Vintage Inspired Round-Up

Vintage Inspired Round-Up

Trawling through my blog post archive I’ve come to realise that many of my posts have vintage content, and I discover there are at least twenty vintage posts!  So this Vintage Inspired Round-Up is to refresh your memory of some of my earlier Pattern Puzzle posts and to share a few points in history where vintage style has influenced my work.  Where does it all start?

My first ever vintage inspired post was to decipher the blurry, back of envelope sketch and somehow explain the pattern making.  This turned out to be a very popular post in the early days of my blog.  So that was a massive clue that my audience also enjoyed vintage style.  In some cases the posts are a direct translation of the historic detail.   On other occasions a small amount of design development brings them into the 21st century.

My Vintage Inspired Pattern Making Posts:

In this development I’ve simplified the sewing of the drape and panels by adding seams to eliminate these tricky corner seams.  My Fitted Dress Block is the best place to start for most of the vintage ideas and it’s available as a PDF download here.

A faithful reproduction of the Gill Brandao draft.  Look further and you’ll find the grading instructions for this bodice.
Using Erte design as inspiration for more up-to-date design development.
Green Velvet Drape   Use my fitted dress block to make this fabulous vintage treasure.

Some Historic and Patented Designs

Finding some fascinating design in The US Patent Office archives.  Such a challenge to decipher!  I’ve used my Knit Block (PDF download) for these pattern developments.
The forever popular Dior Draped Skirt.  Use my Skirt Block PDF download for your own drape skirt patterns.

Where I go for inspiration:

  • Early Influences:  Inspired by black and white movies – featuring best designers from the early half of the twentieth century.   In fact, I’d save up all my hand sewing for late nights in front of the telly watching the black and white movie binge-fest that was Queensland television in the 1980’s. 
  • Fashion History Studies at College:  Inspired by the elegance and felinity of Dior’s ‘New Look’.
  •  An inspired christmas present from my father – the ERTE book.
  • As a practicing designer/pattern maker;  In love with the precision tailoring of the early half of the twentieth century;  Amazing detail – impeccable fit and everlasting style.
  • My creative pattern making is strongly influenced by the fabulous pattern making books of Natalie Bray and Hillhouse & Mansfield.
  • The US Patent office:  More recently I’ve found some amazing ideas from the early part of the 20th century in the US Patent office.  Most notably the manufacturing trend to make garments with a minimum amount of sewing.
  • The Met Museum:  Has the most detailed archive of fashion costumes and they often come with views all side and close ups of the detail.
Anita McAdam
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