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Ministry of Craft Blog

    Friday, April 28, 2017

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    Ministry Makes Vintage


    Ministry Makes Vintage

    What have you all been sewing lately? Here's a little update on one of my sewing adventures!

    I decided on a vintage dress from my ever-expanding collection of sewing patterns. I have no idea where the pattern came from - it could have been a jumble sale or a bag of patterns I inherited from a friend's grandma. Vintage patterns were sold according to bust measurement and weren’t multi-sized like today’s patterns. However, as luck would have it, it was my size!

    Sewing from vintage patterns is a fun way to expand your sewing repertoire while challenging yourself at the same time. Vintage sewing patterns are fairly easy to come by; they are plentiful on Craftsy, eBay and Etsy; any of which are good options if you are hunting down a particular pattern. As well as the original ones, the major pattern brands are offering reproduction vintage patterns (replicas of vintage patterns, some of which offer clarified instructions or patterns graded into multiple sizes). Sewing with the real-deal pattern in its original form is a wonderful experience and a fun way to re-create the innovative details and flattering designs of the past. However, vintage patterns can be intimidating. Aside from their fragile envelopes and delicate pattern tissue, they look and read much differently from the commercial patterns we're used to today.

    The fabric I chose was one of 3 dresses fabrics I picked up recently from a visit to Standfast and Barracks factory shop. It is a John Lewis dress-weight cotton, easy to handle and a bargain at £3.50 a metre!

    The skirt is made up of six panels to give it a full shape and both the back and front bodice has darts giving it a snug fit. Not only were women built differently in the past, but garments were made to fit closer to the body than they are today. This varied ease and fit may require you to make some alterations.

    The bodice front has a shoulder yoke, which the lower bodice is gathered onto, giving it a nice shape over the bust. The buttons down the centre front are just for show and not operational but allow for the Rouleau loop detail - a very vintage fashion.

    Again, typically vintage, the sleeves have gathers at the head and the fit is rather narrow and restrictive which makes it difficult to raise my arms higher than a 45 angle without lifting up the whole dress! This restrictive movement is not something I cope well with in daily life, so I will be picking carefully when I wear this dress. Hanging out the washing or picking up my 3 year old from the school run is definitely out!

    For more on vintage sewing tips and supplies visit the Fold Line and of course our very own tutor and vintage fanatic Jeanette, aka Lazy Seamstress. Or come along and try one of our vintage inspired workshops, Fit and Flare and Wiggle Dress


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