If you are into crafting, diy and fashion then something tells me you may have heard of Catherine Alenka from the blog, Sewing the 60s. If not, then get ready to be seriously impressed! I had the pleasure of meeting Catherine, having a lovely chat and taking just a some fun snaps of three of the dresses she has made recently.
1. What is your blog about and how long have you been writing it?
My blog is about a year and half old and I love to talk about and sew all things 60s! (And sometimes 70′s too!)
2. How did you decide on the specific era of the 60s?
As a kid I just remember being fascinated by my mums little trinkets and clothes from her childhood and early teens in the 60′s. All covered in bright colours and daisies and so on. I also used to flick through her pattern collection and dream of looking like those lovely ladies on the envelopes. One day a neighbour plaited my hair in two pigtails and popped some flowers in to decorate and my mum told me I looked like a flower child. I didn’t know what that was, so she explained to me the hippie flower power loving kids she used to see around town and I was instantly fascinated with all things 60s, in particular the music and fashion.
3. How do you decide what dresses to make? Roll the dice?
Usually I will just be minding my own business flicking through Pinterest and then suddenly I’ll spot something and want to make it straight away! Other times I’ll just look through my patterns and then pick something fun to make!
4. What is the big thing you want to make? Your white whale, if you will.
A suit! A lovely tailored suit with boot cut high waist pants and a fitted blazer with a long lapel. Very 70s but also very YSL Le smoking…
5. Where do you source your patterns and awesome fabrics? Or do you ever just go crazy and whip something up without a pattern?
Most of my patterns come from Etsy, and I also check out op shops and craft fairs. I tend to buy new fabrics a lot as I know exactly what fabric it is, but if I can find nice vintage fabric on Etsy that isn’t a curtain or been cut up into quilting squares, I’ll snap those up too! The only thing I can whip up without a pattern is a skirt – a dirndl style or a circle skirt is very easy to do!
Please tell us a little about each of the 3 dresses.
What inspired you to create each one and how did you make them? Point out any special features, tricky spots and grand successes!
Dress No. 1 Warm tone floral dress
I bought this fabric from Lincraft and decided to use it with a cute fit and flare dress pattern from 197x. I wanted something to wear to work or even out to the museum, so it was a perfect colour and shape. I also hadn’t made a fit and flare style dress in a really long time. Despite the popularity of shift dresses in the 60′s, this style of dress was still worn by everyday people throughout the decade! Pattern used was McCall’s.
Dress No. 2 Purple and orange scalloped dress
I just wanted to make this one for fun! The fabric was purchased at Fabric-a-Brac earlier this year and I think it was a curtain once upon a time, but it was perfect for a fun party dress! The scallops were easy to do, but they have frayed a little bit. The fit is pretty much spot on so I didn’t have to do any adjustments. Pattern used was Simplicity.
Dress No. 3 Pink dress with white collar
This dress I was really keen to try out when I got the pattern as it’s such a classic look from the 60s. The white collar and cut cuffs and the little tie are so cute! The fabric is a new quilting fabric bought online. The cuffs were tricky to work out from the pattern how to do, but it was very neat and tidy way of doing them. Pattern used was Simplicity.
Like what you’ve seen so far? Head over to Catherine’s blog to see her full collection of 60s dresses and tutorials!