Saturday, September 20, 2008

Really Over-the-Top Gurly Post Involving Dress Patterns that is Only Suitable for the Hardcore Historical Fashion Minded

I've been combing through some patterns that are readily available from the Big Three: Butterick, McCall's and Vogue. I haven't even started to comb through my collection of old patterns from the 50's that I have stashed away in the garage. The advantage of finding and altering a suitable pattern from the contemporarily made, is that I won't have to do much in the way of pattern re-drafting, which is not something I had a whole lot of experience with even when I sewed on a daily basis, oh those many, many years ago.

Yes, so, here are some thoughts:
Butterick 4918, reissued pattern from 1952. I would add 1.5 - 2 inch wide halter straps and might box pleat the skirt (shortened to tea length) to make it somewhat more structured.

Butterick 4919, reissued from 1952. This would be done in the tea length version. There might be a bit too much fabric in the halter bodice. I might make the V a bit wider and deeper. One of the things Ms K and I discovered when checking out dresses is that too much solid coverage up top is not particularly flattering; it makes me look like I'm wearing a 'big girl's' dress.

McCall's 5319. I could have some fun with this one: make the skirt a little longer, maybe fuller, with pleats instead of gathers; embroider embellishments on the central waist piece; pair it with an organza or chiffon (for a more flowy effect) over skirt.... hmmmm

McCall's 5580. I could see the halter version of this one paired with the sash effect shown on the strapless version.

Vogue 8150. This would be pretty flattering for a more contemporary design. I would shorten it to tea length (the pattern's shorter version has one of those awful asymmetrical hems.. I would just make it a straight hem), and I could see embroidering the straps. The skirt might even work with a chiffon over skirt.

Vogue 8470 (apologies for the especially tiny picture). Simple, to the point, made in a charmeuse, possibly add a chiffon overlay, maybe embroider the waist piece. Can be done in a halter version as well.

Vogue 8020. What I like about this is the box-pleated skirt. I would make it with a fairly substantially deep, broad V or scoop neck. An embroidered self-fabric belt would be cool.

Vogue 9668. I like the top half of all of these (the first version I could see doing with three-quarter length sleeves), paired with the third version's fuller tea-length skirt. It would be fun to embroider the waist piece, and version two's pencil skirt would look interesting with a full over skirt of sheer organza with the pencil skirt showing through.

Vogue 2960 reissue from 1954. This on would work pretty much as is. I might add a little subtle embroidery at the bust and maybe alter the sleeves so they are more shoulder straps than cap sleeves.

Vogue 2961 reissued from 1953. This stands as is. I could get some really nice decorative buttons and make a self-fabric belt.

Vogue 2962, reissued from 1957. Ms. K and I had talked about the potential silliness of me carrying a bouquet, and had discussed the option of a wrist corsage or one worn at the waist, a la this little number. I might need to reduce the amount of fabric at the bust, but maybe not. It might work better with more structured pleats at the skirt's waist, rather than the gathers.

Vogue 2902 reissued from 1952. Having the bust and waist be separate pieces tends to work best for me, I think, but this would be fine with some careful fitting. The waist corsage would be nice with this one, too.

Vogue 2903, reissued from 1957. Princess seaming takes more careful fitting/tailoring than some other patterns, but I love the inverted box pleats and the neckline. I could see doing this with three-quarter length sleeves.

Butterick 5209, reissued from 1947. I might consider pleating the skirt, rather than gathering it at the waist as shown, but the waist and bust gathers on the halter balance each other out so nicely.

Butterick 5032, reissued from 1952. Columnar doesn't work so well for me, but the organza over skirt would take care of that problem. I would lower the neckline.

Simplicity 3878. This frothy tulle-covered number from Jessica McClintock, even though it's 'contemporary' and not a vintage reissue, is so exactly like my mother's and Aunt Suzanne's old high school and college dance dresses from the 1950's that I wore to rags while playing dress up as a little girl (sorry, Cousin M... I think I had pretty much had my way with those dresses by the time you were ready to have your turn with them). This one is almost irresistible for that reason. I would go with the shorter tea length version, of course, and could add satin halter straps similar to those seen on McCall 5580 or Vogue 2961 above.

Vogue 8393. Another alternative would be to make a separate top and skirt. The first of these (shown in white on the left) would be improved with added halter straps a la McCall 5580 or Vogue 2961 above. I would pair the top with a full circle skirt. The two pieces could be made of the same fabric, or coordinating/contrasting fabrics.


Tulla said...

Thanks for writing this.

Anonymous said...

Ha! I've been searching the web for a good vintage wedding dress pattern and google has sent me to this post about five times. I like your style! :)

MidwestElle @