Sunday, 10 December 2017

Blasts from the past

I've lamented more than once on this blog that I disposed of lots of my dress patterns in the past. Sometimes I'll come across a familiar image on Pinterest and think, "I had that", and wish that I still did. So when I acquired two 1980s Perry Ellis for Vogue patterns earlier this year, it really got me thinking about a couple of my former favourites.

The first one was a very loose-fitting Perry Ellis coat. I replaced the single button fasten with a large press stud and made it fully reversible, with a purely decorative button on each side. I loved the end result, and literally wore it until it wore out. Because it was a designer pattern, it proved easy to find the details online.

Vogue 1213

The second was a dress, and this was much harder to track down. All I could remember was that it was another Very Easy Vogue pattern and was loose and straight, with a V neck, long-sleeved or sleeveless options, and an attached overbodice. I made the long-sleeved version in a plain teal fabric, lined the sleeves with the same fabric in dark red, and wore it with the sleeves rolled up so the lining showed. Because the neckline of the shortened bodice was lower than I was comfortable with, I added a small false front, also dark red. This was another make which got a lot of wear.

The closest pattern image I could find online was this one.

Vogue 9235 - note the fullness of the dress

Now I've had a few dressmaking mishaps in my time, but I was pretty sure that I'd never accidentally made a maternity dress!

So the mystery remained unsolved, until I was flicking through a 1984 issue of 'Vogue Patterns', and there it was. My dress. Apparently made up from a tablecloth, but my dress nonetheless.

Vogue 9004, in a bold fabric

Although the coat is from 1983 and the dress from 1984, I must have bought them a few years later. Vogue patterns were beyond my student budget, and I know I made the dress for work.

Vogue 9004, looking more restrained

Now that I had the dress number, naturally I was curious to see if the pattern was available anywhere. And lo, it was. Unused, and almost my size. I also happened to find the coat; unused and in my size. . . .

Reader, I bought them. They are now sitting on my worktable, where I can admire them and occasionally pat them.

Given a) the current weather and b) the fact that I've already got Butterick 5716 and Simplicity 4896, I'm not really in need of another loose coat with almost no fastens on it. But the dress is another matter. Especially when I had a hunt though my stash and found these.

Teal crepe and a dark red silky lining - hmmm

I may have found my Christmas holiday project!


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you Kate. I've never tried an exact redo of a previous make before, and I'm still not entirely sure it's a wise idea, but I love the pattern, and the colour.

  2. I had a huge box of vintage patterns given to me back in the early 2000s, at a time when I'd given up on sewing. I still have some of them, from the 1930s onwards, but I gave a load of them away. I thankfully can't remember what they looked like but I bet there were 30s and 40s one in there. Nooooooo! xx

    1. Oh no! It's definitely as well you can't remember exactly what was in there! xx