This Hardly Counts as a Sewing Step

I’m working away on the Instant Dress, McCalls 3660, in between other work, and it’s coming together quite nicely!

Here’s a funny thing I saw in the sewing instruction sheet. Only you guys will appreciate how oddly entertaining this is!
sewing instructions - buy a belt!

Seriously, ‘purchase a novelty belt’ is a sewing instruction? Isn’t that funny! This counts as a sewing step? I bet if I wrote ‘buy a belt’ in my sewing instructions I would get a lot of commentary about how ridiculous that was, and rightfully so!

Anyways, it’s rather odd to find something like this in the sewing directions. Have you ever seen ‘buy something’ listed in the sewing steps before? What’s the strangest thing you’ve been instructed to do in a vintage sewing pattern?

Have a wonderful weekend and happy sewing!

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35 Responses to This Hardly Counts as a Sewing Step

  1. Amy July 5, 2013 at 6:19 am #

    I have a Vogue coat pattern that says “have fur collar made by furrier”. Ha! I’ll get right on that.

    • Tasia July 5, 2013 at 8:12 am #

      That’s even better! Get someone else to make part of the pattern. Did they give you a pattern piece to bring to the furrier? I wonder if that seemed like a normal request at the time.

  2. Béa July 5, 2013 at 6:31 am #

    Heehee! At least it’s “instant”.

    • Tasia July 5, 2013 at 8:48 am #

      Haha, yup! Buying a belt is the most instant part of the pattern!

  3. Annette Tirette July 5, 2013 at 6:34 am #

    I vaguely remember a pattern telling me to sell my soul to Satan, but that might just have been a hallucination fuelled by rage. It was a very bad pattern. It actually felt like I had to sell my soul to Satan to get the dress finished and wearable…

    • Sarah July 8, 2013 at 1:30 pm #

      I don’t think it was an hallucination. I vaguely remember this happening to me too. I literally laughed out loud with empathy.

  4. Carley July 5, 2013 at 7:50 am #

    Ha, ha!! That’s hilarious! Usually it just says it somewhere on the envelope…purchased belt, in the description.

    Annette, I feel your pain!!

  5. dannyscotland July 5, 2013 at 7:56 am #

    Ha that is hysterical!

  6. Diane @ Vintage Zest July 5, 2013 at 8:43 am #

    I like that it’s specifically a novelty belt, as opposed to another type. :) Out of curiosity, I looked up novelty belt in an image search and ended up finding belts with images of rubber ducks, Batman, skull & crossbones, Bert & Ernie, and other strange items. Not exactly what you’re going for, I assume…

    • Tasia July 5, 2013 at 8:49 am #

      Rubber duck belt on this pretty dress, can you imagine! Novelty may have meant something different than what we call novelty now. Certainly not the look I’m going for!

      • Leigh July 5, 2013 at 2:53 pm #

        Well, no, but it wouldn’t do to have the instructions say “Buy a plain old boring belt that coordinates” would it? And yet, that’s probably what we would all do. I know that not many of my outfits would work with a skull/crossbones belt. LOL

        • Virginia July 5, 2013 at 3:09 pm #

          It would work with a scull and cross bone dress! :-D

          • Tasia July 5, 2013 at 4:49 pm #

            Reminds me of the pink skull print swimsuit material!

        • Tasia July 5, 2013 at 4:48 pm #

          So true! “Buy a plain old boring belt that coordinates” – what I automatically think too. I’m all for novelty like, embellished in an elegant way, but novelty like, wild and cartoonish.

  7. Carol Joy July 5, 2013 at 10:26 am #

    I remember a pattern once skipping an entire step–I was able to figure it out eventually. Can you imagine being new to sewing and not given an essential step? What would that look like if you sewed the garment literally? lol

    • Tasia July 5, 2013 at 10:50 am #

      Oh no! How frustrating, and yes, if you were new you would be baffled. And worse, the new person would think it was somehow their fault that it wasn’t working and get discouraged. :(

      • Grace July 7, 2013 at 11:53 am #

        The first dress I made skipped the step saying sew up the side seams. I was mystified about where in the stages it would go… Before/after zip, before after attaching to bodice. At least it was something I know you had to do (and my mum was around lol)

  8. Lholy-chan July 5, 2013 at 10:51 am #

    It’s quite funny indeed! :) Maybe they were afraid people wouldn’t read the cover properly and wait for instructions on sewing the belt, so they wrote it again? ^^;

    • Tasia July 5, 2013 at 10:53 am #

      That makes sense actually. Perhaps they are just being literal on how to achieve the cover look!

  9. Nothy July 5, 2013 at 12:19 pm #

    That’s quite funny! ANd so is the furrier comment….I bet if we all made a point of pursuing our patterns there are tons of absurd instructions out there….

    • Tasia July 5, 2013 at 4:44 pm #

      Oh yeah! I’m going to be on the lookout for strange instructions from now on, and be sure to share them if there are any more gems! Furrier has to be even better than Buy a belt though..

  10. Carol July 5, 2013 at 1:44 pm #

    Ooooooh? When I get home with all of the fun new belts from my shopping spree, I can just show my husband the instructions! Where did you get that pattern?

    • Tasia July 5, 2013 at 4:46 pm #

      Haha, I love it! ‘But honey, I was just following the directions…’ It was a gift, I didn’t buy it. It’s McCalls 3660 though if you want to keep a watch out for it!

      • Carol July 6, 2013 at 9:01 pm #

        Cool! Let me know if you run across a pattern that says – purchase earings or shoooze to match your new dress!


  11. Lucy July 5, 2013 at 3:07 pm #

    “Throw your half-finished garment across the room”…well, the pattern didn’t specifically say that, but I did it anyway.

    • Tasia July 5, 2013 at 4:49 pm #

      Ha! I am more of a subtle ‘stuff it in the back of a drawer’ person but I can relate to the feeling!

  12. Lorinda July 5, 2013 at 4:51 pm #

    I remember my mom purchasing a thick white belt fabric kit that you could buy and cover with the fabric of your dress. You had to cover the buckle, the belt and add small eyelet gromets so you could buckle it. I don’t remember seeing any in the store recently – but then I don’t usualy make my belts either but people who sewed in the 50s 60s and 70s did. Maybe something about the name of the item was “novelty”.

  13. Sara July 5, 2013 at 5:03 pm #

    Don’t forget the final sewing step in the Bombshell Swimsuit sewalong. Find a beach and strut your hot ass stuff!

    • Tasia July 5, 2013 at 5:07 pm #

      I love it! Plus there are cats in the Bombshell instructions. Cheeky sewing instructions are where it’s at. Perhaps I need more cheekiness in mine :)

  14. Mariann July 5, 2013 at 6:30 pm #

    I’m reading these comments to my husband and he is just cracking up because he’s heard many, many rantings over pattern instructions over the years.

    • Tasia July 5, 2013 at 6:42 pm #

      I bet! Mine knows probably more than he ever wanted to about sewing patterns because of me. Glad we can entertain him! :)

  15. Janlynn July 7, 2013 at 6:11 am #

    I had a Palmer & Pletsh pattern back in the 80″s that instructed you to sit down and have a cup of coffee. It was in the middle of the instructions and I thought it was brilliant.

  16. Marissa July 7, 2013 at 12:21 pm #

    I love using vintage patterns but often need my mother to interpret the instructions for me!

  17. Annabellouise July 8, 2013 at 1:17 pm #

    That’s probably because they want you to know they have not included the belt and to get the look, you must purchase one. Still a funny comment.