WIP: A Vintage Dress Pattern and Japanese Top

Hi, are you doing any spring sewing this month? I’m attempting to make at least two very different garments: A dress from a vintage dress pattern – Simplicity 2439 – for Lucky Lucille’s Spring for Cotton Sewing Challenge and a top from She Wears the Pants, a the new English translation of a Japanese sewing book by Yuko Takada, to be released by Tuttle Publishing in May. This is a bit ambitious for me because I don’t usually make more than one thing a month, really. I’m not the speediest at sewing because I can only work on things after work or on the weekends. Last week in my Spring Sewing post, I decided that I was going to make this dress and something from this book. I did that post entirely on my phone and only looked at it on a computer today – there were some major image size problems, which I just fixed. Oops.

Last weekend I finally got around to tracing this uncut Simplicity pattern …

Simplicity 2439 vintage dress and jacket - csews.com

As you can see the pieces were not on big sheets of tissue paper. Instead, each pattern piece was separate but needed to be cut – or in this case traced. I didn’t want to cut the pattern because I know I’ll be making a small bust adjustment and adding more ease to the waist and hips. This pattern has a 36 inch bust, 28 inch waist, and 38 inch hips. I taped down the pattern pieces to my work table and then traced them. Before I used the tape I made it slightly less tacky by placing the tape on my pants and also on my hand. Then it would be less likely to tear the tissue when I removed the tape.

Simplicity 2439 vintage dress pattern - Spring for Cotton - csews.com

Here are the front and back bodice pieces.

Front and back bodice - Simplicity 2439 - Spring for Cotton - csews.com

After I traced this bodice, I compared it to my Emery Dress bodice for which I made a 1/4″ small bust adjustment (SBA).

Emery Dress bodice and Simplicity 2439 bodice - csews.com

Clearly, I need to drop the armscye (armhole) of the bodice. That’s a mighty high armsceye! I decided to make a few flat pattern adjustments before I make my muslin – and hopefully avoid having to make more than one muslin of this dress. I dropped the armscye about an inch, made a 1/4″ SBA, added 1/2″ to the front and back side seams of the bodice and skirt pattern pieces for a total of 2 inches, and I added 3/4″ to the hips of the skirt for a total of 3 inches. I’m aiming to fit a 30-inch waist and 41-inch hips. (The bodice and skirt pieces are cut on the fold – so just multiply by 4.)

Last week I bought this bright blue eyelet fabric for this dress and jacket. I’ve been contemplating these three fabrics to underline as a contrasting fabric: Lime green, turquoise blue, and a fuchsia/hot pink.

Eyelet fabric with lime green contrast - csews.com

Eyelet fabric with Turquoise - csews.com

Eyelet fabric with fuschia - csews.com

If you follow me on Instagram (@csews), you may have already seen these photos. Many people liked the turquoise but fans of bright colors really liked the lime green. A couple of days later I posted the fuchsia image. I like fuchsia the best. I think I’ll be making another trip to Stonemountain & Daughter Fabrics to get my contrast fabric – that’s where I got the eyelet fabric as well.

All those pieces are traced and so is the pattern No. 4, Top with Epaulettes, from She Wears the Pants. It’s the striped knit top on the cover. But I’ll be leaving off the epaulettes – not my thing really. I have broad shoulders so why draw more attention to them with that detail?

I made a flat pattern adjustment to this pattern as well – a total of two inches of ease to the hips.

She Wears the Pants - Top with Epaulettes - csews.com

I’m planning on making the top using this striped knit from my stash. The stripes aren’t very wide though – slightly less than 1 cm – so I hope it doesn’t drive me crazy trying to get them to match. I have a couple of yards of it in my stash. I made a striped Cake Patterns Hummingbird peplum top from this fabric a couple of years ago.

Black and white striped knit fabric - csews.com

I guess you could say that my style is eclectic. 😉 What can I say? I like vintage patterns and I like Japanese sewing books. Next weekend, I need to cut my fabric and hopefully get sewing!

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Alameda Point Antiques Faire – Meetup

Alameda Point Antiques Faire - csews.com

The Alameda Point Antiques Faire (a.k.a the Alameda flea market) is vast – several hundred vendors gather the first Sunday of every month in this huge parking lot. If you look closely at the left side of the photo where the person with red sneakers is walking, you can see the canopies way in the background. There are booths as far as the eye can see. It’s pretty overwhelming. Note: “Antique” is used rather broadly here – apparently anything 20 years or older qualifies to sell here.

There is an entrance fee and the fee varies according to the time you arrive. The earlier you arrive, the higher the fee – presumably because you’ll have the best selection if you’re a super early bird. From 6 am to 7:30 am you pay $15, 7:30 am to 9 am, $10 and 9 am to 3 pm, $5. (Parking is free.)

I met up with a few Bay Area Sewists at 10 am for our Dec. meetup here. We had beautiful weather, quite a surprise after having rare days of rain. We met by the kettle corn booth – yes, many people are selling food here. You’ll find a pink truck selling cupcakes, vendors selling eggs Benedict, crepes, chicken teriyaki wraps, espresso, you name it. You could spend all day there. I only lasted a couple of hours. This was my second time here. I didn’t have the time to wander around the whole thing, plus I didn’t want to spend too much money. On my first visit, I followed some advice a junk shop owner gave me – start in the back where you’ll find vendors who don’t sell there regularly. He told me you can find better prices there and oftentimes they’ll be selling the same stuff as the folks up front, which get the most foot traffic.

Loran, a Bay Area Sewists member, expert seamstress/costumer who blogs at Loran’s World, comes here all the time and usually gets there really early. She scouted out vendors for us and told us where the two Bakelite vendors were located and where to find some cool vintage Christmas ornaments. Here are a few of the things that caught my eye.

A rather pricey vintage Singer sewing cabinet (nice but out of my price range).

Vintage Singer sewing cabinet - csews.com

A beautiful vintage dress with rows and rows of pin tucks.

vintage yellow pintuck dress - csews.comI

I took more photos but I neglected to shoot the back – it had a zipper in the center back – in case you’re wondering…

vintage yellow dress bodice - pin tucks - csews.com

And check out those pin tucks!

Vintage dress - pin tucks - csews.com

If you’re into bakelite, you would be swooning. The Bakelite Lady sells here regularly. Her prices are quite steep – so steep that she lets you pay in installments – as in four $250 payments.

bakelite bracelets

She was also selling some lower-priced items – cute barettes and hair clips (5 for $20) that were from France. I got a couple barettes for my nieces. One used to have a pet duck so I thought she’d like the purple one and my other niece just likes animals. Actually she likes animals so much she became a vegetarian last year – at eight years old (!) and she’s still committed to it.

Barrettes from France - csews.com

I got these clips for myself. The white ones are hand carved.

hair clips - csews.com

A Bay Area Sewists member was selling fabric and sewing things, such as this pants sloper.

pants sloper - Alameda flea market - csews.com

There was a vendor selling vintage buttons – one full card (24 buttons) for $8. I got these small black ones and then this pack of 8 buttons for $6 and this cute floral pin for $3.

vintage buttons - Alameda flea market - csews.com

Another vendor was selling a wide range of things, tons of vintage jewelry, odds and ends and a few vintage sewing patterns. I saw this one and got it for $4. I like the pockets and the fact that you can make one for the winter if you wear it with a turtleneck – and a hat, of course!

vintage McCalls dress pattern 9748 - csews.com

Lovely place settings here by this vendor.

place settings - Alameda flea market - csews.com

I had a great time and I’m sure I’ll be back next year to browse the many wares. Do you like shopping at flea markets or antique fairs? Do you have any shopping strategies?

Oh, I nearly forgot to mention – my spam blocker failed me for some reason – right around Thanksgiving week. Unfortunately, I was not paying attention and didn’t realize that many posts were being flooded with spam comments. It was awful – lots of insurance companies and certain pharmaceuticals for male impotence. So sorry if you got all those comments too. I spent a couple of hours deleting them all. But it’s stopped now. Whew.

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