The Vintage Sewing Challenge!


The DenverSews Sewing Challenge for this week is “Vintage”. I asked the DenverSews bloggers to use either a vintage pattern, a new vintage-style pattern, vintage fabric, (or both), or to interpret vintage in their own way. As a lover of all things vintage, I’ve been looking forward to this challenge and to seeing what my sewing friends have created!

My own Vintage Challenge journey started with a jumper pattern from 1977 and vintage fabric (a thrift store find – I don’t know how old it is exactly). I love 1970’s styles, probably because that decade coincided with my young and free heyday. In 1977 I was still a teenager!

The pattern I chose is Jiffy 8192. I made the size 12, which is one size smaller than my measurements. Jiffy 8192 has only 7 pattern pieces because the pockets are cleverly included as part the back of the dress. The pockets on the back are topstitched to the wrong side of the front of the jumper. The pocket opening is created by turning under and stitching the front seam allowance at the pocket opening like a hem. I always love sewing vintage patterns because of the unique sewing tricks I learn from them. I love this method of sewing pockets, but I’ve never seen it done on a current pattern.

After choosing the jumper fabric from my stash I realized I might have a difficult time finding the right color top to wear under it. So I looked for a knit that coordinated with the jumper fabric at JoAnn’s and found a cotton interlock in a color called cornstalk. So truthfully the turtleneck is not vintage in either design or fabric, but I thought it was more important to make the outfit wearable than to try to go whole hog vintage.

The pattern I used for the turtleneck is McCall’s 6796 (view B). This is a super easy and quick-to-make pattern. I cut it out one size smaller than my measurements, and it’s a perfect fit! I didn’t follow the pattern sewing instructions though. I used directions for sewing with knits outlined in the article “Figure-Flattering Tee” from the November 2007 issue of Threads magazine instead. Which means I used a 7 year old magazine, so kind of vintage, right?

The Threads article may have been the reason why I found the top so easy to sew, there were excellent tips, including: use spray baste to adhere the hem before stitching, stitch the hem before the side seams, sew the sleeve in flat with the sleeve on the bottom, and sew with a straight stitch. Normally when making knit tops I’ve set in sleeves as the pattern instructions dictated, sewed the entire garment with a zigzag stitch, and done the hem last. I don’t know why, but I really dislike finishing clothing with zigzag stitches. Maybe because it’s a stitch I don’t often see on RTW clothing, which is the look I’m going for.

I had perfect results using the Threads instructions! I’ll definitely sew all my knits utilizing the methods from this article in the future. All in all, I learned a lot from this challenge, and I ended up with an outfit which fits and I’ll actually wear! Mission accomplished!


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