1940s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

An Emergency Bolero (Pauline Pattern 2217, c. 1940s)

August 25, 2014

I’m sure we’ve all been there – no jackets/boleros/cardigans in your wardrobe matches your chosen outfit?!?  I had that dilemma the day before the Sydney Fifties Fair, nothing matched my chosen dress (a 1940’s rayon day-dress by Mynette).

Luckily, I had Pauline 2217 sitting on my sewing desk and the bolero seemed to be the answer to my emergency!













I love all the details on this bolero – the winged collar, the strong shoulders, the faux pockets. The pattern is from the later part of WW2, with the focus on the military-inspired shoulders. It’s economy standard, i.e. no seam allowance, no facing pieces provided, instructions printed on the back of the packet.


Ouch, this pattern was hard to put together.  The instructions consist of two sentences, basically: sew the pocket flaps on, sew the side seams together, attach the collar, set in the sleeves, face the edges. Not a pattern for the faint-hearted!

And it complemented perfectly! The length hit me where it should (just above my waist) and the fit was so good that I didn’t need to make any adjustments. The judges must have liked it too, as my partner and I also won the ‘Best Dressed Couple’ competition.

If you’d like to read more, or see photos from the Fifties Fair, just head on over to my blog

  1. Nice bolero. I especially like those little fake pockets.
    And I love how you styled your outfit. Such a great hat!

    About the pattern… I only have a of these separate vintage patterns (most of mine are on tracing sheets in magazines) but all of those (from the 1930’s to the 1960’s) are unprinted patterns without seam allowance nor any pieces for finishing and with instructions as limited as what you’re describing. If you’re lucky you get a cutting lay-out.
    I keep being surprised to hear people go on about vintage instructions because I’ve never found any (except in sewing instruction books, of course)…

  2. Amazing. Great job and wonderful ensemble. Your accessories are to DIE for! Love the purse, shoes and bakelite.

    Its cool, too, because I’ve not seen an Australian pattern before! Neat!

    I’ll pop over to your blog and check it out!

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