New to me, but far from new


I’m one of those few who sew for the challenge, which is why I love-love-love vintage patterns. Sure the illustrations are amazing and the styles impeccable, but it’s more than that. I can stare at vintage patterns all day, but when it comes to sewing one up? I’m in it to win it.

The problem is that patterns more than sixty or seventy years old are prone to having pieces missing. And as much as I love the challenge of sewing, there are few times that I love the challenge of patternmaking. So the incomplete ones sit in the pattern drawers for me to ogle and dream of someday devoting the time to draft a new bodice/sleeve/skirt panel for them. It just never happens.

But this beauty–she has it all: the primer, the envelope (albeit a bit battered by an unknown toddler) and every single pattern piece. Shout hallelujah! I’m making this baby.

From what I can gather, it’s from the mid-1940s and is the first of three Simplicity 2564 patterns. It retailed for 15 whole cents (slightly less than the Vogue pattern I just bought) when it hit the fabric stores back then. Back in my grandma’s teenage years.

That’s how old it is.


The pattern envelopes describes it as a dress that “has a “V” neckline, finished with draped revers in front. Short puff sleeves. The flared skirt has seam at the center front and is trimmed with patch pockets. Style 2 has shaped revers and set-in sleeves with turned back cuffs. Trimmed with rick-rack braid.”
Do you know what a revers is? I figured it was that piece they refer to as “collar” in the pattern. Which it sort of is, but it has a fancier definition.

Revers: The turned-back edge of a garment revealing the undersurface.

I’m totally going to fit this new word into conversation next week. Just watch.

And because it’s just so wonderfully vintage, guess what notions I’m going to need? 4-1/2 yards of rick-rack and, oh yes, a slide fastener. Unless, I decide I want to do sew-in snaps. Not likely.


So tonight I’ll start making a copy of the pattern, one I’m not afraid to pin. Make some adjustments, then put those old sheets to use and make a muslin of it. I think I might need to make a final version in one of the Stella Dots. But which one?

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