The Big Vintage Sewalong: Vogue 9082 + Pattern Giveaway

The Big Vintage Sewalong

When I was contacted and asked if I would like to participate in The Big Vintage Sewalong…I of course said yes. It’s in aid of a fantastic charity AND since I preach alot with The Refashioners about “pushing yourself out of your comfort zone” being a good thing, I figured I should really put my sewing machine where my mouth is. Regular readers will know, vintage….and feminine…is clearly out of my comfort zone!  So the pattern I selected may come as a surprise. Don’t get me wrong here…had there been the option of a 70’s or 80’s pattern that involved trousers that would have been much more up my strata. But the selection of patterns that form part of the fundraising element of the event, are resolutely feminine and all pre 70’s. So I was left with the challenge of interpreting a very feminine silhouette…in a way that wouldn’t betray my own style aesthetic and what I feel comfortable in…

The Big Vintage Sewalong

I think the key with ANY sewing pattern is to look past the styling on the pattern  envelope and start looking at the fundamental form and proportions of the pieces. What is the essence of this silhouette? For me it is the cropped proportions of the top, how it hits at the narrowest part of the waist and is complemented by a bottom half that is high waisted and fitted around the waist and hips. This is a style that reoccurs throughout fashion decades. Not least today, where cropped tops and high waists are re-emerging as a fashion favourite…The Big Vintage Sewalong

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It’s a silhouette that I have been tentatively interested in exploring. I say tentatively because as a a 40 something mother of one…my waistline in no way resembles the waistlines above, lol! No matter. There are ways around that. That’s the beauty of sewing our own right? Adapting to suit us!

Another timeless “trend” that I have been obsessing about recently is denim! More specifically….gasp…..double denim!! (NEVER thought I would say that!) Denim is not new of course but it  is very prominent right now. And I am obsessed! As soon as I saw vogue 9082 I knew that denim would lend an air of modernity to the vintage silhouette…PicMonkey Collage

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So that’s what I went for!

I knew the pencil skirt was not me (If it is your thing there is nothing stopping you from making up the dress in denim and/or adapting it to a highwaisted skirt too!). So, I opted to take the top from the pattern and make that up in denim. As I said, I graded between sizes cutting smaller at the shoulders and larger at the waist. I also lengthened  it to hit in the most flattering place for me. Then retaining the essence of “high waisted and fitted in the waist and hips” I hacked a simple wide leg trouser pattern and turned them into denim culottes…The Big Vintage Sewalong

I used a 9oz denim from Remnant Kings (see sidebar to right for exclusive discount code) for both pieces. For the culottes adding jean details like a fly front, rivets, pockets and contrast topstitching in a retro orange. Then tying in those design elements with the top by adding the same contrast stitching to that too. Essentially the same silhouette from the hips up…the same concept of having a matching set…but the variation knocks it up a decade with a 70’s vibe that is much more my style…The Big Vintage Sewalong

For me, a vintage sewing pattern is like any other. It’s about interpreting the basic shapes to suit you. That’s the point of sewing for me. But I am very pleased to have been pushed out of my comfort zone with this.  As I said, this is a silhouette that I’ve tentatively been interested in exploring, but I probably wouldn’t have gone this far with it had I not been faced with this pattern. And now?  Now I’m thinking this may become my staple silhouette for the summer. It’s much more “exposing” of my figure than the coverall long tops and skinny jeans that I traditionally favour. But I feel surprisingly comfortable, and dare I say, a little more feminine in this. You’ll definitely be seeing more of this silhouette from me in the coming weeks. So thank you McCalls for asking me to take part and pushing me out of my comfort zone! I love the result!

Vintage patterns are interesting in terms of proportions.  Just as body shape changes over decades, so does a pattern draft. The waist on this in proportion to the shoulders was tiny. Late 50’s early 60’s pattern? Huge boobs tiny waist. I don’t have the tiny waist. So I had to grade to the larger size at the waist. But I do have some boobage in tow….and the interesting thing to me about this pattern was the dart intake was perfect and there was no need for an FBA! On a modern pattern there’s no way I would have gotten away with that on a semi fitted top like this! Food for though right?? MAYBE I have a 1950’s bust!

The other great thing about Vintage patterns is that no matter what the trend, they’ve been there, seen it, done it. Some styles are timeless and as we know, trends are cyclical. Just check out these. Vintage patterns…Modern trends…

Culottes comparison

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Jumpsuit comp

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So…Vintage patterns…not to be ruled out obvs! Especially if your bod is more 1950’s than modern day.  Silhouettes and basic styles can be brought bang up to date with the use of unexpected fabrics like denim in this case….but oh….can’t you see that ensemble made up in some rad scuba or interesting digital print??

The Big Vintage Sewalong

You can purchase this pattern along with a selection of other vintage lovelies as part of this campaign and all proceeds will go to The Eve Appeal.

If you would like to be entered into a draw to win a copy of this Vogue 9082 pattern then you can do that too! To enter hop over the The Eve Appeal website and do something to help them raise awareness or funds for combatting women’s cancers. Whether that is sharing their message on your social media, making a small donation or signing up to their newsletter, or just reading their guides and getting yourself clued up on the signs for yourself. Do something, then hop back here and leave a comment and you’ll be entered into the draw. Giveaway is open internationally and closes Midnight GMT on Friday 1st April.   **GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED**

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  1. Charlotte March 25, 2016

    Love, love, love how you have interpreted the pattern & made it your own Portia. Plus the resulting ensemble is superb.

  2. Jane March 25, 2016

    This is a really modern interpretation of a traditional pattern Portia – I absolutely love it! And the colour of that denim takes me right back to my 1970’s childhood! X

  3. Lisa G. March 25, 2016

    What a cute spring outfit you have now! Excellent job. I also enjoyed your comparisons with the older patterns and the “new” styles.

  4. Caroline March 25, 2016

    This outfit is fabulous and the colour – wow! It really suits you. Its good to try new styles and get out of our comfort zone.

  5. Helen March 25, 2016

    I really love how you’ve interpreted the pattern. The 2 seperate a look like they were designed to be together. They just look so fab, and of course you can mix and match with other separates too! Lots of options!!!! Also, can I just say how fabulous your bum looks in those trousers (if that’s not too weird? It probably is though, isn’t it?). The fit is spot on!!! What is the pattern?

    • Portia Lawrie March 25, 2016

      Ha ha! I don’t mind being complemented on my bum Helen 😉 the culottes are my own design pattern hacked using a simple wide leg trouser pattern as a base.

  6. Sarah March 25, 2016

    This looks beautiful on you, and perfect for your figure. I love it and am slightly envious.

  7. Sue March 25, 2016

    Wow! This is my fave pattern from all the Big Vintage selection. I was planning to purchase it anyway, and now you’ve opened my eyes to further possibilities with it. Willl I need another pattern for my Spring outfits … maybe not. I cant wait to get stitching. Thanks a bunch.

  8. Adrian Bold March 25, 2016

    Subscribed to their news letter and re-tweeted the appeal.

  9. Lesley March 25, 2016

    Brilliant re-imagining of the vintage inspiration Portia – you rock this look. Perhaps it will spur on the dawning of spring weather for you… just as we go into winter!

  10. Waco March 26, 2016

    I love the new outfit, and this post is one I’m saving. Very well thought out approach to your take on these proportions and fashions, and the end result really suits you. I have a thing for 70’s fashion and have been amassing a collection of 70’s patterns; I made my first muslin from one recently, and plan to work my way through my favorites to see which patterns work best for me now. Your blog post is a good reminder to me to keep the details in mind as I proceed.

  11. Jenna March 26, 2016

    Brilliant!! This look really suits you, fantastic interpretation of the pattern. X

  12. Fabric Tragic March 26, 2016

    Great interpretation!

  13. Katie March 27, 2016

    Nice work! Those pants are super cool.

  14. kalimak March 29, 2016

    I keep coming back to this post. I really like how you approached this pattern, re-interpreting it into your aesthetic but playing with its essential shape. It’s a really inspiring project, by which I mean I have plans to look at several pattern envelopes more carefully now.

  15. Kimberley Hazelton March 30, 2016

    Trying to start sewing so these would be a great inspiration until I’m good enough to try one myself!

  16. Natalie Crossan March 31, 2016

    This is beautiful 🙂

  17. Fiona jk42 March 31, 2016

    it’s not necessarily the case that women of the time had tiny waists, often they had help to achieve the look. I remember my mother wearing dresses like the one on the pattern. She always wore a girdle which gave her the requisite shape. If you want to achieve that look, then you probably need to embrace 50s style undergarments.

    • Portia Lawrie March 31, 2016

      Absolutely Fiona. My mother and aunt and grandmother too. And nope. No desire to achieve that shape or wear a girdle, lol 🙂 I’ll stick to adapting the style to suit the shape I am rather than the other way round I think 😉 Less uncomfortable! 🙂

  18. Ina April 19, 2016

    This is amazing! Great vision, fit and great details!

    • Portia Lawrie April 19, 2016

      Thanks so much Ina! Px

  19. Skippy May 29, 2016

    Requesting newsletter

    • Portia Lawrie May 30, 2016

      Hi Skippy! I don’t currently produce a newsletter. But you can subscribe to receive updates via email by filling in the email subscription in the sidebar. Px


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