McCall’s 4501: Caution, Hazard, Bathing Suit. 


The pattern:
McCall’s 4501, copyright 1975 by The McCall Pattern Company. 
This pattern includes a one piece halter suit, a halter bikini, a halter top (which could recombine nicely as the top half of a tankini), and some elastic waist bell-bottoms which I guess would be great for…the roller rink immediately post beach? I mean, I’d rather go home and change first, but these ladies look pretty secure with their outfit decisions. 

The Fabric:
I used a two-way stretch satin Lycra, in yellow and black hazard stripe. The pattern calls for knit, which would’ve also been a two-way stretch, (as in stretches side to side) but most knits have at least a tiny bit of give in the up/down direction, where as this satin Lycra has none-zo, so I made a center front seam and put it on the bias and added one inch seam allowance wherever possible and did A Lot of fitting to make sure the length was ok before trimming away the seam allowance and finishing it off. 
The pattern is made to be reversible, which I find kind of bizarre, because 1) that means you have to insert all the elastic into casings instead of turning to the inside and 2) why would I reverse my suit. I would immediately choose a favorite side and never reverse it, forever, the end. 
So instead of making it reversible, it’s flat-lined with a white four-way-stretch Lycra, all seams visible on the inside, all elastics stay-stitched, overlocked, turned to the inside, and coverstitched. 
One big surprise and challenge with this pattern: the bust piece is Gone. Lost. Not Here.
Nooooooooo.
But fine whatever, I borrowed from McCall’s M5400, published in 2007. 


Top C is very similar to the shape I needed, just the center front point changed a little. 
I like the cover art on M5400 a lot. I think of this as The McCall’s Face: the jawline, eyes,  and mouth are always the same, despite a really great variety in skin tone and facial expression and attitude. 
Baby Bohemian in the orange bikini is my favorite of this crew. 
And here’s my suit:


Note on crazy color scheme: when I found this bathing suit pattern (in a box of rando I bought off eBay) I immediately pictured it in this exact yellow and black fabric with a chevron. But then I started reading yet another book of the French Women Are Better At Everything variety, and looked at my obnoxious fabric, and thought, “Oh no, a French woman would never,” and abandoned the project. 
I love reading this type of book, in a perverse way. I fall under a sad sort of spell each time I finish one, and spend at least a week thinking, “It’s time to teach my child to make pastry. Do I even *own* a white shirt? Am I having enough arguments? Never eat again! Except beautiful homemade dinners. That are also educational moments for my child. And involve passionate arguments with friends about politics. Oh god, what is my signature perfume???” 
And then the week passes and the spell is lifted and I go back to loud bathing suits. 

Time and Construction: 
This suit took 12 hours, which is fun to think about because if I paid myself $30 an hour this would be a $360 bathing suit. Without including the fabric (which was a remnant so actually free). That is the price of custom. Even at minimum wage, it would be like $120. I think the most expensive store-bought suit I’ve ever owned was $90, from JCrew. It was a black maillot. I loved that thing. I lost it. I miss it.  
I changed a couple little construction things from the original 1975 pattern: a swimsuit hook instead of ties at the back neck, flatlined instead of clean-finish lining. The biggest change was stitching elastic along the underbust seam to keep it snug against the body. I was surprised that the instructions didn’t call for it in the first place. Even the modern, 2007 bikini top didn’t call for that, although come to think of it the modern one had a strap across the back to create the tension to hold that seam in place. So, ok. 
I’m sad that the gathers under the bust don’t read as well as they do in the illustration. Those gathers are fun, I would add more next time so they are more glamorous and vavoom. 

Sew It or Throw It:
Sew it. I love the low leg line. So retro-silly. I’m not sure if halter is my best look, so the fact that that piece is missing is fine, makes me make more likely to do something different next time. The high back creates some fun oportunities: could make it scoop but add a cross strap as per the bikini back with a closure, might look neat and provide a more secure fit.  

Next up I’m going to try the bikini bottoms on both these patterns as underwear, so I can official Sew or Throw M5400 too. Things getting sewn and thrown! Progress! 

Simplicity 7216: a nice normal skirt, white fishnets not included. 

The Pattern:
Simplicity 7216, JUNIOR PETITES’ AND MISSES’ SKIRTS IN TWO LENGTHS, copyright 1967 Simplicity Pattern Co. Inc. 
This is a good old basic skirt pattern with three possible looks: Views 1 and 2 are pleated, View 3 is plain, and View 4 uses exactly the same pattern pieces as View 3 but with a different grain line to follow for the bias. 
Here below is my favorite detail of the cover art:


White fishnets! Git it, Girl!
What an outfit this is. Let’s admire it. Blue shirt, bias plaid mini in red and green, white fishnet tights, and blue shoes with big ol’ buckles. Such a contrast from View 1’s white and grey uniform.
I like to imagine that both girls are dressed for school. Just, not the same school. I’m guessing View 4 is skirting the edge of her public school’s dress code with those tights.  
Thing I find culturally interesting: in the US, for the most part, private school students wear uniforms, but public school students do not, whereas in other places (I’ve been told/seen on tv/seen IRL in Melbourne and London but am not an expert on please correct me if I’m wrong) public school students wear uniforms while private school students are the ones that don’t.
Target stores here in Los Angeles sell school uniforms, in tan or navy polyester. I was surprised the first time I saw them, like, “Oh! So you don’t have to go to, like, Diagon Alley to get these, huh.”
I made the most technically boring skirt option —View 3 in the mini length— so as to feature my fabric. 


The Fabric:
I found this green and cream floral printed poly/cotton canvas at a thrift shop a couple months ago, for two dollars. 
My guess is that this is not actually vintage but more of a vintage-inspired fabric, and that somebody bought this yard-and-a-half and spread it over their couch thinking, “Should I re-upholster? Does this look good?” And then they decided no. 
But I decided yes!
I really like this stuff. It reminds me of those solar photos we made as kids, with that special paper you would put leaves and flowers onto and then set out in the sunshine and come back later and sweep the flowers off and you’ve got a blue-on-blue floral silhouette image that looks a lot like this fabric. Anybody remember those?




This is a directional fabric, meaning the flowers and leaves don’t interchange, but have a definite up and down. I chose to cut the wrong direction on purpose, going downward, like they are falling from a garland. Or like I have an entourage who throw flowers along my path. Ya know. I think it’s prettier that way and shows off the sinuous lines better than growing upward would. 

Construction and Time:
This took four hours, from ironing the fabric to hand stitching the hem. 
One thing that kept this project fast and straightforward is that I didn’t have to change the size. Didn’t have to make the waist and hips bigger. This one fits as is, straight out of the package. That, like, never happens. This is possibly the only 30″ waist vintage pattern I’ve ever seen, let alone owned. 
I didn’t even change the length, I figured the rest of it was going so well I would just trust in their version of mini. 
The only change I made was to lift the back of the skirt into the waistband 5/8″ at the center back to 0″ at the side seams, to get the side seams (which were tilting forward) to hang straight. 
I’d go shorter for a winter version to be worn with tights, but for summer and no tights, this works. It looks like a whole lot of skirt to me, proportionally. But that may be because I grew up in the 90’s when mini meant practically rectangular, between the low waist and high hem. 
Oh, and this is fun: this is a “How-To-Sew” Pattern, right? 
I investigated. 
What this means is that the instructions carefully describe how to apply the waistband (in a way I disagreed with: sew to inside, turn to outside, fold and topstitch. I do the opposite, I think it’s easier to achieve a clean line if you sew right sides together first and turn in, and you can always add topstitching later if you want) but then for the zipper they give no instruction other than “see instructions with zipper.” Hahahaha! Love. 

Sew It or Throw It:
Sew it. I mean, it’s vintage that fits without my help, how rare. 
And it’s a nice blank slate, for giant bucket pockets maybe. 
Also, I’m excited that the pleated versions have a separate pattern piece for the inner face of the pleats, which means the inner pleats could be a different color. Fun! 

Style 1723: a sundress for a windy day

{I don’t believe in fabric regrets. I think it’s always better —when I’m sewing at home for my own entertainment— to use a fabric rather than hold it for some unknown future perfect use. But with this project, as soon as I’d finished and was editing photos I realized what the perfect use would’ve been. Now I have fabric regrets. 
So let’s play a fun game: as you read, think about what you would’ve made instead of what I made, and then let’s get together at the end of the post and see if our ideas match up.}


The Pattern:
Style 1723, Misses’ Dress and Jacket (or, Robes et Veste Jeune Femme) copyright 1990 Style Patterns. Ltd. 
I found this one at a thrift. What sold me was the View 1 illustration, the one where she’s facing front and the skirt is billowing billowing billowing. 
Also the photo reminds me of Daryl Hannah in Splash!, although when I went and did a search to confirm that Daryl Hannah was actually in Splash!, I saw that she didn’t look like this at all, instead of long soft hair, she had bangs and that amazing white-blonde crimped mermaid hair that inspired a world of unfortunate crimped copy-cattery.
Also, Splash! came out in 1984. What?! That is much much earlier than I would’ve guessed, and six years earlier than this pattern. 
Also let’s take a moment to laugh at that jacket. Hahahhahahahaha.Ok done. 


The Fabric:
It’s taffeta, in pink and tan plaid on a white background. It was an end-of-bolt sale remnant, and there was just enough (about 5 yards) of it to cut out this dress while avoiding the big fade stripes along the fold lines, which totally happened on my watch during the dozen or so years I’ve had this stuff. 
I washed it before cutting, to get that crinkly texture, and so that I could wash the eventual dress. 
Here below is the best part of the dress: the skirt is so full and the washed taffeta is so light, that it catches every breeze.


Here below is the worst bummer of the dress: it does not look good on me. 
It’s the waistline. I think if the waistline hit about three inches lower, and had a more dramatic curve up at the sides and down at the front and back, it would look about a million times better. As is, it’s chopping me at a bad place and makes everything look broad and childish yet frumpy. And the girly plaid isn’t helping. 


I tell ya what though: if you want to learn what lines look good on your figure, just take pictures. I’ve been wearing clothes most of my life, but have learned more in the past couple weeks about what I look good in, just from looking at the difference between how that red and purple Donna Karan looks and how this pink thing looks, than, like, ever. I mean, it’s the difference between hot damn and regular damn. 
So that’s good. 
Here’s the back. 

Ok no really, here’s the back. 

Hard to get a good photo of this dress, because of how fun the skirt is.  


Time and Changes:
6 hours. I skipped the center back zipper, and I cut the bodice on bias instead of straight, in (unfulfilled) hopes of a more slinky bias fit. 
Speaking of photos being helpful, I’m realizing that I should be giving myself more length in the upper bodice, front and back, like on all patterns across the board from now on. Like draw a horizontal line at mid-armsceye level and make a note to cut out the garment above the line, then drop the pattern piece maybe an inch, then cut from the line down. This would lower bust darts and give me more room in the armsceye, which are two things it seems like I’m always doing, especially the older the pattern. 
This is the kind of thing I can see on another person in a fitting room, but it’s taken over a year of blog photos to see it on myself. If only I’d heeded the advice of Cher Horowitz all those years ago: dress yourself with photos, not the mirror. 

The Regrets:
My fabric regret is this: I was looking at these photos and thinking how this is the weirdest fabric. It’s taffeta, so it’s all shiny rustle-y party-time, it’s pink, and pink and shiny equal princess overload, but it’s a small scale plaid, like you’d see in a hardworking daytime cotton, like…shirting. 
This fabric would’ve made a great shirtdress. Polished, lightweight, unassuming. Understated but fancy. Aaaaaaaaaaargh. After having this stupid fabric for years, the perfect idea came like two weeks too late. 
What would you have made out of this stuff? Shirtdress? It’s shirtdress right? Everyone saw it but me? 

Sew It or Throw it: 
Throw it. The pattern, because it’s not right for me, and the dress because it can’t be saved. Even the easy save of put-a-T-shirt-on-overtop isn’t working. It’s ok though, I am pretty happy at having finally made something with this fabric, it feels good to have produced something, even if I’m just producing it right outta my life. 

Simplicity 4760: summer shorts times five


The Pattern: 
Simplicity 4760 BOYS’ AND MEN’S PANTS AND SHIRT, copyright 2004 by Simplicity Pattern Co. Inc
This is my most used pattern: first the shirt, then shorts, then as pants with crocodile patches. 
This time I didn’t mess around though. Five pairs of shorts, made factory style, simple, fast, bam. 


The Fabric:
I pulled out all the random 1-yard-ish pieces of printed cotton from my shelf and used them up. I found five pieces, so he got five shorts. I am very satisfied with this. 
Starting with the top left we’ve got chickens, stars, Australian Aboriginal art, bottom left we have harvest vegetables (that one was bought to make a hilarious tablecloth, obviously, but never happened, because the reality of a loud tablecloth is not as fun as the idea) and fried eggs, which are from the same collection as the chickens: Ellen Krans for Robert Kaufman. 
I stack-cut them with no attempt at matching, here below is my favorite accidental match up: 

See it? That one two-toned chicken? Totally just happened that way Hahhahahahaa. 

The kid was really into the big spool of string I used to hang up all the shorts, that’s what he’s holding in the photo above. Really really wanted that big spool of string. Such a good helper. 

The blue star shorts, though, I am annoyed with. I’ve had this fabric on the shelf for years, why did I never make myself a pair of star shorts! Now that I see how they look, I am jealous! They should’ve been mine! Arg!!!!


He’s also wearing his State of California shirt. My husband made the graphic and printed it out on iron-on paper.


The harvest shorts crack me up the most. Although it’s a close race.  

Time and Construction: 
I made these factory style, which means I separated the work by process not by garment. So I cut them all, then made all the pockets, then set all the pockets on all the fronts, then closed all the inseams, then closed all the outseams, etc etc. All together this took 8 hours, divided by five pairs equals 1.6 hours per, so let’s call that just over an hour and a half per shorts. 
Good and fast. 
If I’d made a single pair, it probably would’ve taken like three hours, just because stuff always does. 
My dad happened to be napping on the couch the day I cut out all these shorts, and was woken up by what he thought was me chopping an insane amount of vegetables. Oh Scissor Noise, you give us the lols. 

Sew It or Throw It: 
Sew it. 

Vogue Patterns 1331: that’s a wrap, Donna 


The Pattern: 
Vogue 1331, MISSES’ DRESS, TUNIC, TOP, SHORTS & PANTS, copyright 1994 Butterick Company Inc. 
This is a Vogue American Designer pattern, by Donna Karan New York. 
There’ a fun post over here on Pattern Vault, exploring goth and its influences on fashion and commercial patterns. This pattern here is not specifically cited in the Pattern Vault post, but there’s another Donna Karan for Vogue from 1993, with similar dark colors, long necklaces, and witchy vibe. Looks like the same collection and influences. Anyway, it’s a neat read. 

Interesting to me that this is a Vogue Pattern, published by Butterick. Both Vogue and Butterick are now owned by McCall’s, so I wonder if Vogue was first bought by Butterick, and then both were bought by McCall’s? Like a fish being swallowed by a bigger fish being swallowed by a bigger fish? 

How I got it:
My husband picked this one up when he worked at a fabric store in the 90’s. 
It’s been in my pattern box now for sixteen years, and it’s been interesting to see how time has made kinder my view toward all of the early 90’s patterns of his. What was Hideous to my circa 2000 eyes has become ok to my 2016 eyes. The patterns haven’t changed at all, only thing that’s changed has been my urge to shout AS IF at them. 

The Fabric: 
This pattern calls for Moderate Stretch Knits Only. I didn’t do that. I used some stretch silk charmeuse in red, and some non-stretch silk charmeuse in purple. Not so 90’s goth anymore, sorry Donna. 


I made View B, the wrap dress, but short and with short sleeves. 
This is a great wrap dress. It’s pretty simple really, unlike the delightfully bizarre split-front riding-costume weirdness of the View C top. 
However, the pattern is listed as Easy/Facile, despite being both 1)cut on bias and 2)requiring stretch knit. In my opinion you can pick one or the other and be easy. Just bias? Fine. Just knit? Fine. Bias plus stretch? No. 
Which makes me wonder what the actual criteria for Easy/Facile is. This dress has no zipper or button holes, so by that rubric sure, easy. But knit on bias, come on guys, that’s not easy. 
One thing that is I love about this pattern is that the grain follows the neckline. This is my favorite method for wrap dresses, because it makes it look like I just picked up a piece of fabric and wrapped it around my body. Maybe immediately after sailing ashore on a half shell, or in some sort of wood-nymph situation. When wrap dresses are done the other way, where the grain runs perpendicular to the floor, the dress looks clunky to me and looses that magically wrapped feeling, and if there’s a print involved it fights the neckline. 
So I like this pattern. 
Although it really does not need to be moderate stretch knit . The bias does the stretching for us here. 

Time: 12 hours

I used a folded strip of the purple to finish the inside neck edge, instead of top stitch over Stay Tape ™ the pattern recommended. 
You can see in this view above, not a lot of underlap on the skirt there. Something for me to change next time. 


Sew It or Throw It:

Totally a Sew It. 
While I was working on this dress, Vogue Patterns announced that it will no longer be producing Donna Karan patterns, so this turned out to be kind of a timely project. 
Maybe someday I’ll try out the other patterns in this envelope, those high waisted shorts are looking particularly hilarious to me. They need a little more time still, before they look ok to my eyes. 

McCall’s 9400: sundress fundress in gingham and blue clover


The Pattern:
McCall’s 9400 Misses’ Dress, copyright 1953 by McCall Corporation
Notice something interesting about this pattern: it is “the first printed pattern.”

this beautiful illustration is beautiful

I’ve had this one for a while but never looked inside to see what it means by first printed pattern.
Turns out, like it says on the envelope, each pattern piece is printed. But in addition to being printed, each individual pattern piece was cut out by the factory. There’s a big margin of paper, outside the cut line, curving along the edges of each separate piece. All pieces were then stacked together, factory-folded, and enveloped. 
Nowadays, for comparison, all pattern pieces are printed side-by-side on a giant rectangle sheet of paper to be cut as needed. 
The even earlier, stuff-of-nightmares method gives you the pattern pieces cut out and notched by the factory, but with no lines or words. Printing the lines and identifiers on each pattern is a definite improvement. Yay McCall’s, thanks for being the first and leading the pack on that one.

The Fabric:
Blue and white gingham and a blue clover print. 


The gingham was leftover from a movie that had a scene with a kids’ production of The Wizard Of Oz. Terrible fabric. Terrible beautiful fabric that I love. Polyester. Totally warped off grain. I love it though, it’s blue gingham, it’s classic. I forced it to mirror at the shoulder seams where it’s most visible, but the side seams don’t match and the bodice center back is off grain. It was just so warped that I figured better to let it be, especially since this is not a movie and real life is more forgiving than the movies, as far as pattern matching is concerned. 
The blue clover print was a set of sheets, never used, still sealed in the original plastic, that I bought at a yard sale. You can see the label above, rayon/poly blend, quick Google tells me this bedding is from the 1970’s. 
The lady selling them said she had bought this set plus an extra set of sheets and some blue taffeta, to make herself a kick ass set of matching bedding and curtains, but never got around to actually doing it. 
I’m sure I have no idea what that feels like. 
I wish I’d asked her why she chose blue instead of the normal clover color. You know, green. But I’m glad she chose blue. For me to have. And give to my sister. And here she is!

The Dress:

girl stop. just stop it right there with your cuteness.

This pattern is 63 years old. This is the oldest pattern I’ve ever worked from, and it was unused by the original owner.
As per usual, the tissue patterns themselves are fine, it’s the heavier instruction paper and the envelope that’s gone all fragile with age. 
I don’t know why the original owner never used this pattern, but part of the reason that I never have is that old patterns like this are kinda daunting. 

Ways old patterns are daunting:

  • They look impossibly tiny. This one is a pattern size 12, which is built for a woman sized 30/25/33. The illustrated ladies on the envelope have waists that are narrower than their faces. That does not encourage me to proceed. 
  • They are designed to be worn with structural undergarments. The cover art ladies are nipped in at the waist, either by the waistband of a girdle or the waistband of a longline bra, or a waist cincher or the waistband of a petticoat, or some combo of the above. Also by the magic of illustration. So these 50’s patterns are proportioned for a manufactured body shape. 
  • They are made for a different lifestyle. For example, my sister drives a car every day and uses a laptop every day. There’s a lot of leaning forward in modern life. Close fitting kimono-sleeve style bodices don’t allow for much leaning forward, tight waist bands aren’t comfortable for sitting at a desk, and if you can’t raise your arms above your head, how’re you gonna take a good selfie? 

All of the above make it hard to even picture in ones mind how a dress will look on a modern body and life. And if you can’t quite picture how it’s going to look, you’re never going to risk 20 hours of work finding out. Except I totally did. 

Time:
Twenty hours. I really wanted to know how it would look on a real person. And now I know the answer: Cute! 

Some pattern stuff:
Check out below, this is the very first instruction on the instruction sheet. It starts with the waist. At first I was like, “Dude but I haven’t sewn the bodice or skirt yet. How can I put together the waist.” And then realized the pattern means waist as in shirtwaist, which is some olllllllld timey terminology. 
Speaking of Ye olden terminology, there’s a piece labeled bosom. Bosom! Hahahaha!
Also see how the instructions want me to like topstitch the seam allowance and the lay the bosom piece behind it and stitch through? I totally just seamed and then top-stitched instead. 
Another thing that is interesting about this old pattern is that there are no style options. Not even a sleeve length option. I expected that ruched bosom piece to be applied on top of the bodice, so one would have the option of leaving it off and having a plain front. I think that’s how this pattern would be if it was printed now. Options. But nope, that bosom piece is seamed in. The only way to play with style here is in your fabric choices. 
Which makes me super surprised that the cover art doesn’t show any view with the front of the skirt in a contrast fabric, like my version. The skirt front is a separate piece, and those gorgeous center front pleats on bias create a really great overskirt/underskirt look, which plays into the underblouse/overblouse semi-folklore peasant fairytale fantasy vibe that could be achieved with this one. I bet people made that design leap at home and totally went with a contrast underskirt effect. I bet I’m not the only one. 


Changes from the original:
See below.

The biggest change I made was in cutting the bodice on the bias, to create more give across the back. I also made the sleeves shorter, especially under the arm, and dropped and opened the armsceye a little. I had made gussets but changed my mind on that and decided the less going on in the armsceye, the better. I also made the side zipper a few inches longer than it calls for, because I’m guessing my sister doesn’t have a lot of side zippers in her life and I wanted it to not annoy or terrify her. 

The gingham bias binding falls into nice triangles along the neckline. 

Sew It or Throw It:
Sew it. 
It’s a nice surprise to see how light and summery this dress is in this fabric. 
This is a design where fabric choice has all the power. Like if it was all in chiffon, totally different feeling. All in velvet, totally different. Or if the skirt and bosom piece were white, with the bodice in some heavily floral-embroidered Grimm’s Fairytail type stuff. Lot of room to play here. 

Some charts and graphs and stuff

Recently, my Sew It box 
—that’s the box I keep way down under a bottom shelf, full of the patterns that I have tried, decided to keep, and have done a post about— 
got too full to close. 
So I took all the patterns out and put them on a new shelf into three new clear boxes where I can see and admire them, sorted them by brand, and was surprised by what I found so I made some charts and stuff. 
Here’s the first chart:

This mess (above) is three charts, actually. 
Top is broken up by decade, lower left by brand, lower right by Big 4 vs indie/out of business. 
I did the lower right graph because I was surprised to see Simplicity coming out as such a big winner, and I figured since McCall’s owns Butterick and Vogue that when I put those together they would win out over Simplicity (and Style which was purchased by Simplicity in the 90’s) but then they didn’t. Even after breaking down the numbers into indie versus Big 2, Simplicity won. 
Why? 
Well, I think my collection of patterns, which was gathered in a totally unintentional and haphazard way, is a pretty good microcosm of what’s out there in the world, secondhand pattern-wise.  
(The following theories are my own, not based on accredited or confirmed research)
Simplicity is simple, basic in design, inexpensive, and available in all fabric stores. I think the reason there are a ton of vintage Simplicty patterns languishing in thrift stores and eBay miscellaneous lots is because they were ubiquitous when sewing was common. They kinda flood the market of vintage patterns, so they aren’t seen as precious, so I find them easily. 
Vogue patterns, on the other hand, are seen as more valuable, so I’m a lot less likely to stumble upon them in yard sales. Are they more valuable? Yes? By some measures? Beautiful cover art? Higher level of complexity? Moar Fashun?
Or maybe it’s that current Vogue patterns are sold for a higher price than their McCall’s brethren, so I assume vintage ones were too back when they were current, and so they were less frequently purchased than their cheaper contemporaries, and therefor are now rare, especially unused copies. 
But I think the main thing with Vogue is the name. Vogue is fashion, indisputably. Even though Vogue Magazine and Vogue Pattern Company became separate companies pretty early on, there’s still the importance of the name. 
I only have one Vogue pattern in my Sew It box. I pretty much never run across vintage Vogue patterns in the wild. I don’t have a whole lot of them in my untested box. I think people see the name Vogue and think This Is Worth Something and pull those patterns aside to be sold individually to people who Collect with a capital C, as in buy their patterns with intention, which is not my pattern buying method. So there. 
I have a couple Vogue dresses lined up to sew this summer. Will report back. 
Here below is a tidier version of those other graphs. Simplicity is wining, across the decades. Because they exist more in the world?
One thing that stands out for me in the chart below is McCall’s winning the 21rst century. This is totally because of the pattern clearance sales run through Joanns. After reading Overdressed, by Elizabeth L. Cline, I feel guilty about this, that I am buying on sale things I wouldn’t buy at full price, which devalues the actual price of the pattern.

Unrelated, here below is a To Do list I made and then abandoned. 
I made one thing from the useful column, a pair of pants, and then was like screw useful. It’s summer dresses from here on out. Until fall. Then maybe Serious Fall Season will renew my interest in useful. 
Speaking of Overdressed, my take away message from the book was to buy more, not less. 
I already never shop. I mean not literally, but I am super frugal and hate stores and people and shopping. 
But after reading the book, I realized that if I’m going to vote with my wallet, a purchase is a louder statement than an abstention. 
You know, like, forever 21 is never going to even notice that I’m Totally Not Talking To Them You Guys, meanwhile if I need some t-shirts, I need to buy them, support some place that I like, and free up my sewing time for stupid stuff that pleases me, like sundresses. 

Sundresses times infinity. 

Speaking of sustainability and stuff, I put this dress (above, with apron) on the other day and it hit me that I made this dress when I was 22, which means in a few years when I hit 44 I’ll have had it half my life. Which is nuts. A dress, in my various closets, half my life. 
I remember making that dress, from a pattern I drafted on paper bag paper, on the floor of my boyfriend’s apartment. Then I married him. 
And even more nuts than owning a dress half my life is that the next year after that I’ll have had this dress for MORE than half my life. What other objects can I say that about? Photos? Letters? Serious touchstones of my personality?  I think that’s neat. 
And speaking of old things, here below is a sweater my grandma knitted for me when I was little, that I wore and loved and then outgrew and my stepmother kept it for me and brought it to me and now my son wears it. It’s some kind of wonderful synthetic yarn that is totally right for kids clothes and that I anticipate will last forever. 


Another thing speaking of Overdressed, my favorite chapter was the one that liberated me to send all textiles to the thrift shop. I used to throw clothes away, thinking “this is too messed up to resell,” but now I thrift it all, and keep a bag to donate marked Fabric Scraps For Quilting, which I know will go to a textile recycler not a quilter, but that sure beats the trash. 

Anyway. Peace out.