Thursday, June 29, 2017

title pic Simplicity 8051 Retro Pattern Review!

Posted by Edelweiss Patterns on July 12, 2016


If you follow the new pattern collections that are released by the “Big Four” pattern companies every year, you were probably just as excited as I was when they released this new Simplicity 8051 design earlier this year! I feel like Simplicity’s retro reprint collection is hit and miss as far as authenticity and photo shoot styling go – (you’ll often have 1940s hairstyles on a 1950s dress and shoes from neither era), but this is one pattern and style that they totally nailed!


The style I really loved was View A on the pattern envelope, with its trapeze neckline, ruched bodice, curved cummerbund, and flared circular skirt.  Talk about details!  The only thing I didn’t love about the pattern was the cutout portion in back – I wanted this dress to be something I could wear to church, not just on a picnic or day at the beach. 😉  So I very easily adjusted it to be a one-piece back bodice piece by pinning the two back pieces together and cutting out as you see below.


The pattern came together extremely easily and quickly – I sewed most of it in about 3 hours flat.  I didn’t run into any major fit issues at all, although I did have to take in the shoulder seams a bit as I have slightly narrow/petite shoulders.  (You can see more sewing progress pictures on my Instagram page if you scroll down a little ways.)


I highly recommend this pattern!  It is a dream to wear and I have a feeling this is going to be one of the most popular retro reproduction patterns in quite some time.

ruffle trim

I added chiffon frilly trim to the neckline, (not part of the pattern), but it could be dressed down if you didn’t add trim.  The fabric is a 100% cotton print which has a very subtle color-on-color polka dot. :)



 I absolutely adore this pattern and it’s one of those designs where you want to make one in every color! 😉   It could even work for fall if you wore a sweater over it.  Below are a couple shots of the dress worn with a belt and flower pin for my one year anniversary photographs!  (How in the world has it already been one year of marriage to my sweetheart?)   {Photos by the excellent Sarah Gale Photography}




Happy sewing!


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title pic A 1940s Dress for a WWII Dance

Posted by Edelweiss Patterns on May 30, 2016

Happy Memorial Day!  

Here is my 1940s dress which I sewed for a WWII themed dance that my husband and I attended!  I sewed it from an extremely rare vintage Butterick Pattern 9218 using a lipstick red rayon print.


The bodice has very intricate shirring at the sleeves.

2016-05-30 22.37.44

As you can see, the original pattern was floor length.  But since this was a swing dance we were attending, I shortened it to below-the-knee to make for easier dancing.  I also shortened the bodice a bit so that it wouldn’t look out of proportion for the altered dress length.  



The bodice back has a hook and eye opening at the neckline and a slight slit for the back closure, plus a side zipper which was very common for the pre-1950s (and even many post-1950s) dresses.  I finished this back opening by hand using tiny invisible stitches.  


Here we are at the WWII dance!  My husband’s jacket is an original WWII U.S. Army technician’s jacket which I found in mint condition online.  It worked perfectly!  Most everyone came in period correct attire that evening, but I personally think that his outfit was the most authentic. :)  I wore pearls, vintage tights with the seam down the back, 1940s style dance shoes which look straight out of the era, and I put my hair in victory rolls.  So much fun!


And I was so thankful that someone got a video of the dancing that evening!  The live swing band was superb, and the event was held in a historic aiplane hangar.

Video credit to Junelle May


The dress came together so easily when I sewed it, and I loved dancing in it, as well!  The skirt has quite a few gathers – it was published in pre-ration 1940, so wartime fabric restrictions wouldn’t have applied to this design. 


I thought the dress was a bit plain on its own, so I added rosettes to the neckline, a chiffon ruffle down the bodice center front, and a cinch belt to keep the bodice nicely fitted. 


And I’d like to thank my husband for taking me to another airplane museum today so we could take more photos!  The original location was a bit dark the day of the dance so we had to reshoot some of them.  

I hope you all have had a wonderful Memorial Day, and may we not take for granted all the sacrifices of the men and women who have served our country!

Happy sewing,


P.S. For more behind the scenes photos you can visit my Instagram

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title pic The Laendler – My Wedding Dance Video! :)

Posted by Edelweiss Patterns on May 17, 2016

Hello, Ladies!

I’m so happy to share my wedding dance video with you!  From the time I was fourteen years old, I knew I just had to dance “The Laendler” (from The Sound of Music) at my wedding.  After I became an adult, I figured that it might be a girlish dream and that I may have to abandon the idea…  But fast forward several years, and I met my future husband at a BALL!  A historical costume ball. 😀 So needless to say, I had met the absolute perfect man for that girlhood idea!  Lars and I began practicing this dance together shortly before our engagement, and we had it down pat by the time our wedding rolled around.  Talk about happiness! 😉


Well, I designed my entire wedding dress around this dance:  Since there is so much twirling, I knew I couldn’t have a gigantic Victorian bustle and thus stuck to a standard ballgown style.  The vast amount of time during this dance wherein the lady’s arms are raised above her shoulders meant that the sleeves *had* to be flexible – so I made the sleeves ruched, and bound the edges with elasticized trim so that the sleeves would move with me when I danced.  And finally, I accepted the fact that a boned hoopskirt would make the Laendler a nearly impossible feat to pull off, so I settled on a narrower net petticoat which still added a fair amount of “pouff”, even if it wasn’t quite as full as I would have liked…

While I took all the necessary precautions to ensure the dress would be danceable, I hadn’t actually worn it for a dress rehearsal!  I didn’t want the groom to see my wedding gown until our wedding day, so I was completely unaware of exactly how it would work.  But it behaved beautifully throughout the entire dance!  The only time when I had a little difficulty was during that sequence of five rapid spins – I had to throw my weight into turning to keep the layers of skirt and petticoat from restricting my legs as the skirt was not turning at the same rate I was.  It might sound silly, but it could have been a very serious problem had the skirt gotten all tangled up around me, especially with the long train bustled up!


We replicated the original dance from the Von Trapp film almost exactly, and we had it professionally filmed to remember forever!


So there’s my commentary for our wedding dance video!  I am so grateful to my sweet husband for being such a good and enthusiastic sport about dancing this in front of our 200 hundred + people reception, and to the Lord for bringing us together!

If for some reason you can’t see the video on this web page or in your email browser please click this link ( ) to watch it on Youtube.

Until next time, so long, farewell, auf weidersehen, goodbye! 😉

Happy sewing,


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