Thursday, April 24, 2014

Ladies' and Misses' Elegant Slacks

Every year my wonderful brother gives me a box of vintage patterns for Christmas- how well he knows me!
McCall 6794 is from this year's batch.
Vintage patterns have some nice details that are well worth stealing and adapting to modern patterns. For example, the pocket facings, above. This solution allows the sewist to use a lightweight fabric for the inside pocket, but with a facing of the pant fabric so the pocket fabric is not visible. Very nice. The pants have a side zipper inside the pocket treatment that I might steal borrow for a skirt.
There is one page of somewhat terse instructions that include recommendations for a hand-worked buttonhole.(Because everyone knows how to sew). They don't mention suggested fabrics because everyone knows what pants are made of.
I love old patterns and cookbooks not just for the information they put in, but for what they leave out.
Old cookbooks assume we all know how to cook, so their recipes are "reminders" of how certain dishes are made. Similarly, vintage patterns sometimes don't mention fabric types,  seam finishes, or other techniques, because they assume that all sewists will just know to do them.
  A pants pattern from 1947 also tells us that women were wearing pants for casual occasions. I'm assuming this is "casual" because the background of the illustration is somewhat "countrified". Nowadays we'd wear jeans. Fun fact: designer jeans specifically for women were introduced in the 1960's by Andre Courreges (who also invented the miniskirt, along with Mary Quant.)

P.S. Wondering what the difference is between a Ladies' and Misses' sizes. The pattern does not elaborate. Everyone must have just "known" this as well.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Time Travel Vacations

I want to go to a place where I could wear something like these dresses. If it has to be the past, so be it. A tech company needs to devote their energies to Time Travel Vacation Packages, where we could go on vacation for a day or a week in the past. Not to change anything , just to observe. And to wear things like these dresses.

 Silk satin wedding dress, designed by Norman Hartnell, 1933, given and worn by Margaret, Duchess of Argyll. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London