1920s | Dresses

McCall 4457 by Patou

November 18, 2011

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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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