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Fashion Sewing Shopping

6 Fabulous Vintage Sewing Patterns

November 22, 2013

I absolutely love making my own vintage style dresses, the first place to start is with a good pattern. I’m always on the lookout for shops and websites where I can get unique and beautiful ones. I was recently contacted by Nick of Mela Mela Vintage, a vintage shop in Teddington about a guest post on some of the patterns stocked in the shop.

I absolutely love all the patterns he chose, and was delighted to find a local vintage shop who not only sell amazing patterns but also some pretty amazing vintage dresses from the 1920s to 70s as well as some incredible vintage bags. If your looking for a new project or just something absolutely amazing to wear then their shop and website are ones not to be missed.

6 Fabulous Vintage Sewing Patterns

If you want something done properly, then do it yourself! It’s the motto of the fiercely independent and perhaps overly stubborn, but sometimes there is some truth in that old adage. When it comes to clothing then the only way to get the absolute style you want and the ideal fit for your figure is to create your own clothes. Vintage patterns are fabulous for this, not only will they produce authentically vintage-looking attire but back then everyone used to sew their clothes and so the instructions are easy to follow and the clothes tend to be relatively simple to make. What are you waiting for? Here are some brilliant vintage patterns to get your inspiration flowing:


  • Simplicity Couture Dress

This pattern by simplicity makes a stunning 1960’s style couture dress. The high neckline, shift style dress and blouson sleeves make it a very iconic piece. You can alter the skirt length if you favour a shorter hem, and the dress can be made with and without the sleeves. With the sleeves there is a charming peephole element on the seam of each sleeve which makes it very unique. This vintage dress would look great in a strong psychedelic print or vibrant block colour.

  • McCall’s Shift Dress

This shift dress is very unusual with the yolk neck and bow detail. The variety of different sleeves means that you could use this pattern several times to get very different looking dresses. The sleeveless version could be made in a precious fabric for parties and events, and the sleeved versions would make ideal work wear for the more glamorous lady.

  • Simplicity’s Daytime and Evening Slips

The daytime slip is meant to be worn under a dress, which is a custom that many of us don’t adhere to. However, if you are wearing a vintage dress in sheer or fine fabric then you may like to wear a slip underneath. Even if you don’t wear a slip during the day, the shorter daytime slip would make coquettish and flirtatious lingerie and the evening slip is delightfully elegant. The beauty of making your own slips is that you can create something astonishingly unique and breathtaking that no-one else will ever wear, and that in itself is pretty seductive. Opt for satins, silk and fabrics that long to be touched but be vigilant with these fabrics as they need delicate treatment when being stitched.

  • Burda Dress and Blouse

These patterns create a lovely floaty dress and billowing blouse, both of which benefit from a flatteringly nipped in waist. The folds of fabric and soft silhouettes make these items the ideal choice for all figures, as they will hide imperfections in the fuller figure as well as creating an illusion of sexy curves in very thin girls. There is a lovely feminine feel to these garments which would look beautiful in floral prints.

  • Simplicity Dress with Detachable Collar and Cuffs

This dress is so unusual, you can guarantee that no-one else will be wearing anything like it. The nipped in waist compliments the figure, and the soft folds of the skirt will hide the fullness of the hips while the tailored top is equally flattering. The horizontal pleats along the bodice and the quirky detachable collar and cuffs are great design elements that add a real character to the dress.

  • Simplicity Coats

Beautiful vintage coats are hard to come by, especially when you start looking for a specific colour and size. The perfect solution is to make your own and this Simplicity pattern is perfect for that. The cute little pea collar, broad three-quarter length sleeves and crossover front with one single button fastening make it a very iconic style of coat. Wear with gloves for the ultimate elegance. Coats like this don’t give away what you’re wearing underneath, so you don’t have to worry about finding a coat that matches a certain dress. These coats will cover everything and look beautifully stylish as they do it.

This article on vintage dress patterns was written my Nick Williams at Mela Mela Vintage, a boutique in Teddington; Greater London. At Mela Mela Vintage you will find original vintage dresses and a huge selection of vintage handbags.

I absolutely loved this collection of vintage patterns, and will definitely be paying the shop a visit soon. Be sure to check out the website, if only to gaze in wonder at the amazing 1950s dresses! You can see all the sewing patterns available here.

  • Reply
    November 27, 2013 at 1:14 pm

    Will be a great challenge to make a coat and I am sure there are plenty of gorgeous fabrics you could use. I like the pattern for the detachable collar and cuffs 😀

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