My vintage pledge

I’ve done the vintage pledge for the last couple of years, but was quite surprised to receive an email inviting me to participate this year, so of course, I blithely said yes not realising that the game had changed a little bit and that my efforts would receive a day (18 July) and be featured by astitchingoddysey. Aagh, this caused me to rethink my usual offerings  and make something we wouldn’t all be ashamed of. Soo, without further ado, here is my outfit.


The outfit consists of a dress and a capelet. I will talk about the dress first.


It is a 1937 Lutterloh pattern with some lovely bodice detail, and a slightly flared skirt. Because I didn’t use any colour blocking some of the detail is a bit hard to see, but this image from the book shows the interesting shapes in the bodice. The sleeves have a dart that runs from the wrist to the elbow, giving a lovely line.

1930s dress

First I had to trace  off the pattern and tweak it to fit me.This is what Lutterloh patterns look like.

Scan 2

I even toiled it! I took it off to my pattern making class to ensure that I had a perfect fit, and felt a bit Greta Garboesque; but then I cut a hole in the dress so that stopped me making it the final dress if I ran out of time.


The fabric that I finally chose for this challenge is a beautiful brown and black viscose (?) that I bought a couple of years ago from Tessuti. I am so glad to have used it, particularly for a dress that I love so much.



The back view, which has tiny buttons all the way down. There is no way I can dress myself!


and now a gazillion photos trying to show this outfit to best advantage. We were about to have a storm (see the colour of the sky) and I was getting anxious about getting wet. Then the sun came out and I had shadows everywhere. Anyway, I wasn’t prepared to risk having to take more photos so got lots and now I can’t choose the best ones!DSC07930

squinty sunshine on a really dull dayDSC07927


I did have one major blunder. Lutterloh patterns do not include seam allowance, and I carefully added it to every piece except the sleeves. I only realised as I was cutting out, so the sleeves are a bit snugger than I would like, but I can, at least, get my arms in them.DSC07917


The button detail. These are from the ’30s or ’40s and I bought them at Buttonmania in Melbourne some time ago.


The belt detail. The buckle is an art deco one that mirrors the diamond shape of the centre bodice. The buckle background almost exactly matches the dress fabric. They are a match made in heaven and the buckle was in my stash!

DSC07869The belt is literally made from scraps. I did not have a strip long enough, so it has multiple joins along its length. Luckily the busy fabric hides them.

Finally, here are the fabric scraps from the dress with some snips for perspective. I could almost claim this as a zero waste make!IMG_6946

The jacket is the Decades of Style 1930s Capelet, the pattern for which I’ve had for at least a year. Isn’t it a gorgeous jacket?


Once again I toiled it, and then I made a practice one, which I’ll blog in another post. This one is made from green silk velvet that I got from Sarah  and she and I tried to dye it brown. Epic fail on that! I lined it with some Japanese gold silk, so it’s pretty luxurious. Unfortunately, the two fabrics that I enjoy sewing with least are velvet and silk, and here I had them in combination.


Of course velvet doesn’t really press crisply, so I feel as though my edges are a bit rounded instead of being sharp, but, given some of the issues I had with it, I think it’s something I shall enjoy wearing.


I used this little art deco buckle to hold the two fronts together.


close up of the back of the cape


showing off the swingy skirt of the dressDSC07893

Finally, I knew that I had to style this outfit properly, so fussed and fretted about the backdrop for the photos. I explored art deco buildings in our general area and even took some photographs outside one of our movie theatres, but in the end I got Mark to take my photos outside this beautiful art deco building, which just happens to be our local town council building. The building burnt almost to the ground in 2010 but they managed to save and restore this beautiful facade in 2014 to the joy of all the local residents.

I did toy with having a Marcel wave (see here for my trial 1930s hairstyle – nothing like a marcel wave really!), but felt a bit silly to be honest. Sooo, it’s hair as usual I’m afraid.



47 thoughts on “My vintage pledge

  1. Fantastic SUe! The detail in the dress is really interesting and all those buttons…!!!
    Looks fab!

  2. Well no one will be ashamed of this, it’s absolutely gorgeous. I love the green velvet and the dress fabric is beautiful. This looks like an epic project and it’s come together beautifully.

  3. Another amazing outfit and I love the detailing on the Lutterloh pattern! I’ve got one of their kits but not tried it yet – was it fairly straightforward? The cape looks lovely too and well done for mastering the velvet. By the way, I think your Marcel wave looked fab! 🙂

    1. I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with Lutterloh patterns. There are almost no hints as to construction, but they do go together pretty well. Even though the patterns are drafted to your dimensions, I think toiling is essential. I do love the old patterns that they have though. Thank you for your kind words!

  4. The design of the dress looks wonderful and really suits you. A win for vintage fashion! I love the cape too, it looks so soft and luxurious.

  5. So very chic, Sue! I love both pieces, separately and together as well. You look ready for the ballet, or the opera. The style and those wonderful colours suit you beautifully 🙂

  6. What a challenging pledge! You took care of every details and the outcome is stunning. While reading this post, I was thinking like Carolyn : “This is the most perfect outfit for a night out to the opera.”

    1. Oh, and I wanted to add that your waved marcel is beautiful. You wear it on your IG pic, non?

  7. Love your outfit and great to see somebody using Lutterloh patterns. I love them but agree that a toile is a must unless you have made a similar pattern before. I have all my mother’s 1950-60ties patterns and a few books from the 70ties. I really should use them more often but I mostly go to them for something special because there is more work involved.

  8. What a gorgeous outfit and it suits you so well. Particularly love the velvet cape. Now you have to find that special opera or ballet in order to give it an outing!

  9. Absolutely gorgeous. Everything – from the fabrics , patterns , the buckles. I bet you feel a million dollars wearing this.

  10. Magnificent Sue. The dress looks amazing, the details are more obvious in the later photos, and looks gorgeous with that caped jacket. Your attention to detail is great. The buttons and belt on the dress, the closure on the capelet – wonderful. I hope Mark is thinking about somewhere wonderful to take you and show you off.

    1. The dress actually has quite a bit of detail which is lost in the busyness of the fabric. I’m about to post up a ponte version which will show it much better.

  11. You look beautiful in both your gorgeous dress and luxurious cape! What always strikes me, is that you are sewing vintage patterns but look totally modern and oh-so-stylish. So glad you included all the photos, because each showed a little different ‘look’ of each piece. You live in such a pretty place and chose the perfect backdrop to showcase your outfit. 🙂

    1. Why thank you Lisa. I think the thing about vintage patterns is that they are timeless and stylish, and I do love the 1930s. I am an immigrant to this land and never take it for granted, it is a lovely place to live, and I appreciate you taking the time to notice.

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