Hi everone, and a special welcome to everyone who was sent here via Kristin or Jess, who are currently hosting an amazing series together. I was really excited about being asked to contribute to Vintage May, a series dedicated to vintage-inspired sewing. Make sure to check out some of the previous contributions here and here!
Kristin and Jess’s invitation for Vintage May really couldn’t come a at a better time. Those who follow my blog a bit know that I’ve been very inspired by vintage style kids’ clothes lately, and that I’ve been working on a vintage-inspired dress pattern (Edit June 1: the pattern is now available here).
In fact, all the work on this pattern kept me from sewing these last couple of weeks, so I was really happy that Vintage May gave me an excuse to spend some time behind my sewing machine instead of my computer/drawing table. I decided to give the new pattern, which I hope to release next week, a last test drive, and add some options which are not included in the pattern.
The pattern will be named Tinny, as it is inspired on a Belgian 1950s children’s book series called ‘Tiny’. Interestingly, I’m not the only one who has been taking inspiration from this book series lately; just a few days ago, my friend Suz from SewPony, who lives all the way at the other end of the world, used a book from the same series (translated to English as “Debbie”) as inspiration for an amazingly cute dress
! The odds…
But that’s a different story, on which I will elaborate some time later. Back to my creation for Vintage May. I flipped through some Tiny books, and decided to take inspiration from a dress with tie Tiny was wearing in Tiny speelt moedertje (‘Martine Petite Maman’).
I had never made a tie before, and decided to keep it as simple as I could. I drew a supersimple tie-like shape, cut it out twice, ironed some interfacing on one of the pieces, stitched both together with the right sides together, and turned inside out. I stitched the tie in between the bodice and neck facing (together with the collar pieces) and then put a little ring over it to create a faux-knot, securing it with a blind stitch.
For the faux pockets, I used the same method: stitching two pieces with the right sides together, turning them inside out, and sewing them between the bodice and the skirt. I uploaded the pattern pieces for the tie and pocket flaps here
. The sleeves were finished off with some bias – the tulip or notched cuffs which are included in the pattern would be a bit too much in combination with all the other details. Unfortunately, I forgot to take off the seam allowance, so the sleeves are now too long. In the final pattern, they are also less wide.
The Tinny pattern has a hidden zipper in the back, as I like to cater to all those seamstresses who are just as lazy as I am. But for this dress I wanted to make a little extra effort, and decided to use buttons for a true vintage style. I gave the self-cover buttons another try, this time with more success. Still, halfway making the first button hole I was already longing for my hidden zippers again. Installing a hidden zipper takes less time than simply deciding where I would place the buttons. Hurray for the hidden zipper – vintage schmintage!
Anyway, the dress eventually got finished, and the next morning it was time to motivate Norah for a photoshoot. That was a piece of cake; simply showing her the pic of Tiny with the tie, and saying that she could look just like Tiny with the dress, was enough. At that point, I had no idea how that simple sentence would backfire at me.
Norah loves role playing, and immediately slipped into her Tiny role. Unfortunately, yours truly also got a supporting role in her little play: that of Hansje, Tiny’s toddler brother. And as Norah insisted on being Tiny all day long, I got to be Hansje all day long. Meaning: talk with a toddler’s voice in ungrammatical sentences. All. Day. Long. At the end of the day, I was exhausted, and capable of little more than sitting in a corner, with my knees pulled up, rocking backward and forward while staring into an undefined point in space. Why couldn’t I just get the part of Tiny’s mom? Why?