I love sewing and being Brand Ambassador for The McCall Pattern Company is a dream job for me. I've sewn all my life, edited sewing magazines, written 17 sewing books and written and starred in 10 DVDs - all on sewing! My aim is to promote sewing using the fabulous pattern ranges from Vogue, Butterick, Kwik Sew and of course McCalls - to show that is a fun and relaxing hobby which can result in stunning results.
What better way to start the series of Big Vintage Sewalong workshops – at the Sewing and Craft Superstore in Tooting Beck as the store was celebrating their 70th year in business as the Wimbledon Sewing Centre. Still in the Rushton family, the business has continued to provide THE place to go for anything to do with sewing – from masses of fabulous fabric bolts to trims, haberdashery, sewing machines and overlockers, a big pattern bar and classroom area.
The day started with an official opening by the store’s oldest customer Mrs P who arrived in the original van to much applause and wearing stunning purple. I had the pleasure of meeting Mrs P too and she was delightful and not that old! She explained that she had been coming to the shop for over 30 years – so was oldest in that sense!
The staff were dressed in vintage clothes they had made as were many customers and looked amazing. Many were sporting Butterick, Vogue or McCalls dresses and others were on mannequins providing inspiration.
As Brand Ambassador for The McCalls Pattern company I was there to help with any sewing queries and demonstrate techniques useful for sewing any of the Big Vintage sewing patterns. I had a lot of interest in creating pretty pintucks using a twin needle and pin tuck foot, plus overedge stitching to neaten raw edges. Great techniques for all sorts of dressmaking of course.
The shop was very busy all day, with lots of celebratory special offers on fabrics, haberdashery and trims plus prizes for anyone arriving in a Butterick Walkaway dress.
It was a thoroughly enjoyable day and I am delighted to have been part of it.
At the recent Knitting and Stitching show I was tasked with demonstrating the lovely Vogue pattern of vintage aprons (Vogue 8643) so of course, I made it up first and then cut out further sections to demonstrate at the show daily. So I thought a tutorial on making this pattern might be useful.
The apron came together easily although it does have some unusual shaping, which adds to the vintage style. There are two side panels which are gathered to a shaped centre panel. Big patch pockets can be trimmed along the top with lace or ric rac, or have appliqué or lacy edging.
For the demonstrations, I decided to concentrate on the ties, the patch pockets with inserted lace edging along the top edges and hemming. The view I made, view A, also has the lace edging along the top edge too.
The first step was to make the patch pockets. Step one is to add the lace edging along the seam line of the pocket top. With right sides together, stitch in place so the straight edge of the trim is along the seam line and the scallop edge hanging down towards the pocket. Then add the pocket lining sandwiching the lace trim between the layers which are placed right sides together. Sew around the pocket, leaving a turning gap in the bottom edge. At the curves, stitch slowly, stopping with needle down, raise presser foot slightly and pivot the fabric – continue like to this to get a nice smooth curved seam. TIP: Work with the pocket front uppermost so you can see the stitching holding the lace trim in place, sew just to the left of the first row of stitching so it will be encased within the seam.
It is also important to clip and notch the curved seams of the pockets so that they will turn through smoothly – cut little wedge shapes from the seam allowance at the curves.
POCKETS EDGE STITCHED
The pockets are then edge-stitched to the side panels – edge stitching is just stitching close to the edge.
TIP: To achieve a straight seam, nicely on the edge, use the inner edge of the presser foot as the guide and move the needle to the far right (using the stitch width button to move the needle when sewing with a straight stitch).
STITCH GATHERED SIDE PANELS TO CURVED INNER EDGE OF FRONT
The side panels are then attached to the front panel but first, it is important to stay stitch the inner curves on the front panel, to prevent them stretching out of shape as you sew Gather the top of the side panels to fit the inner curve of the front and sew together.
TIP: To stay stitch – stitch with a standard stitch length just within the seam allowance, close to the seam line.
TRIM ADDED TO TOP EDGE
Ric rac or lace trim is then stitched to the top edge of the front piece prior to the ties and facing being added following the same technique as attaching the trim to the pocket top.
TIES STITCHED AND ATTACHED
The ties are stitched, right sides together around the pointed ends and up to a large circle on one long edge as this is left unstitched in order to insert the apron back into the tie end neatly. This is an unusual way of attaching ties, but does produce a neat finish.
The apron is then finished with an interfaced facing across the apron front to give a waistband effect.
I hope you enjoy making your own vintage pinny. I will be doing some more Big Vintage Sewalong Demos at the Edinburgh Knitting and Stitching Show daily from 28th April – 30th April. Do come along and join me.