McCall 4457 by Patou

For this Halloween I did a Twenties sewing blitz. I chose four 1920s designer patterns from my collection to sew for me and my wife to go out as flapper vampires. Until this project I hadn’t sewn any vintage patterns earlier than the 1960s. Naturally I was a little too ambitious and didn’t finish everything on time, but that’s what blogs are for, right?  I’ll be dedicating a post to each garment over the next few weeks.

This week’s post is devoted to McCall 4457, a misses/juniors’ slip-on dress by Patou that I made for Naomi. Here’s the pattern envelope:

1920s Patou sewing pattern

I was able to date this pattern to 1926. The pattern is old store stock, which is always a treat, and it was even the right size for Naomi. Normally I would make adjustments for petites, but it was interesting to find they weren’t needed for this pattern—the waist and skirt length were just right.

I made the dress in a grey satin-backed crepe with black lace trim. It’s hard to see in the illustration, but the back of the dress has this fantastic Art Deco detail involving a topstitched geometric inset and stitched-down pleats. Here it is on the hanger:

For more details and photos see my blog.

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9 comments… add one

  • so exciting to see a 20s pattern made up–it’s gorgeous, with a lot of flair and detail, and even though you used it as a costume, i think it could be also made up for more day-to-day wear. really inspiring. thanks for sharing.

  • It’s beautiful! I love simple details like the inset. I hope that dress gets worn for more than just Halloween.
    How was the pattern & instructions? I’ve never used a pattern older than the 1960s, but I have a few.

  • Thank you both! The pattern was exciting to sew.
    And Halloween was a bit of an excuse.. it looks like the dress will be making some appearances over the holidays :)
    The pattern instructions were very basic—just a diagram of the garment showing all the numbered notches and instructions on the order in which to join them. But since it’s a McCall’s, the pattern pieces themselves are printed with all kinds of instructions. I think the only thing I had to add was markings for the pivot points.

  • Oh, I love this! The twenties aren’t usually my decade of choice but you may be converting me. Can’t wait to see the cape :)

    • Thanks, Katherine! I felt the same way about the ’20s until I became interested in these designer patterns– then the decade really grew on me.

  • How charming this dress is. Great choice of fabric/lace too!

  • I love that lace!

  • Thank you– It was actually my first time working with lace, so I’m glad it worked out!

  • I’m not 1920’s fan but I just love what you’ve done. The lace is a nice touch, looks lovely.


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