This site is dedicated to the love of patterns from the past. I enjoy the styles, history, artwork and unique fashion.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Call The Midwife - Fashion

I recently watched "Call The Midwife" a BBC mini series of a woman working as a midwife in the poorer district of east end London in the 1950's. Beautifully told and filmed, it inspired me to take a look at what they were wearing.

The three midwives looking so smart in their Nursing uniforms.
They would get on their push bikes and see their patients in the community.
Simplicity 4084.
I have had this pattern for a while, but really love the style - so classic Trench.
Butterick 3007.
Double breasted coat with or without belt.
I adore the model here with her hat on !
Simplicity 9612.
Double breasted Trench Coat. Short or long.
Can be used as a raincoat trench or wool coat.

 The Skirt suit. I love the detail on the front faux pockets, princess cut jacket &
front side pleat. I would say its almost late 1940's.
Butterick 3084.
Versatile options for a skirt suit pattern (1960's).

Simplicity 8474.
Butterick 8298.
A very cute skirt suit. Curved jacket front hem with darts. Collared with single button closure.


Roll neck dress with full gore skirt.
 I imagine this has a low cut back

McCalls 4303.
Full gore skirt with or without roll top collar.
Beautiful party dress !
McCalls 9611.
1953 full gore skirt with roll neck collar.
V neck back collar with bow.

Three quarter length coat, single breasted with turned cuffs.
Jenny wears this so very well. Scarf finishes the look off.
Id suggest white gloves too !

Du Barry 5088.
1940's coat with reversible hood. Really cute this pattern.
McCall 6450.
1940's single breasted coat in 3/4 length.

Lastly, how could I forget the all important nurses uniform dress.
Always a dress, never pants or culottes unlike today.

..and cape...

I like all the variations in this pattern. The detailed pleats are so cute !

I'd like to dedicate this entry to my great great grandmother Margaret Shields
who was a midwife in the 1950's.


Sunday, 14 October 2012

I Love The Cook Islands

I know it's been a while since my last post, but I did have a lovely holiday.
If youre in the market for a reasonably priced, beautiful, unspoilt, tropical holiday, amongst people who are genuinely lovely and year round climate is warm, the the Cook Islands is the place to go.
Forget overcrowded Hawaii, forget commecialised Fiji or over priced Tahiti. The Cook Islands has all the benefits of those places minus the negatives.

I will be back there next year...

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Tropical Island Holiday.

I have just booked a holiday to the Cook Islands ! A beautiful, tropical, slow paced location, with white sandy beaches and clear turquoise blue water. A private villa on the beach in a 5 star resort.
So....what to wear, I hear you say ?

Im going to rummage through my boxes of vintage pattern treasures. I also found some summer modern patterns to throw in as contenders.

I really love this pattern and bought it last summer to make a full panel print dress.

The sleeves are kimono style. I feel they really make the dress stylish.

Its a Polynesian pattern, but don't you think the collar is more Asian?
Very sexy in both lengths - sexy Bond Girl style !

A very pretty day or evening dress, depending on the length you desire.
Wonderful with dressy snadals with a bit of sparkle.

I think the side split is wonderful and so polynesian.
Simple design, with its sleeveless semi fit dress, with or without a belt.

I cant have my Man going without a Hawaiian style shirt.
I love this 1950's Simplicity pattern. Look at those chiselled shoulders !!

I know its modern, but its Island wear for sure.
I love the neck line on this. Can be made as a loose fit dress or a casual shirt.

I love the colours and artwork in this. but most of all the full length dress with bateau neck and side splits.

Dont you just love the Vogue wardrobe patterns. So many pieces in one.
The shirt and 3/4 pants for shopping day trips, the long white dress and hat for the yacht and Im not sure what to do with the poncho?

So I have a couple of months to make a list and get sewing !

Monday, 25 June 2012

I Love The Op Shop

There is an air of excitement when I walk into the local opportunity shops.
 I get a thrill out of what I just might find. Its a wonderful way to spend my lunch time when at work looking for treasure !

Here is just some of my magical finds...

This is an early pattern - pre decimal as the price is "3/6".
I am unsure as to what the maker is - Is it "Fashion cut pattern" or is it "Dewhurts SYLKO" as printed on back (see below).
No printing on actual pattern pieces. It has punched holes to indicate usage & pieces.

Simplicity 6535 - Year 1966.
Misses' one piece dress with some cute variations.

Simplicity 5915. Year 1965.
I found a newspaper cut out of the era inside, form the local area (Taree NSW).
Fascinating reading - pre decimal prices & people mentioned in the paper were formally referred to as "Mr, Mrs or Miss".

Love the Ad for these hats "Now in full swing !"

Back to school maps for projects.

Simplicity 7996. Year 1968
I love these Nehru jackets. They are described as "Meditation or Guru" Jackets.

Vogue 7137.
One piece dress - A line with side front pockets & back button closing.
So stylish !
McCalls 7337.

Summer dresses !
 Also nice for those fabrics with full pictured print.

McCalls 7775.
Two piece bathing suit, choice of back buttoned bra or high neck top.
Beach jacket with long sleeves.
So cute !
Weigel's 2411.
Is this brand Australian?
The fabric pattern looks Polynesian styled.
Makes me think of Hawaii !

Style 2541. Year 1969.
This is so adorable ! Gorgeous pleated dress with pants.
I think this is a favorite.

Op shop patterns are special. They find a new home with someone who appreciates their history and usually come from someone who loved them and has sadly passed on.

I have these and more, for sale on EBay as of 25th July 2012.

Monday, 28 May 2012

Kim Novak in Bell Book & Candle.

I recently had a lovely Sunday afternoon watching this gorgeous old movie; Bell Book & Candle (1958)starring Kim Novak, James Stuart & Jack Lemmon.
A modern-day witch likes her neighbor but despises his fiancee, so she enchants him to love her instead... only to fall in love with him for real.
It inspired me to take a closer look at some patterns to conjour up some pattern magic, to match some of those bewitching fashions from the movie.

This was my favorite fashion of the movie. A unique black dress with attached pull over - draped hood. 
It was at times difficult to make out detail of the dress but the above screen shot shows it best.
Long sleeve knit fabric, darted at waist, with front midline bust seam.
How sweet the small detail of the trim bow ribbon at hip height.
Note the 1950's bullet bra !
She wore this with a fabulous cape, which I will get to next.

Simplicity 9500. 1971.

So I had to have this dress and rushed out (I mean onto the PC) and bought this.
I am going to make it in the black "slinky" knit style so the hood can sit folded in gorgeous layers.

 McCalls 2301 - 1970's.

This could be an alternative pattern. It has a thicker, larger hood with a more loose fit.


Here Kim wears the bewitching black hooded dress with her reversible, leopard lined cape (top).
Later she wears red with the cape reversed.
I wish more people wore capes in winter. They are an adorable piece - from designer haute couture to kids wear.

Vogue Couturier Design 2231 - Pucci.
Typically 1960's design. Zip front cape - remember those circular zipper grips !

   Vogue 6032.
I really like the medium length with the side pleats and top stitching.

Simplicity 7858.

The short and long length are so stylish and go so well with the movie fashion.
Kim does wear a long length cape, in the snow with attached hood and hand fur warmer.

Butterick 5897.

McCalls 4276.


Simple yet classic sleek black dress. Note the strap detail in pic (above).
Simply dressed up with a scarf and opera gloves.

McCalls 6033

Butterick 5878 - Donna Ricco.

A seductive backless black dress. Plunging back with bateau neckline.

Butterick 2488.
 A gorgeous pattern that can be sleek & sexy or more formalised with added train.

Vogue 5886.

Kim in a Kimono style dressing gown with Pyewacket the cat.
Looks like chiffon, possibly silk or satin?
Simplicity 2467.

There isn't a lot of retro sewing patterns with a Kimono style, but this one is particularly nice.

In the story Kim's wardrobe brightens to lighter colours and fabrics and her shop changes from dark native voodoo styled artifacts to flower arrangements and sea shells.
Simplicity 3039.

McCalls 3043.

Typically 1950s full gore skirted dresses. An image of sweetness and innocence.

I couldn't focus just on the female fashion. Jimmy Stuart character always the well dressed
man of the 1950's.
Vogue 9445.
 For the suave man of the 1950's this classic suit can also be used for the "sports" jacket
version for weekend casual wear.