Hello and welcome to the Vintage Corner!
My name is Shabana and I have been sewing since I was a little girl. My mum owned an old Singer and being an accomplished seamstress, made beautiful dresses for my sister and I. She was keen for me to learn to sew and had no problems with letting me have a go on the sewing machine. I still remember that wonderful feeling on finishing my first garment, something I still experience every time I successfully complete a sewing project!
Below is a photo of my Singer, inherited from my husband’s Gran, who was also an excellent seamstress. I would sit at her kitchen table carrying out little sewing jobs for her, as her sight was failing, whilst she shared lovely memories of ‘upcycling’ garments on this machine during WW2.
I’m afraid I don’t sew on the old Singer anymore, but it accompanies me on my market stalls and never fails to evoke an emotional reaction from passersby, who stop and share their Singer Stories with me (a subject for a future blog methinks).
Nowadays I sew on my trusted Brother Model DS-140, with all the modern features one expects from a sewing machine. Other essential sewing equipment I keep to hand for any sewing project are my seam ripper, pins with coloured heads making them easy to spot, pinking shears and fabric scissors – large and small, embroidery scissors, tailors chalk and tape measure. Mine have been inherited or gifted to me over the years, but I would recommend buying the best quality you can afford, treat them like investment pieces and they’ll serve you well.
Whilst I generally sew using a variety of patterns, I particularly enjoy sewing vintage designs. I love the simplicity of the forties, elegant glamour of the fifties, and playful styles of the sixties, and hope to share my vintage makes with you over the coming months. My pattern stash includes vintage originals (gifted to me by my generous and beautiful elderly neighbours!) and reproductions (Vogue Vintage & Retro Butterick have great selections).
My favourite pattern at the moment is the Vogue Vintage V8789, a lovely yet simple pattern to follow (especially the V neck option which is self facing) and I can make it up in a few hours unlined. Its lovely worn casual with flats, or for a more retro look, gorgeous paired with a petticoat and finished off with heels & belt to cinch the waist. It takes around 4.5metres of fabric, an 11” invisible zip, and I use Gutermann threads (they are of good quality in wide range of colour shades).
Made in vintage Laura Ashley fabric, as well as one made for a lovely lady who wanted something special to wear at her Gran’s 90th, in her family’s tribal colours!