Aimee Cook is the owner and designer behind Aimee’s Victorian Armoire and the Aimee’s Victorian Armoire shop. She recently published a book with nine vintage-inspired patterns. Vintage Pattern Book features fashion from the 1940’s and 1950’s, inspired by vintage pieces. The spiral bound pages make it easy to reference the book while sewing!

Aimee has a free excerpt from the book for you, with one of the nine patterns in the book. This gives you a taste of the style of the patterns; Aimee helps you draft using your own dimensions so you’ll get a perfect fit every time. For the additional eight patterns, and to see more of the designs, you can find the book through the Aimee’s Victorian Armoire site. Aimee is also generously offering up a free copy of her book! Just comment for a chance to win Vintage Pattern Book.

Looking for more of Aimee’s work? She shared a Vintage-Inspired Capelet Tutorial with us. You can also learn more about Aimee in her introduction.


“Strive for progress, not perfection.”

This was the quote embossed in beautiful gold letters that graced a soft pink cover of a journal I happened to spy one day out shopping. I fully recall the moment I saw it, laying there tucked under numerous other journals, slightly crumpled and seemingly forgotten. With cat-like reflexes I scooped it up, dropped it promptly into my shopping cart and gave a little mental note of thanks towards this spiral bound blessing….

So begins the opening page of my much cared for, and much-fretted over book. This is a loving tribute to vintage fashion and the women in my life who have given me the courage and knowledge to create and publish my first book. Each of the nine patterns featured in this book are based off of originals, yet can easily be blended into one’s modern wardrobe. Using a pattern guide system, one is able to create truly custom patterns that can be altered and tweaked as one desires!

Below is an excerpt from the book….

Tools, Tips + Tricks:
Each one of the patterns outlined in this book are completely self-drafted. Using your own measurements and the tools listed out below, you will be able to create custom (and I mean custom) patterns that will fit your specific body shape. If you have never drafted a pattern before, here are a few rules and tips to keep in mind.

1. When in doubt, draft (and therefore cut out) a little larger than you think you will need. You can always take away, but it is very difficult to add. The guide does not include seam allowances, so be sure to add those in when you cut out your pieces.

2. Fit, fit and fit again. After you make your paper pattern, check it for fit, especially around the armhole and bust. Fit again after you stitch the shoulder and side seams of the fabric bodice and, yes, once more when you are done. Proper fit should always be on the forefront of your mind.

3. Be patient! Like all new things, a learning curve is to be expected. Don’t give up if your first draft is slightly wonky or too short. Take it as an opportunity to make a better draft the next time!

4. Don’t be surprised if you like pattern drafting! It can be surprisingly contagious. Once you create a few patterns, you will be surprised at how quickly the skill will grow and open up a whole new world of sewing!

Even if you are brand, spanking new to the world of pattern drafting, there are patterns in this book that you can do right now! Each pattern is graded on a difficulty level of 1-3. Simply used this number guide to point you on the road to success!

The Lucille Top

Level 3

This is truly one of those patterns that can be made in a multitude of fabrics to accommodate a variety of events and climates. You can wear it with a cardigan, by itself with a pair of cropped pants or imagine one out of silk tucked into a poufy circle skirt… The possibilities are truly endless.

Materials:

  • 1 ¼ yard of fabric: cotton, poly-blend, linen
  • One 4” zipper
  • One 9” zipper
  • Double fold bias tape

Pattern Guide:
Bodice Front:
– A, B – ¼ of neck plus 2”, curve line
– A, C – Same as line of shoulder piece D, C, plus 1”
– B, E – Base of neck to 4” below the waistline
– F, G – Underarm to center bust plus 1 ½”
– C, D – End of shoulder piece to same as end point E, give slight curve to top to allow for remaining armhole
– D, E – Connect Points

Bodice Back:
– A, B – ¼ of neckline minus the shoulder piece neckline plus ½”
– A, C – Same as Front A, C
– B, D – Base of neck to same end point as Front
– G, F – Underarm to center back plus 1” (plus extra for zipper)
– C, E – End of shoulder piece to same end as point D, curve top for armhole
– D, E – Connect points

Shoulder Piece:
– A, B – Shoulder plus 1”
– B, C – 2” wide – add more for a wider neckline
– A, D – Top of shoulder to start of underarm, curve in
– D, C – Draw a diagonal line – measure base of neck to point D

Sewing Process:
1. Sew the shoulder pieces to the front and back bodice pieces, right sides together.

2. Sew the shoulder seams, right sides together.

3. Stitch bodice back center seam up to the end point where 4” zipper would start, right sides together. Insert zipper.

4. Stitch one side seam from underarm to the point where the 9” zipper should start, right sides together. Insert 9” zipper.

5. Stitch other side seam, right sides together.

6. Pin the darts as desired on wrong side of bodice, stitch. Trim off excess fabric.

7. Hem the bottom edge.

8. Run a gathering stitch along the neckline of the blouse. Measure a piece of double fold bias tape to comfortably go around the neck, plus 1”. Gather neckline of top to fit the bias tape, making sure to leave ½” of bias tape free to tuck under for a nice finish on both ends. Stitch bias tape to blouse.

9. Hem the armholes with a narrow hem.