The quintessential Goddess Dress… Late 40s glamour, Simplicity 2939

“Simple elegance is personified in this exquisite gown. The soft flowing lines are held in at the waistline…” What a fabulous pattern description. I love this pattern because I think it captures that uber glamour from the 1940s… Pictured below with the cover of May US VOGUE. This kind of glamour never goes out of stye!


In Dressmaking Land, I have been doing lots and lots of research and am so excited to be doing an online course through pattern review with the esteemed Susan Khalje, “The Little Black Dress” in August.  In devising a dream vintage of my own making, I think this is the perfect course to take because Susan helps one to learn some basic couture techniques which are useful to upgrade any other given project. The question has been, WHICH little black dress to make? I have been agonising with two considerations in mind – possible future alteration noting my shape may change when Little Prince is fully weaned AND my ability in grading a pattern which may be smaller in some areas…

To this end I have been reading through many of Khalje’s articles. I have a number of Threads magazines but using THREADS Insider has been wonderful- I can view it on the iPad for starters, major bonus. I was also thrilled to discover that as an insider, one gets access to all kinds of fitting video demonstrations. This is particularly useful given I have a couple of garments at this stage which are waiting to be finished (think the Summer dress of late). If anyone hasn’t checking this resource out, I recommend it highly. 


1987, Karan … and the Classic White Shirt

I know it, lately I have been entrenched in the 1950s, but that isn’t to say that I only like 1950s designs. Truthfully, I love pretty classics. And what could be more classic than a fresh, white shirt? Timeless, I tell you. Jennifer Aniston is often snapped in white shirt, a blazer and jeans… one of my favourite looks actually.

You remember the 80s… Tom Cruise and Kelly McGillis in TOP GUN. Madonna came out with True Blue. The model Paulina Porizkova seemed to be on every perfume advert. The Atari was the computer of choice for lucky kiddos like us.. And Donna Karan came out with this lovely shirt pattern as part of the Vogue American Designer Collection. I give you … pattern 1961! (Everyone gasps here)! 

The era also gave rise to the likes of Betty Jackson, Claude Montana and the designer genius Issey Miyake. Tales for other posts.

In true 80s style, this shirt is actually… a body suit!


Vogue 7700… oh, all the lovely buttons! 1952


This is a pattern that I have become very fond of- I love the design detail at the waist which is reminiscent of some of the Parisian couturier designs of the time (I am thinking of Griffe). In any event, I think this a flattering style… the eye moves from the waist to the neck (and away from the hips…  in my case, thats a good thing)!

This pattern would definitely be on my to-make list, but unfortunately, I lack the instuctions! I could certainly try and put it together following the usual method (darts back and front first, make the skirt as per other skirt patterns etc) but I would be more worried about messing up the collar or failing to do the waist detail justice.

If anyone out there has instructions for this and would be willing to send me a copy, please get in touch! 😀

Godet anyone? Vogue 5836

I am thinking that this dress- with its slim skirt and glamorous godet- will have to be on my capsule wardrobe list…! Being sleeveless, the question is, what would I wear it with? But I really do like the simplicity and it doesn’t look like a fussy project either… Suggested in satin, brocade, velvet, shantung or wool crepe. Hmmm.

Vogue 5836


Getting organised with vintage sewing projects

Last weekend, the dress I was working on took a left turn and became a two piece dress. I am still theoretically working on it to wear this Saturday night when I leave Little Prince with daddy to go to the ballet with my mother. He assures me it will be a boys night.

I decided to make it a two piece dress so that I could choose to match the skirt (which love, love, love) with other blouses etc and to maximise its “wardrobe return” (if you can all it that)! ha!

But it also got me to thinking about my sewing projects, sewing in a more selective way… things that I can wear more than once in a blue moon. So From July 2012 to July 13, my projects will assume the following shape. I am calling it a capsule wardrobe, though its probably more my Dream Vintage wardrobe!

Does anyone else out there want to try this July 2012 to July 2013? Plan your pieces- commit to them- and sew with the goal of a wardrobe, not just an outfit? Patterns wouldn’t have to all be chosen at the outset but the “missing links” in your core vintage wardrobe should be picked… I don’t know, just thought it would be fun!

Of course the ideal wardrobe will blend with the things I already own, and based on colour and style choices, I imagine will be essentially “ME”. Here is my current list of projects:

Slim Skirt
Ballerina (full and feminine) skirt
High waisted skirt
Two piece dress
sheer blouse
Bow collar blouse
Polka dot blouse
Sheath dress (maybe two)
High tea or Brunch dress
Red carpet dress (everyone has to have something mega-glamorous)!
Slip Dress (aka Goddess dress… think for the random last minute evening affairs… because there are so many of those in my life… LOL)!
Mummy-on-a-playdate dress
Saturday night dinner dress
Movies and coffee dress
The “Yoohoo” House dress
Summer nightie
What would you add? What am I missing? (Apart from the matching convertible and starlet lifestyle)?
Today’s pattern is nothing less than the iconic… Vogue Paris original 1557

The simple joy of Vogue… Vogue Couturier 684

Today is a Tuesday here in Aus, the first day of the working week after the Queens birthday long weekend. So todays dress pattern should really be a special pattern. what would one wear to meet the Queen?

Vogue Couturier 684 is beautiful dress with an unusual feature- external darts on the skirt and a stunning shaped neckline. I think  this should be made in anything BUT black… red, silver, plum… molto glamorous!

VPB suggests violet shantung

The dress of lavendar dreams and VOGUE 9156

My coffee is cold. I started writing a blog post half an hour ago, but Little Prince required some TLC… so, like many things it was started and picked up again later. I have found that being flexible and patient are the two things I have had to learn as a new mother… but like anything, once practised, its not so hard.

This brings me to the dress of lavendar dreams which I have been working on, equally as intermittent and at a glacial pace. I plan to wear it tomorrow so there has to be a decent swag of time soon!

Todays dress pattern is VOGUE 9156 (I am dreaming of Summer again, alas, it was minus five degrees in the capital last night). I like this pattern because it is straight forward and not too fussy and thus lends itself to lots of playful ideas in respect of fabric choice. To me it begs for floral. I also think the button closings make this the perfect dress to practise hand stitched buttonholes (for which I have a few shades of buttonhole twist). This would be perfect to bake cookies in or to wander the fragrant fields of Provence (hot lover or hot husband in tow).

Vogue 9156 of 1957… methinks sans apron!

Another day. Another few hours in the company of sweet Little Prince. And another slow step toward the lavendar dream dress!