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'!