Mooshi Couture Launches Vintage Couture Sewing Challenge
Follow our Vintage Couture Sewing Journey
Mooshi Couture is embarking on a vintage couture sewing challenge to make fabulous fashions from our collection of vintage couture sewing patterns. We'd love you to follow us and see these patterns come to life!
Since starting Mooshi Couture a few years ago, I fell in love with rare and unique vintage couture dressmaking patterns. I began collecting vintage patterns in the hope that some day I would make them into wearable fashionable pieces. Well that day is finally here!
My collection includes some interesting designs by Vogue published in the 1930's to the 1960's. I chose designs that are quite unique and look complicated to make so that I could challenge myself and learn unique vintage pattern making and traditional couture dressmaking techniques. You can see some of these patterns in the sub menu of pages under Vintage in the main menu. More patterns will be published soon.
This image is of a 1950's dress and coat set designed by the House of Lanvin Castillo published by Vogue Paris Original. Antonio del Castillo was head designer at the House of Paquin in 1941. He left the house in 1945 left to become a designer for the House of Lanvin.
Some of the patterns have aged well thanks to their owners. Some have not and are very fragile and need tender care during production. It's most likely I will need to find someone specialising in paper restoration and conservation to extend the life and value of some of these precious patterns.
So to begin this vintage couture sewing journey I'm starting with a pattern that I attempted to make a few years ago. It's a very stylish jacket designed by the House of Jeanne Paquin and published by Vogue in 1953. It's one of my favourite designs.
Jean Paquin was a French fashion designer who lived from 1869 to 1936 and was a pioneer of modern and innovative fashion design during the early part of the 20th century. Her influence on fashion contributed to the demise of Victorian styles and the emergence of opulent Belle Epoque fashion at the beginning of the 20th century and the flapper dress in the 1920's. Her success and pioneer status saw her become the first major female couturier and an acclaimed business woman. For a wonderful insight into Paquin's career take a look at the blog of Bliss from Bygone Days.
The phenomenal success achieved by Paquin in the 20th century saw the house succeed her death in 1936. Artistic direction fell into the hands of various designers bequeathed to uphold Paquin's creative style until the house closed in 1956. The designer responsible for designing the Paquin pattern I'll be making is Basque designer Lou Claverie who headed the label from 1949 to 1953 (source: https://www.europeana.eu/portal/en/explore/people/3182-jeanne-paquin.html).
In this pattern, Claverie has designed an innovative fitted collarless jacket with a vent in the neckline for inserting an optional attached scarf. This is quite a novel way of wearing a scarf and shows the elegance that was at play at this time. The pattern comes with a fitted sleeveless dress that also has a unique neckline - an open style with a centre front that peaks upwards. The design resembles a fitted bodice with a halter neck style neckline.
The design of the neckline at centre front suggests stiffening will be needed to keep the peak standing upright. The skirt of the dress is also interesting. It has soft fullness on the hips and no side seams. The dress closes at the centre back with a zipper.
This vintage pattern is labelled a vintage size 16 for a 34" bust and 37" hip. This size would equate to a size 8 - 10 in todays standard international sizes. Here is the cotton toile I made of the jacket pattern without any alterations.
The fabric I have chosen for this jacket is a cotton velvet printed with a zebra pattern (the mannequin shown is half scale). It was a remnant piece I purchased from a wholesaler in the UK a few years ago. It's as novel as the design of this pattern itself! I'm confident I have enough fabric to make this jacket. But before I begin making it, I'm going to alter the pattern to my size! This will give me a chance to alter the pattern for custom orders and to personally model the jacket! Ha ha...what maker wouldn't want to model their own product?
I'd love you to join me on my first vintage couture sewing challenge and see this novel jacket come to life! I'll be writing regular blog posts on my progress and posting updates to Facebook and Instagram. Follow @mooshicoutureofficial on Instagram and Like the Mooshi Couture page on Facebook for my updates.
And if you're keen, please do leave me comments on my blog here! I'd love to hear from you. If you sew or are a keen collector of vintage dressmaking patterns, tell me what your favourite sewing patterns are and what challenges you have faced and how you've overcome them? I'd love to hear!