#SewVintageSeptember - My Entry 2021


I've thoroughly enjoyed looking at everyone's entries for SewVintageSeptember this year and following along the progress of individual makes. As always, it's been a treasure trove of vintage-inspired fashion and design. The things I'm going to take away from it this year are:

  • It's great to see vintage patterns on real bodies - those old-fashioned pattern envelope sketches, whilst lovely, are really hard to judge just what a pattern will look like. It's a real joy to see them on real people's bodies and see what works. And occasionally what doesn't.
  • Styling has a lot to answer for. I know it sounds obvious, but a vintage pattern can be brought right up to date with modern fabric choices and styling. Equally you can go the whole hog, set your hair in rollers, find a vintage fabric and you'll look you've just stepped out of Goodwood Revival. 
  • Make the item work for you. Appropriating a vintage pattern so it will work in our current times can work brilliantly. (Some vintage purists may disagree!) Nightdresses as normal dresses is the current trend but there are lots of other items that can see more light of day. I'm particularly taken with the idea of the House Coat which was definitely a 'thing' back in the earlier part of the 20th Century - I remember my Grandma and Aunt religiously wearing them at home. Such a lovely garment deserves an outing beyond our four walls!


My entry for #SewVintageSeptember was a Maudella pattern - 5718 - which I believe dates from the mid to late 1960's. I used a viscose "Frankie-Mae" for the blouse and a teal cotton drill "Yorke" for the outer dress. Both currently available on the website. Overall I made minimal mods:

  • I took in the side seams from the blouse by approx 1cm each side. Next time I'll do the same for the outer dress too. 
  • I shortened the dress by a LOT. This always seems to be an issue with Maudella patterns on me - those vintage ladies were much taller!! I'm 5'3" - not tall but definitely not tiny. My hem line should have been the mini-skirt length but in reality it was down by my knee. But actually I decided to go with it as it's a good length on me.
  • I may still tweak the dress to do a sloped shoulder adjustment as I have some drag lines from the side of my bust diagonally to the neckline. It isn't terrible but I know they're there!
  • I added pockets... because all clothing should have pockets!!!

My vintage blouse with modern styling:


Overall I've really enjoyed the experience - the knowledge that you're opening a pattern envelope that hasn't been touched for 60 years is a real thrill  - and the unique garment you make at the end is worth the effort.

Happy sewing x