Built for Vintage Fashion


I’m attending a wedding in Atlanta at the end of the month and needed a dress to wear. I had every intention of making one, but stumbled upon this gem at a vintage store in town. The price was too good to pass up. And, the color looks pretty awesome on me. My friend Liz thinks this era suits me because of my build. It would suit me better if my arms weren’t as muscular! I find that these clothes fit me well in the torso, but are awful on any part of my body that has muscle tone.

It’s not a perfect fit. The bust is pretty snug and the back is tight. But, I was happy to discover the dress had been taken in at some point. So, I was able to get about 3/8 of an inch extra in the bust.

The yellow is a poly blend of some sort and I honestly think it’s never been worn! For its age, there are no body stains, no worn spots, no sign of wear whatsoever. Honestly, I found myself pressing the seams open and flat!

I wanted to post this dress because the construction is beyond belief. The entire dress is underlined with organza. It could stand on its own it’s so structured!  While the dress is underlined, there is no lining. The seams are finished with pinking and a straight stitch. Luckily, I have yellow on the serger and finished as many seams as I could.

The back uses a metal, lapped zipper application.

There is a wonderful deep hem which keeps it nicely formed and gives me room to play with the length.

I LOVE the bow right at the top and how it peeks through with the jacket.

Yes, there is a matching coat. It’s stunning. Stunning! It has the same princess seams as the dress.

 The bound buttonholes are nicely tailored and look amazing with the buttons / chain.

The jacket is lined with a matching yellow. It too has a deep hem.

My favorite touch is the union label in both the jacket and the dress. And, I’m a sz 10 by those days standards. Hmmm, I’m pretty much the same size now :)

I’m thrilled! I can’t wait to wear it at the end of the month.

Japanese Pattern Drafting by Dressmaking

ETA: I’m sorry, but the second copy is no longer available. I’ll keep this post up though so you can find more information about the books.

Other recommended titles:

Dorothy Moore’s Pattern Drafting and Dressmaking (Originally Published as The Oriental Method of Pattern Drafting and Dressmaking)

Patternless Fashion by Diehl Lewis and May Loh. I wrote about this in May.


Earlier this year Tany posted about two Pattern Drafting books. I became mildy obsessed with tracking down copies as they were the Asian method and directions came in both English and Japanese.

I ordered three different copies with vague descriptions. There are three editions and I thought the sewing gods would be with me and send me the three different versions. Alas, they did not.


Today I received two copies of the same Pattern Drafting (no author but sometimes listed as Dressmaking), published by Kamakura-Shobo Publishing Co., Ltd in Tokyo, Japan. Publishing date is 1967.

The 204 page book includes step-by-step directions on drafting patterns for women, men and children. Over 200 different diagrams are included. If you are interested in Mrs. Stylebook or drafting your own patterns this is the book for you.

Table of Contents:

Not only does the book show you how to draft, it also gives you directions on fixing common fitting errors like sloped shoulders, etc. Also, there are construction tecnhiques like making a bound buttonhole, explanation of fabrics, how to make gathers, sewing darts, attaching an inner belt and working with prints — just to name a few.

Check out this review of the books on eBay and here on PatternReview.com

ETA: I’m sorry, but the second copy is no longer available. I’ll keep this post up though so you can find more information about the books.

So now you’re ready to sew….


I recently bought a sewinng notion off eBay that came with all the leftovers from the seller’s sewing stock. There was a cool ad / catalouge of Dritz items from the 50s of 60s.

“There’s a DRITZ SEWING AID for every task”

My favorite thing, that I would like to get for me mom is the Dritz Sewing Tray which holds 20 large or small thread spool and matching bobbins. Has accomodations for tape measure, scissors, chalk, buttons, etc. Now, if only I could also get it for $1.00.

Oh, I’ve also found the book “Modern Sewing” on eBay. I’m tempted to get it just to see what’s in there.

Oddly enough, I have most of the notions they are selling either from eBay or because they are still in production.

I’m still using the PATTERN CUTTING BOARD. I bought this back when the only place in my small Annapolis apartment to cut out patterns was my bed or the hallway. I got the Dritz BOUND BUTTONHOLE MAKER from eBay after a PR Review. I’ve go the EZY-HEM GAUGE from Joann’s. The SEE THRU marker came with my sewing cabinet. I’ve got my own PRESSING HAM and SLEEVE BOARD.


The SEE THRU marker came with my sewing cabinet. I’ve got my own PRESSING HAM and SLEEVE BOARD.

Next is a point presser, pounding block, tailor board and clapper. I should have looked for them in NYC this weekend, but I figured it would be a required sewing supply when I take a tailoring class next year.