Tag Archive: Vintage Reproductions
Well, I missed the last Simplicity catalog release in July during my blogging hiatus, and then they go and release another in August – and there are lots of vintage offerings in both.I will begin with my favorite. I adore the style lines on this …read more
Once I had chosen the fabric, I decided that I wanted to make a shirtwaist dress, so I pulled out BurdaStyle 7179. I have been wanting to try this design for some time, and I thought it would work nicely in a cotton sateen, provided that I could fit all the pieces on two yards of fabric.
To give myself another challenge, I decided that I wanted to graft the sleeves of Vogue 8193 on the BurdaStyle bodice – sleeves that eat up a massive amount of fabric.
Since I was not exactly sure how the combo would turn out, a muslin was in order.
That went quite well, so I cut into my cotton sateen. This fabric is really, really lovely. The red dye did bleed quite a bit on the first wash, and the silvery white ginkgo leaves picked up a bit of a rose hue from the water, but I actually like the way it turned out.
I used leftover cotton scraps as a sew-in interfacing.
And I even used up a few fusible interfacing scraps while working on my bound buttonholes.
I really never get tired of making these!
So for now, I am going to stick with the old fashioned technique. It has served me well, and I don’t plan on abandoning it anytime soon.
And, of course, I had to sneak a bit of rayon seam binding in there for good measure.
About half way through this dress, I had a terrible feeling that I made a mistake pairing the fabric to the silhouette. I stepped away from the project for a while, and spent my creative hours working on my knitting.
At some point, I got sick of looking at the partially completed pieces on my sewing table, and finally finished the darn thing.
Turns out, I love it!
I am also beginning to like these covered button kits with the mold. In the past, I have had some bad luck – particularly with the tiny sizes. This time around, I added a drop of glue (gasp!) to the back piece before sticking the two pieces together which seems to have worked very well. I think that these buttons have a slightly smoother edge than the version with the teeth that snap into place.
And as luck would have it, the perfect buckle was stashed away, which was the perfect finishing touch for this dress!
This garment has been washed, pressed, and tucked away in the closet for now, at least until Spring arrives. But I am so glad I finally gave these birdies a chance to sing!
On the plus side, I have been complaining about lack of details and the overall “simplicity” of the vintage reproduction designs, but this time around, I am very pleased with the options! Those lovely tulip sleeves and those diagonal gathered sections are beautiful! But again with the shoes . . . just Photoshop it in later if you have to.
Scarlett: You’re gonna make me a new dress.
Mammy: Not with Miss Ellen’s portieres. Not while I got breath in my body.
Scarlett [grabbing the curtains and tears them down]: Great balls of fire! They’re my portieres now. I’m going to Atlanta for that three hundred dollars and I’ve got to go looking like a queen.
Mammy: Who’s goin’ to Atlanta wit’ you?
Scarlett: I’m going alone.
Mammy: That’s what you think. I’se goin’ to Atlanta with you. With you and that new dress.
Scarlett: Mammy, darling….
Mammy: No use to try to sweet talk me, Miss Scarlett. I’se known you since I put the first pair of diapers on you. I said I’m goin’ to Atlanta with you and goin’ I is.
And now I have a new dress, made entirely from stashed items. It may not be as fancy as Scarlett’s amazing creation made from some green velvet drapes, but I am very pleased with my results.
Now that is my idea of repurposing!!
Headband: Made by me
Purse: Harvey’s Seatbelt Bags
Should I ever come across ten yards of suitable fabric, I will definitely make up the full length version. Or maybe I should swap out another skirt.
I would love to see the original vintage pattern directions for the sleeve. This reproduction uses the sleeve seam as an opening, which places the button and loop closure inside the wrist. That is not the standard closure for any sleeve I have ever come across, and I have a sneaking suspicion that the reprint has been dumbed down and a dart or placket has been eliminated.
But other than that, I really do love the dress. It is just that I have learned so much about garment construction from vintage directions, and I wish that information was included with these designs – when I suspect it is not, I get cranky.
What would make me feel a whole lot better is finding ten yards of fabric to make myself another version!
Eva Dress recently authored a post showing, in detail, alterations that were made to one of Vogue’s reproduction patterns, Vogue 2962. This is a bit disconcerting as they supposedly use original pattern tissue to draft these re-issues. I know the instructions are changed significantly, but moving zipper openings and changing style lines really do not fall into the category of re-sizing for a current fit standard.
|A Vintage Vogue reproduction
with some fairly significant changes made to the original.
To get to the really important stuff, I (and quite a few others from the conversations I have had) are very interested to know what kind of re-sizing goes on with the vintage reproductions. I have worked with quite a few original vintage patterns, and the only real fit differences I have noticed is skirt lengths are generally longer, bust darts extend further toward the bust apex than is popular in a contemporary silhouette (most people no longer wear bullet bras, obviously!), and armholes are often smaller. Would you give us examples of specific fit/design changes that are being made to these patterns?
All sizing on our patterns is by the current standards. The standards have been in place since “modern” sewing. While we utilize the markings and specific pattern pieces for the Vintage designs, they are graded as we grade all our patterns.
[But what does that really mean? How have those standards changed . . . ? ]
A Butterick pattern from the mid-1950s sizing chart is 34-28-37. The current sizing chart is 34-26.5-36. So, in fact, vintage sizing is more generous than the current standard which is probably unexpected for most people.
As mentioned above, our industry standards have been in place for years and we gear our sizing around them. The caption of each pattern will indicate if it is close fitting, semi fitted, loose fitting, etc. The finished garment measurements are also on the patterns.
Everyone complains about the amount of ease built into the contemporary designs produced, but in my experience, the finished measurements of a Retro Butterick size 12/Bust 34 end up being quite similar to a vintage 1950s Butterick, size 16/Bust 34 – but that probably has something to do with the fact that I use an upper bust measurement in place of a full bust measurement. If, in fact, you measure in at a 26.5” waist, the extra 2”+ ease given on the retro line seem rather excessive for a fitted waist. What is the standard amount of ease drafted into a “fitted” design?
It is up to the individual designer of each brand how much ease is in a pattern. There is no standard amount.
[What designer? Do they mean the individual who re-drafts the design?]
I would love to have one of the current Vintage Vogue design offerings “deconstructed” for us, i.e. this was the original size, the finished tissue measurements were x,y,z and they ended up as a,b,c on the reproduction. Vogue 8974, for instance, looks to be fitted through the bust and waist – but how do the finished measurements compare with the original?
Again, we use the pattern pieces from the original Vogue Pattern, but grade in current sizes. It is really not practical and could be confusing to list what the pieces were vs what they are. However, that is a great idea for a Vogue Patterns Magazine article and I will pass that along to our editor.
[Clearly I do not mean they should list this on each individual pattern, but one or two specific examples might be nice.]
And how about the instructions? How significant are the changes made to the vintage pattern instructions. I can understand adding bias strip pattern pieces to a repro design where the original would have a few sentences about cutting your own, but how many other changes are being made, short of substituting words for clarity like slide fastener for zipper and press studs for snaps?
Like the sizing, we reference the original instruction sheet if it is available but use our modern methods.
[I am still not sure why these changes are really necessary. I have learned so much from vintage pattern sheets, I think it is a disservice to ignore some of the older techniques. I am pleased to see that Vogue 9127 includes a side snap extension in addition to a size zipper. Some of the Vintage Vogues from ten or so years ago had these details included, and I am please to see they are coming back.]
Are details being dumbed down for a contemporary audience that may not have grown up with a needle in hand? Are gathers substituted for pleats, zippers for plackets?
Each brand designer decides what details they would like on their designs. Designs are coded as Very Easy, Easy and up to Difficult depended upon the details. We try and provide a full range of designs and difficulty to appeal to many customers.
We have an extensive archives of catalogs beginning in 1863 for Butterick and later for McCalls and Vogue. For Butterick and McCalls, we research the catalogs and choose designs. For Vogue, we search our own stash and borrow from others actual patterns to work from.
[If they are working from actual patterns, why are significant alterations being made to style lines? And why do they mention “designers” when they are dealing with a physical pattern and pattern instructions?]
Are there any trends as far as commercial success goes? Which decades sell better than others?
We know our consumers love the 50’s but we have a range of patterns from all the brands back to 1912 up to the 60’s.
Hopefully the recent success of this Archive Collection pattern makes it clear that many of us vintage aficionados are looking for more challenges and new decades of style to discover.
|Clearly this design did not use the 16″ invisible zipper required by McCall 7154. Are hook & eyes and snap plackets really so terrible they must be eliminated from the contemporary home sewing lexicon?|
The McCall Company’s standard answer seems to be that they “resize to fit our current sizing” – but that does not explain moving a zipper opening, raising the back of a garment, or straightening out a curved seamline. Why would they make those alterations?
Now we have actual proof from Xandra that McCalls is doing more than re-sizing to fit the current size chart (whatever that pat answer means), and are making significant alterations to the original pattern tissue with their Vintage Vogue line.