, I take real working closures very seriously and do not appreciate a number of buttons or other closing devices simply tacked on which do not mechanically function in the garment. Although I admit, I was guilty of embellishing with covered buttons that did not function at the beginning of my vintage sewing career a couple of times-won't happen again, ha!

This 'domestic' Simplicity has received very little attention, but I find it important to give it some limelight here:

Even at home, the details are marvelous in this 'pyjama' pattern, aren't they? Notice the many versions of the ensemble and over any one of them, the apron is 'slipped on' at the center front by means of a buttonhole and ties at the back of the waist in the traditional apron manner!

The earliest example I have in patterns of the 'slipped on' buttonhole apron is the clothespin design from Harper's, circa 1885:


I will love to hear from you about your favorite vintage Simplicity pattern details. I will cover other pattern companies later this fall...