Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Swing Dance!

I love dancing, and I love the music and dances of the Swing Era best of all. I am an unabashed romantic, and if I could dress solely in vintage clothing, I would. Since I'm finally working on my sewing skills, I'm starting to look at the vintage sewing patterns out there on the web.

One particular one caught my eye this week, from a site called Ruby Lane. It's from 1940, just before the wartime shortages called for clothing patterns to use less fabric. It'll look great on just about any body type, and the full skirt will have a great "swish" factor on the dance floor:

Did you know that patterns in the old days often had no markings on them, and that they sometimes came pre-cut? I'm just hoping that any vintage pattern I might buy won't require the skills of a master tailor!

I found a lot of awesome fabric on the web, but today I'm leaning towards wanting to make this dress in one of these. They're all very vintage, almost camp-y prints, but if you're going to go to the trouble of finding and working with a vintage pattern, you might as well go for broke!

Notice that all these fabric have red in them... that's because my new shoes are Aris Allen Red Velvet Practice Oxfords. They are wending their way towards me via FedEx as I type.

These shoes are MADE for dancing, but I CAN wear them off the dance floor as well. I'm very excited about these shoes...


  1. I like the first fabric the best, for a vintage dress. The other ones seem more common, like the sort of stuff you'd see on any Rockabilly chick. The other one is slightly more unusual, but also has that retro vibe. And you gotta love those shoes!

  2. Thanks, D. The first fabric is a reproduction, so it's definitely more "period." I'm looking forward to seeing if I can actually MAKE this dress - it's more complicated than most modern patterns!

  3. hey! you just joined my blog today, and i have MADE that dress! did you see it on there? if you need any tips, let me know. my unsolicited advice to to trace the pieces onto thicker paper and transfer the markings. You can be alot rougher with them that way, and make the adjustments you might need to make to the copied pieces. I am a DD cup, so it needed an FBA. it's a *great* pattern. And your fabric choices are awesome. Love your pottery too!!

  4. Hi Miss Amelina - Thanks for the tips! Luckily I have a handy source of large sheets of paper; we use newspaper roll ends to pack our pots so I have pattern paper at my fingertips! I did see that pattern on your blog and thought, "Well then, that settles it! I'm buying that pattern this week!!!" Stay tuned....

  5. P.S. I meant to add that the markings are still there on the unprinted pieces in the form of tiny punched holes and diamond shapes. You'll see them when you get cracking...and the instructions sheet should refer to them during construction. Have fun!!

  6. Thanks for writing about this shoe company! I love Re-Mix but I can't afford them right now; however these are incredibly affordable. Thanks!

  7. Hi Isaspacey -

    You're welcome! I'm in the same boat: love Re-Mix, can't afford them. I may have to get another pair of these dance oxfords in another color. Red is great, but doesn't go with everything!



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