Vintage Sewing: Part One

Hmmm, in what order did this all occur?

I suppose I bought the curtains first. A pair of vintage floral curtains, 42″ wide, and just over 1-3/4 yards each in length. I ripped out the tucks and seams and ironed them flat, knowing that I would have more than enough fabric for a skirt. At $4 for the set, I think I did rather well.

Alison, tired of admiring vintage patterns but being too intimidated to actually sew one, decided to schedule a weekend where a few of us could get together, patterns and machines in tow, and curse our meager skills in the company of friends. And possibly margaritas. And, since I’d just purchased another stack of vintage patterns, I decided that perhaps there was enough fabric in these curtains for… yes! I should have just enough to make Simplicity 3282, view 1!

Hmmm, the pattern might require some grading. The bust should fit just right, but I’ll have to scale up for the waist and hips… well, let me take a look at the pattern pieces and see if… oh, drat. All of the pattern pieces for view 1 are missing. I have only have the skirt, cummerbund, and sleeve pieces for view 2. No wonder this pattern was only $1.

Okay, I’ll make (unknown designer) 7245 instead. I have all the pieces for that one. But, I don’t know what size it is, so I’ll have to make a muslin just to see where I’m starting from.

I iron all of the pattern pieces, careful not to melt the 50-year-old cellophane tape repairs made by a previous owner. I smooth out an old, partially-cut bedsheet, and start laying out the pattern.

I don’t have enough bedsheet.

Which gets me to thinking… and no, I don’t have enough curtain fabric, either. What to do? Mail Order 9370 would definitely require grading down. Simplicity 4260 might work, IF the pattern pieces lay out juuuuust right. There’s plenty of fabric for Vogue 9996, but do I want a bathing suit of (likely fireproofed) blue rose floral? Actually, the colors are right in line with the view B suit.

But no. No, I don’t think so. So I measur all of the fabric in my stash, and I have nothing over 3 yards. 7245 requires nearly 5 yards. I could buy 5 yards of new fabric, hoping to find something on sale… or I could buy a complete pattern for 3282 online… for $26 plus shipping. And hope that the pieces lay out properly on my TWO pieces of curtain fabric. Argh!

To be continued…

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