Art Nouveau Ladies and Vintage Sugar and Lace


Sewing is progressing slowly in this house: occasionally stuff happens, it just does not get photographed.  Some fabric for The Daughter’s Sudoko Grid for her winter school wardrobe got “re-deployed” elsewhere.  In the process I started ANOTHER Sudoku grid for a “Performance Wardrobe” for her Jazz gigs.  More about that later.

This jacket/coat is hanging a bit before I hem it:

I want to tell about the little shop where I bought the 1990’s pattern.  We discovered this gem of a vintage shop in December 2015 when we were on holiday the Drakensberg, and visited there again this January.  The proprietress of the shop – Sandra Lemmer – relocated the authentic stock from a pre-1970’s general dealer in another part of the country, to a museum store on a farm near Winterton.  Sandra’s story can be read here.

The first time we visited I did not take many pictures, except for this one where Sandra was filling an old-fashioned paper-bag full of sweets for my little son.

WP_2017 sandrasweets_

On display she had sweets from the original store – many, many years old and mostly not sweets you find today any more!  (Sugar really has a long shelf-life…but rest assured, those are not what she sells to the customers, they were for display purposes only. )

When we visited again in January this year, I took a few more pictures:

So now I finally got around to sewing the pattern which I rummaged out of a box full of old patterns the first time we were there. Sandra said if I ever sew it, I must please share a picture to the Shop’s Facebook page… I will do that once I added the dress as well  {-;

Something hugely amusing I almost bought last time we visited.  But my husband assured me I do not need it. (Not yet.)  Do yourself a favour and read the detail:

How about that….

In other news:  because everything I am sewing for The Daughter is black or grey at the moment (aaaaargh….) I just had to take a break from her stuff to avoid getting colour-withdrawal syndrome.  So I sewed a Tessuti Favourite Top (free downloadable pattern here, it is a gem…) in the most gorgeous printed scuba knit.  I wanted to keep it for myself, to be honest, but I actually realised while I was cutting that the fabric design matched a friend of mine’s personality to a T.  I forgot to take a proper picture before I delivered it, but these were the teasers I sent her from my phone:

And finally:  What my son has been sewing.  He is making a “Cacafonix the Bard” costume (the bloke who always gets trussed and gagged on the last page of every Asterix comic:)

I am chuffed with The Son: he cut that shirt free-hand, but he cut it on the bias because the curtaining fabric he bought for it is actually a diamond pattern and he wanted a check.  The shirt ended up being wonderfully comfortable and he now wears it to class at university.  (In case anyone wondered, he is a Financial Accounting student, not an arts or theater or literature student in spite of the hippy image!)

Talking about sewing for men:  The Payer of Fabric Store Invoices wants a pair of tracksuit pants.  Do you think I can find a useable pattern from any of the Big 4?  Vogue has nice formal/office/outerwear patterns.  As for the others, it is just ridiculous.  These are ALL the patterns for men on Butterick’s page:

butterick men

So, the Father of Cacafonix can choose if he wants to look like Nelson Mandela, Inspector Clousseau, a priest or an extra in Grey’s Anatomy.  He can go academic or go to sleep.  But even B5153 looks more like pajamas than tracksuit pants.

If anyone out there knows about a sensible pattern for men’s tracksuit pants, PLEASE let me know!

13 thoughts on “Art Nouveau Ladies and Vintage Sugar and Lace

    • Thanks for coming over here to read! And thank you very much for the suggestions. I have been eyeing those Hudson pants for The Daughter’s Wardrobe.They do look well drafted.


  1. For men’s track pants I just use a woman’s pants pattern that I have that is elastic waisted and add some more room in the front crotch to accommodate manly bits. You can shape the legs as desired, add cuffs and pockets if you want and a false fly, but I never bother. Otherwise look for a scrubs pattern. Many of the Big 4 companies make those and they work great.

    Liked by 1 person

      • I guess I should add that I find it hard to buy patterns for things like t-shirts and trackpants. I mean if you’re a pro athlete or a dancer, then we are in different territory. If you just want some comfy pants for cruising around it, you could probably just draft them off something he already owns!
        PS I am also looking forward to seeing the gig outfits. I’m working on those this year too!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I have to admit seeing your planning for your stage wardrobe really started me thinking on creating a collection for her. I am tired of rushing through shops the week before a performance to find NOTHING that really works!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. What a cool store, and that gadget is hilarious. Can you imagine? Well done to your son for cutting the shirt on the bias and for having it result in such a fun top. I know what you mean about men’s patterns. There is so little out there, so you either have to do a lot of pattern hacking or draft it yourself. Ugh. Ottobre is going to be having some men’s patterns in what they’re calling their “family” issue. I think it’ll be the last issue of the year, but it sounds like they’re planning for a good number of styles. I have a subscription this year, so we’ll see.


    • I should really find out more about Ottobre subscription. I have never seen the magazine here in south Africa. The thing is, our exchange rate is rather unfavorable for overseas subscriptions and courier costs of non-downloadable items. But maybe I can find some issues in one of the specialist bookstores.


      • I’ve never had a subscription until this year…I’ve gotten all of mine either on Ebay or in the classifieds on PR. I really like their patterns…they’re great basics and easily adaptable, and their fit is similar to Burda.


  3. Ok, to be honest, I couldn’t read any farther than the bigger boobie machine. Seriously was that used for breast enlargement or as an “aide” of some sort. 😉 That is the funniest thing I have ever seen in my life!!!! and no, sorry, I haven’t seen a good men’s track pants pattern. 🙂


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