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!



A Perfect Holiday Dress From Til The Sun Goes Down

Here I review the Beach Pyjama and Holiday Dress Pattern by Til The Sun Goes Down. For this version, I made the shortened Holiday Dress.

In my previous post, I discussed the recent discovery that I needed to incorporate more plain/solid colours into my wardrobe. Whilst this is still true, it doesn’t mean that I won’t every now and then deviate from this course – especially when bright bonkers prints are involved! Also, I actually bought this fabric a year ago, so in a way I feel my recent make is validated and excluded from my recent sewing epiphany 🙂

So, without further ado, let me introduce you to the fruits of my labours – the Holiday Dress by Til the Sun Goes Down. This pattern contains a total of 3 completely different versions/looks. First up is a pair of beach pyjamas (has anyone else noticed that beach pyjamas have recently enjoyed a massive surge in popularity over the past 2 years or so? Not only are more pattern companies adding beach pyjamas to their collections, but reproduction clothing companies are releasing various versions too. Personally, I am loving this renewed interest in this fabulous garment). The next version is a full length holiday dress – which, as the title suggests, is perfect for wearing on holiday/on the beach. The final variation; and the version I chose to make, is a pattern hack to shorten the holiday dress to any desired length.

Part of my decision to make the shortened holiday dress was due to the fact that I wanted to use this particular fabric. Of which, I only had 2 metres at 60″ wide. So straight away I knew I wouldn’t have enough to make the full beach pyjamas, but a knee length holiday dress? Yes!

The pattern is comprised of only 3 pieces – front, back and a separate pocket. The front and back pieces actually have grown-on pockets, so initially I was confused as to why there was a separate pocket piece also included. But, ingeniously, the separate pocket piece is for use when the width of the fabric is too narrow to include the grown-on pocket options, so you have a ready-made pocket piece which is good to go! Excellent idea, and goes to show the thoughtfulness that has gone into the production of this pattern. The front and back pieces have the bodice and skirt/trousers cut as one whole piece, so you may need to be mindful of the fabric requirements based on the size of your material.

The back of the pattern envelope outlines body measurements and corresponding sizes, fabric requirements in both yards and metres, and finished garment measurements (something I always find incredibly handy!) The envelope contains an A4 booklet, detailing pattern layouts and a step-by-step guide for making the differing versions.

The pattern itself was clear to read, containing instructions not only for the beach pyjamas and holiday dress, but also a guide as to how to shorten the dress to any desired length. As I decided to effectively take the pattern-hack option of shortening the dress, this required some preparation work on the pattern prior to moving onto the next stages.

Firstly, the pattern front & back pieces have a line from the CF & CB down to the hem. This line is the cut line to make the dress versions – BUT I strongly advise not to cut this at this line – simply fold it under so that you can retain the original pattern to make the beach pyjamas version if you so wish later on. Next, the pattern needed to be shortened at the lengthen/shorten line on the skirt sections. For this, I folded the pattern underneath itself, then measured from the waistline down to the hem until I had the desired length. For me, this was 30 inches, leaving a 1 inch S/A on the final hem. I then used re-stickable Washi tape to temporarily hold the fold in place.

At this point I traced the new shape onto fresh paper, creating a new side seam line running straight from the pocket down to the new hemline. For this, I used light pencil marks only – as there is still a final stage to be undertaken before the pattern is complete. The final alteration, is to add size back into the pockets. The new side seam runs through the original pocket position, which means some of the size has been taken out. This was simple enough to do, and the pattern instructions provide an illustrated guide on how to do this. Now that I had all my new lines finalised, I then went over my newly traced pattern pieces, making the lines bolder with marker pen.

Ironically, after carefully making the size alterations to the grown-on pockets on my newly traced pattern pieces, when it came to laying out the pattern on my fabric – I didn’t have enough fabric length to accommodate them! So I simply folded under the grown-on pockets on the pattern, then used the separate pocket pattern piece instead. At least I have the grown-on pockets pattern for future use, when I am using longer lengths of fabric 🙂

I calculated that I used 1.4metres of 60″ wide fabric to make the shortened knee length dress variation, with the pockets cut separately, at a UK size 10. This excludes the tie belt, of which I used 75cmx20cm on the straight of grain, also from the same fabric. The neckline and armholes are finished with bias binding, which takes around 3 metres of ready-made binding.

The Holiday Dress by Til the SUn Goes Down – Things to Note

  • Be careful with the bias binding at the CF – leave enough at the ends to tuck it to the inside.
  • When shortening the dress, use the lengthen/shorten here line as just that – a guide as to where to apply any length alterations. Do not just cut on this line as the pattern will likely end up way too short!
  • Use tracing or pattern paper to trace the pattern in order to keep fresh versions of each variation. I traced off the knee length variation so I still have the complete pattern should I wish to make the beach pyjamas or full length holiday dress later on.

Total time to make – it probably took me around 1 day, which includes altering and tracing off the pattern.

Would I recommend this pattern to others? ABSOLUTELY! In conclusion, I think this pattern is quick to make, comfortable to wear, and extremely versatile. The shortened knee length version really reminds me of 1930s house dresses, whilst the beach pyjamas are full-on holiday glamour. I also really like that the skirt portion of the pattern is stitched together at the CF & CB – so it is effectively a half wrap dress. I do really like wrap dresses, but the skirt section of wrap dresses usually have me worried that in the wind they will whip open to reveal all! This dress has all the advantages of a wrap dress, but sans the worry of a windy day drama.

I can really see multiple versions of the knee length dress version, and I think a pair of beach pyjamas (perhaps with a little matching jacket/bolero) would be so smashing!

Has anyone else tried Til the Sun Goes Down sewing patterns? What did you think?

Also, in case you are not aware, Til the Sun Goes Down produce amazing reproduction vintage fabric prints, along with some true vintage fabrics. Rather ironically, I actually purchased some of their fabric 2 years ago to make – lo and behold – a pair of beach pyjamas! Check out that post & the fabric I used here.


Until next time dears!