Thursday, July 9, 2015

Changing Sight Lines from Original Vogue to Vogue Re-Issue (and where EvaDress falls into the matter)

13 years ago, I documented my original Vogue Halter Gown pattern #9180 and being that it is a vintage pattern in public domain, I made reproductions of it available for purchase.  Not long after, Vogue came out with the 'same' design in their Vintage Vogue series.

For only having it in one size (and a small one at that for 32" bust, 24" waist and 34" hip), I pulled it from my online collection of reproduced patterns as it seemed unmarketable at the time (this was well before I was multi-sizing patterns).

I say the Vogue re-issue is 'same' design as the original 1957 Vogue because, well it is the same-it has the same style lines, yet the lines of each piece between the two patterns are different.  I refer to this as changing sight lines in patterns.  I had a couple other original Vintage Vogue patterns that Vogue also ran off in their series and I observed there to be differences in pattern pieces between the two as well.
My photos demonstrate a printed draft of my original superimposed on Vogue's re-issue (I sold my original long ago-having no idea there would be an eventual study for which the tissue pattern would become handy) to reflect the differences in pattern piece shapes.  I do not have the re-issued version in the 32" bust size, but a clear idea is had where the lines are very different despite the jump down in size when comparing.

When comparing this exact trace from the vintage original to the re-issued pattern, there is more shaping in each piece; the original version was more tailored than Vogue's re-issue with one exception.

The halter piece of Vogue's re-issue is shaped at the underarm.  Perhaps to provide better clearance under the arm vs. the 1957 version having a straight line along this edge to provide more coverage at the underarm-a changed sight line, nonetheless (click images for a larger view):

Here, the more scooped-out midriff of the original against the re-issued version:

A little closer look is had-also note that originally, only half the midriff pattern was given.  The re-issued Vogue gives the entire (symmetrical) piece:

Similar observation in the bodice back piece.  Also, the original back was placed with center back on the fold of goods as the dress closure was applied under the left arm.  The contemporary method is to give a back seam where the zipper is applied-yet another form of changing sight lines:

Pattern companies not only did not renew copyright on many of what we would now consider vintage patterns throughout their histories, they didn't even keep an archive of such patterns.  In order to produce a vintage re-issue, the companies have relied on private owners to step forward with their vintage originals.
I know people who have sent their original vintage patterns to Vogue from which Vogue made additions to their Vintage Vogue line, yet in doing so, I understand Vogue starts from square one when putting such patterns into production.  They are not making use of the original pattern pieces in the way one would think for the fact that they are 'changing the sight lines' of the pattern to produce the vintage style.

The bottom line?  It is going to be a split opinion between users as far as which version suits best.  From a sewing standpoint, some figures may benefit from the overall boxier, squared version of Vogue's re-issue than the more curved and shapely nature of the original version.  From a perception standpoint, I hear that sewers expected the lines to remain the exact same from the original 1957 pattern to those of Vogue's re-issue effort.  I was surprised when I made that discovery first hand so long ago that as I picked up a 'Vintage Vogue' here and there I understood I was buying today's interpretation of the design and not the original 'pattern sight lines'!

I will return to cover a few more points about additional pieces between these patterns.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The 1928 Set of Hats Pattern

This post is about giving a closer glimpse of the seven fabulous 1928 hat styles contained in pattern Acc20-1928:

Style 1 is a wool felt cloche with front brim and box-pleated center back with bow loops of matching felt:

Style 2 is a brocade and silk turban, the crown ends of which are arranged in bow loops at the right side and the crown is draped on the head and pleated upward:

Style 3 is a felt hat of two tone-on-tone or contrasting colors with a brim one end of which is threaded through and fastened with a fashion brooch (shown in wool tweed/flannel not backed with buckram):

Style 4 is a felt hat in contrasting hues-the crown of which is in three overlapping sections with cut-outs at each top edge. A fashion buckle may be threaded onto the felt strap trim at the right side:

Style 5 is a draped turban in light silk taffeta, gauze, or tulle over a high foundation of light buckram-the brim of which is cut bias for a soft fit around the face:

Style 6 is a silk cloche trimmed in straw braid over a wired crown of light buckram (shown here with self-bias in lieu of contrast straw):

Style 7 is wool felt cut in 7 sections for the crown which is attached to a contrasting felt band over which a slightly gathered brim one end of which is threaded through to form a shaped tie (shown in wool tweed/flannel not backed with buckram):

Friday, June 12, 2015

Top Finalist in the EvaDress 40's Fling! Challenge is...

From the 1940's-only garment submissions, I pulled five and asked Lauren Lee of Wearing History Clothing to evaluate for a top finalist based on maintaining original design lines, overall design and quality of construction.
Eszter of Australia impressed us with her bound buttonholes and diagonal seams in her fine Italian wool ensemble from pattern SE40-210 .
Here is part of what Eszter had this to say of her entry: 'Made out of fine navy Italian wool its lined in sage green rayon, with bound buttonholes, self covered buttons and tidy little gathers at the elbow for movement. The skirt is also lined, and has french seams. This came out great and I'm really proud of it. The wool was fantastic to work with and the pattern was surprisingly easy to put together!'
Lauren and I certainly agree Eszter is to be proud of her ensemble, see what you think (click images for larger version)!

Here are four of the five finalists from which Lauren also reviewed, they are Alison, Julie, Kristen and Milli:
Check out all the fabulous projects on the FaceBook event page:

Friday, May 29, 2015

Latest Patterns - Multi-Size 1934 Palazzo Ensemble and 1928 Hats with a Summer Pattern Preview

Originally by Hollywood Pattern Co., this two-piece ensemble is now in multiple sizes for 32 to 46 bust:

The tuck-in blouse has a convertible neck; or may remain un-tucked with tie-sash, patch breast pocket and long or short sleeves.  The trousers are pleated below the fitted waist-band.

The 1928 Set of 7 Hats pattern fits 22-inch head size with instructions on how to re-size the hat patterns:

Just the tip of the iceburg here in patterns coming out this summer.  They are the 1949 Vogue Kimono Blouse, the 1929 Evening Frock (June 1, in sizes 14 to 20-size 40 will continue to be available as a single-size pattern) and the 1940's men's Semi-Hacking Jacket.  I have a few pattern surprises coming summer season as well!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

La Petite Mode EvaDress

La Petite Mode EvaDress is a newly begun series of 1/3 scale models sewn from EvaDress Patterns.  The models demonstrate viable high fashion which was originally available to the home sewer of early- to mid-20th century via commercial patterns.
I gleaned inspiration from Le Théâtre de la Mode.  As well, The House of Dior drew inspiration from the same exhibit in creating Le Petit Théâtre Dior.
La Petite Mode EvaDress models are based on 1/3 size from vintage patterns which fit 36" bust, 30" waist and 39" hip.

From Vogue's 1944 Frock pattern 8046:

From Vogue's 1944 Dinner Suit pattern 3162:

More models will be added over time, so stay tuned to this show!

Friday, May 8, 2015

Construction Details - E30-5918, 1931 Evening Gown with Diagonal Seams

I have had questions about the way the strap on this gown is applied.  Essentially, the strap is smocked with three lines of shirring before the back bodice strap portion is twisted, brought under the top shoulder edge of A, and stitched as a lapped seam. This is not exactly something that contemporary sewers are used to doing, so I worked a quick muslin version showing the steps:

Shows A, the Bodice Front with top edge turned under 3/8". The pen marks indicate where the first two rows of running stitches will be made:

Wrong side of A with top edge turned under 3/8":

I modified this example a bit by running the first row of long stitches very close to fold of turned edge. Then I ran subsequent lines of long stitches 3/8" apart. The large O is the match point '2' between the front and back strap.

Example shows size 40 bust, so the lines of gathers are drawn to 1-7/8" per chart given in the instructions. A third row of gathering stitched is then sewn in.

Gathered shoulder edge of B, Bodice Back. Flat bias finishes both neck and armseye edges of B and as for A:

The shoulder strap of B is twisted two times toward the neck and the turned edge of 'A' laps over 'B' with match points in place. Top-stitch through all layers. Shows full shirred effect in 3 rows of stitching the pattern originally calls for:

Additionally, this pattern was originally made for the petite figure (note half sizes given in yardage chart) and labeled as a 'half size' pattern.  Regular pattern sizes were made for women of a standard height of 5'7" to 5'8" whereas half size patterns were for those 5'3" to 5'4" tall.  The difference between this and the women's regular size is, according to The McCall Pattern Co. in that 3-4" difference as follows:
1" shorter in the waist
2-3" shorter in the skirt
1" shorter in a full-length sleeve
1-2" larger around the hip
1" larger around the waistline

Saturday, March 28, 2015

EvaDress Patterns Challenge: 40's Fling!

This is a sewing pattern challenge to create men’s or women’s garments from 1940’s EvaDress patterns. Accessories (hats, bags, etc.) are not counted as an individual project, but may accompany garments in a submission. Participants may each enter more than one project for this challenge.
Projects may not be started earlier than 12:01 a.m. EST on April 16, 2015 although muslins for fitting may be created any time before April 16. No purchase necessary to enter, so 1940's EvaDress patterns from stash are fair game! The closing date to submit projects for this challenge is 11:59p.m. EST on June 1, 2015.
The more complicated the project-an intricately embellished gown, or ensembles over individual garments, the higher the consideration for placing as a finalist. Everyone who enters and COMPETELY finishes a project will receive a $10 non-expiring gift certificate to
One top finalist will additionally receive a $100 non-expiring gift certificate to
Depending on the number of entries, five finalists will be selected based on quality of construction (construction detail shots are a must), accuracy to the challenge guidelines and overall design with projects remaining devout to the original pattern style lines.
I have the honor of Lauren Maringola from Wearing History Clothing  judging from the top five and she will select a top finalist.
Projects submitted to other challenges are certainly welcome, provided they fit into the 40’s Fling parameters stated here.
The top finalist will be notified on the event wall by 11:59p.m., June 2, 2015.
NOTE: By entering this challenge you agree that your submission photos/descriptions may be used in the gallery on the EvaDress web site as promotional material for EvaDress.
To enter, go here ( and post high quality images (longest edge of photo to be 11”, photo to be at 150dpi) to include front, back, side views and construction/design details. Post the main photo to the page and subsequent project photos in the comments section under the main photo. Be sure to write why was this project meaningful to you to submit? Also indicate which pattern was used.

Feel free to e-mail me with questions. Questions may also be posted on my Facebook (EvaDress) wall or posted by commenting on this blog post.