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I have been surrounded by beautiful and old things since I was a kid. My grandma was an antique collector and dealer, and much of my immediate and extended family also collect and sell antiques. In the early 90s, before vintage was a trendy thing, there were still lots of Victorian and Edwardian gowns to be had. Because vintage clothing hadn’t caught on with the mainstream, nobody even gave the 1960s and 70s dresses a second glance.
In 2010 I decided to put my knowledge of old stuff to work and I started my own vintage clothing shop. This experience really opened my eyes to the fact that vintage clothing is truly a finite and dwindling resource and perhaps not the easiest way to grow a wardrobe or a business.
Flash forward to today…now that 1960s and 70s clothing have had a dedicated following for quite a while, it is becoming harder and harder to find the romantic gowns that we all love so much. My favorites are the dreamy, flowing gowns. Cotton, florals, prairie dresses, calicos, and psychedelic prints.
I think early Gunne Sax and Laura Ashley dresses are just about the prettiest dresses ever created. Other than actual vintage clothing, my inspiration comes from Jane Austen novels, darker works by the Bronte sisters, symbolism from the Victorian Era, the forest, and rock and roll.
I am most drawn to vintage cotton dresses from the late 60s and early 70s. As a mama, I love any cute dress that allows me to chase the kids around and roam our mountain in comfort.
My dad always teases me for wearing dresses in the mountains. I have to remind him that the pioneer women definitely didn’t wear yoga pants as women tend to do these days. They were badass women, in nature, in dresses!
After my epiphany regarding the disappearing vintage gowns, I decided I needed to learn how to make my own “vintage” dresses so I could wear those cuts and styles for the rest of my life.
Less than a year ago I set out to grow my collection of romantic vintage dress patterns and to get better at sewing. It was really a matter of expanding my dress refashioning skills (shortening hemlines, etc.) to be able to create a dress from a flat piece of fabric. It was truly a skill I didn’t think I could acquire, but, as it turns out, it is now my superpower!
After a little over a year of sewing, I have come to realize that a record of my creations and pattern alterations would be super helpful so that I can look back on it for reference. Since blogging is what I do, I decided to carve out a little corner here at Different Drum for my sewing adventures.
I am so happy to have you join me on this creative journey and I hope that you will find some patterns, fabric, and ideas that you connect with! Be sure to leave a comment and introduce yourself. I love to meet fellow sewists and I can’t wait to meet you!
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