Happy New Year, everybody! I hope that you have all enjoyed your holidays. Ours were very quiet. We were supposed to travel to the Netherlands to spend Christmas and New Year’s Eve with my family and old friends, but had to cancel our trip, because my little girl came down with chickenpox and was not allowed to fly. While a disappointment, in a way it was also nice having a good excuse to stay inside and shut the rest of the world out, as Christmas stress and the how-is-it-the-end of the year-already-I-did-not-achieve-anything anxiety levels had just reached an all-time high. I also made use of the opportunity to finish some UFO’s and start a larger sewing project, namely a winter jacket that will hopefully be completed before spring arrives.
I am pretty happy, however, that I did finish the five items I vowed to make for the 2016 Vintage Pattern Pledge, which is quite an accomplishment seeing how much trouble I have sticking to plans and schedules in general! While I already finished the fifth garment in August or September, I did not get around to taking pictures of it until a couple of days ago, so it was too late to pin it to the 2016 #VintagePledge Pinterest board.
This unprinted pattern is no. 6011 by Swedish pattern company Stil. As usual it is undated, but based on the pattern art, I suspect it is from the mid-fifties at the earliest. It is a popover blouse or tunic with wide dolman sleeves with cuffs. The cut is very boxy, with the only shaping provided by a dart that extends from the shoulder to the bust.
The plaid fabric was another thrift-store find. I really love the colourway, but it does not appear the be the best quality: not very thick and a little stiff. Also, the plaid is printed on and I had to be careful when unpicking not to cause white spots.
The construction of this shirt was a drawn-out process, much of it caused by me trying to figure out how to match up the asymmetrical plaid while working with only 1.2m of 140cm wide fabric. I cut out the front, which is one big piece, in the autumn of 2015, but it was not until spring that I resumed work. Pattern matching when there is a lack of daylight is just too straining on the eyes!
In the end, I decided to focus on matching up the dark sections of the plaid, cutting the back in the opposite direction of the front. While the side seams do not match up, I am quite happy with how the sleeves turned out. Lack of fabric prevented me from cutting the collar, closure and cuffs on the bias. I did not even have enough left for the breast pocket!
It was my first time constructing this kind of “popover” collar and I was grateful that the (scarce) instructions included a few drawings. I am not sure I understood them correctly, though, but at least it turned out okay on the outside (let’s not talk about the inside).
This pattern is a size 42, which is quite a bit smaller than today’s size 42. Because the top is very boxy, I sewed it up as it is, only lengthening the shoulder dart so it would end closer to my apex. While the top is not necessarily too small, next time I will definitely adjust it to my height. At 1.75m I am obviously taller than the average woman in the 50s, so I should make sure to have more than 1.2m of fabric to work with!
Overall, I like my new blouse. It is a very wearable design and pretty warm thanks to the flannel fabric. If only I could get my hand on some of that Robert Kaufman Mammoth flannel that I have been admiring for a while now, I would make another right away!
And here is a little overview of the other vintage garments I completed in 2016 with a link to their respective blog posts.
While I had hoped to finish more items (a couple are still in progress), I am satisfied with the range of patterns. In fact, to construct these 5 garments, I used 7 patterns by 6 different companies. It does take some effort getting to know the sizing and I still need to practise grading up, but overall I did not experience too many difficulties and I will definitely continue using vintage patterns.
Those of you interested in vintage Swedish sewing patterns may want to take a look at the Pinterest board on which I collect patterns advertised on Tradera (Swedish e-Bay). I do not own these patterns (I wish!), but this way I can still enjoy the pattern art and get some ideas for future projects. My own stash of vintage and reproduction patterns has its own (not very organized nor up-to-date) board.
Materials and cost of my latest project
Fabric: 140cm x 1.2m cotton flannel, thrifted (Öppna Hjärtat), SEK 20 (c. EUR 2).
A bit of interfacing for the collar and thread.