1970s Style -what it cost to sew… 

I always enjoy finding little treasures tucked away in pattern envelopes. This receipt was stowed away by the original seamstress… An interesting record of what it cost to sew a garment in Australia in 1975. Garters Fabric Salon of Canberra sadly closed its doors a few years ago, but the bolts if high end fabrics used to be displayed like candy…!

Fare thee well DKNY and Donna Karan designs at Vogue Patterns 

It’s a sad day indeed, the end of an era. Three decades of DONNA KARAN designs at Vogue patterns has come to an end. Some of my favourite ever self made garments have been from Karan’s pattern line. I would feature photos here except I wore them to pieces. Truly! 

Featured here above is an image from British Vogue in March 1997. At high end retailers this top and pants commanded almost £1000. If you have Vogue Pattern 2064 however, you could make an equally stylish version at home. It’s on my to make list this year.

It must be said that since the introduction of designer pattern lines in 1949, Karan designs must be one of the ‘greats’ alongside Miyake and Schiaparelli for their style and wearability. The DKNY label was introduced in 1989, patterns were also produced under this line.
I won’t be parting with any of my DKNY or Karan patterns soon. Hang on to those beauties!

Finally finished- the 1940s cherry delight dress!

IMG_8095Made partially on my Singer 99 and partially on my Singer 221 featherweight, this dress is finally finished and I have to confess, it is one of my favourites so far… a classic style full of sweetness! It feels like this took ages to do, but I had to do it incrementally as with all my sewing projects.

Vintage sewing machine lovers note: the buttons were done with my SINGER buttonholer attachment (I love love love this gadget)! With my elna SU, I had to do “manual” buttonholes, the sewing machine attachment makes it all so fast! I mean, really, really fast!

The fabric was purchased at Spotlight when I was pregnant with my little girl (she is two in October, so I am pretty sure they wouldn’t stock it anymore). The pattern is 1940s, Simplicity. Whenever I come across those vintage/ retro hangers )(which I recollect well enough from my own childhood) I snap them up… so fun!

Hope everyone else is sewing up a storm also!

My sewing week in pictures

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With the arrival of my “new” Singer buttonholer from the Us (coolest sewing gadget ever)? I have been making lots of progress!

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Inspiration can always be found in my vintage Montgomery Ward catalogues!

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Enough leftover Hawaiian fabric is going into a shirt for my son… Will be a fun one for the beach in a few weeks!

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A classic toddler pinafore or smock mccalls 1694

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This weekend my spare moments were spent making contrast collars in white batiste for a number of girls dresses I plan to make, it’s much more efficient to do several sets at once by the time you’ve prepped the fabric and played about with machine tension. Incidentally, the fabric was bought in Melbourne at Tessuti on our recent road trip… I picked it up along with some great shirting for a pressie for my husband (as a shirt) later in the year.

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I also cut and assembled Mccall 1694 (the illustration at the top is from one of my catalogs from the mid 50s). This is a super cute design for a toddler… And very practical to slip over a third and pants or to protect another dress such as the cherry print gingham Simplicity 2200 I am making in tandem for her birthday later in the year. I looove using the Singer ruffler on my new featherweight, the result I’d precise and beautiful. Below you can see me sewing the shoulder ruffles on to the pinafore. This is not far from being completed and is pretty quick to sew (assuming that you don’t have little ones underfoot the entire time)! Weekends are great for me because hubbie gives me short blocks of time to make progress. Its the only way, for me!!!  I am also contemplating the trim I will use and what it will be worn with in her wardrobe at that time… it would be great if it all complimented… by design or happy coincidence.

I should clean up my sewing studio. Should, should,should. There are any number of chores. But sewing is so much more appealing!

Smock 50s featherweight sewing detail