Like a shy, wallflower girl longing to be asked to boogie at the Spring Fling Dance, I was secretly hoping that Kristin and Jess would invite me to be part of their Vintage May Series, because it’s common knowledge that it’s one of the awesomest series around and who wouldn’t want to participate?
If there’s one thing I’m certain of this sewing community, it’s this: there’s a big love of collaboration. So my wish came true, resulting in some more awkward dancing. I also made K do a severely uncool version of the fist bump.
So, Vintage May. It’s a handmade-sartorial-celebration of all fashionable things retro and of days of yore. If you haven’t already, you must check out Kristin’s and Jess’ joint midcentury photoshoot. They’re amazing!
They’ve gathered many of my favorite sewing bloggers and the bounty of beauteousness is a little overwhelming.
Shall we talk about my ode to vintage wear? First of all, I feel the need to address the fact that we’re not in our usual light-grey-walled setting. K is becoming a little bolder about getting her photos taken where the air is fresher and because I know that Kristin and Jess have the highest of standards, I wanted to toe into territories outside of my comfort zone.
Vintage Outfit #1
Now, in my haphazard research on vintage dresses via Pinterest, I noticed that I was drawn most to the neutral clothes from the forties, fifties and sixties. I love simple silhouettes, quiet colors (or non-colors as it were), a jaunty bow, and the usage of eyelet cotton. This pattern in this book looked like it had potential:
I had the darnedest time deciding on fabric and mulled over two dozen combinations, including several wildly colorful retro prints Finally, I went with the simplest possible combo. A true vintage eyelet from my mom, and a sandy/beige-y chambray cotton. I extended the length to make it a shift dress, and left the sleeves off because I thought they would throw the proportion off a bit and I’m happy with the result.
It’s a straightforward dress to sew, and it has all the elements I adored and wanted. Yet…it felt like it wasn’t enough.
It might have had something to do with the sheerness of the yoke and my fear that it would look too risque (though it turned out to be fine – no exposure thankfully) and the overall effect seemed a touch meh. I don’t know, maybe it’s just that I get these compulsions to sew more than one outfit.
Which leads us to…
Vintage Outfit #2
This one falls into the late sixties/seventies era, and I just need to wax philosophical about rompers for a moment because I know I was opposed to them before. In my mind, nothing is more charming or vintage-y than rompers. Rachel also made rompers, and hers is spectacular and is a must-see.
I had just enough of this slubby baby blue linen that I knew would be just right. The pattern is from this book, and because the shorts looked barely buns-grazing, I added 4 centimeters to the hem (I always think in centimeters since I use Japanese patterns so often).
Summer! That’s what this says. Swinging and running and basking in the sunshine and general romping. Even though it was approaching evening when I took these photos, the light was so bright bright bright, it was a new challenge for me to adjust my camera settings.
K got creative with the straps and kept coming up with different ways to tie them, but the sun was gone by then and dinner wasn’t going to make itself. I particularly liked her halter-style version.
There you have it, my Vintage May homage! It was so fun, and while working on this and doing some research, I realized that almost all of the clothes I make for K are vintage-inspired. It’s why I love the Japanese sewing books so much because of the charming old timey-ness of the patterns. Love love love.
Happy Friday! Just a quick quote from K today:
Mama!! My feet are so skinny and long and hairy. I might be related to Big Foot.
Vintage May is here
Kristin and Jess are so fun
Won’t you join in too?