Tag Archives: Decades of Style patterns

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!

Nancy’s does Me-Made-May ’16 – days 25-31

June has arrived and, though we are thrilled for the arrival of summer, we are a little sad to see May go.

We had so much fun participating in Me-Made-May! It is, truly, one of my favorite things we’ve ever done as a store. Thanks to all of you for helping to make it such an enjoyable event!

NSB - header MMMay16 days 25-31

Day 25:

Tamara wore three handmade pieces: a coat sewn in linen/cotton suiting, a knit top, and a silk crepe-de-chine skirt! The pattern for her topper is the Palvi, from Lotta Jansdotter’s book Everyday Style. She drafted both her shirt and skirt patterns.

Ellen also donned a trio of handmade garments! Her round-neck coat pattern is from Casual Sweet Clothes: Favorite Pieces for Every Day by Noriko Sasahara; she used a linen/cotton Ikat, a perfect fabric pairing for the simple silhouette. Her top and pants are the Mimosa ensemble from Sewing Workshop, which she sewed up in yarn-dyed linen/cotton.

Kristina wore a second iteration of the Kiomi tunic and a knit tube skirt of her own design. For this version of the Kiomi (originally a dress pattern in Lotta Jansdotter’s Everyday Style), she used washed silk dupioni and created a hi-low hemline. The effect is cool and elegant. Her tube skirt is rayon/spandex jersey; a similar pattern is KwikSew #3765.

Jessica wore a button-down shirt with Peter Pan collar of her own design. She used plaid linen/cotton for a perfect picnic look! Though the pattern for this shirt is unavailable (she drafted it herself), Burda #6840 has similar details.


Day 26:

Ellen was ready for the weekend in her cropped jacket, which she sewed up in a cotton with crewel-work details! Pattern is #009 from Betsy Ross, which is, sadly, no longer in business. For a similar look, try Vogue #9190.

Jessica prepped for the weekend in a restyled vintage skirt! Longer, pleated and a touch too small from when it was purchased twelve years ago, she breathed new life into the skirt her scissors and sewing machine. For a similar pattern, try KwikSew #3794.


Days 27 & 28:

Sadly, we did not have a chance to take photos on either day 😦


Day 29:

Kitrina wore a pleated cotton piqué skirt with petersham ribbon details at the waist and alençon lace trim at the hem. The original Burda pattern is now discontinued; try Butterick #5756 for a similar pleated skirt pattern.

Kristina paired her asymmetrical Kiomi tunic with her favorite straight skirt (McCall’s #3830). The hi-low hemline of her tunic perfectly showed off the border print of her skirt!

Jessica wore a boldly patterned silk/cotton lawn dress. She used Simplicity pattern #2497 (now discontinued) featuring a ruffled neckline and blouson details at the waistline. For a similar-but-updated silhouette, try Vogue #1343.


Day 30:

Kitrina wore a fabulous dress with a draped collar and sash. She sewed the now-discontinued Vogue pattern out of yarn-dyed polyester suiting. For a comparable style, try Butterick #5850.

Ellen got ready to bid adieu to me-made-May by sewing up the Betsy Ross Cropped Jacket pattern with a fabric that she’d had in her stash for at least 15 years! The simplicity of the jacket style was perfectly paired with the yarn-dyed beaded linen. Though the Betsy Ross pattern company in no longer around, try Vogue #9190.

Jessica wore the matte jersey dress she discussed in our post on planning for me-made-May. She used the bold print to make a pattern from the BurdaStyle S/S 2016 plus size special magazine (pattern 417B), a casual dress with cocoon silhouette and draped armholes. For additional coverage, she lined the dress, and added openings to the sides seams for a ribbon sash.


Day 31:

For the final day of me-made-May, Tamara wore a striped tee-shirt style dress paired with a printed cotton lawn overdress. The knit dress, made of rayon/spandex jersey and bound with fold-over elastic, is McCall’s pattern #6612. Her Japanese lawn dress is the same Marcy Tilton pattern from day 11, Vogue #8876.

Izzie, our resident milliner, wore a summer straw hat of her own creation! She used sinamay straw and vintage trimmings for the perfect look! If you are in the Seattle area this weekend, Izzie will be showing her hats at a trunk sale at the Beppa store; be sure to check it out!

And for a final me-made-May farewell, Jessica ended the month in the same dress from the first day, her favorite Decades of Style pattern, #2003 1920s Hazel’s Frock. For something new, she added a handmade straw braid hat, which she made in classes with Izzie and trimmed with millinery flora from our Ribbon Room!


Thanks again for joining us for Me-Made-May! We had a blast participating and look forward to doing it again next year!

Nancy’s does Me-Made-May ’16 – days 19-24

How quickly is this month zooming by? It’s hard to believe the unofficial start of summer is nearly here!

Our celebration of all things handmade is still going strong, and we are so appreciative of our staff’s willingness to play along. Let’s see what the Nancy’s employees wore on days 19 through 24!

NSB - header MMMay16 days 19-24

Day 19:

Ellen wore a blouse made of lightweight linen with a pale blue stripe. The now-discontinued Marcy Tilton pattern from Vogue (style 8709) features alternate grainlines on the different pieces, which are enhanced by the stripe in Ellen’s fabric.

Jessica wore her latest version of Decades of Style pattern #2003 1920s Hazel’s Frock. For this rendition, she left off all the scarves, added a slight A-line to the silhouette, and shortened it for an easy summer shift!


Day 20:

Jeannie did a little print mixing, combining a rayon challis skirt and a top made of polyester with metallic sheen. Her top is the beloved Scout Tee from Grainline Studios with a modified sleeve. She used Butterick #4136 for her six-gore skirt.


Day 21:

The good news is that we were so busy on the twenty-first that we were (sad news) unable to take photos of employee ensembles.


Day 22:

The twenty-second was unofficially our “bold patterned skirt” day. Kristina celebrated by wearing her bias-cut Tedra skirt with her Kiomi dress-turned-tunic (both patterns from Lotta Jansdotter’s book Everyday Style). Her skirt was made from 1″ black-and-white cotton gingham (trimmed with red bias tape) and her tunic from lightweight red rayon challis.

Jessica wore a four-gore eyelet skirt with bold coral polka dots! This pattern is one of the projects from our fantastic Absolute Beginning Construction class, which is intended for sewers with little-to-know sewing experience! The pattern is exclusive to our class, but Burda 6818 is a similar style!


Day 23:

Continuing the multi-gore mini-theme of this post, Kitrina wore an eight-gore skirt made of polyester crepe. She scalloped the bottom of each panel and enhanced the style lines with white pick-stitching. The original pattern is now discontinued, try Butterick #6179 for the same silhouette!

Ellen looked lovely in a jacket made of lightweight denim, lined with printed cotton lawn. The pattern, Vogue #9096, features five curved panels on the right front side.

Jessica wore a circle skirt made with one of our favorite fabrics, a lightweight ponte double-knit! She drafted the skirt using the classic formula for a full circle skirt, attaching it to an easy, curved waistband. If drafting your own pattern sounds daunting, try KwikSew #3637 for a comparable look.


Day 24:

Ellen wore a swingy jacket, style D from the book Casual Sweet Clothes: Favorite Pieces for Every Day by Noriko Sashara. She used the coolest wool crepe with dimensional embroidery, a designer end piece from Prada.

Izzie wore a beautiful silk dress and a hat of her own creation. Her dress, Vintage Vogue pattern #8728, was made with fabric from Anna Sui. She stitched her hat from straw braid and trimmed it with ribbons and millinery flora from our Ribbon Room.

Jessica wore a top of her own design, made from a lovely bamboo rayon jersey. The shirt features a bateau neckline in the front and a deep-V in the back. Jessica draped her top on her dressform; if you don’t have a form of your own, try KwikSew #4174 for a similar base pattern!


Thanks so much for joining us for our third round-up of Me-Made-Makes!

Join us next week for the final installment!

Nancy’s does Me-Made-May ’16 – days 13-18

It is hard to believe we are more than halfway through May! Where does the time go?

Our round-up of staff-made garments is much shorter this time (and skips a couple days when we didn’t get pictures), but still full of great makes. Let’s get started!

NSB - header MMMay16 days 13-18

Day 13:

Jeannie wore an ensemble of handmade garments, consisting of a dress and topper. Her dress began as a Scout Tee, the fantastic pattern from Grainline Studio. Jeannie made a few alterations to the pattern, including scooping in the body through the waist and lengthening the sleeve, and then added two gathered tiers to create a skirt. She used an incredibly soft linen for this dress, which has the perfect weight and drape to compliment the style. Jeannie’s topper is KwikSew pattern #4104; she used a lovely printed linen/viscose for the body and lined it with rayon/acetate satin, making this an ideal spring coat!


Day 14:

Sadly, we forgot to take pictures this day 😦


Day 15:

Kitrina wore a wool bouclé jacket featuring cool antique silver buttons on a placket of layered petersham ribbon and a restyled knit top. Sadly, the original jacket pattern from Vogue is now discontinued; try Butterick #5235 for a similar look!

Kristina wore a rayon tunic and novelty print cotton skirt. Her top is the Kiomi dress-turned-tunic style, taken from Lotta Jansdotter’s book Everyday Style. She used her favorite straight skirt pattern (McCall’s #3830), which perfectly features the Frida Kahlo-inspired border print!

Jessica wore the simplest iteration of her favorite pattern from Decades of Style, #2003 1920s Hazel’s Frock. For this version of the dress, she used a cotton/rayon/nylon jacquard and left off all the scarves from the original design, for a look that is as modern as it is vintage. She also finished the bias trim at the neck and armholes to the outside, using the reverse of the fabric as face, and hemmed the skirt to the outside, for a simple, graphic look.


Day 16:

Whoopsy! We forgot to take photos on this day, too!


Day 17:

On the seventeenth, Tamara wore a knit top and woven skirt. She used KwikSew pattern #4027, altering the neckline, to make this rayon/spandex top in navy heather. Her pleated skirt, a self-drafted pattern inspired by a Japanese style, was made out of the coolest fabric: a yarn-dyed plaid canvas over-dyed in black, which fades with every wash to reveal more of the plaid.

Izzie joined in on the Me-Made-May fun, wearing a handmade wool tunic and a straw hat of her own design! The pattern for her top is the Schoolhouse Tunic from Sew Liberated designs. You may recognize her hat from our post on trimming hats for the Kentucky Derby!

Jessica wore her newest, most summery version of the beloved E.S.P. dress (Decades Everyday #101). Made of striped Italian cotton/linen shirting, this dress features a longer, pleated skirt and stripe play. Do you remember this dress from our post about Decades of Style patterns for spring?


Day 18:

Tamara wore a bright and cheery skirt made of Charley Harper print organic cotton canvas. She drafted the skirt pattern, which features pleats that hang from a yoke. For a similar pattern, try McCall’s #7022!

Did you have a premonition about Jessica’s me-made-make for the eighteenth? She wore another version of the E.S.P. dress from Decades of Style (Decades Everyday #101)! This time, she used cotton lawn in a yarn-dyed plaid, just perfect for a picnic!


We hope you enjoyed this installment of our Me-Made-Makes! Join us next time; we promise not to skip so many days again! Or simply follow us on Instagram to see our outfits every day 🙂

Nancy’s does Me-Made-May ’16 – days 1-12

We are having a blast with Me-Made-May! It is so much fun to see the sewing community sharing their makes, everyday, and even more fun to partake.

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This is a loooonnnng post, so without further ado, here is a round-up of Nancy’s staff during the first twelve days of Me-Made-May!

Day 1:

Helping us kick off the event, Kitrina wore a tunic made with KwikSew pattern #3601. She sewed it up in polyester georgette featuring multi-colored polka dots!

Jessica wore a modified version of her favorite Decades of Style pattern, #2003 1920s Hazel’s Frock. She used the skirt-scarf pattern from the original look inserted in the side seams to create a handkerchief hem and sewed the dress from a rayon/nylon blend with fabulous drape.


Day 2:

Ellen wore a linen jacket made from a now-discontinued Butterick pattern. The style has handy patch pockets and a cool, draped lapel that features the selvedge of the fabric! For a similar look, try McCall’s #7200.


Day 3:

Tamara wore a silk crepe-de-chine skirt and knit top with a modified neckline. The original skirt pattern, now discontinued from Vogue patterns, boasts a full circle silhouette on a yoke; luckily, KwikSew #3637 is currently available and very similar! Tamara used KwikSew #3766 for the top, modifying the neckline to a bateau.

For the third day, Jessica wore a blouse made of printed silk crepe-de-chine, made from Decades of Style pattern #5003, the 1950s Collar Confection blouse. This blouse style has a sweet draped collar and shaped, vented short sleeve.


Day 4:

On May the fourth, Tamara wore her Given a Chance dress, pattern #102 from Decades of Style‘s microline Decades Everyday! She sewed up the dress in a Japanese cotton dobby, featuring pixelated renditions of Japanese landmarks. You may recognize the dress from our post on spring clothes made with Decades of Style patterns.

Kristina wore her newly finished bias-cut Tedra skirt, made from 1″ black & white cotton gingham and bound at the hem with red bias tape. The skirt pattern is from the book Everyday Style by Lotta Jansdotter. We mentioned this skirt in our Planning for MMMay16 post, as a project Kristina was working on. Way to go, Kristina!

Jessica wore Decades of Style pattern #5008, the PB&J skirt. This 1950s style features bias-cut side panels, double pleats, and nautical button detailing. Jessica used a striped polyester/rayon/spandex suiting to enhance the alternating grainlines and added vintage German glass buttons for extra flair. Ahoy!


Day 5:

Kitrina wore a modified version of the same KwikSew tunic, this time featuring a hi-lo hemline and princess seams. Her fabric choice, a floral print polyester georgette, looks perfectly breezy in the modified silhouette!

Ellen wore a swingy tunic, sewn up in a rayon/linen blend. She used Butterick pattern #6099, which features inverted pleats at the bust, a functional button placket, and collar variations.

Kristina wore an easy a-line skirt, Vogue pattern #9063. She sewed up the pattern in a lovely printed cotton lawn, similar in hand to Liberty’s Tana lawn, but priced much more accessibly!

Jessica wore her version of the Three’s a Charm jacket, pattern #103 from Decades of Style! Made in a Japanese printed cotton/linen canvas, this easy-to-make and easier to wear third piece features stylized darts in a cute silhouette! Learn more about this jacket, and see a second sample, over here!


Day 6:

Tamara wore a handmade ensemble on the sixth. Her coat comes from the Japenese pattern book Happy Handmade Sew Chic by Yoshiko Tsukiori and she worked it up in a soft linen. The skirt was patterned off a store-bought style; she layered a beautiful black border lace over an Anna Maria Horner printed cotton broadcloth for an elegant, but easy wardrobe addition. For a similar skirt style, try KwikSew pattern #3877.

Jeannie wore a silk plaid dupioni wrap skirt, made with McCall’s #5430, and carried two handmade bags! The larger, striped canvas bag is from Lotta Jansdotter’s book Everyday Style. Her green ultrasuede bag is the Hatoto pattern from the blog Yoshimi the Flying Squirrel.


Day 7:

Rounding out the first week, Ellen wore the Gallery Tunic from Liesl & Co. She sewed it up in a soft cotton plaid broadcloth.


Day 8:

On Mother’s Day, Kitrina looked incredibly lovely in an ensemble from Decades of Style. Her printed silk blouse is pattern #2502, the 1952 Wrap Blouse, which features a true wrap front and two buttons at the yoke. Enhancing the style is pattern #4006, the 1940s Arches Skirt, which she sewed up in wool twill.

Kristina wore her go-to straight skirt pattern, McCall’s #3830. She used a cute novelty print (Mice on Bikes from Lizzy House) and bound the hemline in contrasting turquoise bias tape.

Jessica wore her other favorite Decades of Style pattern: Decades Everyday #101, the E.S.P. dress! The dress is a classic fit-and-flare style with raglan sleeves and she’s made it many times. This version was made with Liberty Tana lawn; read more about it on her blog post!


Day 9:

Ellen donned a great jacket on the ninth day: Pearl from Sewing Workshop. This style features an easy silhouette with drawcord detail at the neckline for the addition of ruching. She used a lightweight polyester, making this the perfect casual spring jacket.


Day 10:

Tamara wore an easy blouse featuring a keyhole neckline with tie closure and deep side vents, which she made from printed silk crepe-de-chine. She also wore a ponte knit skirt, modeled after a store bought style. Sadly, the original Vogue blouse pattern is now discontinued; for a similar look, try McCall’s #7248 or Kitrina’s favorite tunic style, KwikSew #3601.

On the tenth, Jessica wore her inspired by the runway dress. Modeled after a Bottega Veneta style that retailed for $11,000, her version features lace layered over a digital print rayon challis and geometric lace trim at the armhole. She used Burda pattern #6914 to achieve the silhouette with a gentle cocoon shape.


Day 11:

Tamara wore a dress made with a border print cotton lawn. In cutting out the pattern (Vogue #8876), she found she didn’t have quite enough of the print to construct the dress with the border running along the hemline. Ingeniously, Tamara reworked the pattern and achieved a very cool look!

Ellen had plans to attend a Seattle Mariner’s game after work, so she showed off her team spirit and her sewing skills, by wearing a blouse constructed in cotton lawn, boasting the M’s colors! She used Vogue #8927 for this easy-going great shirt.

Kristina wore a self-drafted a-line skirt, sewn up in lovely, easy-to-wear rayon/linen. Try McCall’s #7197 for a similar pattern!

Jessica also wore a self-drafted skirt, this time a dirndl silhouette, featuring an embroidered-border calico cotton. For a similar pattern, try KwikSew #3794.


Day 12:

On the twelfth day, Ellen wore Anne Klein tunic pattern #1509 from Vogue. She sewed it up in a printed cotton double gauze, proving this style looks good in casual and dressy fabrications!

Kristina wore two patterns from Lotta Jansdotter’s Everyday Style. She shorted the Kiomi dress pattern into a tunic length and sewed it up in rayon challis for the perfect breezy summer top. She used washed cotton ticking to make the Owyn pant pattern, for a casual pant style.

Jessica wore a jacket of her own design that she originally created for the Great Jacket Challenge of 2009. The challenge was performed by the staff at Nancy’s for our 31st Anniversary Sale, wherein participating staff used Vogue pattern #1036 (now discontinued) as a base to make a jacket of their choosing. Jessica’s version, with a high-peplum waist and double-breast closure, was constructed of boldly striped cotton canvas.


Wow – that was a long round-up! If you made it this far, thanks for sticking it out until the end! We are sharing our me-made-makes everyday on our Instagram (you can find them directly here), if you would like to see them on the daily. Our next round-ups won’t be nearly this extensive, but just as enjoyable! See you next time!

Planning for Me-Made-May ’16

Have you heard of ‘Me-Made-May’? It’s a fantastic annual challenge set up by Zoe at So, Zo…What do you know?, encouraging people who make, refashion, and upcycle garments to actually wear the things they create!NSB - planning for MMM16 header

We at Nancy’s are no strangers to wearing the garments we make, but we love the idea of encouraging everyone in the sewing community to celebrate their making achievements. As such, we are pledging to partake in Me-Made-May! Our staff will endeavor to wear handmade garments and accessories every day, which we will be sharing on our Instagram account. We will also take a closer look each week at what people have made with a blog post!

In preparation of this event, I’ve asked the staff to share some of their current sewing projects that will be worn for Me-Made-May. Check out all the fun details below, and join us throughout May to see the finished garments!

If you are interested in participating, head over to the So, Zo blog to read more about the challenge and consider signing up! We hope you will participate!


Kristina is using two of the patterns from the possibly-perfect-in-every-way book Everyday Style by Lotta Jansdotter.lottajansdotter91744jf-1077x1200

Kristina is making the Tedra skirt, using a bold black-and-white 1″ gingham check, cut on the bias.

She is also making the Kiomi dress – a sweet, swingy style – using an open weave rayon plaid.


Amy is making up a blouse using the fantastic Sewing Workshop pattern, Florence. Her fabric of choice is 100% cotton chambray in a gorgeous orchid color.

The Florence boasts 14 buttons on a real placket on the front, a faux placket in the back, and button cuffs; Amy selected fun buttons with a confetti look to really make the details sing.


Ellen is making a coat from the Japanese pattern book Casual Sweet Clothes: Favorite Pieces for Every Day by Noriko Sasahara.casualsweetdress1Ellen is using a woven linen/cotton Ikat to make the round-neck coat with turn-up cuffs.


Marilyn is making a smart skirt and blouse ensemble. She will use Burda pattern 7136 to create a button-down blouse of Indian cotton voile, woven of pink and palest green. For her skirt, Marilyn selected Vogue pattern 7937, a semi-fitted, straight-style skirt with hemline detailing. Her fabric is a slinky rayon crepe with a fun jungle print.


Jessica is adding two dresses to her wardrobe for May. The first pattern comes from BurdaStyle magazine (Spring/Summer 2016 Plus size special). Drafted for knits, the dress features a casual cocoon silhouette, with pleating at the bodice and interesting draped armholes. Her fabric is matte jersey in polyester/spandex with a graphic navy on red print.

For her second dress, Jessica is modifying her favorite pattern (Decades of Style 2003 1920s Hazel’s Frock, used last year for her 1920s ensemble) to reproduce an original 1920s sailor-style dress found on Pinterest. For her version, Jessica picked out cotton lawn for the body (variegated hot pink stripes on lavender ground) and Indian cotton voile for the sailor collar (hot pink with coral cross-weave).

Because the lawn is lightweight and somewhat sheer, Jessica will make the bias-cut slip from Folkwear 219 Intimacies to wear underneath, using rayon/acetate satin faille in rose/gold.


Are you currently working on any spring sewing projects? Are you inspired to join in the Me-Made-May fun? Let us know in the comments below!

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.

NSB - DoS patterns on display

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.

NSB - DoS pdf patterns

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.

Rolling down my stockings and rouging my knees – part 4

Welcome back for the final installment of making my 1920s costume! I am very excited to share details about preparing the last part of my ensemble – my shoes – and to reveal my costume in its entirety!

NSB - 1920s costume header pt 4

One of the easiest and most fun components of my roaring twenties costume was the shoes. While the other components of my ensemble – my dress, headpiece, and purse – have a definite ‘costume’ feel to them, I knew I wanted my shoes to still translate into my regular wardrobe. I began researching 1920s evening shoes and found some amazing inspiration!

These incredible shoes have a place to hold a small lipstick on the heel! source

The 1920s were an interesting time for women’s footwear, because hemlines were suddenly short enough that shoes were always visible. As a result, every component of a shoe was fair game for embellishment, including the heel!

After drooling over all the incredible designs, I knew I wanted to add rhinestones to my heels! I searched for the right pair of shoes: something with a modest heel of an appropriate shape (the heel needed to be 2.5” or less and not too conical) and a Mary Jane or T-strap. Luckily for me, vintage-influenced styles are produced every season, so I knew it wouldn’t be impossible to find a good pair of shoes that met these criteria.

I found several pairs of shoes that were really fun, in bright colors like tangerine and citron, or with spectator styling. Unfortunately, these were either too tall or out of my price range, so I kept looking. I’m so glad I did, because I found just the right pair of shoes!

I love the Mary Jane styling with the sweet cut-outs and the solid shape of the heel. source

Once I had the shoes in hand, I planned out a simple-but-effective design for rhinestones on my heels. I began by making a template of my heel using white printer paper.

NSB - 1920s-style heels make a template

I sketched an outline, inspired by the shape of actual twenties heels.

NSB - 1920s-style heels sketch design

From there I created my motif and marked rhinestone placement.

NSB - 1920s-style heels create layout

I made holes in my template using an awl (a very thick needle, like a tapestry needle, would also work for this) and marked where my rhinestones should go using a white colored pencil.

NSB - 1920s-style heels rhinestone template

Then, I applied the rhinestones to one of the heels…

NSB - 1920s-style heels one shoe done

…and repeated on the second! I totally love how they turned out!

NSB - 1920s-style heels finished

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s move on the final reveal!

NSB - jessica's hazel's frock

I feel like this costume really needs a sound track! Let’s enjoy the Charleston!

NSB - jessica's hazel's frock side

“Charleston! Charleston!”

NSB - jessica's hazel's frock back

I love the view from the back, showing off the jaunty neck scarf and flashing my new heels.

Thanks so much for joining me through this whole process! It was incredibly fun to dream up and make this costume, and even better to share it!

If you have any feedback, questions, or ideas for what you’d like to see in the future, let me know in the comments below!

Rolling down my stockings and rouging my knees – part 1

Jessica here! Welcome to our newest multi-post series, where I talk all about creating a 1920s costume and accessories. I am excited to share with you all the details and planning that went into making a fabulous ensemble for my friend’s Roaring ‘20s themed birthday bash! NSB - 1920s costume header pt 1 As a plus size woman, I knew that it might be difficult to find a 1920s costume off the rack. Because I love costumes and making fun ensembles, I figured I might as well make something fabulous for this party!

Today I will go over pattern and fabric selection and share a lot of the beautiful inspiration I found. The 1920s: such a fabulous era for gorgeous clothing, accessories, and details!

After receiving the party invitation, I started looking at possible patterns. I don’t have the ‘ideal’ twenties figure and I’ve never really worn drop waist silhouettes, so I looked for a style that I would be comfortable in, that could accommodate my full hips and, hopefully, be flattering. I primarily searched the independent historical pattern lines we carry at Nancy’s, Folkwear and Decades of Style, and found some great options.

NSB - Folkwear 1920s patterns

Folkwear patterns, clockwise from top left: #237 Tango Dress, #214 1927 Tea Frock, #264 Monte Carlo Dress, #261 Paris Promenade Dress

NSB - Decades of Style 1920s patterns

Decades of Style patterns, clockwise from top left: #2502 1925 Zig Zag Dress, #2501 1925 Fringe Front Dress, #2003 1920s Hazel’s Frock, #2004 1920s Tier-rific Ensemble

From there, I looked at pattern sizing and styling. Unfortunately, the Folkwear pattern I loved most, the Tango Dress, does not run large enough for me, and I wasn’t as interested in their other silhouettes for this particular occasion. Looking at all the options from Decades of Style, I was most interested in the 1920s Hazel’s Frock and the 1925 Zig Zag Dress. After reviewing the construction details and finished measurements, I landed on (drum roll, please)…

Decades of Style 1920s Hazels Frock

Hazel’s Frock!

Once I knew what I was going to make, I had to select fabrics! This is my favorite part of any sewing project and choosing fabric for this costume was no exception! At this point, I turned to Pinterest for the never-ending visual inspiration it offers. I’m going to share a few of my very favorite 1920s dresses I found there, but know there are so many other incredible examples.

After gathering ideas for materials and colors, I set out looking for my fabrics. I did a quick search through my own stash and found a potential candidate for the main body of the dress. When I couldn’t find a suitable coordinate for the neck and hem scarves, I browsed the special occasion section at Nancy’s and came up with several new, fantastic combinations.

NSB - harlequin print combo

Purple/black/white harlequin print silk chiffon featuring silver & gold lamé with metallic print poly chiffon for the scarves

NSB - art deco print combo

Art Deco print on silk/cotton with silk/metallic organza for the scarves

NSB - chevron raschel knit combo

Black & gold raschel chevron knit with sparkly poly organza for the scarves

NSB - multi color novelty print combo

Multi-colored novelty print silk crêpe-de-chine with three coordinating silks for the scarves

And then I saw it: the perfect fabric. It was vibrant and fun! Sheer and opaque! It sparkled! And best of all: it was already embellished, so most of the work had been done for me! I wouldn’t even have to hem it!

Realizing the addition of scarves around the hemline would detract from the incredible embellishment, I decided I would make only the neck scarf from the original pattern, using a simple black poly organza, similar to the basecloth.

Because I chose a sheer fabric for my dress, I elected to make a coordinating slip to wear under. I used the fabulous Intimacies pattern from Folkwear, which includes a bias cut slip or teddy, tap pants, and camisole, all perfect foundations for 1920s and ‘30s style clothing. For fabric, I selected our rayon/acetate blend satin faille, which has a great hand and works incredibly well on the bias.Folkwear Intimacies pattern cover I had help fitting the dress pattern from our excellent sewing instructor, Jacque Goldsmith. (side note: Did you know Jacque offers 15 minutes of free advice on the first Thursday of every month? It’s perfect for quickly fitting a muslin!) We moved the french dart up about an inch and added fish-eye darts to the back, to help reduce bulk and better fit my shape.

From there, construction of both the dress and slip was straightforward. The majority of my efforts were spent removing sequins and appliqués from seam allowances and the darts and hand sewing them back in after the construction was complete. I am so pleased with how this dress turned out!

NSB - Hazels Frock front

Dress front

NSB - Hazels Frock back

Dress back – I love the elegance and simplicity of the neck scarf. I cleverly hid my back darts under two of the appliqués.

Join me for the next installment as I make a 1920s headpiece to coordinate with my dress! I have a lot more inspiration to share. And stay tuned for the full, final look; it’s the cat’s pyjamas!