Vintage Pledge Update and Latest Sewing Plans

Now that we are in July, the time has come for the fantastic #vpjuly on Instagram. Run as part of the Vintage Pledge (organised by Marie of a Stitching Odyssey blog, for more information click here); #vpjuly sees a number of daily prompts for participants to share on Instagram. This year, it is only running for two weeks rather than the entire month.

I’m not sure where the time has flown to lately, as I almost had to do a double-take when Marie announced on her blog & Instagram that it was time for #vpjuly. Anywho, I have made more of an effort to post daily this time, and it has been so much fun seeing everyone’s daily posts! (you can find my posts & profile on Instagram here). It has also prompted me to think about my general Vintage Pledge for the remainder of the year. My initial pledge was to make my wedding dress using a 1930s pattern. Well dear readers – challenge DONE & COMPLETE! I can’t tell you how much of a relief it is to have finished that mammoth task, especially as in the beginning it seemed that so many factors were fighting against me. Our wedding is in September, so I shall remain frustratingly secretive and sparse in details here until after the big day (sorry!)

Anyway, now that my ‘main’ pledge item is complete, it has freed up space in my brain for me to ponder other vintage pledge makes and possibilities.  Call me crazy, but many of these potential makes are just whispering ‘honeymoon attire’ to me. It seems that my appetite for sewing has not been dulled by the ordeal of making my wedding dress, in fact quite the contrary. So, I am now turning my mind to thinking what I want to wear/take on honeymoon.

Du Barry Pattern 1230B purchased some years ago from the Vintage Pattern Shop on eBay

First up, is an early 1930s day dress using a beautiful plain sunshine yellow linen. Even as I start to type this forthcoming sentence, I can barely believe it myself – but a few months ago I was having an Instagram dialogue with Faith Evangeline of @sewingtreble and I realised I didn’t own any plain yellow dresses! For someone who loves yellow as much as I do, that was a bit of a bombshell, even to myself. So, of course I needed to remedy this appalling state of affairs asap. I have actually had this pattern in my stash for maybe 2 or 3 years now, but just never got around to making it.

As I was leafing through one of my original 1930s fashion magazines, I found this picture (left) – the cape collar looks so similar to my pattern! The pom poms look super cute too. I am intending to keep the dress all yellow, so will be getting matching cover buttons made, and also a matching belt. As I discussed in one of my recent posts, I am *trying* to steer myself towards plains colours/non-patterned garments. But read on and you shall see, this is a stipulation I sometimes just don’t want to adhere to.

Hollywood Pattern 1160 purchased from Lady Marlowe Studio on Etsy

Next up, is another 1930s dress, but this time a more formal/evening style. I saw this amazing fabric from Clothspot (sign up for their newsletter and always be the first to know of new fabrics – they have new arrivals every Friday!) My heart fluttered, and I just couldn’t take my eyes off it. I had to have it. Find it here (if there is any left!)

I am intending on making this square neck full length dress, which is actually very simple in both construction and style. The perfect base to showcase the stunning print of the fabric.

What particularly attracted me to this pattern in the first instance, was the lovely jacket/tunic. I found this chartreuse draping crepe when I was in London recently, and I am undecided whether to use it for the jacket to wear with this dress.

Either way, I’m sure I will put the crepe to good use! I know some people do not find chartreuse an attractive shade, but it is so unusual that I adore it!

1931 Matinee Blouse by Decades of Style

*Side note* I know this pattern doesn’t qualify as a Vintage Pledge item, being a reproduction pattern inspired by original styles, rather than a straight-up trace of an original.

And lastly, again going back to my plain fabrics decision, I am hoping to make the Decades of Style Matinee Tunic in plain black crepe – but with a black velvet devoré cowl neck. Yes, I know the devoré has a pattern to it, but I honestly felt I almost couldn’t bring myself to make something completely plain and black.

I am going to make the longer version, and haven’t decided on the style of sleeves to make yet. I purchased the pattern as a PDF download, as I recently discovered a site called Print Your Pattern. Unsurprisingly, they do exactly as you would expect from the title – print your pattern. You can upload your PDF downloads, and they will do the printing for you. No faffing about with numerous pages of A4 and getting in a pickle with sticky tape/glue. The pattern was printed and delivered to me super fast, so I will definitely be using them again.

That concludes my list of makes for the next few weeks or so. Also, alongside these I will be adding some flourishes to my bridal accessories, and making Kieren a few pairs of trousers.

Do you have any exciting sewing plans? Or do you sew items on a garment by garment basis, planning as you go along?

Until next time dears!


Reconstructing History Sewing Pattern Review 1304

Today’s post features a dress I made using the Reconstructing History 1304 sewing pattern. Reconstructing History are an American based sewing pattern company, specialising in reproducing historical patterns.

The sheer range of sewing patterns available on the Reconstructing History website is quite astonishing. Reconstructing History offer a broad range of styles, periods and genres, from the fourteenth century right through to the late 1940s. As part of my writing work for Vintage Dancer, I was asked if I would like to review a Reconstructing History pattern of my choosing. Although I was tempted by this Regency Riding outfit, and this 1910s Walking Suit, the pattern that won my heart was the 1304 Day Dress and Jacket from 1933.


The pattern itself was fairly difficult to work with, due to both the design details of this particular style, and the pattern itself.


This was my first experience of using a Reconstructing History pattern, so the review contains my experiences and thoughts of using this one pattern only. During some parts of the construction process I did find myself thinking I would have preferred to work with the original, vintage pattern, rather than the Reconstructing History incarnation. This was mostly due to the sizing lines all being identical – making it very difficult to follow and apply pattern notches.

The fabric requirements were also a problem area. According to the back sheet of the pattern, the dress required 5yrds 40 inch wide, or 3.5yrds 54 inch wide. But, within the instruction booklet it stated the dress needed 4yrds 40 inch wide, or 2.5yrds 54 inch wide. So which was it? This was only clarified by me physically laying-out all the pattern pieces onto fabric, to then measure both the length and width of the material in order to determine the desired yardage.



Hiccups and glitches aside, I am pleased with how the completed dress turned out. I used some beautiful reproduction late 1920s/early 1930s fabric from Maltings Fabric – the Hampden. I wrote about a visit I made to Maltings Fabrics in my previous post here. The fabric is a viscose crepe, and has a lovely handle and drape to it. Somehow, the print reminded me almost of a rainbow Dalmatian dog (I know that sounds completely bizarre!)



In order to accent the design details, I used a plain black viscose crepe for the belt, cuffs and neck frills. My favourite feature of the pattern is the sleeves. The sleeves are full, then where the cuffs are applied there is a series of three tuck pleats. The cuffs also feature an interesting V detail, perfectly art deco!



As the fabric features beautifully muted pastel shades, I managed to find an original 1930s belt buckle on eBay that was a perfect match! I accessorised the dress with an original 1930s bag I purchased just after Christmas, which still contains its original mirror. I chose white over-the-knee socks which I wore as stockings, a cloche hat I have had for a few years, and Bridgette heels by Hotter which I purchased in the sale a few weeks ago.


Overall, I am really pleased with the dress, and I am in love with the fabric! As I will be imminently making my wedding dress (which is 1930s), this dress presented a few design details that will definitely put me in good practise for the task ahead!

My conclusion and final thoughts on the pattern

The pattern contained some nice historical information, which added context to the design. The instructions were detailed, and included both text and illustrations, making them easy to follow. The paper the pattern was printed on was of high quality, and I liked that the pattern was printed onto one side of the paper only.

However, with the identical sizing lines, lack of grainlines, even a few typos on the pattern pieces, there were moments when I found the pattern could be more user-friendly. The biggest point for me was however, the fabric requirements confusion. When I am sewing a garment, the last thing I want to do is waste time calculating and figuring out how much fabric I need, when it should be stated clearly on the pattern.

As aforementioned, I was given the opportunity to chose a pattern to review from Reconstructing History, in order to write a full review for publication on Vintage Dancer. Whenever I am given something to review, I always aim to be constructive, and to stay true to my integrity, which I hope I have done so here.

Has anyone else worked with Reconstructing History patterns? What did you think? How did you find them? Let me know in the comments.

Links & Outfit Details

Until next time dears!