Friday, May 26, 2017

Creating Your Dream Vintage Inspired Wardrobe : An Introduction


For those of us without an infinite budget, or for those who have more modern leaning measurements (Super cute 1930's dress for sale now!!! Great cotton print, waist size 24....oh wait, umm,yeah that's not gonna work) , or if you are like me-- both, the best way to build the vintage style wardrobe of your dreams is to learn to sew.

Now, I'm sure that's not what many of you want to hear. Sewing apparel is a rarer and rarer skill t pick up these days, but with practice, sewing gives you the power to create the wardrobe of your dreams. As if learning to sew wasn't task enough, I'm going to be even bolder and recommend you learn to make your own patterns too. WHAT! I know what you're thinking "well, I'm gonna close this tab now because this girl is crazy". Hear me out! We all start somewhere, and once upon a time I was just learning to sew, stuck in a pile of ripped tissue paper wondering why nothing I made from commercial patterns ever seemed to fit right. Not to mention my self esteem was so in the toilet I wouldn't even let myself wear vintage style to begin with, thinking I somehow didn't deserve it. I've come a long way in the last five years, and maybe perhaps some of you want to make a journey too...

(source)
Which is why I want to renew my focus on sharing how I achieved my goal of not only being able to have a closet full of vintage style clothing, but also how you can have one too. Maybe you have done some sewing before but the idea of making patterns yourself sounds like way too much trouble, perhaps the idea of learning to sew at all is just too daunting, or maybe you enjoy spending quite a lot of moola on a basic repro pencil skirt when you could have made one yourself for half the price, I don't know where you're at, but I figure I ought to start sharing how I have come this far.

Of course this is not to say you can't have the wardrobe of your dreams without learning to sew, of course you can! Vintage is often expensive, but you can save up for each piece. Vintage in larger sizes is even rarer, but maybe you are ready to wait for the right pieces to come along. Perhaps repro brands are your purveyors of choice, and there are some amazing repro companies out there making some great stuff, but being small scale retailers in the scheme of things, their ranges are only so big each season, and finding items more vintage leaning than pin-up can be a challenge. Not to mention a lot of repro dresses cost as much as a vintage piece... but I can't say it isn't doable, of course it is! Even those on a budget can find vintage appropriate pieces thrifting and build a wardrobe that way.

All ways of dressing vintage are good ways if you enjoy them and are having fun and feeling beautiful! As I mentioned recently, nothing makes me more peeved than people who think their way of wearing vintage is somehow better than others. In my opinion, (and hey, you're on my blog so you are gonna get my opinion) repro, whether bought or home sewn, thrifted or modern items that fit the bill, and authentic vintage items are all equal in the goal of vintage style. Some gals have a mix going, some have closets of only authentic vintage pieces, some girls wear mostly repro brands, and none of them are more "right" than the others.

Still, there really is nothing like seeing a vintage image of your favorite old Hollywood starlet in a great dress and thinking to yourself, "ooo I can make that!" and then a few weeks later to have a replica of the exact ensemble hanging in your closet. I don't want to say sewing your own repro is better, I just want to share about how it has been the easiest and best way for me personally to achieve a vintage style wardrobe while on a budget and being an impatient person! Unless you have got a personal dressmaker (and if you do, I'm rather jealous) it falls to you to become your own personal dressmaker.

2014, 2015, 2016
As your sewing skills improve, and you spend more time studying vintage clothing and styling, your style is bound to evolve. I started my journey to creating a vintage inspired wardrobe with just two simple pencil skirts in cotton twill from Joanns. The navy skirt in the first outfit above (from my first ever, and now cringy to me, outfit post!) was one of those two skirts, the other is black. From just these two items I build up an entire closet full of reproduction vintage clothing sewn to my own size and specifications!

I have so often had people ask me what pattern I used to make a dress or blouse, and I always feel bad saying that I didn't use one I can recommend because I made the pattern myself! I dream of launching my own pattern line someday, but until then I figured I'd try my best to do one better and try and teach anyone who's curious about my patterns and sewing how to do it themselves. I think every vintage loving gal (or guy, or person) deserves to have the wardrobe of their dreams, and if I can help at all in that endeavor, I'd like to do so!

I have long hesitated to teach pattern drafting and sewing because I figure there are already so many blogs and resources available out there on the subject. I realize now though that while much of what I want o talk about can be found out there somewhere, I have my own way of doing things that may work better for other people too.

So today I wanted to announce a new series here on the blog (and most likely in video format over on YouTube too) dedicated to the basics of pattern drafting and sewing with a vintage wardrobe in mind. We'll dive into the more psychological topics too, like wearing vintage as a feminist, dealing with the general public's weird comments, and knocking down the mental walls telling you you can't be a glamorous bombshell. Finally we'll be taking a look into how ladies of the past styled their fabulous vintage clothes in each era and for different occasions!  First things first, as all things start somewhere, we're going to need to draft a basic sloper (which means some math will be involved, unfortunately). So that post will be coming soon, and in the meantime I'd love to know; what would you like to know about creating a vintage wardrobe? Pattern drafting questions? Sewing inquiries? Let me know what you would like to know more about and I'll add it to my little table of contents in a jiffy!

I'm excited to start this series, and I really hope I can articulate my process and hopefully inspire some of you to give creating your vintage inspired wardrobe from scratch a go too :)


(header image of Diana Doors from here)

22 comments:

  1. Thank you Bianca! This sounds great! Looking so forward to this!

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    1. Thanks Jami! I am already really excited to work on this so I know it's the right direction :)

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  2. Oh, this sounds wonderful Bianca! Look forward to learning more from your great style :)

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    1. Thank you Melanie! I have it all planned out so posts will be coming very soom!

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  3. This sounds great! I've been trying to tailor more of my clothes lately, and I feel like pattern drafting is the next step!

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    1. Thank you! Tailoring is actually something I wish I knew more about, I find pattern drafting easier!

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  4. I too, am looking forward to this series. I use a lot of vintage patterns but would like to understand pattern drafting better so I can adjust my patterns or add different details, and eventually come up with my own designs. Thank you for being willing to share your knowledge and experience. It's very generous of you!
    Mrs Rat
    mrandmrsrat.weebly.com

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    1. It is really simple to add changes like different necklines to patterns, and I'll definitely do a post on modifying patterns you already love too!

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  5. This all sounds wonderful Bianca! I look forward to it very much x

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    1. Thanks Porcelina! Posts will be going up soon! <3

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  6. I look forward to your blog series and videos. I admire your style, skills and creativity.

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  7. Good idea! I have a long list (Pinterest board) of all things fab and the main trouble is to get started... :)

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  8. Thank you, thank you for doing this! I've been starting to purchase and wear vintage and I am running into exactly the issues you identified. I'm also trying to refresh my sewing skills (from many years ago in school) so I can make what I want to wear. So your series comes at a perfect time for me. I'm so grateful for you sharing your knowledge and expertise, and I love your style.

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    1. You are most welcome! Posts will be going up weekly soon!

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  9. So excited for this series!!!

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    1. Thank you Nicole :) I hope everyone finds it useful!

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  10. Argh I so want a sewing machine. Husband and I have an agreement: when I've cleared some space by using up some yarn, I can have one. I need to knit faster...

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    1. At least you have a plan, I still have to learn to knit properly so I can get myself a room full of yarn too ;)

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  11. I'm so excited about this. It sounds so interesting and full of things I want to know about. I can sew and have seen garments but I'm not at all confident about it so I put it off. I would like to get back into sewing regularly and learning how to alter/make patterns would be fabulous.

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    1. Thank you Kate-Em! I hope I am able to convey at least most of what I know about patterning. I am not a true expert, but I know what has worked for me can work for others too! <3

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