1950s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

Advance 8574 – Part II

June 5, 2012

I just love this pattern. The sleeves are just right, the bodice is roomy but too roomy, the collar is easy to sew, and it’s pretty easy and fast to put together. I used a vintag Peter Pan cotton fabric I snagged from an estate sale for $2. The buttons are vintage too. I picked them up in a little antique store for about $0.15. They are a heavy plastic, almost like Bakelite but I don’t know if buttons were commonly made from that.

I didn’t do much to alter the pattern. I added a bit to the bodice length and shortened the bust darts by maybe half an inch. I used an old tablecloth scrap for the collar and quilting bias binding for the cuffs. I shortened the hem to just above the knee caps and omitted the pockets (which I regret). I used French seams on everything but the skirt to bodice joining. I covered that bit with seam binding. It was pretty uneventful but a great closet staple. I love that it’s a vague pink too, like a dusty rose. I feel pink makes me look too young so I like to work it in in a print.

On a completly unrelated note, I scored three great 1940s
“mommy and me patterns” from a recent barn sale trip. Should I do matching dresses or do a contrasting them?

  1. You look lovely in this dress, bravo! Sounds like a great find with the vintage patterns, I’m betting either option will look great.

  2. Ahhh i just started learning how to sew and would love to do what you do one day! Can i ask a question? When browsing for vintage patterns online I often see junior and misses sizing on the back of the envelope but just the writing junior on the front bit. They are listed and both junior and misses by the sellers though? I am aware that they should have different shapes on the bust and hip so is it possible that I’m just getting myself confused? HELP!

  3. Thanks so much ladies! This pattern is one of those shirt dresses that I end up wearing at least once a week. It’s not too fitted that I can’t clean toilets and make beds and chase kids around.

    @nora: I tend to prefer the “juniors” sizing. The bust, waist, and hip tend to be, um…. thicker I guess? Instead of a typical crazy nipped in waist a 50s pattern would have from girdle usage, the juniors allow for more waist room, a shorter back to waist length (which I always add to), and a bust area isn’t so high for a bullet bra. There is really no difference when people list them, I think the pattern companies were just trying to give a more youthful silhouette or something a bit more simple in design, less fussy and primped. If it says junior of the front, go with that, they still list the other sizes. Comparison maybe? Just check the back length, it’s often a smidge shorter.

    1. thank you very much for your reply! You’ve been VERY VERY helpful! I thought about how the bust sizing might be better in junior due to the bullet bra period, but you’re spot on about fixing the torso length. I definitely will pay attention to that and hopefully it will work out! Thank. You. So. So. Much!


      1. Hey! I just checked out your blog; very lovely photography! I’m not sure how tall you are but your build is just like mine…. thin all over and with elbows that could be classified as a deadly weapon. 🙂 The junior patterns will work great. Also, that wonderful Aussie island you live on has great sewing patterns. Like really really fab vintage patterns. Look for magazines called Australian Home Journal. They had patterns in them! Etsy is loaded with them too.

        I have tons of patterns. We could plan a swap and I’ll send you one and you send me one. Then we could blog about it.

        1. Sounds like a plannnn!! I’m 5’5” and generally a size 2/4 US. I will definitely check out the Australian Home Journal. You don’t know how much you’ve helped!! Definitely would love to swap patterns. I’ve only started though so give me a few months to learn first? :p I went to the fabric store for the first time today and almost had a panic attack! Didn’t know where to starttt! I will bookmark your blog, so keep in touch!! Thanks pretty miss!


          1. No problem. I taught myself with apron patterns. They are small and pretty easy plus you can try out all the cool techniques in vintage stuff like gathering, pleats, tucks, darts, bias binding etc. apron patterns are really common too. And you can finish one in an afternoon so it’s instant gratification.

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