Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Sew Expensive... Vogue Couturier 794 and her many, many gores.


Hello my dears,
Today for you, I have a rather interesting pattern from 1954 for you to study.
Vogue Couturier No. 794 has made it onto our Sew Expensive list due to both sale price, and because of a few unique design details.
Mainly gores.
...Sooooooo many goooooores.

Image courtesy of Ebay seller Vintage-Newsstand.
This lovely little kimono-sleeved Vogue 794 sold recently on eBay for $100 Australian Dollars, or about $74 US Dollars.

Auction.Image courtesy of Ebay seller Vintage-Newsstand.


The true cost however, may need to be calculated in hours of your life spent making it. First, painstakingly cutting out the 10 jaw-dropping skirt-gore pattern pieces, cut on a double fold of fabric and then sewing together the resulting 20 (yes, 20) gored skirt/ bodice pieces. God forbid you should line it as well.


Image courtesy of Ebay seller Vintage-Newsstand.
Interestingly enough, this pattern also has different art and coloring released the same year. The above is likely the British/ Australian release, the latter is likely the US release.

Image courtesy of eBay seller Peddecord.

How about you? Would you devote your time to such a brave undertaking?
Have you taken on a project like this before and lived to tell the tale?

Happy sewing,


Saturday, February 24, 2018

See it Sewn - Simplicity 3630 from a 1960 Catalog


Today for you, my talented sewists, I'd like to introduce a new feature that I'd like to include in our regularly scheduled blog-casting.

Today for See it Sewn, I'd like to show you how fun it can be to take a peak at a vintage pattern catalog that had a revolutionary idea: Photographs of patterns sewn!
What is this madness? At sometime in the late 1950s (this is a loose estimate, as I do not have a lot of catalogs to reference) someone finally had the brilliant idea of sewing up and photographing sewing patterns to make pattern counter catalogs look more like fashion magazines.

In today's particular instance, the models were styled flawlessly and provide a snap-shot of how these garments were meant to look. The pattern illustrations alone could often make some styles look boring or dated.

That is the case with Simplicity 3630.

Image courtesy of the Vintage Patterns Wikia.
This could look like just another early 60s coat to most pattern sellers and collectors. It's ok, sure, but not cutting edge, not wildly chic.
Or is it?

Simplicity 3630 as featured in my October 1960 Counter Catalog.
This model, sporting the same Simplicity 3630 in "Highland Grape" wool plaid, accessorized with long, leather gloves and a fur hat with her makeup done to the nines, could not be more stylish.
Note the large buttons, and the massive pockets with the plaid matched perfectly.
This is a COAT and seeing it sewn took it from drab to fab in seconds.

A few pages later in the same catalog, we see Simplicity 3642. Here is the original pattern envelope.

Image courtesy of the Vintage Patterns Wikia.
Not bad, a bit more stylish in illustration.
And here it is, sewn in a "Winter Plum" plaid similar to the coat above.

Simplicity 3642 as shown in the October 1960 Counter Catalog.
Note again her stylish hat, the semi-long gloves, her choice of belt and brooch. Notice how the upper seamed panels over her bust have been cut on the bias to give the plaid a different effect? It's sheer brilliance!

It makes me look with fresh eyes at patterns that I would normally pass right by.

How about you? Have you ever seen something sewn that made you look at a pattern in a different light?

Happy sewing!







P.S.
Copies of both of these patterns can usually be found from your favorite pattern sellers on Etsy.
Below are links to searches for each of these that will show you who currently has them for sale.

Simplicity 3630 Coat

Simplicity 3642 Dress



Saturday, February 3, 2018

Found in a Bag - Yet another 1920s Dress



As many of you already know, my late Mama was a vintage dress hoarder. As an antique dealer, her specialty was vintage clothing and she was a master at restoring difficult pieces. She often hung on to many great pieces that were beyond saving -  squirreling them away to be later used in the restoration of something else. Some pieces ended up as parasol covers, beaded purse linings, or period correct doll clothes.
Others were forgotten about and tucked away in every spare corner and cupboard she could find in her home. When she unexpectedly passed away, my sister and I had to sort through hundreds of boxes. Sometimes, rather than digging through the contents of an entire box, I would follow a hunch and take a box or bag home, sight unseen. I wanted to save some of these discoveries for later.
It has felt special, opening these boxes over 4 years after her passing, savoring the feeling of discovery, and feeling close to her again in some small way.

My most recent excavation brought to light a dusty ziplock bag filled with yellowed tissue paper wrapped around something fabric-like.

Since we had so much fun with the last Found in a Bag post (this is not the first bag, but the 3rd so far!) I had to share this one with you as well.

I give you a 1920s silk evening dress in supple silk satin...

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Sew Expensive... A 1935 Evening Gown McCall 8476


Hello my dears. This is going to surprise you. Yet another beautiful 1930s evening gown pattern has sold on eBay for more than $12. I'll bet you never saw that coming...

I'm a bit behind on getting this pattern posted but a little while back, McCall 8476 sold at auction for a delightfully shocking $810.99.


The listing photos don't show the copyright date but I estimate this one to be circa 1935.
And after a quick internet search, maybe the highest bidders knew something about this one that the rest of us didn't?

Image from Pinterest.

...that's right, kids, this one was designed after a Patou gown.

Now let's talk about that seam gathering at the front hips. I remember shopping for pants with my mom when I was a teenager. Something that really stuck in my head was her advice that one never wanted to draw attention to one's crotch area if it can be helped. She explained how some pants would crinkle oddly in the front area and as she'd point it out, her face would form a grimace, a crinkling around her lips as she pinched them in disapproval at a pair of pants. The expression was rather similar to the unwanted fabric puckering, now that I think of it...

And on my dear Mama's advice, I could never walk out of my house in a dress with such unfortunately positioned gathers. I have to say, Patou, darling, I'll have to pass on this one...

Now, if you'd like to see a dress that Patou absolutely nailed just a few years earlier by drawing attention to the d├Ęcolletage rather than the hips, look no further than McCall 5840, circa 1929.
How about you? Which of these gowns is more your style?

Happy sewing,


Friday, September 8, 2017

Nerds Helping Houston Hurricane Relief Benefit

Hello, my dears.
I've been AWOL for a while now while we've been packing up and moving across the country. We've arrived in Georgia just in time to find ourselves in the likely path of Irma (what fun!). Many of my friends, colleagues and loved ones were affected when Harvey hit Houston and I, along with my fellow Admins over at the Vintage Pattern Nerd Facebook Group decided to organize a benefit day.


To help with relief for both Harvey and future Irma victims, I'm pledging that 100% of all profits on Saturday, September 9th sales will be donated to Hurricane Harvey & Irma Relief. This includes all EtsyMrsdepew.com, and Facebook sales.

Here are the details if you'd like to join in:

Here at the Vintage Pattern Nerd Group, we have built a wonderful community of helpful, knowledgeable and brilliant pattern nerds.
We would like to invite you to use those talents and this wonderful network of friends to help those in need after the devastating flooding in Houston after Hurricane Harvey.
That’s why the admins at Vintage Sewing Pattern Nerds are organizing a Houston Benefit Pattern Sales Day next week. On our sister groups, The Vintage Pattern Nerd Boutique and the Nerd Budget Boutique we are inviting pattern sellers and buyers to participate in one special day of pattern sales. 
Sellers who choose to participate can donate a portion or all of their proceeds from one day of sales to the charity of their choice to help benefit the victims of this awful storm.
Sellers can link to their online shops that will pledge donations, or they can designate some or all items in their Facebook sales groups by adding the tag Nerds Helping Houston or the attached badge to their listings.
We admins will lead by example where we can with those of us who own pattern shops pledging donations as well.
The special day will be Saturday, September 9th.
We encourage you to share over your social media networks, with your friends, fellow collectors, and fellow pattern sellers to help with a wonderful day of giving grow across our online community.
How you can help:
-Pledge on your shop page, social media, or Facebook pattern listings that you will participate in the benefit day, and detail what portion of your proceeds you will donate. Please feel free to copy and share the Nerds Helping Houston Badge.
-Copy and share this post with your friends.
-Pledge to try and buy patterns on Saturday the 9th from your favorite participating sellers.
-Make a donation directly to a charity of your choosing.
Pledges:
Where to pledge: On your Facebook page, or in the pledge post in Vintage Sewing Pattern Nerds Group or Budget Nerd Boutique.
The day after the sale: we will add a special follow up post where participants can post about participation the day before and share copies, screen shots etc. of their donations. Don't worry about bragging. By saying you participated, showing that you donated, you don’t have to be bragging, you are simply setting an example and encouraging or reminding others who care that there is something, big or small, that they can do to help those in need.
A helpful guide to choosing a legitimate donation site:
http://www.npr.org/…/looking-to-help-those-affected-by-harv…

Friday, June 30, 2017

A 1920s Couture Gown Pattern - A New Pattern Release!

Hello my dears. I'm happy to post today about a research/ reproduction project I've been working on for months!
My collection (hoard) of vintage magazines and quarterlies always makes me happy, but recently they also told me that a pattern in my collection was very special!


The quarterlies often had a few pages of couture designs mingled in with their every day patterns and a 1927 McCall Quarterly was kind enough to inform me that my McCall 5050 was a design by House of Worth!


After much digging, I also found the same pattern advertised a few times in two other magazines from the period, some of which included references to embroidery patterns that could be used to make the dress more unique!


I already had plans to release a reproduction of the pattern, but I decided to hold off until I could really do something special.



I was finally able to hunt down rough images of what all three referenced embroidery designs looked like, and once I had them, I drafted those, too!




And now it's complete! Pattern #3086 is now available in print or download and includes three full-sized embroidery motifs to make it exactly as pictured in the magazines!

1920s Worth Couture Dress #3086.

Most of the reference material has the pattern illustrated for day wear but the sleeveless version in printed silk was advertised as a "Gown of Grace and Gaiety from Paris".
You can find the pattern here.

House of Worth has a strange, special place in my heart. My late mother was obsessed with Worth and the history behind the famed Couture house that launched Parisian Couture as we know it today. Her greatest goal in life was to one day add a Worth gown to her antique clothing collection. A big dream indeed, considering that they are often only found in museums these days. She passed away before ever making her dream a reality. It felt strange, sad, and bitter-sweet to know that I had a pattern of one of their designs and that I couldn't share it with her.
As I'm a pattern collector, and not a really a dress collector, this was essentially my version of her dream and I'm so happy to have realized it a bit for both of us.

For an extraordinary photo collection of House of Worth designs, check out the Metropolitan Museum of Art online catalog.
But beware, bring something to soak up your drool and clear your schedule, because you're going to be there a while...

Happy sewing,





Sunday, April 9, 2017

Making Your First Dress - A Lesson from 1927


I just keep finding things inside of my Woman's Institute lesson books! This time I was looking through Dressmaking - Perfection in Details and this flyer was tucked in the back.
It was most likely included in the mail order coursework as part of the Dressmaking Program.

It mentions a few commercial patterns that one could purchase to make these looks including Ladies' Home Journal 5146, Butterick 1390, Butterick 1561, Pictorial Review 4006, and Ladies' Home Journal 5503.

Enjoy!








Oh, and in other news, look what I just finished!

#3069 Slip Pattern