My #VintagePledge 2017

There are always lots of great sewing challenges happening on social media, most of which I either spot too late or just don’t have time to take part in. But I have decided to take part in this years’s Vintage pledge run by A Stitching Odyssey, who has clearly laid out the rules of the challenge on her blog.

The main motivation for deciding to do this is because I was recently given a whole bundle of vintage patterns.

It was several years ago, before Bobbins was even born, a friend asked if I could help one of her friends by making some bridesmaid dresses. The dresses were a stunning deep blue velvet, medieval style for young girls. During the making process Ruth (the bride) and Bridget – her Mum, visited several times. Bridget had lots of really interesting stories about sewing, some about her life working in the garment trade in Leicester, something I know a lot about too! And some memories of her mum sewing.

Very sadly earlier this year Bridget passed away. Ruth very kindly thought of me when she discovered a whole box of her mums sewing patterns dating back to the 60’s. This is just a small selection of them…

By way of a small tribute to Bridget and her sewing history I pledge to make at least three of these patterns this year. I also have a small collection of vintage sewing patterns of my own. I would like to include two of these as well. So my pledge is to make at least five vintage patterns this year.

My first and only experience using vintage patterns was last year when I decided to go to The Great Central railway 1940’s event. One of my customers who originally started coming to my classes to make 40’s style clothing to attend these events inspired me to take part. The idea was to dress as accurately as possible in clothing from the era.

I found an amazing source of vintage sewing patterns for this project. The Vintage pattern shop on eBay copies original patterns and the instructions onto decent weight paper. They have literally thousands of patterns from all eras. I chose to make a full outfit, dress, coat, hat and bag. It was an interesting experience making these items of clothing. You can read about these makes here.

I really loved making these items of clothing and having an insight into how things have changed and techniques have developed. Much as I love what I made they are not clothes I would wear day to day. This time I’m looking forward to including my vintage makes in my everyday wardrobe.


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Julia Claridge

I was about 6 or 7 years old when I had my first go on a sewing machine, it was an old hand crank machine that my mum used with her patients, she was an occupational therapist. I still vividly remember watching with amazement as the tiny perfectly formed stitches were created as I turned the handle. I Grew up in the 70’s and 80’s when buying clothes was less affordable and dressmaking was an answer to updating your wardrobe more regularly. My own mother was a talented dressmaker who made most of my clothes and my sisters clothes as well as a many for herself. I soon got involved with making my clothes, I loved the whole experience of picking out fabrics, trims and a pattern to create a new outfit, then going home to make a new garment or outfit. When it came to leaving school I visited a careers advisor who asked what I wanted to do next. My answer was ..Sew! Read more...

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