Today on the “Ugly Duckling” Pattern tour we have one of our dear friends, Mandy from Sugar Bee Crafts. Mandy is seriously a jill-of-all-trades and we feel so lucky to know her. She is absolutely amazing!
Mandy is showing us today how she took this 1972 pattern…..And turned it into the cutest summer dress for herself! You have got to see the cute details she added too….head over to Mandy’s blog to see the reveal of her SWAN.
Suz from sewpony is our guest today for the “Ugly Duckling” Pattern Challenge of 2014 and we are thrilled to have her here. We got to know her better when she was a contestant in Project Run and Play and we have been impressed with her sense of style.
Here is the pattern that Suz was mailed (a gem, huh?)……
And a sneak peek of what she made with it….
But you are going to have to go to sewpony to see the rest……and you will be amazed. You will never look at one of those 80′s frilly patterns the same knowing what “it can be.”
Today I get to share what I did for my “Ugly Duckling” Pattern Challenge. To start I chose this pattern:
I bought it for 50 cents at a thrift store….and I didn’t even buy it for our ugly pattern challenge. Although the outfit in the photograph is remarkably bad…cotton floods and a shirt that points to your crotch…not a look anyone should be going for.
BUT here is the thing. I’m weird…and like I said before I think there is potential in any vintage pattern. And I usually pay little attention to the photographs or the fabric choices on pattern covers. So when we were in my craft room the other night and Elizabeth found this pile in my stack and was laughing about me buying myself a vampire hairline shirt pattern I realized it was pretty bad and would definitely qualify for an Ugly Duckling transformation.
So I pulled it out and got to work. Here is what I made:
A spring dress for myself…and to put it together I only had to make three 3 changes from the original pattern/instructions.
#1. I decided to make myself a knee length dress instead of a shirt. So I measured from my arm pit to the bottom of my knee and then added an inch and a half. Then I took that measurement and started from the arm pit of the pattern and extended that pattern down to match the measurement.
#2. I decided to use knit instead of cotton like it suggested in the instructions. Because of this I used an inch and a half seam allowance instead of the suggested 5/8 inch seam allowance.
#3. I skipped making the pants.
All very simple changes. Very simple changes! Change the length, the fabric, and omit what you don’t like. And suddenly that kooky pattern is a favorite.
I really do love this dress. (Even though I haven’t hemmed it yet…as you can tell by the picture above.) It’s great and I’ve already cut out two more. (One from stretch denim and one from a large print cotton.) You really can’t judge a pattern by a terrible cover.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again….I’ve learned how to sew from sewing vintage patterns. They are the best. If you take your measurements and follow the sizing charts they fit. Their instructions are clear. And they are affordable. (50 cents at a thrift store). If you are new to sewing or just want to try some new techniques they are the only way to go.
Thanks for stopping by today and stay tuned for more ugly duckling patterns coming up throughout the week!
PS—I bought this fabric for $1 a yard…which means that with the fabric and the pattern my entire dress cost $2.50! Sales, clearance tables, and thrift store patterns…I’m telling you, it’s what’s made sewing affordable for me.
Today we have our good friend Kimbo from A Girl and A Glue Gun with us today for our Ugly Duckling Pattern Challenge.
You’ll have to head over to her blog to see what she did with this crazy pattern!
Oh my gosh!!! Seriously! This pattern just gives me the giggles…I don’t know which part is funnier the front, the back, or the fact that I would have totally worn this in high school! But now I’ve got to head over to A Girl and a Glue Gun and see what she’s done with this glamorous little Ugly Duckling!
Today our Ugly Pattern Challenge comes from Amber at Crazy Little Projects, who we adore. We participated in her “Learn to Sew” Challenge and had a blast and today she is back with us for the Ugly Pattern Challenge.
Amber is known for her softies patterns…so she of course started out with this not-so-modern-looking doll pattern.
Today we are excitedly kicking off one of our absolute favorite series of the year, the “Ugly Duckling” Pattern Challenge!!!!! I think it is our favorite because it gives new life to some “otherwise never used” patterns that are sitting in thrift stores or attics everywhere…..and maybe the fact that we believe every vintage pattern has some redeeming qualities about it. (Which is probably why we are hoarding so many…)
Take for example a million of these bad 80′s patterns like this beauty that I chose for my ugly duckling (I think I can safely say that because I had a quite a few of these dresses ;). Just look at view C; a high lace collar, drop waisted, curved waistline, asymmetrical hemline, huge puffed sleeves AND ruffles all rolled into one little girls’ dress pattern (never mind the fact that it doesn’t fit the poor girl and—clothes were wayyyy baggier in the 80′s) but it STILL has some redeeming qualities.
Need a great peter pan collar? For fifty cents—you got one! Or a basic bodice pattern? Yep, take away all the other crazy embellishments and you’ve got it!
And here’s what I made…..
Taking inspiration from the lace collar itself I decided to make the whole dress out of lace. I also adjusted the waistline up to a more natural waist (although I really did think about keep it dropped—but I figured with the lace it might not show as well) and then cut the skirt in one piece instead of adding the ruffle.
I also left the sleeve length as view C, but modernized it by taking all the puffiness out and leaving them just in the lace.
And the dress was a hit! Nevermind the fact that we did a photoshoot in 30 mph winds…and are trying to block them by hiding behind a public restroom…the dress has been claimed and declared that “she loves it” especially with the gold sparkle belt that we found for $1.97 at Old Navy last week. And I agree with her…I do think it makes the dress.
So dig through mom’s or grandma’s attic and see what you can come up with for your very own “Ugly Pattern.” We have an Ugly Pattern linky party going on here and a contest on instagram as well with the hastag #uglypatternparty—-both of which will have some awesome prizes!!!!
(You don’t have to sew up the patterns….we just want you to take a picture of the ugliest vintage–pre 1989 pattern you can find and link it up!!!)
And we have lined up a bunch of other friends who have their own “Ugly Duckling Patterns” that they have made into swans—and we CAN NOT wait to show you what they have done. You are going to be amazed!!!!