Wednesday, July 8, 2009

'A Slim Skirt--Full of Sewing Pointers'

VoNBSS is not kidding, ladies: they've packed this slim skirt FULL of sewing pointers! (And they're punny too!)

I'm still making the "slim, supple skirt" and I'm being really dutiful this time about following all of the VoNBSS (Vogue's New Book for Better Sewing) instructions. This not only means tailor's tacks and a basted fitting, but things like seam binding on the hem and vent, hand overcasting, a hand-worked buttonhole, and much more.

I did make one alteration on the pattern, and that was to shorten it. It's tea length, and I just cannot abide tea length. I had to take a good six inches off. It's a cute style though, with pleats in the front and darts in the back. The pattern is only two pieces-the skirt and the belt! There's only one seam in the skirt (up the back), hence my new found willingness to hand overcast the seam allowances.

The tailor's tacks were intense. I had to use five different colors of thread for the different markings. To amuse myself, I used thread in ice cream colors. You can see chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry here. (Pistachio is down on the hem. There's a tangerine sorbet somewhere too.)

I have to run to the Garment District today for some supplies: seam binding, silk thread, buttonhole twist, and a zipper. Speaking of which, have any of you actually seen buttonhole twist in a store? Or is this an item that would have been more easily found in 1952?

Update: Thanks to the commenter who left the link to buttonhole twist! That looks like a good option, though VoNBSS refers to buttonhole twist as a heavy silk thread. I managed to find some heavy weight silk Gutermann thread today, but I'm actually intrigued by this option as well. I'm planning on ordering some for the next project!


  1. You can find Buttonhole Twist thread here...


  2. I just got my copy of Vogue today in the mail--it is very "crunchy" or would that be old and brittle! I turn the pages very carefully, but I love all the info. I am going to use some existing patterns and try to "re-do" them.

  3. I have a random questions about your VoNBSS--does it come with patterns or are you picking period Vogue patterns that go along with the book?

  4. Good question! I was actually thinking I should do a post about this. VoNBSS does not come with patterns but each project corresponds with a Vogue pattern from 1952, so I've been tracking them down on the internet. I probably won't be able to find them all, so at some point I'll have to decide how to proceed. I'm thinking I'll find a similar pattern from the same year and alter it to make it as close to the book project as possible.

    Cindy, my copy has a huge coffee ring stain on the front! It's fun to imagine the original owner sipping coffee as she sewed.

  5. Excellent thanks for the clarification (I was anonymous, too lazy to type my name in, for shame)on the patterns. I have a VoNBSS of my own from my seamstress grandmother's collection but could never figure out if it was missing patterns or if I should seek them out.


Thanks for your comments; I read each and every one! xo Gertie

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