Guest post by dressmaker – Sarah Belinda

SBblack-300x300Hey, hope you are having a good Christmas ? I am having a little break so todays post is by Sarah Belinda – a friend of mine who has taught me so much about vintage patterns and dressmaking – there literally isn’t anything that this woman does not know !

Sarah makes and alters hundreds of wedding dresses every year ( she was incredibly helpful when I made mine earlier this year ) creates her own fabulous vintage style clothing, quite often using genuine retro fabrics. She also teaches dressmaking.

When I last popped in to see her, she had the above 40’s pattern dress on her mannequin and we thought you might be interested in her inspiration behind it… SBneck-300x300

The idea for this dress started with a 1930’s  Art Deco belt buckle that I found in my Grandmothers old button tin.

I then stumbled across this 1940’s original dress pattern – the neckline reminded me of the old buckle. The dress, back in the day would’ve been made in crepe or lightweight wool but I plumped for a heavyweight jersey for comfort and easy laundering. Sbbuckle-300x300

Just a few observations on using vintage patterns; firstly, the sizing: it seems to me that the fashion industry has down sized us all over the last twenty years. We never used to be able to buy sizes 6 – 8 in women’s wear – it started at a 10. Therefore if you are a size 12 today, you would have been a size 16 then. So, you leap two sizes up.. always a bit of a shock :)

When you take out your vintage paper pattern pieces, you may well find that there is no printed information on them. Most pre 1945 just had a series of dots and notches on them. On the instructions sheet it explains what these mean, so you would need to familiarize yourself with these. The sheets do not give nearly as much information as they do today, I can only assume that women probably had more knowledge of sewing than we do today ! SBgreen
Don’t let this put you off using a vintage pattern though, as you will have a unique outfit. I must just read to you the description on back of the envelope.. ” A classic of an evening gown.. it will look right at any formal function. The lovely, gracious cowl neckline is face framing and flattering. The six gore skirt falls in majestic lines” – what poetry ! SBfloral

I hope Grandmother likes my use of the buckle – I will think of her when I’m wearing it :)

Keep sewing !!… Sarah x

Sarah has a selection of garments including these below, currently for sale – if you are interested then drop me an email and I will give you her contact details.

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