VV About

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Behind the VeraVenus blog and patterns is me, Jeanne, a designer & costumier with over 40 years of pattern designing and sewing experience and a life long love of 30’s, 40’s & 50’s clothes.

The sewVeraVenus blog is my take on vintage-style dressmaking mainly through personal projects and some of my professional work too which often relates to vintage. I’ll be posting tutorials on pattern drafting and sewing, some free patterns and lots of inspiration. My aim is to share and encourage the pleasure of making beautiful clothes.

Jean HarlowKatharine Hepburn Ginger Rogers

Jean Harlow, Katharine Hepburn and Ginger Rogers are my style muses… I loved watching classic Hollywood films as a kid and as soon as I was old enough to buy my own clothes I headed straight to the vintage shops of NYC’s East Village and Upper West Side. I was taught to sew by my mother and an aunt at a young age and practiced on my vintage finds.  At 17 I had my ideal summer job in a tiny treasure trove of a vintage clothing shop on St. Marks Place called ‘Happily Ever After’.  My daily outfits were 20’s chiffons, 30’s silk velvets and 40’s crepes with a dash of Edwardian whites. I tottered about on glittery 3″ platform shoes with 6″heels – it was a lot of fun dressing up in the 1970’s.

Next came a Fashion degree from Parsons School of Design NYC , still wearing vintage of course and then a life-long career of design, illustrating, pattern-drafting and making for fashion, film, dance, theatre and private bridal clients began.

In 1986  I was offered a design assistant/pattern cutter position in a London fashion company which I accepted and have lived in the UK ever after.
Since ’91  I have been a freelance costumier while living on the South Coast of England with my husband, three dogs, three birds and a cat. From 2011-15  I  regularly designed contemporary sewing patterns and wrote tutorials for a UK craft magazine.

My inclination to wear lovely yet impractical clothing has never really changed over the years though the heels of my shoes are significantly lower than they used to be. I collect special vintage pieces, particularly lingerie, and 30s-50s inspired styles are what I like to sew for myself.

Being creative is a compulsion; baking, gardening,  decorative furniture painting and the occasional (and always disastrous) knitting project. When not making things I like to read books about making things. I’m a terrible magpie of a collector too… bits of Japanese made lusterware china, vintage tins, old quilts, pre WWII kimonos, vintage sewing patterns and dressmaking books.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy your look around my site.

If you’d like to get in touch you can contact me through my contact form

  • Jeanne

I create, therefore I am.

P.S.

I often get asked about the name VeraVenus: It comes from an afternoon spent googling who knows what and I came across VeRa Venus : Venus Express Radio Science Experiment.  Something about that really fired my imagination and I adopted the name as my vintage/blogging alter-ego.   All aboard the VeraVenus Express!

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69 thoughts on “VV About

      1. I love all your patterns particularly the lovely Lingery which I struggle with as I find working with silks & satins we also share another passion Audley shoes

  1. Dear Jeanne, hi!
    I’m from Greece and a “rookie” in clothe making.In real life I’m a bank manager :D…I really admire your talent and inspiration which I find very encouraging and fascinating.The fashion decades you’re refering to are-in my opinion- of the most classy,refined and feminine.
    I wish you’re always as creative and as passionate!
    All the best,
    Georgia

    1. Thank you Georgia! I hope you persevere with your clothes making and become more than a rookie. It has to be one of the top most satisfying things to do in terms of creating something with your own hands. If you have a go with one of my patterns and want any advice just drop me a line, always happy to help!

  2. Hello Jeanne,
    I just wanted to thank you for sharing those incredibly beautiful patterns with everybody. I already sewed your french knickers and the kimono blouse, and they have a perfect fit! Also for not so experienced sewers -like me- its possible to get a good result 🙂 And yesterday i made my weekly visit in the textile shop for another kimono blouse 😉 your page is very inspiring and makes me get a tingle in my fingers to sew something new every time i visit it 🙂 (i hope the expression also makes sense in english.. i’m not a native speaker 😉 )
    I appreciate your work a lot, thumbs up !!

    1. Thank you Julia for commenting! It is wonderful to hear that you are finding my patterns work well, especially as a less experienced sewer. That is very good news for me 🙂

  3. I think you are lovely, and your style is incredible. And oh my, Katharine Hepburn will always be my hero. Wasn’t she the most beautiful, willful, independent, brilliant roll model?

    1. Thank you laurelei and yes she really was! And on a frivolous note it always cheered me up immensely up to think her hair was actually quite curly even though it always looked so sleek in films and press photos, and when she was older she just let those curls out.

  4. Jeanne, I somehow found my way to your site through Pinterest. Your work and blog are so inspirational, and I thank you for your generosity in sharing your patterns for free. If you don’t mind, I would like to share the information about your blog in my own blog and I will be subscribing to your site.

    As a former New Yorker myself, by way of Brooklyn, I enjoyed reading your bio. Best wishes to you in all that you do.
    Mary

  5. wow lucky you marvelous of you to share your blog with us. I love vintage too but have not worn too much of it. Thanks for the fabulous patterns

  6. Wow !! Love your style and admire your knowledge and ability to make such beautiful things to wear!! I share ur passion and love of vintage style..lord knows they just don’t make things nowadays like they used to …sadly however I do not posses experience of sewing but it is a new goal! Thank you for taking the time to share not only the process but the patterns as well!! That in and of itself is a lot to do!! Thanks again sincerely, Amanda

  7. As a very beginner I’m a little nervous about having a go at some of these, but nothing ventured… Was delighted to hear you’re in the British South, where I grew up. Thanks for sharing such lovely stuff and a bit of yourself on here!

  8. I just read your bio. I think we may share similar DNA. Except for the job in England I felt like, “that is me!” Now I am so excited to stroll through your designs and inspiration. Thanks, nice to know I’m not alone in my obsessions.

  9. You have a really fantastic blog. I loved scrolling down because every time it moved I kept thinking ” oh I love that” , ” oh and i love that too” . Everything you make is just beautiful and so elegant and you are obviously very talented.
    Keep up the good work!

  10. Thank you for sharing, Gorgeous site! I have been a picker of vintage for many years. I have been influenced by the tailoring of the 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s to get into sewing. I am a late starter, but better late than never! I looked at a few of your post and you are such an inspiration!

  11. Hello!

    I’ve nominated you for a Reader Appreciation Award, and hope you will accept.

    Your blog has been so interesting and inspiration, literally & figuratively helping me in sew many ways! One of my hopes this year is to start creating some of the great projects you’ve posted – they really inspire me.

    Rules, etc., are posted here.
    http://curlsnskirls.wordpress.com/2013/02/27/last-october/

    From a very grateful reader,
    D’ellis at CurlsnSkirls
    http://curlsnskirls.wordpress.com

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