Inspiration: the Vintage Social Sew

In celebration of Vintage Pledge month hosted by Kestrel Makes and A Stitching Odyssey, this month's Social Sew theme is Vintage! Y'all know I love to sew vintage patterns--especially 60s Simplicity Patterns--and this year I'm lucky enough to be participating in the blog tour. If you read this blog but somehow haven't heard of the Vintage Pledge, you can click on the link to Marie's blog, A Stitching Odyssey, for a full explanation of the project, but in brief: anyone who wants to can make a pledge to sew a particular number or type of vintage patterns--last year I pledged to complete my wedding dress (which ended up winning the dress category!), but went a little crazy and made a ton of vintage. This year, our gracious hosts have invited me to participate in the festivities, and I'm very excited that my project for this month's Vintage Social Sew will be not here at allie J., but over on Kestrel Makes... you'll have to wait and see what it will be! 

I'm tagging along, spreading the vintage love just in case you needed that extra little bit of motivation. For the Vintage Pledge proper, only true vintage and reproduction patterns (like the Simplicity Vintage line--check out my interview on this topic here) count, but for the Social Sew, anything that is vintage or retro-inspired can count as your entry. 
Remember, my main goal is designing the Social Sew link-up was to make the theme narrow enough that someone unsure of what to make next could find some guidance, but broad enough that someone with sewing plans could find a way to make their pieces fit. If you're a bit stumped on what to make for this month's theme let me suggest...

A Shirtdress. Easily dressed up or down, you can style this classic either modern preppy or ultra-vintage. For a mid-century silhouette, pick one with a full skirt. How cute would 6042 on the left be in a great border print? If you prefer a slimmer cut, pick up a sixties popover pattern! 

Patterns: Simplicity 6042 (c. 1965) has classic styling with a center back pleat and a choice of skirts, either full or a-line. Simplicity 3085 (c. 1959) also has a choice of shirts, either full or slim, but a little bit of interest with that button arrangement and sweet collar. I totally love Simplicity 4985 (c. 1963)--it's unusual and would look super modern and chic with that concealed zipper(!) placket. Imagine it in a menswear shirting!

A super-feminine frock. When many of us think vintage, we think of the form fitting dresses of the golden age of Hollywood, the fit-and-flare dresses of the 50s, or the plunging necklines and slinky wrap dresses of the 1970s, so why not go wild and make something that is 100% feminine--whatever that means to you.

Patterns: I've had the absolutely stunning McCalls 4870 (c. 1959) pinned for ages; I love the slightly off the shoulder sleeves and optional hi-low hem.  Simplicity 6459 (c. 1966) has three neckline variations that range from preppy (ruffled v-neck) to classic (that sexy-secretary tie) to twee (scalloped collar AND applied bow). I actually own Vogue 7810 (c. 1970s) and I'm just waiting to find that perfect fabric. I like the floor length tunic over pants but I also really like the mini & skirt combo... decisions!

(ps i would absolutely die for a copy of this gorgeous valentino pattern in a 32 bust... is that not most gorgeous thing you've ever seen? and that hair!)


A summery top. Off-the-shoulder ruffles and crop tops are so on-trend! The ruffle is straight out of the 70s, and there are patterns to prove it. This isn't the first time crop tops have been in style, either: there are tons of 50s and 60s patterns for short little overblouses to be worn high-waisted pants and skirts, and it is well documented that I love this look. Even if you aren't into showing your stomach, a crop top paired with something high-waisted can be a flattering and comfortable silhouette (and if you really aren't into showing your stomach, you can check out my tutorial on how to fake a crop top--you can do this using a crop top pattern).

Patterns: Simplicity 6242 (c. 1965) has two slightly different shapes of cropped top for more or less coverage (ps this pattern linked is a 40 bust, get after it, ladies!). Simplicity 6412 (c. 1974) has just about every variation on a gather or ruffle available--you could make a whole wardrobe of variations from this one pattern. By far the most elegant of the summer tops, McCalls 9423 has a halter neck and would look great dressed up and tucked into a matching skirt (um, silk faille please) or dressed down with skinny pants and a belt at the waist.

 If you haven't already, make sure to sign up for the Vintage Pledge, and use the hashtag #vintagepledge on your vintage makes--and dont forget to link them up for the Social Sew here!! Although the patterns I've picked out here are mostly 50s and 60s, simply due to personal preference, Patterns from the Past has a huge collection of vintage patterns of all eras--I can't get enough of these dress patterns dating back to the 1920s, but maybe you're more of a jumpsuit/romper type girl, or you couldn't get enough of last month's Sun Dressing challenge and want to dive deep into vintage swimwearI'm looking forward to seeing what y'all make! Do you have a go-to era for patterns you know flatter and inspire you? Or are you an equal opportunity vintage lover?

Thank you to Patterns from the Past for sponsoring this post. 
Be sure to take a look at their large collection of vintage patterns from all eras!

ps: pattern not the right size? you can grade it up or down a few sizes using Melly Sews' tutorial: part one & part two

allie J.

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