Herringbone stitches on the inside neckline
Although overlockers leave the insides of your garments looking neat and tidy and professionally finished, sometimes I feel it takes something away from the ‘feel’ of a handmade garment, especially one made from a vintage pattern or vintage fabric. I love looking at the insides of old garments and finding where the maker has left their personal touches – stitches to alter size, mend holes, or finish raw edges. Once upon a time someone took the time to sit down and finish all the unseen parts of their creation, little guessing that it would survive many decades for another seamstress to marvel at.
Herringbone stitches are particularly lovely. Originally a decorative stitch often used in embroidery, you can use it to finish a raw edge to stop it ravelling, or to hold up a hem securely. It works really well on loosely woven fabrics as well as it makes kind of a ‘net’ to hold the threads down.
Image from funfabrics.com
In the first picture I have used it to finish a strip of bias tape to the back of a neckline. Folding the tape under and slipstitching it proved to be too bulky and not pliable enough to curve around the sweetheart neckline, so I experimented with the herringbone stitch. I think it looks rather pretty! This dress, made from a 1940’s evening dress pattern (but in a much more daytime gingham), felt suited to a more handmade finish rather than having the insides overlocked. I think I might even pull out the pinking shears!
Fun fact: the German word for herringbone stitch is ‘hexenstich’ – literally, ‘witches stitch’. It does look a bit like old runes or pagan symbols, I think!
I do hope everyone had a lovely weekend and Valentine’s Day! I went and saw ‘The Wolfman’ with my boy, and it lived up to its promise of being fantastically schlocky, gory B-grade horror. I wish I had seen it at the drive-in! Anyway, without further ado, here are the second six astrologically-inspired vintage patterns I have chosen for you.
Oh you lucky Libra! Elegant, graceful and diplomatic – for you I found this stunning 1930’s frock. You love everything to be beautiful and harmonious, and this dress would make a gorgeous day outfit in Version A, or carry you through a fancy diplomatic ball in Version B.
In which the stars take a hand in our vintage wardrobes…
Okay, I’m not into taking horoscopes seriously as a rule, but it can be a bit of fun! So here, for you entertainment, some vintage patterns I picked out according to the personality traits of the twelve signs of the Zodiac! The pictures are links to the sellers, so if you like something just go ahead and click.
A snappy red 1960’s scooter dress for the headstrong, independent Aries! Simple lines and a short skirt will turn heads and not get in your way as you rush about on your Vespa. You have a magnetic personality, so pick a vibrant fabric that stands out and complements your independent spirit!
More after the cut!
Or, I’m not really sure what came over me.
Sometimes a pattern just smacks you in the face with its fabulosity. Maybe you’re not the type to wear palazzo pants, or sleeveless tops, or intriguing keyhole necklines. Maybe you can’t ever imagine finding that perfect shade of teal velour. Maybe you were scanning the 40’s and 50’s patterns on Etsy when this little number showed up and you were suddenly awash with visions of 1970’s glamour. Suggested fabric? Polyester knit, velvet, velveteen, satin. It boggles the mind.
We all have our ‘niche’, be it 50’s ballgowns or 60’s shifts; a shape our eye is always drawn to first when scouring the pattern sites. But have you ever fallen for something kind of outrageous? A dress that is so awkward it becomes endearing? Pants of a cumbersome width? Tell me about the patterns that have stolen your senses! Did it work out? Or did it just look better on paper?
As for me, I am anxiously waiting for my jumpsuit pattern (courtesy of Midvale Cottage) to arrive in my mailbox, and keeping an eye out for teal velveteen while I’m at it…