Updated: Apr 26
Our daughter, Annabelle, is one of those unlucky class of 2020 seniors. Although, there could be so much worse things in life than missing prom and graduation. Both of our kids school from home all the time with Michigan Virtual Charter Academy, in online public school. For her final semester she chose fashion design as her fun elective. So, today was designing day for her final project: the dress to wear with her cap and gown at "graduation". We are still working on what that ceremony will look like! I am in no way a seamstress, but I am obsessed with all thing vintage, retro, historical, etc, and making things by hand.
For the final project we broke out a draft your own pattern book from 1974 called: "The Perfect Fit." Inside are miniature pattern pieces with radial lines and numbers and a specific tape measure. With your own measurements (bust and hip only) you draft a custom "for you" pattern. These radial sewing pattern systems were not new even in 1970 and the most famous, Lutterloh from Germany, still publishes designs today using the same system.
With "The Perfect Fit" system all of the sleeves, collars, skirts, and pants are completely interchangeable. You can pick and choose how the design goes together for up to 1200 .combinations, customized to your measurements. Anna chose style 111 but with a scoop neck and no zipper. While the style is definitely 1970's, fashion trends keep coming back around and "boho" is always a good choice for summer.
Eclair Coupe Paris, Der Goldene Schnitte/Lutterloh, Haslam Dress Making, and Australlian and Italian versions of drafting at home patterns were popular from the 1920's through the 1950's as home sewing became fashionable and affordable. Now, vintage obsessed sewers, like myself, can use these systems to create patterns which fit a modern size range.
When I started sewing vintage patterns I was over 70lbs heavier than I am today and plus sized vintage sewing patterns were very hard to find, and therefore expensive. Drafting at home systems give the desired look for any size.
If you are interested in more ideas, or more complete instructions check out two of my favorite websites:
Ok, so the most exciting part of today was taking my measurements and comparing them with the ones from 18 months ago. Down 15 inches in just two measurements! I will share how I managed to do that and keep it off even through quarantine later.
Thank you for taking the time to see what we are up to! Annabelle and I will post updates as we continue her final dress project.