published on: Thu, 28 May 2015, 19:38

Vintage Dress Patterns lesson 101

There's nothing better than wearing an original vintage dress in the lush fabric of your choice. I can do this for you, but if you fancy looking at buying a vintage pattern and trying to make your own dress then there are some differences that you need to be aware of between modern patterns and vintage ones. 

 I'm going to walk you through the basics in this blog for the next few weeks so it's all good! This is the dress and fabric I will be making up! Before you cut anything read this!! 

I've chosen a floral sage cotton it drapes beautifully so is perfect for this 40s style dress. You will find preparation is the key here...


Vintage patterns are readily available from eBay charity shops etc - look for condition this is all important as it could be a incomplete pattern, cut or uncut, instructions could be missing so check this. 

First rule of vintage pattern buying is don't buy your dress size! A size 12 in the 40s will not be the same as a 12 today - look at the measurements of the pattern and use this as a guide. 

Vintage patterns aren't multi sized like they are so you will probably be buying one in a specific size ready cut like this - the good news is that they are usually ready notched, and have the pattern piece name punched on it. They are different though and don't have the pattern piece name such as A, B or C on it. 

Next rule of vintage patterns is check your pieces! All there?  Great time to iron them for accuracy as they may have been stuck in a drawer for 50 years ! No steam low heat is the trick. 

Next read the instructions throughly - they differ greatly from modern patterns as vintage patterns Aussie you have a degree of sewing skills so instructions vary. Then pencil in the part numbers/letters

Next step read them again! Seriously, best to avoid costly cutting mistakes by being prepared ! Look closely at the cutting layout to see which parts are cut on the fold as may not be obvious on pattern pieces. Have a good look at the pieces too to envisage how they are going to connect and look for facings. A lot of vintage dresses use boss binding in hems, armholes etc this may be something you do or do not want. 

Think you're ready now to cut? Great thsts the next step do tune in next week! 

Vintage dresses, vintage patterns