December 30, 2014

Sewing Bella?

Hi! I hope everyone had a good time over the holidays. 
I didn't plan a Christmas break from blogging, but it just sort of happened... I didn't really do much sewing either so it's only natural. Today, I thought it was just time to fit in one more normal blog post for 2014.

The thing is, that last minute rush to reach my target for the Vintage Pattern Pledge meant I've spent an entire month sewing only from vintage patterns. Which in turn meant it finally started to feel kind of normal to do so... And I didn't jump to "I could draft that" at every nice vintage dress picture I saw. That was now replaced by "Is the pattern there and is it anywhere near my size?"
Basically, I might be hooked.

When I was looking for a blouse pattern for my 1957 outfit, I started looking in my Bella magazines (because I had sewn from Marion before and not from Bella). Like Marion, Bella was a Dutch sewing magazine which was published for decades (it's actually older than Marion, starting somewhere in the early 1930's as Het nieuwe modeblad but it seems to have met its end earlier. Marion was still around in the 1980's). Unlike 1950's Marion, 1950's Bella was published with all the designs from the magazine included on the pattern sheet. Still only in one size with the others available by mail order, but still.

So, when I was looking for a blouse pattern, I couldn't help but notice some fabulous dresses. Even quite a few in sort of my size (Bella sizes according to bust measurement. At 90 cm, I think all patterns between 88 and 92 cm are close enough to consider them 'sort of my size'). 
And I was planning to make something from some luscious wool fabrics in my stash so some of these look pretty ideal:

The dress on the left. Asymmetry, a pocket, a slim skirt with cleverly inserted room to move. What's not to love?

Always great to have a photograph instead of a drawing. This is a dress from two different materials, not a top and skirt. Very lovely but maybe not so practical with the short sleeves.

A bloused back and trailing sashes at the back! 1950/51 high fashion details which didn't often make it to the humble world of Dutch sewing patterns. And you even get the hat pattern. Unfortunately the front is very plain.

And this one... Raglan sleeves which from the collar, wrap-around effect which ends in a big skirt flounce at the back. Swoon.

A more sporty style (the picture was unfortunately in the middle of the spread so it's a bit misshapen and there's a rusty tack in her head). Normal slim skirted shirtwaist from the front, pleats from a yoke-included-in-raglan-sleeves at the back.

And this beauty on the left. Like the first one, it's asymmetrical and and has extra room added to the narrow skirt using a nice design feature but it's such a different dress.

To be honest, I have already decided to try out the first design. It took some time to trace the pattern and I'm working on the muslin now.


  1. Mm, those dresses are so sharp! I would pick the one on the right of the one you chose; love me a coat dress, or the shirtwaist with the pleats in the back. Thanks for sharing the dreamy pics. Can't wait to see your finished dress.

  2. Yes, the first one is my favourite and it really looks you! So looking forward to seeing it, what colour is your wool.