Whilst I genuinely love original vintage sewing patterns, I also enjoy working with new sewing patterns; both from the ‘main’ pattern companies, and smaller labels. Although the company or brand producing the patterns may differ, the individual patterns that I choose all have one thing in common – a strong vintage aesthetic. This is hardly surprising considering my love of vintage clothing, and luckily there are plenty of patterns out there to choose from!
A few weeks ago, Nanna from How to do Fashion contacted me to ask if I would like to make-up some of her sewing patterns. All of the patterns from How to do Fashion have a strong vintage look, but may also fit in with a modern aesthetic, depending on fabric choices and colours selected. Nanna began designing patterns a few years ago, and launched How to do Fashion in 2014. Recently, she launched a collaboration with Pia of Storms Magasin, producing two sewing patterns together.
I selected a few patterns, but today I am going to talk about pattern No 5 Arhus. This pattern comes with three different options – two dresses and one top. I made version 2 – the top version, as I loved the flutter sleeves and the cute peplum detail.
The patterns are beautifully presented – each comes housed in it’s own glossy folder, neatly tied with a coordinating thread. The finished garment measurements are handily listed, so based on this I decided to make a size UK6. To print out the actual pattern instructions, I headed to the website and selected the appropriate pattern and version.
It was then time to cut out the pattern. The pattern paper itself is lovely and sturdy, with clear markings. But – some of the pieces are printed on both sides of the paper, so you may have to trace parts of the pattern as I did. I made a toile to check the fit (which is always a good habit to get into, especially if you are using a pattern previously unworked with). Saying that, I didn’t actually insert the sleeves into my toile version – so I didn’t realise that I would need to take in some excess fabric on the shoulder. Oops. So I created some little tucks on my finished top just to take in the excess fabric, and allow the sleeve head to sit in the correct position on me.
Handily, the instructions are supplemented with online videos to facilitate the explanation of some of the steps. For me, this was brilliant! The top called for an invisible side zip – something I had not previously worked with. The video tutorial was so so helpful, and I managed to insert the zip perfectly as a result of this.
This pattern went together so quickly, and was a joy to work through. The resulting top definitely has a fabulous 1930s vibe to it, which I enhanced with the use of an original dress clip at the neckline. I don’t usually wear low cut tops, but even though this V is low on me, as it is a narrow opening, I didn’t feel exposed at all.
To complete my 1930s look, I decided to make up this skirt which I had selected as part of the Big Vintage Sew-along. The pattern is McCalls 6993, version A. I must just say, I feel the photograph on the pattern envelope lets down this version somewhat. The fabric is so dark that the yoke details can barely be made-out, but hey-ho.
I chose this orangey/rust/gingery linen-mix fabric that I managed to pick up a few months ago at an absolute bargain price. Consulting the finished garment measurements, I selected the UK12 to ensure it would fit my hips and not be tight. This was an absolute perfect fit, with slight tapering at the waist needed to bring it down a few sizes. Both yokes took me few attempts before I was satisfied with the angles, but I just keep unpicking and persevering.
I got a bit over-excited at my newly found invisible zip insertion abilities, so I decided to use an invisible zipper at the centre back instead of the recommended centred zipper. I am SO PLEASED with this invisible zip! I kept showing it to Kieren saying ‘can you see a zip? Can you can you? Nope you can’t because it’s INVISIBLE AND IT’S MAGIC!’ Haa ha.
I carefully topstitched the yokes and pleats, then finished the skirt with arrowhead tacks.
Making the Arhus top was a joy, and it gave me the push to make this skirt (which I had planned to make since April, but just hadn’t had the motivation!) Now I have a lovely 1930s outfit, and I definitely have a feeling that both patterns will get used again very soon!
Stay tuned for more creations from How to do Fashion patterns..
- Earrings – Sofia’s Garden
- Top – Arhus version 2 pattern c/o How to Do Fashion
- Fabric for Top – Guthrie and Ghani
- Dress Clip – The Mid Century Market
- Skirt – McCalls 6993 version A, Archive Collection from an original 1933 design
- Fabric for Skirt – Shop has closed down now, sorry!
- Shoes – c/o Hotter
Thank you so much to Nanna from How to do Fashion for some wonderful patterns!
Until next time dears x