Monday, November 30, 2015

A Pattern Hidden in Plain Sight

Oh my! I cannot believe I almost missed this one! Have you been so focused on one pattern element that you completely ignore another? That was me with Simplicity 1008.

 Simplicity Misses’ Fantasy Costumes - Size: HH (6-8-10-12) - Pattern: 1008
I bought this pattern earlier this year for the tulip hem dress and recently considered the maxi dress for the Renaissance Festival. It wasn't until last week when I was putting the pattern away did the cape catch my attention. How could I have missed this? I love the silhouette of this cape and the potential for a reversible option. I been looking for a pattern to showcase more of my Ankara Dutch Wax fabric and thought this would be a good match.


 The reverse side is nice too!


Here is a quick review of the pattern.

Pattern Description: 
This medieval fantasy costume is designed for travel and adventure. Pattern includes floor length gown, high low day dress and close fitting knee length cape with hood. 

Pattern Sizing:
I made the size 10

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
It looks like the line drawings, but I think the cover photo gives the illusion of pleats or gathers.

Were the instructions easy to follow? Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
The instructions were easy to follow, but I did not use them. I made this reversible, so I made two complete capes and stitched those right sides together leaving an opening for turning. I then flipped it through the opening and top stitched the entire edge. For the neck closure, I made two covered button and sewed them shanks together on one side. For the other side, I attached a cord loop.

Making covered buttons

Buttons attached back to back 

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I bought this for the dresses, but the cape is underrated.

Fabric Used:
Ankara Dutch Wax for side A and a green linen look for side B. 

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
I have recently made too many cold weather pieces for someone who lives in Texas! I will not likely make this cape again. But I would recommend it.

This one should not be in the costume section or it will be overlooked. It was fast to sew and the shaping is fun and interesting. The shape makes it a good candidate for reversibility because the other side is not glaring when worn.

I have vowed to use the Ankara fabric in my stash before allowing myself more. I am pretty happy with this make and love my use of the fabric. Now I am free to get more ;-p

Happy Sewing,

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

A Few Tips on Scoring Deals on Vintage Patterns and My Latest Finds

After my last post  about the vintage patterns, I was asked how I manage to find such wonderful deals.  Here, I will share a few tips that work for me, then I will show my latest treasures. There are many of them and lots of photos! 
  • I attend estate sales and make friends with the organizers. When I buy fabrics and patterns at sales, I chat with the cashiers, who are usually in charge. I tell them of my love for sewing things and I give them my business card. I ask them to give me a call if they have sales with fabrics, patterns or notions in the future. I have had calls to pre-shop a sale or to buyout the remnants once a sale ends. When I have success at a sale, it is a big success as the patterns are usually all my size or the fabrics my style.

  • I make friends with the owners/managers of small, local resale stores. Again, I ask them to give me a call when they get patterns, fabric, or  sewing supplies in stock. They usually give me a call when things come in and they give me a first look. They at times will text me pictures so I can have a heads-up on the potential purchases. I am not talking about the big chain stores, but those owned by charities or Mom and Pops.

  •  I use Craigslist "search alerts" to get an email when an item matching my search terms is posted. My typical search terms are "sewing patterns" "vintage sewing patterns" "sewing machine" and "Bernina". I try to get as much information about the items I hope to purchase before meeting. I like to ask condition, sizes of patterns, and their completeness. If the photos are insufficient, I ask for better ones. Because I respond so quickly on an interested posting, they are happy to accommodate my requests.  I always meet in a public place and try to never go alone. When I must go alone, it is in the daytime. I text the Hubs my location and take a picture of the car and plate for a record. I watch a lot of crime television, so better safe than sorry.
  • Know your stuff. It is all well and good to know when you can buy vintage sewing items, but you want to be thoughtful about what it is worth to you. In my area, I come by vintage patterns quite frequently. I can buy a collection for the price of a modern day Vogue.  This week I saw an ad for  "5 Antique Patterns for $50", I passed. This recent ad was for kid patterns from the 1950's and not for me. The price was too high and the distance to meet too far. 
Later, I saw an ad for 100+ patterns for a low, low price. The seller was not willing to sell the patterns individually, so I would have to take the good with the bad if I chose to buy. The few online pictures looked promising, so it was worth it to me to gamble that there would be gems. The distance to collect would have normally been a 3-hour round trip. Lucky for me, with our attendance at the Renaissance Festival (see previous post), I was a mere 10 minutes away!

The patterns largely included women, children and a few men's patterns. Here are the new women and men additions to my stash. Some are real gems, others not so much. I will include the children patterns in another post with the others that I will not keep.

Drool! I love that neckline and full skirt!

I like the look of view A.

Love view 1 with those pockets.
Interesting ties on the shoulder, but what's up with that high bust pocket?

I love a wide leg pant. I am unsure about that collar. Do I love it?
I like view 3. 

Easy for summer time.

I like A and C. A is like an Anthro dress I have drooled over.

Ren Fest next year?

I love  the neckline this cute top! 

Will be making that hoodie soon!

Always a lady in a dress.

I don't wear many wrap skirts, but I like the front ties on this one.

Perfect for a Spring day.

I like the tab style belt loops on the short version.

I like the mini length, but I am on the fence about  the shorts of the same length underneath.

Nice sheath coat combo.

Boho fun?

I may be too old for this but, the placket in view B is nice.

Always could use a new blouse right?

Yes to view 1. I will need a stripe.

Cannot resist another mod shift.

Those faux flap pockets!

Again, that neckline I like.

That white number!

Perfect for a fast  knit dress.

Fast and easy and collarless!

Double breasted little black dress.

Oh, I guess I will need some saddle shoes too! 

I think in denim...

No, no, no on the onesie, but yes on that jacket in a Boucle.

I am a sucker for a curved shirt-tail. 

Yay for cute tees! Love The tie in view A.

I like this dress, but I am uncertain how the gathers will lay on my bust.  

On top of my list! Love! Love! Love!

Yes! Simple and classy.

Not my favorite collar, but the pleats are darling.

I may need a petticoat for that dress I love.

Yep! The green with the low set pockets! 

Drawstring casing at the waist...

I need a few of these to wear with full skirts, and pencil skirts, and pants.

We need to return to the days of "dressing" up.

Look at the expression on the face of the lady in back.

Can you see this one in Dutch Wax with a solid on top? I can!

Maybe this in Dutch Wax with a solid pant beneath? 

This could have worked for Ren Fest with a corset.

I have a floral Neoprene print that could work with the flared skirt.

I like a tent dress, but this is very maternity. It would need to be belted for sure.

I like a novelty dress and this one is simple enough.

I may actually make this one for Hubs.

Maybe this

Never this! I would love that floral fabric though!

Not too bad here
Whew! I am tired and this is just a third of the purchase. Thanks for sticking with me to the end. If you have any tips on scoring patterns, please share them. 

Happy Sewing and Thanksgiving to you!