Sunday, July 20, 2014

It is a truth universally acknowledged . . .

. . . that a seamstress in possession of a pretty vintage pattern must be in want of a muslin.

When Marie emailed me about writing a guest post for her Vintage Sewing Pattern Pledge, I immediately knew I wanted to make this Vogue pattern.  My favorite vintage decades are definitely the 40s and 50s, and with the decidedly 1960s vibe of this pattern, it was just far enough outside my comfort zone that I needed something like the #vintagepledge to get started on this particular design.

Vogue 4203 is a Special Design from 1960 or 1961 (the instructions are dated 1960, but the pattern envelope is stamped 1961).  It is often impossible to find any mention of a copyright date, and here I have two for one!

This is yet another example of lovely vintage drafting . . . different armholes depending on whether or not a sleeve is added.

For fabric, I chose this floral quilting cotton.  If I could find a print like this in a silk/cotton brocade, I would be in heaven, but for now, the cotton will have to do!  And really, this particular cotton feels lovely and the weight is nicely suited to a silhouette like Vogue 4203.

First up, a muslin.  And, quite frankly, it does not look anywhere near as cute as the illustration.  Instead, it looks just like any other basic bodice and full skirt.  Since the cut-up sheet I used is a similar weight to the quilting cotton, clearly something had to be done.

The vintage silhouette is certainly helped by the addition of a petticoat, but I thought I would try something a bit different for this dress (more on that later!).

There is also something wonky with the pleat lines.  They should match back to the bodice darts, but this is impossible as drafted on the back bodice/skirt, so I did a bit of tweaking.  Yet another reason for a practice run!


  1. You chose a beautiful pattern! I love the back buttons and the scallop detail on the over-bodice waist. I might be in the minority with this... but there is something really calming about making a pattern muslin.

  2. However little known the feelings or views of such a seamstress may be on her first entering a sewing challenge... :)

  3. I have that fabric, made it into a simple tiered skirt and I get gobs of compliments on it - in a pretty dress? You're going to be mobbed! :)

  4. I have that same vintage pattern and I have always thought I might use the skirt on something, it is so pretty. And the different armholes - hurrah! that is one of my pet peeves and I am always raising them on patterns that have a sleeveless and sleeved version in one pattern. See Vogue does know what it is doing :) Looking forward to seeing what you do with this one.