Advance 5971, a “wearable muslin”!

by Frances on September 20, 2012 · 20 comments

in 1950s,Dresses,Pattern Sizing,Vintage Sewing

Hello again!  I finally have pictures of the Advance dress that I was complaining about so bitterly a few months ago.  Here’s the pattern envelope again:

And here’s my version!

Since the pattern I have is (nominally) a little too small for me, I wanted to do a muslin first.  On the other hand, if it happened to fit, I wanted to be able to wear it.  So, I made up the bodice out of leftover fabric from one of my first circle skirts and added a little length to the lower edge of everything so that if it ended up being the right size-ish, I could just tuck it in to the waistband of the skirt and pretend it was a dress.

As it turns out, the bodice DOES fit, which is a bit surprising since it lists the bust measurement as 29″ on the envelope!  Either a gremlin switched out pattern pieces or this pattern has a heck of a lot of ease.  Of course, I’m not big-busted by any stretch of the imagination, but with a gently-padded bullet bra, my measurements come in a lot closer to 34″ or 35″, and this top wasn’t THAT snug.

I ended up extending the zipper placket all the way up to the bottom corner of the underarm gusset, as I felt like the snugness of the top made it a bit difficult to put on.  Once it’s zipped, it’s just fine… but wiggling into it is a trick.  It does pull a little across the bust/upper back, but I’m pretty happy with it anyway.  Speaking of gussets…

I think I managed some pretty successful First Gussets Ever.  I really love how much more range of motion they give… I will be on the lookout for more gusset-sleeved patterns in the future.

General sum-up?  I really love the finished result, even though I hated some parts of the construction process.  I’ll definitely wear it again, and I might even consider making a full dress with this pattern… although it may need a few small sizing tweaks.  I’ve got a few more (less over-exposed) pictures of it styled on my blog here, as well.



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– who has written 14 posts on

A recent college graduate, Frances is pursuing a career in music (preferably opera) while nursing a strong passion for sparkles, sewing, and all things vintage.

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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

sewinghappyplace September 20, 2012 at 11:40 am

You did an amazing job on this for a “muslin.” Great strategy to use the bodice as a blouse with the skirt you already made. It is a fantastic “dress.” wink wink.


Joni September 20, 2012 at 12:11 pm

I love it! Great dress and you wear it well. No one ever has to know that it’s a muslin!


Tiffany September 20, 2012 at 1:11 pm

That is absolutely gorgeous! Bravo!


Evie September 20, 2012 at 2:55 pm

Super cute!


EmSewCrazy September 20, 2012 at 4:31 pm

Love that fabric! What a brilliant idea to make your muslin wearable! You look cute!


Buckingham Road September 20, 2012 at 4:52 pm

This dress is FANTASTIC!!!!


jill September 20, 2012 at 5:05 pm

Hi, Really cute dress! Those “bust” measurements on the really old patterns are the high bust measurements. So a 29 would most probably translate to a 32 or 33 full bust that is seen on newer patterns.


Frances September 21, 2012 at 9:18 am

Is that it? Huh. I know that some patterns of similar vintage I’ve bought seemed to be the regular bust measurement… they said they were 34″ and worked out just perfectly.


Bridget D September 20, 2012 at 5:09 pm

This gorgeous! I love! You must be really excited and pleased with how this turned out! Interesting comment above on the bust measurements, will have to keep that in mind.


Tina September 20, 2012 at 7:19 pm

That is such a pretty dress with a really nice fit! I love the style.


Katrina - Edelweiss Patterns September 20, 2012 at 9:40 pm

Gorgeous! I love it! I remember the first 1950s dress I ever sewed was just supposed to be a practice version constructed with $2 a yard fabric… Everyone loved it so much that I didn’t have the heart to say how much it cost me. : )

Muslins really do end up being the best dresses sometimes!


Jennifer Nelson September 20, 2012 at 10:25 pm

This is the most beautiful remake of a vintage pattern I’ve seen so far. LOVELY!


Cactus September 20, 2012 at 10:42 pm

I LOVE this dress on you! Definitely make another!


LadyD September 21, 2012 at 4:43 am

I think it looks fab. No one would know it wasn’t a dress and you get versatility of mixing and matching if you want.


Sølvi September 21, 2012 at 5:22 am

Gorgeous! That is a very clever way to make a wearable muslin. Very clever indeed. :-) Such a perfect fit, and I love the way you´ve styled it. Love it!


lunefantasy September 21, 2012 at 7:26 am

You’re beautiful !!
So gorgeous !


Lizzy September 21, 2012 at 11:05 am

WOW!! it is really really pretty!! LOVE IT!


Marie September 23, 2012 at 5:25 am

It looks fantastic, well done!


Shanna September 24, 2012 at 9:19 am

Holy crap, thats freaking so cute. I love it.


Ofir September 29, 2012 at 5:25 pm



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