Making My Own Vintage Clothes

In the last few years, Robb and I have been going to more and more events where we can wear vintage clothes.  I've been buying vintage frocks since I was in high school, but even then I really could not afford to buy wearable clothes from the 1920s.

I've been challenging myself to improve my sewing skills by sewing garments from vintage patterns.  My most recent project was a 1920s frock, sewn from an original pattern.

From what I understand about the history of sewing patterns, McCall was the first company to have printed pattern pieces -- and they guarded their patent on this fiercely.  Other companies sold tissue paper patterns with a coded system of perforated holes.  

I was surprised to see photographic instructions on a pattern from the 1920s.  Usually, these patterns come with beautiful, if perplexing, technical drawings explaining the various steps of the project.

In this instance the instructions were printed on the pattern pieces, which meant that I had to do a bit of hunting to figure out what I was supposed to do.  No doubt an experienced sewer could have made this dress with one hand tied behind their back.

I was very pleased with ho this dress turned out.  It was a test-run for a future garment.

I wore this with an original 1920s hat that I revived with some careful steaming and a lot of hand made flowers.  I wore it at the always-wonderful Lake Tahoe Gatsby Festival.

It was a wonderful way to spend Robb's birthday weekend.


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