Raiding Grandma’s Stash

Over Thanksgiving weekend, I ran over to my grandma’s and raided her sewing stash. Now, I did just have one of my grandmothers die, but this is my gran that’s still alive. She’s a big sewer too. She now mainly quilts, but her quilting skill is unbelievable. Sheesh! She’s such a pro. I wanted her old sewing patterns, but she let me have a look at a bit of her fabric too and gave me a great 60’s piece – which you see on the left in the photos below. She gave me a whole box of patterns, and I looked through it and took these few only because I have no room to store too many. Needless to say, Mr. S came with me and had a deer-in-the-headlights look as we left with the entire box.

Here are the treasures I picked out. My gran had a limited selection of 50’s & 60’s, mostly kidswear, but I was able to snag these. Darling no?

I’m such a sucker for 80’s blouses too. I don’t know why but I LOVE them so much. These are no exception. I just die over the feminine, slightly billowy look.

Picked up a few 80’s dress patterns and this 70’s housedress. I am serious need of a muu muu and this one does look so comfortable. Easy to wear too.

Last, but not least, you’ll die to know that I actually snagged this one and its the next pattern that’s getting made up. Me mum and I, have been fighting over this classic shirtwaist dress that she got from J.Peterman. Does it really matter who paid for it? Come now, what a daughter wants, a daughter should get. FREAK! I want the stupid dress so much and my mum just will not give it to me. I even asked if I could borrow it to trace off the pattern and she flatly refused. The silly thing is made entirely of – get this – flannel! I tried it on and it was love at first sight! Not only that, but the comfort and warm factor put the dumb thing 100 notches higher in the “have to have it now” pile of my head. But no! I couldn’t even trace it off! I was just about to delve into drafting my own pattern for it, when low and behold, my gran and her stash came to the rescue! Yay! I’ve even found the flannel! Yay! I’ve even cut my size out already! Yay! Now wait a minute. I know it definitely does not look like much. In fact, the cover is ATROCIOUS! But when I looked at the line drawing on the back, it has every. single. thing. I. want! The classic darted body, the sleeve options, the skirt length, the notched collar! I nearly fainted with utter and sheer absolute DELIGHT! By the way, you can still purchase this pattern from McCall’s here. And you’ll be happy to know that they updated that white trash “paris amour” fabric (which is what the cover’s model is wearing here) to a lovely eyelet. Much better. So much better. I swear, its the exact replica of the J.Peterman dress, but for one small thing I intend to alter, which I’ll share with you later.

Well, after all that, I would say that Gran’s stash raid was a complete success! Thank you Grandma! You are the BEST! Off to make up that silly shirtwaist dress, just in honor of you and your wonderfulness!

xoxo,
Sunni

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24 thoughts on “Raiding Grandma’s Stash

  1. I’m a little jealous – I’ve been wanting to make myself a shirtwaist dress for several months and just haven’t had the time. Hopefully in January…. I had never thought of making it in flannel, though. What a great idea! Can’t wait to see what you do with it. 🙂

  2. I love the idea of a flannel dress – so toasty warm! My grandma gave me some of her stash, but she gave away most of it before I started sewing, drats. I clicked through to the McCall’s website for the shirtdress pattern and, hmm, I think that eyelet dress needs a slip! Cute pattern though, can’t wait to see it made up 🙂

  3. Oooooo Love that pattern. Love it so much I bought it this past summer but have yet to make it. I choose “E” as you did. Love the sleeve length and the cute detail on the turned up sleeve hem. I put it aside thinking “summer cotton” but your idea of a flannel is perfect!!! I may just have to steal that one from you 😉

    Thanks much for the fabulous inspiration!!

  4. What a great stash of patterns you were able to raid! Love all of them! And love that bright fabric in the background! Can’t wait to see your shirt dress…I’ve been dreaming about shirtdresses for some time, perhaps seeing yours will give me a kick up the ass to make one!

  5. I’m in the middle of making McCalls 4769 for my daughter in law out of some wonderful vintage challis-like fabric. I’ve found it runs a little big… as in, I made it up and now I have to take it apart and take it in all around to make it fit the way she wants it to. But it’s a great pattern!

  6. You definitely found a treasure. I can imagine how fun it will be to remake your grandma’s collection of dresses. It looks like she passed on to you her skills and passion.

  7. Don’t you know, I’ve been looking for a shirtwaist dress pattern like this for quite a while, too! 😀 I’d love to see your version. I wish I could find some nice, non-pajama-looking flannel over here…
    The Butterick wrap dress is totally adorable, too!

  8. ~ * ♥ * ~

    *gasp* I’m in the middle of making up that McCalls as well! I went with version C because I totally need a bunch of summer dresses, but I also love the idea of making up a flannel version for winter… I soo have to try that too Sunni! I love the top three patterns as well, so gorgeous. My Mom let me raid a whole bunch of fabric that she got given from my Grandmother’s stash {what a mouthful}; I just love the old vintage fabrics from back then.

    xox,
    bonita of Depict This!
    ~ * ♥ * ~

  9. ~ * ♥ * ~

    *gasp* I’m in the middle of making up that McCalls as well! I went with version C because I totally need a bunch of summer dresses, but I also love the idea of making up a flannel version for winter… I soo have to try that too Sunni! I love the top three patterns as well, so gorgeous. My Mom let me raid a whole bunch of fabric that she got given from my Grandmother’s stash {what a mouthful}; I just love the old vintage fabrics from back then. :3

    xox,
    bonita of Depict This!
    ~ * ♥ * ~

  10. Flannel will be so nice! I made that McCall’s shirt dress pattern before. I had a hard time with it, mainly because I had never done a collar like that before. But after all the trials I ended up with a FANTASTIC fit. Seriously one of the best fitting items I’ve made. In fact, I may need to revisit that pattern again now that I’ve got a few more collars under my belt…

  11. Ahhh! I’ve got that same early 60s wedding dress pattern and I absolutely love it. I’ve had it for 15 years or so and have always thought of it as the wedding dress I want when i get married. It still may end up being that dress.

    Cool patterns – the fabric is great too.

  12. Everytime I feel guilty about unused fabric or patterns, I will remember this post. One day I will give joy to my granddaughter! …I hope…what if I only have grandsons…or the kids don’t have any of their own…???

  13. I swear shirt dresses are all about the fabric. I made one and ended up looking like a waitress in a diner, that one is going to be turned into a button up belted skirt in the spring, but I plan on doing take two in a better, less waitressy fabric.

  14. okay, sooooo cute! I can see why you and your mom are “fighiting” over that flannel dress- but now she is surely going to want yours!

  15. I have made Butterick 9214. I love it, wear it everyday. it’s morning here and I am wearing it right now! Then I made a reversible coat out of it. I love that sash so much! Good find! Lucky you!

  16. Hi Sunni
    I love your site – and thanks for the great tips! I checked it out after seeing your Ginger on Colette….. Thanks also for the link to the J Peterman site – some great inspiration there, even though it costs too much to buy stuff from Europe:(…

    You guys are so lucky in the States – besides two gorgeous (read dressy, expensive stuff) fabric shops, we have one other which gets most stuff – but flannel, no. I went there a few days ago – funnily enough, I had a yen to make a shirt dress in flannel after seeing one on Asos – all I found were three cheesy designs in flanellette – kitsch, but not cute kitsch… and ordering flannel from abroad is pricey cos it’s thick! Plus, you have Sullivan’s spray stabilizer – am I jealous!

    Anyway, thanks again Sunni – I will be back after the Christmas post stops going postal to get some of your belt stuff.

    All the best

  17. I made up the M4769 this past summer! I used a cotton print-mauve flowers on a white background. I love the fit and the summer feel of the dress…but…I did have issuses with the notched collar. I never did get it right. I read and re-read the instructions and stitched and unsticted the collar. I love the dress but not sure that I would try it again because of the collar. I enjoy your BLOG…wish you had been in my sewing room with me when I was working on this dress!!

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