Tag Archives: Decades Everyday

Mee-yow!! We love the new Cats Cradle Dress pattern from Decades of Style

Hi there! It’s been a long while since our last blog post! I hope you’ve been enjoying your summer, wherever you are.

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I am very excited to share details about the latest pattern from the Decades of Style micro-line, Decades Everyday: #105 Cats Cradle Dress! This sweet sundress style features a fit-and-flare silhouette, patch pockets, and cage detailing at the neckline. I especially love how this style looks a little vintage and a little modern.

DoS 105 Cats Cradle Dress

When I first saw the pattern artwork for this dress, I got so excited. Beyond the fact that the new style is awesome, the illustration makes me super happy – I totally love the vibe of the model!

For materials, I selected lavender gingham check seersucker and red Petersham ribbon from the Ribbon Room. Though the pattern calls for 1/2” wide ribbon or tape, I used a 3/8” width and it worked perfectly.

NSB - Cats Cradle materials

One of the coolest components to this pattern is you use a tear-away interfacing to make the caged-ribbon neckline.

NSB - Cats Cradle tear away stabilizer

The instructions helpfully recommend using a temporary glue stick to adhere the ribbon to the stabilizer, which I did not use, but very much wish I had (the ribbon came out a little loose on my finished dress, so I will absolutely use this technique next time).

The fantastic notion I did employ? Lite Steam-a-Seam 2 tape! This product was super handy when applying my ribbon to the neckline.

To help me fit this dress pattern, I used my trusty E.S.P. pattern as a foundation when tracing off the bodice pieces of the Cats Cradle. This was one of the first times I’ve attempted this method with such great success.  It definitely helps that the bodice styles are similar and from the same pattern company. Aside from basic bodice fitting, I hemmed this skirt 1” longer than the allotted 2” hem. (I didn’t add any length to my pattern pieces; I simply made a smaller hem). I am absolutely thrilled with the results.

NSB - JV Cats Cradle dress

If you’re wondering about the crowd-pleasing capabilities of this style: I wore this dress to the wedding of one of my dearest friends and I received a zillion compliments. It’s a definite recommendation from me.

I love this dress and can’t wait to make another. In fact, I have a rad vintage jacquard ribbon that is just begging to be used for this style…


Do you have any summer garments in the sewing queue? Let us know in the comments below!

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Fabulous spring patterns from Decades of Style & Decades Everyday

We’ve talked before about our love for independent pattern company Decades of Style and our love is still going strong! For the Sewing & Stitchery Expo this year, we decided to once again feature patterns from their fantastic catalog, with a special focus on the Decades Everyday micro-line. We created a fun collection of garments that would be perfect additions to any spring wardrobe!

NSB - DoS spring wardrobeAll of our Decades of Style samples look so wonderful we want to share them with everyone! Check out all our makes below.

The two newest Decades Everyday patterns are separates: the Three’s a Charm Jacket and the Buttons & Bows Blouse.

For the expo, we were lucky enough to have an exclusive prerelease of the brand new Buttons & Bows Blouse! This fun new style has two options for pussy bow ties, buttons up the back, and has a gorgeous curved hemline.

Jeannie, who made the beautiful Dolce & Gabbana inspired dress for our anniversary sale, whipped up a Three’s a Charm in multi-color patterned wool. Though the basic pattern is unlined, she opted to add a lining and finish all edges with bias tape made from sweet printed lawn. The result is a perfect transitional weight jacket. She also constructed a Buttons & Bows using one of our all-time favorite fabrics Indian cotton voile in an iridescent blue/violet color. Jeannie made the version with the shorter ties and used a double layer of voile through the body for more coverage.

We paired the blouse with the 1940s Empire Waist Trousers from the original line, made in a lovely wool/linen suiting with a subtle lavender pinstripe. The waistline of the trouser combined with the ties of the blouse give this ensemble a sweet sailor effect!


Tamara made the Decades Everyday Given a Chance Dress. This shift dress is a great example of sophisticated simplicity, with a bias-cut, origami-inspired yoke and attractive double bust dart. Tamara’s version was made from textured Japanese cotton with a print that features 8-bit interpretations of Japanese landmarks. This style is easy to make and easy to wear!


Jessica used two Decades Everyday patterns for a sweet ensemble: the E.S.P. Dress and the Three’s a Chance Jacket. For her jacket, she used a floral print Japanese linen/cotton, constructing her version according to the instructions and leaving it unlined. For visual interest and a retro touch, she finished the facings and hems with a decorative running stitch. The result is a Three’s a Charm that is the perfect layering piece for spring.

Jessica’s E.S.P. dress was sewn from a striped linen/cotton shirting with a seersucker look. The stripes were placed horizontally on the bodice and vertically on the skirt. Though the E.S.P. is drafted as an unlined pattern, Jessica opted to line the bodice and skirt, leaving the sleeves unlined. Inspired by the stripes of the skirt, Jessica constructed the skirt with pleats, rather than gather as per the original instructions.


Marilyn, who created the fabulous Dries Van Noten inspired jacket for our anniversary sale, used the Siren Sundress pattern from the Decades of Style original line, sewing it up in sorbet colored cotton voile. This pattern, originally from the 1940s, features a unique wrap-in-the-back silhouette: long straps cross at the open back and wrap around the front waist to tie in the back. The pattern is drafted with a lined bodice and unlined skirt and straps. For additional coverage under our lightweight cotton voile, Marilyn added a full lining to the dress and doubled the straps. It’s the perfect sundress!


Will you construct any new garments for your spring wardrobe? Do you participate in Me Made May? Now’s a great time to get started! We’d love to hear what you are planning; tell us in the comments below!

Meet a friend of Nancy’s: Janet from Decades of Style

With Halloween around the corner, we are spending a lot of time thinking about costumes. There are so many ways to do costumes, from fanciful and fantastic to historic, and we love them all!

In preparation for this exciting holiday, we decided it would be fun to interview a friend of Nancy’s whose work is great for daily wear and costuming alike! She is a whiz with vintage patterns – and makes it easy for the rest of us to work with them, too.

Without further ado, we present Janet from Decades of Style Pattern Company.NSB - meet Janet headerWho are you?
I’m Janet, from Decades of Style Pattern Company. My official title, according to my business card, is ‘Person’.

What is your business?
We make vintage sewing pattern reproductions for the modern sewer, offering patterns from the 1920s through the 1950s, with a couple styles from the decades before and after.

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We do a lot of the ‘heavy lifting’ associated with sewing from vintage patterns. We translate vintage yardage requirements to work with modern fabric widths. We also grade all our pattern styles to fit nine different sizes (from a 30” bust up to 46”). Decades patterns are also friendlier to work with than actual vintage patterns and they are available in sizes that are reasonable! So many vintage patterns are only available in that mystifying 30” or 32” bust size. I had outgrown that size by the age of 13! We make vintage styles available for the 99% of the population that is larger than a size 0. That’s actually the mission statement of the company.

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Actual vintage patterns from Janet’s collection. Lots of 30″ and 32″ bust sizes.

How did you get started?
I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t interested in antique or vintage clothing. It is a lifelong interest that has turned into a life. Even though I was interested in wearing vintage clothes when I was younger, I didn’t really have any access to purchasing them. Apart from a few 1950s suits that were castoffs from my fancy grandmother’s closet, I didn’t get to wear actual vintage clothing until I left home and could shop in vintage clothing stores. It was a brutal awakening to see that only a tiny fraction of the inventory would fit me.

I realized if I wanted to wear vintage style clothing, I would have to make it myself. Annoyingly enough, most vintage clothing patterns that have survived the last 50-plus years are only available in ridiculously tiny sizes. In order to make those styles for myself, I had to grade the patterns and I knew I could not be the only one who wanted them. Decades of Style is an extension of the grading process.

How long have you been acquainted with Nancy’s?
Nancy’s has carried Decades of Style patterns since 2012. It seems like the pattern line is a very good match for the store.  It’s an honor to be a part of Nancy’s and I’ve really enjoyed getting to know the ladies there.

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Decades of Style patterns on display in Nancy’s.

What is your most recently released product or completed project?
In the summer of 2014, we launched a micro-line of patterns called Decades Everyday. The aesthetic of these patterns lean toward 1960s styling but they still feel modern. The patterns are designed for those who are newer to sewing, though the patterns are great for more skilled sewists who just want a quick make. They are easy to sew and you can pretty much make them in a day. We released our second pattern – the ‘Given a Chance’ dress – in May 2015 and are now working on the next pattern for this line.

NSB - DoS Decades Everyday

Do you have a most memorable or favorite project?
This question is practically impossible to answer! If I must have a favorite pattern, I would say the E.S.P. Dress from Decades Everyday. Even though I totally adore the more elaborate patterns in our catalog, I cannot deny the appeal and relatively instant gratification of whipping up a pretty dress in an afternoon. And really, depending on the fabric you use, the result can be quite sophisticated.

NSB - DoS ESP fabric details

This E.S.P. was made with a lovely embroidered border linen.

I probably have more E.S.P. dresses in my wardrobe than any other pattern in the catalog, so it must be my favorite! And if I’m being completely honest, I have quite a few pieces of fabric lined up with this pattern in mind.

NSB - DoS ESP dress

Another E.S.P. dress made in a unique fabric! This time, an ikat is fussy cute to meet in the center front and center back of the bodice. Rickrack at the hemline is a particularly charming touch.

I also love this pattern because I think it is an accessible project for a greater number of sewists out there. There are so many people who have only started to sew in the last few years. It is important for us to keep them in mind as much as the more advanced sewers.

What is next?
PDF patterns. Yup; it’s happening. We just decided it was time to join the 21st century on this one so we’ve been developing this project all year. We’ll keep you posted via Instagram and Facebook on when that launches. It should be coming up very soon.

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Thanks so much, Janet! We are very excited about your venture into PDF patterns and can’t wait for the next Decades Everyday pattern!

For more glimpses into the world of vintage pattern making, including completed customer projects and in-progress photos, follow Decades of Style on Facebook and Instagram!

All photographs in this post are courtesy of Decades of Style and may not be used without express permission.

The E.S.P. Dress – new pattern from Decades of Style

One of our favorite independent pattern lines, Decades of Style, has a brand new ‘easy’ line of patterns: Decades Everyday!

The first pattern from this new micro-line, The E.S.P. Dress, is described as an easy-to-sew retro dress pattern featuring flattering raglan sleeves, a faced square neckline, front and back darts, and a gathered skirt with pockets for that classic fit-and-flare shape.

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The slogan for Decades Everyday is “sew in a day & wear everyday” and it is accurate! This pattern is great for novice sewers. The style is simple, construction is straight forward, and directions are easy to follow; all in all a great pattern for those who love the look of vintage clothes, but may not have the technical knowledge or skills to make a true reproduction.

This is the first dress I have made in several years and was feeling a bit rusty about my garment construction skills, but found this pattern to be a great choice. For fabric, I selected a 100% Cotton Lawn from Liberty (in the fabulous Jack and Charlie print). While the pattern is unlined, I decided to do a full lining using Ambiance 100% Rayon Bemberg quality. I also selected a coordinating ribbon to use as a hem tape (more details below).

jackandcharlie

I made the size for bust measurement 46″. I had help from the inimitable Jacque Goldsmith in fitting the bodice and ended up shortening the top by 2″ from the front waist dart all the way around. I also lowered my bust dart by about 1″ and took approximately 1/2″ out vertically from each back panel.

I decided to trade out the suggested 22″ standard zipper for an invisible zipper and hook & eye. I think invisible zippers have an easier installation and prefer the look to boot.

When hemming the skirt, I opted to use a 3/4″ 100% Rayon Petersham grosgrain ribbon as a hem tape to simultaneously make the hem a bit less bulky and to add a little weight to the hem. Plus, I love the look of grosgrain in a skirt hem.

As mentioned above, I chose to fully line this dress. I used the same altered bodice and sleeve pieces and then dirndled the skirt. I made my skirt lining 2″ shorter than the dress skirt and hemmed on the machine. Quick and easy.

All finishing was completed by hand, save the understitching at the neck facing, which I did on my machine.

Because it was easy to construct and I love the fit, I plan to make this dress many times over. In fact, I’ve already completed a second and have selected fabrics for two more! I am particularly excited to try top stitching in a cute contrasting color when I make up this pattern in other fabrics.

And now, the big reveal:

ESPdress front  ESPdress side

Don’t you just love this dress?