The pattern came from a friend's grandmother and was passed along to me in February 2009. When I posted about it, both Little Hunting Creek and Audrey of Sew Tawdry commented that they had made the pattern in high school! What fun! It's been on my list for quite a while, and Pattern Review's Vintage Contest finally got me to push it to the top of the list.
The fabric, a printed dotted Swiss, came from Fabric Mart in June 2010 for $4.99/yd. I had just enough for the top and no more. I love it when that happens--no jigsaw layout with questionable grain, no large scraps to contend with.
It's a one size pattern, size 10 for a 32 1/2" bust. Did these one size patterns come pre-cut? I feel like all the vintage patterns I've made are already cut out, even if they don't show signs of having been used (this one had no pin marks).
The instructions are always interesting for vintage patterns. One side of the instruction sheet covers the blouse, the skirt, and the pants, but somehow they don't feel truncated or cursory. The illustrations are copious and good, better than current patterns, I think.
As with modern patterns, there are copious notches. Unlike modern patterns, however, they are numbered, which makes them much more useful. Why did they stop doing that?
Check out the size of the groovy collar.
The only real change I made to the pattern was to cut an extra yoke so I could enclose it using the burrito method. It ended up adding some bulk to my fabric, which had to be underlined, but the finish is so much nicer!
This has a back facing, which I think is pretty normal for notch collar sewing patterns. I don't know that the facing was drafted correctly, as the lower edge of the facing seems longer/wider than the back where it hits, resulting in the curling you see in the photo. Obviously, it's not as bad when it's on a body, which is round rather than flat, but it did not feel totally secure from flopping. I tacked it down to the back neck darts (another thing I wish hadn't disappeared).
One of the great features of this pattern is the cuff. It's actually less Space Diner Waitress made up than on the illustration.
The right side of the cuff piece is attached to the wrong side of the sleeve so that the seam allowance is on the outside, as you can see at left. The cuff is then folded up, enclosing the seam allowance. There's no danger of the SA showing, it's just so weird to me to have it on the "business" side of the blouse.
The top is quite roomy and shapeless as drafted. It has to be tucked or belted as shown on the pattern envelope. The photo at left is untucked, but unfortunately it doesn't look as bad in the photo as in real life. Trust me, it's quite unflattering. Because the rules for PR's Vintage Contest are pretty strict I made it as is, but for the future I would definitely add darts or elastic shirring to bring in some shape.
If I made it again I would also definitely make that collar smaller. It is huge! Without the huge collar and with some shape, this can totally pass for a contemporary garment.
My photographer started giving me art direction, telling me to "Look haughty" in the closeup shot, LOL. Although nobody takes pictures of me like Cidell, they came out pretty good. We did get one outtake for your amusement, though. Also, he is taller than me and makes me look super short. Which I am, but I mostly forget that. Is this what I look like to him?
Because Josette asked, the skirt is Burda 09-2008-108. I wear this skirt all the freaking time--it goes with everything.
All photos are here and the pattern review is here.
Thank you all for your thoughtful discussion of What is a Wedding Dress Worth? Very interesting conversation! Like Lucia and others, I wonder what will happen when the world runs out of cheap labor. As communication gets cheaper and makes the world smaller every day, disparities in standards of living get more glaring. I think that will eventually lead to demands that the producers of consumer goods be able to afford at least some of them. Will the pendulum swing the other way, back to more expensive goods, investment purchasing, and smaller closets? Or is it impossible to stuff that cat back into the bag? Only time will tell, and probably not in my lifetime, but it is interesting to contemplate.
(And in case I am coming off sanctimonious, believe me, I am not; I am just as addicted to cheap fabric as your average consumer is to cheap clothes, and I am under no illusion that it is woven from pussywillows and goosedown by fabric fairies.)