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Past RETRONATIONS, ARTICLES & GALLERIES:
*RETRO 1980

PHOTO GALLERIES

Article: the Bias Cut Part I

Article: the Bias Cut Part II
RETRONATION
Retronation : Can't find the vintage piece you have been searching for? Make it with a vintage pattern. Vintage patterns are a great way to reproduce vintage fashions as well as a perfect leaping point for creating your own designs. Below is a basic introduction to identifying and using vintage patterns. If you are interested in purchasing vintage patterns, please visit our Pattern Section. Photos and Text Hemlock Vintage 2004.
Most patterns prior to the 1950's are unprinted, which means they are plain pieces of tissue precut with various sized hole punches. The hole punches are explained in the directions supplied with the pattern. It seems daunting, but once you learn the method, the patterns work great.
pat1
Many early patterns call for complicated stitching and a sewing book, such as the Vogue/Butterick Step-By-Step Guide to Sewing Techniques (available at most public libraries), will be necessary. We have found that vintage sewing books are also helpful, especially if the book correlates with the era of the pattern.
books
We strongly do not recommend using the original patterns and suggest retracing the patterns as a way to both preserve the past and have a sturdy pattern to work from. We have found that sheer drafting paper rolls, such as those sold at art stores, work nicely and are economical. Drafting tape, a couple dollar investment, securely holds your tracing paper down while you work (vintage patterns are too delicate to be taped, just secure them under the tracing paper). If you have access to the right equipment, you can also scan and print your patterns.
layout
Lastly, consider sizing - a size 14 in the 1930's is a 32" bust, while in the 60's a size 14 is many times a 34" bust, and in the 70's a 14 may be a 36" bust.
3pats

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