I'm very happy to announce the newest pattern release!
Named after my grandmother's cousin who was a factory war worker during WWII, the Phyllis Air Raid Suit is a Wearing History Resto-vival pattern based on a rare original extant pattern from the 1940's. These were also called "Siren Suits".
Includes size 30" bust through 42" bust, all in the same packet.
The original description reads:
"A well-fitted one piece air raid suit or coverall that's easy to slip into. You'll find it a most suitable costume for defense work and outdoor activity."
I offer photo tutorials on this site to aid in construction! With patience, and the use of the photo tutorials, an intermediate sewist may attempt this pattern. Although this may not seem difficult at first glance, this pattern is very challenging, even for experienced sewists. It uses a lot of menswear techniques like flat felled seams and button plackets. It also has buttons up both sides of the pants, a hidden button placket at back (drop seat!), and buttons up the front. Although we think this is a necessary pattern for re-enacting and enthusiast's needs, please be forewarned that it is extremely challenging and time costuming. Don't expect to make it a few days before an event. I will be adding photo tutorials to my blog to help with the challenging parts of construction.
About Wearing History Resto-Vival™ Patterns
Resto-Vival™ Patterns are original historic patterns that have been restored and revived. Original patterns are usually available only in single sizes, precut from tissue paper and totally unprinted, with details like grainlines and darts indicated only by small perforations. Resto-Vival™ patterns are printed on sturdy bond paper instead of tissue and clearly marked with drawn and labeled markings. These markings aid the modern sewer in understanding the markings of the original pattern and the construction of the garment. Resto-Vival™ patterns follow the period shapes of the original patterns, maintaining the historical accuracy of the completed garment. Original period instructions are included. These instructions are text only (unless otherwise noted) and fairly minimal, especially compared to instructions for modern patterns. At least an intermediate knowledge of dressmaking and a good familiarity with pattern construction is suggested. You may choose to have a modern or period sewing book handy to help with basic construction methods that the pattern instructions do not cover in detail. Also, fitting a muslin mockup is strongly recommended, as all garments were meant to be worn over period foundation garments or corsetry.
Fun pattern, excellent customer service!
Posted by Kelly Rose on Aug 17th 2016
I wanted to make Phyllis for a Rosie the Riveter gathering in Richmond. I hadn't been planning on it, but I stumbled on the pattern two weeks out, and just knew I had to do it. The pattern warns not to leave it too last minute, though, so I contacted Lauren to see if I could get the pattern in time. She was wonderfully helpful, and a few days later, I started sewing.
The pattern is definitely very involved. I made my wedding dress and a corset to go with it, and I think that was still less involved than Phyllis. I do think that an intermediate sewer would be alright here if they're patient and willing to use their seam ripper. Lauren's great photo tutorials were very helpful, especially on the button fly. Because of her kind warning, I knew to allot significant time for this project, and I finished tacking down all the facings the night before with no need to rush. It took me three full days and a couple of evenings. Laying out, cutting and marking definitely took the bulk of my time. There are SO many markings!
I was startled by the fit; I'm quite short, only 5 feet tall, and I had to shorten the pant legs by 6 inches and the sleeves by 3, but the torso fit me spot on, even hitting at precisely my natural waist. I typically shorten blouses by a couple of inches, so I was very surprised. Definitely make your muslin, or check against your personal block if you've got one.
I'm so happy with how Phyllis turned out! I got a bunch of compliments, and I had a lot of fun sewing. I actually like the fit of her so well I'm planning to use the blouse portion of the pattern to make a leather jacket. This was all around a great pattern, and a great shopping experience. Thanks Lauren!