Thursday, January 29, 2015


1950's One Yard

Hostess Apron

Courtesy of

A Perfect match with your fitted sheath, this perky little apron. The perfect mid-century housewife had the house spotless, dinner in the oven,candles lit, cocktails ready, and dressed for dinner before the man of house arrived home from a "hard" day at work.

This apron takes just one yard of your favorite vintage cotton or a great new designer fabric. Check out some of the Pattern Patter Team Members' shops for some great choices. 

To Download this Pattern - Click HERE

Monday, January 26, 2015

Sewing through the Cinema~The Long Hot Summer

by Amy~ViennasGrace

        Get your tissues ready, no not that kind of tissue silly, this isn't a tear jerker.  I'm searching sewing patterns modern and vintage to find the looks featured in classic films. Although it might not be possible to duplicate the exact look, I'll show you how to easily mimic the feeling of the style. Soon you'll see that a silver screen wardrobe is only a pattern away.

The Long, Hot Summer~a 1958 film adaptation of William Faulkner's literary work. Set in 1950s Mississippi, filled with over the top colorful southern characters.  The Varner family is an interesting crew, led by domineering father Will Varner (Orson Wells) with 24 yr old "spinster" daughter Clara (Joanne Woodward) a spineless needy son Jody (Tony Franciosa) and his flirty bombshell wife Eula (Lee Remmick).  Their lives collide with the bad reputation, misunderstood traveling guy, Ben Quick (Paul Newman... dreamy blue eyed Paul Newman).  

Here's the movie trailer

 I'd love to spend an evening with this dramatic group of characters, having after dinner mint juleps on the veranda... during a long, hot summer.  Oh but what would I wear?? Eula and Clara both with such great individual style!  I love elements of both...hmmm what to do, what to do...
mint julep:   noun  minty summer cocktail
2 cups water
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup chopped mint leaves
boil together until sugar dissolves then strain out the mint leaves
(this is your mint simple syrup)
after this cools add 
32 Oz of Kentucky Bourbon
poor over ice and top with a few mint leaves
serves 8 maybe, but more like 3
There are a few dresses that really stand out in this film, and I could whip up a great vintage dress to match their southern glamour.  That classic yet va-va-voom look, perfect for my imaginary evening with the Varner family.

Flirty Eula, shuffling across the room in this screen shot,  wearing a true wiggle dress.  See, no slit at the hem line...tiny steps, tiny steps, tiny steps

Finding all that bombshell action in one dress might be a little challenging,  so I'll focus on the basic silhouette of this dress to achieve all of Eula's Southern Charm.
These key features are a must
1. Wiggle, pencil, fitted, slim skirt dress
2. Wide collar bone neckline
3.  Collarless
4.  Fitted midriff
midriff: noun  The middle outer portion of the front of the human body, extending roughly from just below the breast to the waistline.

Found  some great options.  An inset waist or even a cummerbund, both give that oh so fitted midriff.

What about creating that look with SEPARATES?!? 

McCalls 4680 GreyDogVintage         McCalls 8299 Fancywork

In one evening scene Clara wears a black dress that trumps all other LBDresses out there. TO DIE FOR! Crazy for this dress.

 These key features are a must
1. One cut sleeve to bodice-kimono sleeve
2. Fitted midriff
3. Draped high neckline-think of it as a controlled cowl neck or an exaggerated bateau.

bateau:  noun (not the boat, the neckline)  The  A wide high neckline that follows the curve of the collarbone and ends in points at the shoulder seams.

 This one is pretty close! The view in red, add a belt for a more defined natural waistline.   It even has the empire waistline seaming with a blouson style bust, The perfect balance of cowl-meets-beateau neckline, plus the fitted midriff.
Simplicity 1510 CherryCorners

I think all of these work too!

Why not try separates?
Great draped necklines!

 then...add a high waisted skirt for a sleek more fitted midriff.

Simplicity 3495 Fripperie         Vogue 8697 ThePatternSource               Vogue 7697 DejaVuPatterns

Movie trivia time

What a couple!  The Long Hot Summer was their screen debut as an official couple.  They were married by the time the movie was released.  The two met 5 years earlier during a Broadway production of Picnic.  Joanne was just an understudy.  This non-Hollywood style couple were married for 50 years until Paul's death in 2008.

    The Long, Hot Summer wardrobe credit goes to two of Hollywood's heavy hitters-
Adele Palmer (costume design)
and Charles LeMaire (executive wardrobe designer)
Both of these designers were career studio designers, each with an enormous filmography.  They also designed a few sewing patterns,  Adele Palmer for Advance and Charles LeMaire for Spadea.  Best to keep an eye out for those rare gems.

  Stumbled on 
this German movie poster, ΓΌber cool!


And this vintage vinyl is available on Etsy check it out at
The Vinyl Frontier

Now, back to the dresses, here are just a few worn by Eula and Clara Varner in The Long, Hot Summer.  Great attention to the details, lovely collars, lace accents, pleats, darts, and the fitted midriff. 

I think it would be a great balance to add a bit of each gals style. 
Oh the southern charm in these lovely vintage sewing patterns, all patterns featured are all from members of the Pattern Patter Team for sale on Etsy.  
(L-R) Simplicity 1031 ShellMakeYouFlip     McCalls 3481 ComeSeeComeSew
Simplicity 3563 AdeleBeeAnnPatterns     Advance 9556 sewbettyanddot     McCalls 3781 Redcurlzs

(L-R)  McCalls 4957 FarfallaDesignStudio    McCalls 9819 FriskyScissors
Simplicity 8288 PinkPolkaDotButton     McCalls 5690 EleanorMeriwether
Simplicity 2105 RosesPatternTreasury

How can you get all this style into your closet? 
I told you, pull out your tissues! Pattern tissue that is, 
go sew it girl! 
Below is a Pattern Patter Team Treasury inspired by the lovely fashions in The Long, Hot Summer.
                                 CLICK HERE TO VIEW ON ETSY

Here's another treasury inspired by The Long Hot Summer, featuring some Pattern Patter Team Vintage Sewing Patterns, along with other fun Etsy finds.
                                         CLICK HERE TO VIEW ON ETSY

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Focus On: Dickeys and Vestees

By Sherri, SewBettyand Dot

Do you crack up or cringe when you hear the word "dickey"? It's one of those fashion items that one doesn't hear much about these days: the dickey seems to have (mostly) fallen out of favor (except with Howard Wolowitz on The Big Bang Theory--he's a big fan!).

Historically, dickeys--defined as a false shirt front, or "detachable bosom" (really!)--were items worn by men: laundering garments was expensive (and difficult--no Maytags) in the 19th century, so just as collars and cuffs were removable on everyday shirts, the dickey could be laundered as it was the most visible part of the shirt seen underneath a man's jacket (which was rarely removed outside of the privacy of one's home). The dickey was most often an element of a formal shirt, one worn under a tuxedo or other formal suit. In addition, many uniforms had dickey fronts--again, as a way to save on laundering costs: the bellboy or waiter presented a neat appearance but didn't have to wash the entire shirt beneath the jacket. With the invention of celluloid, an early form of plastic, dickeys went high-tech (for the time). These plastic shirt fronts were held in place either with straps at the back or via trouser tabs. (By the way, the etymology of the word is unclear: Wikipedia says it may come from rhyming Cockney slang: "dickey dirt" means "shirt"; I'm not sure if that's true, but I like it!).
Advertisement for a man's false shirt front or "dicky"/"dickey". From Wikipedia, courtesy of The New York Public Library.
The dickey with which we are all probably most familiar in our own experience is the pullover turtleneck knit dickey, which is actually a  smart idea: it adds warmth at the neck and throat without adding bulk. From my own youth, though, there were some rather unattractive examples out there (purple acrylic mock turtleneck under a polyester printed shirt, anyone?). 

This is actually a free knitting pattern from; it is from Botany College Hand Knits, Vol. II (1958). 
In terms of women's garments, in the nineteenth century women began to wear chemisettes, or tuckers--these were lightweight (muslin, linen, lawn, lace) sort of half blouses (often tying at the sides) that covered the chest/bosom, both for modesty's sake and to alter the appearance of a dress at a time when people had far fewer clothes. The same dress could be worn in the evening without this item, and the dress would look very different. 

Four chemisettes in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (; courtesy the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Three are from the mid-nineteenth century; the one at lower left is from ca. 1925-1930.

These are really kind of dickeys, yes? In the twentieth century, these sorts of items--dickeys and vestees--were worn almost as accessories, as a way to add interest at the neck (and again, change the look of a garment) without adding the bulk of a blouse. They often had bow ties, embroidery, or collars (the peter pan collar was a favorite). Vestees are, as far as I can ascertain, slightly longer garments, and seem to have less ornamentation--but maybe not: perhaps a vestee and a dickey are one and the same for all intents and purposes (fashionista historians, please weigh in and let us know!).

Whatever you call it, there are a million ways to use one of these faux-fronts to change up your wardrobe; in fact, they are a great way to transition between the seasons.

Now let's look at some dickey/vestee patterns from member of the Pattern Patter Team on Etsy! It's interesting to note that in many cases the dickeys/vestees look like part of the dress--you have to look closely to see that a dickey is part of the pattern.
Top row, left to right: DuBarry 5800: Denisecraft

Top row, left to right: Simplicity 3611: AdeleBeeAnnPatterns

Top row, left to right: Vogue 3293: VintageNeedleFinds
 Simplicity 6434: SelvedgeShop

Whether it's a dickey or a vestee, which one of these lovely patterns would YOU don? Tell us in the comments!

Thursday, January 15, 2015


1940’s Turban             Pattern

Turbans have been a popular

accessory for women for decades!

Frequently worn by Hollywood’s elite,

In the 1920’s through the 1970’s,

the turban is making a comeback

in the high fashion world. 

To DownLoad this Free (& Easy) Pattern,   CLICK HERE

Originally from The Complete book of Sewing - Constance Talbot  

Courtesy of Mary Beth, Vintage Pattern Collective

Monday, January 12, 2015

1960's Sewing Giveaway!

It's Time for Another Pattern Patter Team

With the holidays over and life starting to settle into a "normal routine", It's time for a new giveaway! This time it's the 1960's! Now the image most of us get when we think of the sixties is mod mini dresses and teeny bikinis. The sixties didn't start out that way. This grouping of sewing patterns, fabrics, and notions is from the early 1960's. Slim skirts, cropped jackets, beautiful hats and long gloves were the dress of the day! 

There are NINE - 9 patterns in this amazing lot! Starting at the top left, McCall's 6564 Size 18, McCall's 6079 Size 14, McCall's 7837 Size 11, Simplicity 4880 Size 14, Simplicity 8597 Euro Size 48 , Butterick 2308 Size 10, Vogue 5860 Size 12, LeRoy 656 Size 16, Vogue 4991 Size 12

To go with these lovely patterns, we have some great fabrics. While all of the fabrics are vintage, they may not be from the 1960's. 

First I need to show you this great find. Vogue 4991 is almost done! It comes with it's fabric covered buttons too. A weekend and this dress is done! 

The fabric feels like a nice fine lightweight wool. The Blackwatch look plaid is teamed up with a two tone wide waist. 

Starting top left, The yellow floral by Steihl, is a "crepey" fabric with a very nice drape. It's 44" wide and  3 3/4 yards long. , Next is the almost completed dress. There are a few smaller pieces included. The white with watercolor roses, is a textured mid weight cotton or cotton blend. It would make a nice day dress. It's 40" wide and 3 1/4 yards long plus approximately 1 yard 20" wide. The bright floral is a slinky knit. It would make a great cowl top. It is 54" wide, 2 yards in length. 

As for notions, there are belt buckles, buttons, needle books, Zipper, elastics, and more! 

To enter, see below! Good Luck! The winner will be chosen at random on January 23rd. 

List of Shops who graciously donated items to this giveaway as well as upcoming giveaways!

Karen OmasBricaBrac
Anne-Marie Neverwares
Kelly GreyDogVintage

Charlotte PatternsFromThePast
Catherine - Frisky Scissors
Deb - MantuaMakers
Mary Beth RetroMonkeys
Cloe CloesCloset
Sherri SewBettyandDot
Mary Beth MonkeyandFriends

Susan AdeleBeeAnnPatterns
Rebecca RebeccasVintageSalon
Denise VioletCrownEmporium
Robin PrettyPatternShop
Janie  Redcurlz
Barbara  FloraDoraPresents
Amy ViennasGrace
Kinsey Sue  KinseySue
Madge MadgesMightyCloset

Only entries through Rafflecopter are eligible! 
*Members of the Pattern Patter Team (current and former) are not eligible to win. Open to U.S. residents Only!  See the Blog Policies for all applicable rules. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, January 8, 2015


Couetesy of FriskyScissors

Patio Skirt or Hostess Skirt, take your pick! This versatile skirt can fit any occasion! For everyday wear or a beach party, use denim, terry, or a playful cotton print. Going out for the evening? Try Sateen, Organdy, Dotted Swiss, or a Cotton Brocade. Lounge by the hotel pool in style on your next vacation! 

Originally printed as a giveaway by Coats & Clark - Undated - 1970's

Download the
Free Pattern Here

Monday, January 5, 2015


Mary Beth, RetroMonkeys

I recently wrote a post about de-stashing fabrics. One of my favorite ideas was making fabric twine. So - here's my first try at it. Check it out here:

First I dug through my huge amount of scraps - I have quite a variety of widths and lengths. 
I chose a few to start with and then watched a YouTube Video on how to make it. 

It's actually quite mindless work once you get the hang of it. 

My first sample is tiny. It's trimmings from seam allowances. 

The small is at the bottom of the picture, The red and blue is royal blue Kona Cotton, the red is a lightweight twill. I wouldn't recommend using twill as it frayed a lot. 
The pastel is my personal favorite. It has 5 different fabrics. 

 So - go gather some scraps and tonight after the kids are tucked in and you are winding down, Start twisting!

Here's a couple of tips: tie the two pieces together then take the fabric strip that is the furthest from you and twist it away from you. Next, bring the one you just twisted over the other one. Now the other piece is ready to twist. Twist, bring over and keep doing it holding it tightly.

Once you have an inch or so done, it will stay twisted without your help.

Have fun!

Thursday, January 1, 2015


1950's Peasant Apron 

Courtesy of VintagePatternCollective

1950's Peasant Apron has a nice full skirt and embroidered straps, waistband, and trim on bib. 
The skirt is made of white while the waistband, straps and trim are made from contrasting fabric. Use the embroidery on the pattern download or use one of your favorites! 

Download the Free Pattern in PDF format HERE