Dressmaking in 2020 and Beyond

Every January when I sit down to do some planning for the new year at hand, I usually start by doing three things:

  • Looking at what I accomplished on my list from the past year, and moving those unfinished items onto my new list,
  • Going through my fabrics and deciding what looks inspiring – or in desperate need of action – and
  • Assessing what my wardrobe needs will be for the year.

This year, I am adding #4 to that list:  What patterns do I want to try for the first time, and which ones do I want to make again.

Number 1 looks like this:

This is my list for 2019, perhaps the third iteration of it. Things and priorities change during the year. My list for 2020 is still being planned!

Number 2 is shocking to me.  I have so many beautiful fabrics.  I could easily just concentrate on what I have stored away and be totally occupied with those for not just this year, but for several years to come.  However, I know from experience that I will buy new fabrics (and already have since January 1!), and I will be glad I did.  So there.  I am admitting I am a hopeless case when it comes to fabric.  There are too many dreams tied up in some fabrics for me to resist their purchase.  I always just hope that the fabrics used from my existing collection slightly outnumber the new ones I buy.  Usually this is the case.  Hopefully it will be this year.

Number 3 is not always apparent.  I do know I will need some dressier things for Springtime events.  I do know my summer will be very casual.  And usually Fall and early Winter require some dressier apparel.  I have a big birthday (gulp!) coming up this year, and I think it deserves something special, but I’m not sure what that is yet.  But I would be willing to bet it will demand a new dress, at the least.

And my new Number 4 – now here is a category that really inspires me.  I have so many amazing vintage patterns to try, but I also have so many I have made once (or more) and love so much that I never tire of making them.   I believe my patterns will guide my sewing this year to a large degree.

Here are a few I have never used, but have hopes for in 2020:

This pattern is out of print, but I don’t really consider it vintage. However, it looks like a great shirtwaist dress pattern. I especially like Views A and D. My hope/plan is to make at least two, and perhaps three, shirtwaist dresses this year. In fact, View A is my current project.

I love everything about the design of this dress: it has a two-piece look, but the skirt is attached to a camisole under the over-bodice. I love the buttoned back and the front seaming detail. I particularly like the long-sleeved version.

Here are the back views of this dress.

Here is another take on a princess-lined dress, with jacket. It is not suitable for striped, plaid or diagonal fabrics, which eliminates quite a few of my choices, but I would love to try it. Even better would be to make a dress and jacket…

The line drawings on the envelope back show the seaming details and dart placement. It looks really, really lovely.

I came across a piece of deep pink cashmere last year, and if I decide to make a coat I think it will be View B of this classic coat pattern.

And here a few patterns I have used and want to use again.  Most have been fitted correctly (although I always seem to tweak one or two little things) – and most are versatile and classic and have simple, but elegant, lines to them.

I will definitely be making this pattern again this year at least once.

I know for certain I will be making the short version of this dress again. I have a dress planned for Spring using it.  My first use of this pattern resulted in the dress below,  selected for inclusion in the Gallery of A Stylish Guide to Classic Sewing, by Sarah Gunn and Julie Starr.

I would love to make another bow blouse this year. This classic look from 1957 is about as lovely a bow blouse as one can find.

A bow blouse would be the perfect pairing with another Parisian Jacket.  A silk blouse with a Parisian Jacket made from vintage Moygashel linen?

Finally, ever since I used this pattern years ago, I have wanted to make it again, in a short-sleeved version.  I am hoping this will be the year!

I think I could make either view of this dress over and over and not get tired of it.

Much has been said this year about the start of a new decade.  It does seem prescient, doesn’t it?  Full of hope and anticipation, the new decade will, nevertheless, do what it will.  Dressmaking will be just a part of the new  continuum, but my days and months and years will be measured in no small part by what I put on my list, and then the placement of those happy checkmarks when I have accomplished that which I set out to do.

Welcome 2020!  No doubt you will be gone in a flash, so may we all make the most of your wondrous days, the dressmaking ones and all the others, too.


Filed under Blouse patterns from the 1950's, Coats, Day dresses, Uncategorized, vintage Vogue patterns from the 1950s, vintage Vogue patterns from the 1960s

19 responses to “Dressmaking in 2020 and Beyond

  1. peggy leah

    You may already have told us, but I’d like to know if there is one fabric
    store you shop more than others? Also I’ve worried about buying buttons
    online especially since you wouldn’t be getting “swatches”. You could pay
    a lot for a dozen buttons that are disappointing. I’ve seen some I would
    like to try but nervous about ordering.

    • I buy practically all my fabrics online, except when I am in San Francisco or NYC, when I can get to Britex and to Mendel Goldberg (respectively). Those are two fabulous stores, in person and online! I also love Farmhouse Fabrics. Don’t let the name fool you. They carry a very sophisticated line of merchandise. Also, Emma One Sock is my go-to for lining silk, but she also carries a lot of designer fabrics. There are certainly other wonderful stores, but those four are my main ones. (I just bought a piece from Linton Tweeds in England that I am thrilled with!) Of course, I also buy vintage fabric online, from eBay and Etsy. I know what you mean about buttons. I wish I had a good solution for you. Most buttons I have purchased online I have been happy with, but occasionally there is a disappointment. It is always best to make sure they can be returned, if necessary. Best of luck with your sewing and thanks for asking!

  2. Andrea Birkan

    I have made up the Vogue pattern with the jacket. It is shown in black on the pattern. It made up beautifully. I changed the sleeves on the jacket and took out the dart running down the center of the dress.

  3. You always show such classic styles. They are timeless and I’m looking forward to seeing your makes in 2020. Somehow an irresistible fabric appears and we buy more. I’m in the same boat of too much fabric I couldn’t resist and too little time to get it made. Good luck to both of us making a dent in the haul.

  4. You always make such classic styles. Good luck to working your way through the stash in 2020. I have the same issue of too much irresistible fabric and too little time. Let’s hope both of us have luck working our way through the stash.

  5. T. J.

    The Vogue 6399 is stunning. I love the jacket!

  6. Cissie

    Whatever you make will be inspiring and beautiful.

  7. Black Tulip

    I can thoroughly recommend Vogue 8028, and look forward to seeing your version.

  8. I am in love with your pattern collection, Karen! I’m looking forward to seeing what you make this year!

  9. Heather Myers

    Lovely choices all! I too love fabric, and try to remember fabric and pattern shopping is a separate hobby from sewing!!😊

  10. I agree with you about the Vogue 9353! I wish I had a few of those marvelous patterns. Please keep us updated as to your next creation.

    • It’s a little difficult to realize that 9353 is dated 1957 and still looks so classic and current. I think if I had to pick just one year as the golden year for fashion, it would be 1957…

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