Meanwhile Back on Planet VeraVenus…


I recently read a Blogging Tips article and I now know it’s terrible that I don’t write regularly (five months of silence is pretty bad so thank you to those who had faith and stayed with me), apparently my SEO is terrible, while starting to write this I should already have a title ( I don’t) to help keep me focussed, this post will probably be too long … what else I can tick off the list of Top Blog Don’ts ? Oh and I over-use ‘…’  but hey, on the plus side I do try to keep a tight reign on my use of exclamation points!! Mostly.  Such is life.

I am looking forward to 2016.

Non-the-less I’m back and as usual there are quite a number of  project-asteroids spinning around in my little universe, I’ll start with the closest one :


Last week on Etsy (glassoffashion) I bought a 1951 Italian fashion/pattern magazine pdf titled”Elegantissima”. A new to me magazine and nice to have an Italian one to add to the collection. It has yet another method for enlarging  small patterns to whatever size this time via a grid system. To start with I tried out the blouse below (the red type on the grid is measurement checks I was doing in Illustrator) and used Adobe Illustrator to  make the me-sized grid and draw out the pattern. I had the results printed out full size this morning and though I have yet to sew the blouse I must say I think it is now my favourite method of the bunch I’ve experimented with- those being Haslam, Lutterloh and Coup de Paris. The method is you take a just two body measurements and based on those fold large pieces of paper to make the correct size grid for yourself. Then you draw the pattern pieces on the large grid to match the small one. I probably will never do it by hand myself though I’m sure it works perfectly well. But doing it all in Illustrator it was a relative breeze – well it still took a few hours to draw out and measurement check but it eliminated lots of erasing , re-drawing and getting my hands grubby. Probably working digitally isn’t any slower or faster than doing it manually but as I’ve been meaning to try working with various types of enlarging methods in Illustrator this was a start. The results were pretty accurate, bar a centimetre here and there, and the over all the measurements read like a perfect me size . This Sunday is earmarked for some cutting and sewing. I’ll report back on how it turns out. Anyone else ever tried the Elegantissima grid system?



My interpretation in wool cavalry twill- personal wardrobe

My interpretation in wool cavalry twill- personal wardrobe



In another slightly more distant corner of my universe but getting closer all the time – since I first posted about my 1940’s Copycat Coat here I have had many blog readers comment or email me saying how they would love to make that coat for themselves, could they buy the pattern? So finally I’ve made a few tweaks, re-drawn the pattern all lovely and digitally clean in Illustrator, made two 1/2 size* toiles to check it all sews up accurately and to help me write a step by step construction guide. I now just need to type out the instructions, add a line drawing or two and a cutting layout and it will be ready for launch. If you are a blog subscriber you’ll get the announcement as that will be my very next post. 🙂 For now it will only be a UK12/US8 ( I use retail clothes sizing and consider a UK12 to be Bust 94cm/37″) but l’ll see how it goes and if well enough even in the one size perhaps I can then afford to have it professionally graded as my grading just isn’t quite good enough 🙁

This is one of the re-check toiles and at 1/2 scale.

VVPleatCoatI’m also making progress on another 40’s coat design, this one based on a Haslam pattern. Here in its first go-round and still small scale but full scale trial soon.

haslam coatVVHaslamCoat

*Now about the 1/2 scale thing: while visiting the US earlier this year I treated myself to a PGM 1/2 size mannequin. I draped a dress on it that turned out well when enlarged to full scale. However it wasn’t exactly my size. I’m a 12, the little mannequin 50% of a 10. To topic jump even further (another ‘Blog Don’t’ apparently) about 3 months ago I finally got around to copying my body with the help of my daughter, plastic food wrap and clear vinyl packing tape. Made a pattern from that, then a cotton version and along with a large amount of quilt batting finally a fully customised padded  zip on/off  ME stand cover. Then I shrank it down to 1/2 size and made one for the small stand too… a Mini Me. Honestly the best 2 things I have made for myself in a long while. I do intend a post on how I did it soon. Yes, a VeraVenus universe ‘soon’ but I will get there. My blogging mojo is back. Blomojo? Whatever.

This is before and after.

I repeat- a custom padded dress stand is just about the best thing I have made for myself ever. Why did I wait years to do it???

I’m also hooked on trying out patterns half scale before moving to full size. Less space needed, using far less muslin and little clothes are so cute 🙂

Was just going to type “thats all for now” then remembered-

stole2 2015

This week I updated the pattern and instructions for my Reversible Faux Fur Stole. On the VVFree page now.

Before you go have a gander at this Dior mini gown, it’s gorgeous.



That really is all for now.

33 thoughts on “Meanwhile Back on Planet VeraVenus…

  1. You are a generous genius and I am quite happy to wait 5 or even 12 months for another posting from you. Quality not quantity!

  2. Oh goodie! So wonderful to see a post from you Vera Venus! I have made 2 of your slips this year and also a cami from your pattern. I keep meaning to take photos but I would rather sew than photograph. Just like you would probably rather create than blog in order of preference – however it is wonderful for us when you do blog! And the waiting makes it even more exciting!

    It was possibly an even bigger thrill to read about your coat pattern! I have been thinking of your coat and dreaming of making a version so this is wonderful news. (I do hope you will put a price on the pattern or a “donate” button so we can contribute to you for your hard work). The toile looks fabulous and the pleats are wonderful.

    I am a 10 but would happily grade down a 12 pattern.

    Thank you thank you thank you – what a gorgeous Christmas message!

    Have a great holiday and a wonderful start to 2016.

    Anna xxx

  3. Your coat is lovely, and reminds me of one I once saw in a movie from the 40s. Would love to try that pattern! I don’t care how your schedule is, good posts are always worth a wait 🙂

  4. I love your coat design and look forward to the pattern. The pleats are lovely.

  5. I’m loving the grid system and the dressform DIY! I’m always happy to see your posts when they come. The blogging tips sound horrid! Lololol

  6. Well yes, love. I did enjoy this post. You have skills. Don’t worry about all that “SEO how to do it stuff”. What do “they” know about what you know. The coats are to die for. Now drop everything and do a tutorial on how you made the dress form. I have read about how to make my own until my eyes bleed but no one has bragged and been happy with their outcome like you. Did you make it by yourself? I love your style.

  7. I rarely post these days either, but despite your infrequent posting I am always happy to see what your latest projects, etc are. They’re always worth the wait 🙂 I am so excited that you’ve been working on a pattern for that first coat as well!!I have absolutely adored it since I first found your blog. Happy Holidays!

  8. I agree. I enjoy whenever you write. Sure, I’d appreciate a little more often. But, you know that it is good to leave us wanting. I am wanting both coats- they are beautiful. Thank you, K

  9. Every 5 months over a long period is consistent. I look forward to you posts, and at least you complete your projects!

    1. Thanks Laura, that’s a good way to look at it! I do try to complete most things though some do take a very long time :/

  10. I agree with the others: it is great to hear from you whenever you post! We are not marketing professionals (well, most of us probably aren’t); we are your adoring fans.

  11. Oh how lovely to hear from you, I was looking at pinterest yesterday and noticed you had commented and I wondered if you were ok, so what a delightful surprise to hear from you today!

    Throw out the blog rule book, they are all written by marketing people anyway! Just blog when you want and it will be a pleasure to write and read.

    I think the regularity of blogging is personal – I follow bloggers who post sometimes up to four times a week and to be honest I begin to resent the time their blogging schedule demands from me. I usually write when I have something to say, or share.

    Your coat is sumptuous! those back pleats look delightful and please do a craftsy class as I can’t make any sense of the methods you are writing about!

    A mannikin which is padded out is so useful – I am doing one for my daughter tomorrow using the same method you use.

    That little dress film was gorgeous! thank you for sharing – always wonderful to hear from you – no matter how often

    1. Oh I’m sure your daughter will love having that, how nice of you to do one for her!! Lol, yes saw you on Pinterest too… quite funny and nice seeing people around the net though never having met in person. If you are ever heading to Brighton and have time for a cuppa let me know 🙂

  12. (Sigh) I get such vicarious pleasure out of your posts. Inspiration, as well. Never mind the frequency, what there is is “cherce.”

  13. Enjoyed your post very much, and love the look of the pleated-back coat. What are the actual measurements of a size 12 these days?
    By the way, re your Granny Pannies, I tried NOT putting elastic on the legs, but lace instead and I now have wonderfully comfortable French Grannies.

    1. lol French Grannies, sounds good. I consider a UK 12 as being 37″ bust, 29″ waist, 39″ full hip. Thats going by retail clothing sizes, not Big4 sewing pattern sizes.

  14. So fabulous to receive this up date on what you have been busy working on. I absolutely adore the coat pattern and really, really want to make it.
    Thank you for sharing your amazing talents with us. Roll on the launch of this stunning pattern.
    Happy Christmas.

  15. When will registration be available for a Craftsy class in which you teach your insightful method of grid-sizing patterns??? I would elbow others out of the line to sign up 😉

    1. Lol, but that’s a thought! First I’ll need to have a mathematically inclined friend explain the percentages formula to me as I honestly don’t get the exact ‘how’ of it myself, and also need to try it out in a few other sizes to see if it is really accurate enough across a wide range of measurements. It could be a fab way to put out patterns though wouldn’t it?

  16. OMG! Both of those coats are gorgeous! I’m a UK 12 and await details of patterns.
    I love your mini mannequin and am also very interested in how you made one that is a version of ‘you’. One perfectly as you are must be so helpful.

  17. Love the top coat! It looks great in the cotton- what fabric would you recommend for it that would be warmer? I’m looking at those lovely, crisp pleats and thinking they wouldn’t work great in coat-weight wool. But I *want* to make it in *something*!

    1. Hi Laurie, my own black version is made in a very sturdy 100%wool Cavalry Twill. It holds the lines well but admittedly it isn’t my go-to coat for the coldest days. So what can be done to make the type of medium weight firm handle wools that this design works best in (and I wish I’d thought of it when I made mine) is to interline the lining , not the actual outer coat, with one of those fluffy knit interlinings made specifically to add warmth to lighter than coat weight wools. And as the back lining pattern doesn’t have the pleats, instead it is slightly flared, interlining would be simple to do

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