Vintage Sewing Techniques from Threads Back Covers
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The wearer of this collarless, sleeveless outer layer appeared with not a thread of her dress revealed to her admirer. Her white shield covered her from throat to toe and kept her arms and movement in check. But the dozens of studs standing at attention across this cape’s shoulders imparted a sense of strength and beauty. Read on to see how you can achieve a similar studded effect from Threads #154.
This romantic floral georgette dress from the 1940s skims over any figure, creating a flattering silhouette. It camouflages the stomach and adds a strong vertical influence in the back as the flounce arcs at the hipline, wraps over the side seams, and drops gracefully to the floor on each side. The flounce’s softly draping vertical folds flutter elegantly for a feminine effect. Read this article from Threads #166 for how to add this flounce to a dress pattern.
Italian fashion of the 20th century has a reputation for exquisite fabrications, upbeat and contemporary style, and high-quality construction that ensures longevity. This Italian dress from 1969 was made when fine double knits were at the height of their popularity. Although its silhouette is simple, it features an unexpected machine-sewn appliqué that takes advantage of some of the best qualities of 100 percent wool double-knit fabric—including its resistance to raveling.
This 1940s dress is the perfect choice for afternoon teas, bridal showers, or charity events. The deep red rayon crepe frock stands out with a stunning array of carved tucks running down the bodice’s left side and releasing into pleats at the waist.
This 1930s gown is equal parts elegant, fun, and flirty. It’s made of an airy rayon georgette with an abstract floral print. The pullover dress is graced with a cowl neck, plunging back, fitted torso, and a sweep at the hem. Perhaps the dress’s most striking detail is the self-fabric boa-like feathers at the armholes and back. Though it was considered an economical adornment during the Depression era, the spontaneous trim puts this gown in a league of its own.