Monday, June 26, 2017


Original Photograph from Archives


  1. I wore a dress in black linen with the exact same cut to work today that was made from a pattern that my great aunt handed down to me many years ago. I fit most of her patterns with only a few alterations to length so her pattern stash has been a great help in adding classic clothes my wardrobe. I modernize by using fabrics that are in now (which is why it's made in linen - that's the fabric of the season where I live) and shortening the skirts to a few inches above my knee which is the best hemline for me.

    I don't wear this dress very often because up until I saw this picture I was not confident that the skirt was hanging properly because it had some weird bunching and wrinkling going on in the front and thought I had messed up sewing it. Now that I see how this skirt is hanging on her while walking I realize it's probably just the cut of the era. Her skirt is doing the exact same thing.

    Thanks for the vote of confidence, Jackie O and SWNE...

    - ER

    1. ER - how lucky you are to have in your possession such a lovely stash of patterns. I'd love to be able to sew my own clothes. Especially as modern designers shy away from these kinds of classic cuts. Do please wear your dress more often, it's such a delight to see someone dressed so beautifully among a sea of carbon copies.


    2. AKP -

      It's not so difficult to sew your own clothes, particularly dresses just like the one she is wearing since it's basically four parts - front and back bodice and front and back skirt with no sleeves or complicated cuts on the bias or anything. You don't even have to do an invisible zipper and can stick with a standard zipper if you'd like which is easier. As an experienced seamstress sewing this type of dress took me less than three hours from start to finish, and then three days more to let the hem hang and finish it (you hang loose weave fabrics before you hem them for a few days so that the fabric can "settle" and you'll have a permanently even hem.). It would probably take a week of evenings plus some wait time for the fabric to settle for an inexperienced seamstress using youtube tutorials when they got stuck on something.

      I'd encourage you to start with a pattern marked "Easy" or "good for beginners" - there are many vintage patterns on Etsy marked like this if you prefer classic cuts - and darker plane fabric which tends to hide mistakes better. Don't stress about making mistakes and have in your mind that your first dress will be something just to wear around the house and not really out in public - don't start with a ballgown or wedding dress or anything for a major event. Don't be afraid to be a beginner and just keep practicing! The internet is a great resource. I've learned to knit and sew via youtube tutorials and internet sew-alongs and I've just kept at it which is why I can now sew and alter my own clothes.

      If you somehow leave a way to get in touch outside of SWNE I'd be happy to be a resource as you learn if that's something you're interested in.

      - ER

  2. Oh this is just glorious! They don't make them like they used to... (read into that what you will) :)