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!

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...