1951 Fashion Bureau

by tracy-thematerialgirl on January 7, 2012 · 14 comments

in 1950s,Jumpers / Pinafores,Made from Curtains

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.

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Katherine January 7, 2012 at 11:46 am

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


Foster January 7, 2012 at 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 at 1:21 pm

Great dress, great fabric!

Also, I want to steal your shoes! ;P


Kelly Grant January 7, 2012 at 1:52 pm

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


Tina L January 7, 2012 at 3:48 pm

Love love love this! Great job!


livebird January 7, 2012 at 5:00 pm

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


Amanda January 7, 2012 at 5:26 pm

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


FiftiesFrocks January 7, 2012 at 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 at 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 at 12:27 am

Yay for curtain fabric :-) Repurposing stuff like that is awesome :-) Great dress!!


Jenni January 8, 2012 at 12:51 am

Absolutely love everything about it!


Katherine January 8, 2012 at 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 at 2:42 am

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


Patrice January 8, 2012 at 3:41 pm

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


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