Cummerbunds and Bows

September 4, 2011

I absolutely adore reproduction vintage patterns.  I also love vintage patterns – they both have their pros and cons.
I purchased Simplicity 2491 from an ebay seller.  

The envelope on my copy is horribly torn, but there are yardage notes written by a previous owner.  

The pattern tissue for the scoop-neck version (the one that I chose) was obviously made up by someone as the edges of the tissue have been cut in places with pinking sheers.  I absolutely love the idea that someone used this very pattern tissue to make up their own version of the pattern – I only wish that I could see how it turned out!
So I will be the first to admit that working with vintage patterns is wonderful and always an adventure.  However, I do have a few issues with them.  For one, you can never be sure that the pattern will be complete until you open it up and examine everything.  Also, the tissue may be ripped or smell funky, which is never fun.  I have had a couple of unfortunate ebay experiences (thankfully, not with Simplicity 2491) in which the pattern tissue inside the envelope had nothing whatsoever to do with the advertised pattern.  When you do find the pattern of your dreams, it is often in a size that will not work without major adjustments.  And, of course, when I want a bit of instant sewing gratification I can just cut into, a vintage pattern is not the way to go.
Enter the reproduction pattern.  

I am so thankful that there is enough interest in vintage looks that companies big and small are reproducing and saving these wonderful patterns, although they sometimes making fitting alterations that I do not always appreciate. 

 This is not the first vintage reproduction from the McCall pattern company that I have made, and it will surely not be the last.  Try as I might, I cannot resist the adorable vintage pattern sketches on each envelope, no matter how simple the silhouette. 

It is actually a brilliant marketing ploy – everything looks better on an elongated fashion sketch with an impossibly small waistline! 
For this particular pattern, I had some serious gaping from the upper bust area to the neck.  I thought I had fixed the problem using the muslin (what a good girl I am!), but after putting my dress together, the neckline was still not laying flat.  To fix the problem, I added another dart.  Unfortunately, the dress was already lined, so it is not the prettiest fix in the world, but it makes the dress wearable.  And I should have added a bit of boning at the center back bodice as it has a tendency to pull downward over a day of wear.
Overall, I am very pleased with the end result, and plan on using many more of the reproductions in my stash, and I am sure that I will be seduced by another adorable envelope illustration in the future and add to my extensive collection! 

More of my vintage adventures may be found over at my blog, Lilacs & Lace.  Feel free to stop by and say hello! 
  1. Ooh, I love Simplicity 2491. That sort of pattern is just right up my street. But the fabric for the halterneck is beautiful, the colours are so bright and cheerful. Just the sort of thing to wear on a gloomy day when you need cheering up!

  2. I used this pattern recently and am absolutely in love with it, despite the fact that I almost never wear halters (I may be a convert). I love the print, and it really looks great on you! Always fun to see other people's versions of things!

  3. I also have the Simplicity 2491 pattern purchased from ebay. I love how all the pieces came separate and not on one giant sheet of tissue paper. The only thing I didn't like when I was making it was how much gathering there is in the skirt. It seems too bulky to me and next time I will probably just make it a circle skirt. Your dress is really cute, thanks for sharing!

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