Butterick B5748

Hello friends! I cannot even begin to explain how excited I am to be sharing this particular post! In all the time I have been focusing quite seriously on developing my skills in sewing, I had never once successfully made a dress. I think, similar to how pants and shorts are now my Everest, dresses were a fitting challenge I didn’t quite have the skills to unravel at the time. But having acquired two large pieces of fabric from a community stall event prior to all the shutdowns which simply told me they had to be made into dresses, I knew it was time to confront this challenge again. So when I stumbled over someone selling Butterick B5748, I knew this was going to be the pattern I would sink my teeth into. It’s a gorgeous reprint of a 1960’s pattern, with updated instructions and multiple sizes – which worked very well for me. 

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McCall’s M6436

It’s no secret that I love button-up, collared blouses. My regular work wardrobe is comprised almost exclusively of collared shirts, cardigans, sweaters to be mixed and matched with black slacks. It allows me to sneak a bit of 50’s and 60’s style into my professional wardrobe, which pleases me to no end. So I am always on the lookout for more collared blouses when I am out hunting for secondhand goodies, and have gotten quite lucky over time in finding a few in very good condition. My current wardrobe is in fact comprised entirely of secondhand and me-made blouses now, which I consider quite an achievement. However, there is still something I am lacking. And that is the truest of staple blouses, the white collared blouse.

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Pattern Drafting – Peasant Blouse

As much as I love living Australia, being so far from some of the largest viable sources of secondhand fabric and patterns does mean learning to sew can get very expensive. For a lot of people I often hear that it’s prohibitively expensive, especially as very few stores allow payment plans for purchasing machines and tools. So it seemed natural to me that at some point I would need to learn how to do some pattern drafting in order to make the things that I couldn’t find a pattern for. And what better place to start than with my Holy Grail vintage item, the classic peasant blouse.

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Commissions – Phone Pouch and Drawstring Cover

When it comes to commissions and crafts, there are no shortage of hilarious, touching, or downright outrageous requests that crafters can recount. I’ve even seen entire social media pages set up so that people can share their experiences with it. Myself, being far too much of a perfectionist when it comes to delivering handmade things for other people, have avoided commissions as much as possible. I find it stressful because I am used to sewing for myself at my own pace, and therefore not having to be quite so worried when things went wrong or took longer than anticipated. However, when one of my closest and oldest friends asked me to make some things for her, I decided to break the no commissions rule and give it a go.

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McCall’s 2560

It’s no secret that I love button-down shirts, the kind where the collar fastens with a button to get that close-to-the-neck fit. This is because I also love adding little things to an outfit, like a necktie, bow-tie or ribbon in order to create a bit of interest, and these require button-down shirts. However, it hadn’t occurred to me to extend this interest to sleepwear. I was in the habit of getting PJs secondhand, in particular getting full sets where I could. I love a matching set! However, the trend for modern PJs in terms of bottoms seemed to be either 3/4 length, or the shortest of shorts. Neither of which are great for me in the middle of summer.

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McCall’s 9900

This skirt pattern is, without a doubt, the pattern that cemented my interest in sewing vintage. My wardrobe largely consists of items that are vintage inspired to some degree, as well as menswear inspired. But I had been hesitant to sew dresses and skirts, as I thought I wouldn’t get much wear out of them. 

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The Ogden Cami

I think it’s safe to say that at some point in many sewer’s journeys, we can become addicted to Indie Patterns. For those who haven’t yet taken the plunge, these are patterns made by independent designers, separate to the big name sewing companies like McCall’s, Vogue, etc. Indie Patterns also tend to be the most common things I see people making on social media, which I now realise helps to drive up the desire to own and make them yourself.

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Simplicity 9014

It’s funny how habits can change. While I’ve been learning to sew wearable garments, my purchasing habits in terms of ready to wear clothing has shifted too. My weight has changed a lot over time, which often resulted in a lot of wardrobe changes. In the beginning I stuck to cheap, fast-fashion options because that was all my budget could allow. But I often hated the fabric, and was disappointed with how quick things were to stretch, wear out or break. I started visiting op-shops more often, often finding some quite wonderful pieces.

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McCall’s 7233

I honestly think this pattern was the start of my fascination with vintage sewing patterns. I managed to snag it at an op-shop near where I work, for $2 – an absolute steal, and the fabric was a lovely thick fabric I found at a different op-shop again. The buttons were also a set I had picked up for 20c at the same op-shop where I found the fabric. So it seemed to me that the stars had simply aligned, determined to make this pattern a success.

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Simplicity 8457

Continuing the trend of sewing bottoms from my last post, I thought it would be good to share my thoughts about Simplicity 8457. This pattern was quite a step up for me, involving an all new technique in terms of inserting an invisible zipper. And it was also my first time dealing with trousers with a pleated front. My love of wide-leg, high-waisted trousers had well and truly set in by this stage, as had my desire to find pairs that fit. Naturally I turned to another one of my Spotlight Specials patterns to make this happen and stumbled over a series of patterns called Amazing Fit. I was intrigued by the notion that it had “curvy” pattern options, which seemed specifically designed for people with larger hips and thighs than waists.

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