≡ Menu

1951 Fashion Bureau

I’ve been lurking on Sew Retro for a while now – being inspired by everyone’s creations. I thought it was time to add one of my own.

Fashion Bureau 2559

I made this back around Easter of 2011. The pattern called it a “jumper-dress” – what I would call a pinafore. It came in an envelope labeled The Philadelphia Enquirer Fashion Bureau and has a postmark on it from September 1951. I assume it was a mail-order pattern from the newspaper.

Fashion Bureau 2559 cover

Fashion Bureau 2559 envelope

It was made from an old curtain which I got from ebay (about £10 for a pair I think – and I only used one of them).

It was my first time working with unmarked pattern pieces – just highlighted using holes in the very delicate tissue. I traced all the pieces onto modern paper. I guess you aren’t told every detail like you are in modern patterns – but it came out pretty well. I always get people asking about it when I wear it.


Here’s a better view of the front bodice detail.

{ 14 comments… add one }
  • Katherine January 7, 2012, 11:46 am

    Oh! LOVE this. Great pattern, great fabric and great shoes!

  • Foster January 7, 2012, 12:47 pm

    Wow! That fabric makes the dress. Even though the pattern is from the 50s, you look very 60s mod. Love it!

  • Nadia Lewis January 7, 2012, 1:21 pm

    Great dress, great fabric!

    Also, I want to steal your shoes! ;P

  • Kelly Grant January 7, 2012, 1:52 pm

    Love the dress! The fabric is perfect for this, very true to the era, I think!

  • Tina L January 7, 2012, 3:48 pm

    Love love love this! Great job!

  • livebird January 7, 2012, 5:00 pm

    TWO flippin’ amazing curtain frocks (my favourite genre) posted in one week. This one is sensational.

  • Amanda January 7, 2012, 5:26 pm

    Oh, wow! What an amazing dress 😀
    That fabric is crazy amazing. Go the curtains!

  • FiftiesFrocks January 7, 2012, 9:12 pm

    Wow I love this fabric. Green is one of my favorite colors and the print and style look great together!

  • Jade January 8, 2012, 12:07 am

    Glad I’m not the only one making vintage dresses out of curtains! I love it. What great colors. And I love the asymmetrical lines.

  • kittysdrawings January 8, 2012, 12:27 am

    Yay for curtain fabric 🙂 Repurposing stuff like that is awesome 🙂 Great dress!!

  • Jenni January 8, 2012, 12:51 am

    Absolutely love everything about it!

  • Katherine January 8, 2012, 1:14 am

    In honor of this and Jade’s recent curtain dress, we now have a ‘Made from Curtains’ category 😉

  • lasandrou January 8, 2012, 2:42 am

    I love this dress! You pick a great pattern and a great curtain to work with !!!

  • Patrice January 8, 2012, 3:41 pm

    Your shoes match the wrap around look! Very striking dress!

Leave a Comment