Tips for using vintage sewing supplies
Vintage sewing patterns are great value! The garments made from them often have a different (some would say better) construction than modern patterns - the long French darts on many ‘60s dresses, the shaping on sleeves and shoulders, fancy bodice panelling – the list goes on. If you don’t want to dive in, boots and all, with a total vintage look, try using a vintage pattern with a modern fabric, or vice-versa. You’ll get a really individual look to your wardrobe. If you don’t feel confident wearing vintage-inspired clothes yourself, try vintage kids’ clothes (great handmade gifts), vintage dolls clothes, or vintage inspired accessories like curtains, cushions or aprons.
Vintage sewing patterns are sized differently to modern patterns, so choose your size by bust measurement for most patterns like dresses and jackets, and waist/hip measurements for pants and skirts.
Vintage buttons are often little works of art in themselves. I keep my collection of buttons, colour-sorted in old gumball jars. A modern blouse or dress can be given a whole new lease on life by substituting dull, stock-standard buttons for vintage ones. Threaded onto elastic, they make cute bracelets, or you can make a rotating display by pinning them to a corkboard or a framed, fabric-covered piece of thick cardboard.
Vintage fabrics, handkerchiefs and linen can be combined with a selection of modern or reproduction fabrics, to make a gorgeous, one-of a kind patchwork quilt. (Helpful when you can only obtain a tiny piece!)