Sunday, 10 April 2016

Simplicity 4896

I'm making view 3, the short version

This pattern is a bit of a mystery. According to Blueprints of Fashion: Home Sewing Patterns of the 1940s, it was printed in 1944. Unlike Style, Vogue or Du Barry patterns of the same era, there is nothing on it to indicate where it was printed. It is priced in British money, but with a stick-on label rather than directly on the envelope. Also unlike my Style and Vogue patterns from the war years, there are no references on it to clothing coupons or the CC41 regulations. Everything seems to point to it being printed in the US and imported, but would precious shipping space have been used to import dress patterns?

Envelope back

Of course, given its publication date, it may be that it was imported after the war had ended. If anyone who knows more about this period can shed any light – I’d love to hear from you!

Mystery aside, Simplicity 4896 is a fairly straightforward pattern. It’s a loose, edge-to-edge coat with no fastenings and a grown-on collar. In fact, apart from being narrower, and having a two-piece sleeve, it’s remarkably similar to Butterick 5716. This fact may come in handy when I start to sew it, as I can crib from the Butterick instructions. The ones with this pattern are, shall we say, brief.

Side one - cutting layouts and general instructions

Side two - specific instructions, that's your lot!

Not that I’m anywhere near starting sewing yet. First the pattern had to be redrafted to my size. After the near-miss that was Vogue 9546, I decided to do the job properly, and redraft the sleeves as well. This involved extending the armscye and widening the sleeves; time will tell if I’ve done this properly! I also shortened the coat a little.

My fabric is a wool-poly mix, so not period accurate, but I really liked its design. What I’d somehow managed to miss until I came to cut out (and fortunately I spotted this before I put scissors to fabric) is that it’s a design with a nap. The pattern layout however is not. Oops.

I've decided to use the fabric in the direction on the left

I think that I can eke out the fabric, but with a different cutting layout and by cutting every piece from a single layer. I did this with my CC41 dress, and was amazed at how little fabric I wasted. Here goes!

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