Monday, October 19, 2009


My dear friend bequeathed 41 vintage patterns from the 30's to 70's on me yesterday, here is a sample of some of them!
This was exactly what I was looking for to make for one actress who is in "On Borrowed Time"

When in the costuming business (can you call it a business if you do it for free?), the best type of find is a cache of vintage fabrics, designs or patterns. Or a garage sale of vintage clothing, hats, shoes. So far I haven't found the cache of actual clothing, but a friend was cleaning out her fabric/pattern stash, and was willing to give up her mother's pattern collection to me! Hopefully, she realized that I'd be an appreciative recipient for them, and she is absolutely right!

I'm costuming a show that is set in the '30's. This period is known for its elegance and style, despite the woes people were experiencing because of the Great Depression. The idea that Hollywood could be in your life, if only on your back in the clothing you wore must have driven folks in that era to strive for style, despite money constraints.

I have a sample dress from the 30's, my mother-in-law's wedding dress. She was married in the late 30's ('38, I believe). In those days, often folks didn't wear traditional white wedding dresses. She chose a beautiful avocado green velvet to construct her wedding dress. I still have it, plus her long white leather gloves and black hat that she wore on that day. They were tucked in her beautiful cedar chest which we inherited. The dress is well made, my mother-in-law was an accomplished seamstress, as were many women of her day.

In designing the dresses for this show, "On Borrowed Time", I found a couple of pages from the Sears Catalog of 1934. They clearly showed so many cute dresses of the time period, flowy, full of details in buttons, necklines, peplums. I dreamed of the dress I wanted to make for one of the actresses in this show. And as you can see, the motherlode of patterns my friend gave me is exactly what I had envisioned making, but had no idea how to do! Now I can hardly wait to get started on my next creation!

1 comment:

NV said...

These are very cool. Remind me a lot of pictures of my grandmother. (My grandparents were married in
'38, too!)It was hard for me to reconcile the queen of the housedress (and in the '70s, the pantssuit)that I grew up with with the fashion plate I saw in those old photos!