Friday, August 12, 2016

A Smorgasbord of Vintage Reproductions from Simplicity

I have been checking PatternReview for the past few days, waiting for the latest Simplicity patterns to appear.  Today, they did (although Simplicity still has not updated their website).  There are six new vintage reproductions in the catalog.  Okay, one of them is an apron, and they are not the most amazing vintage designs I have ever seen, but the fact that there are so many choices is pretty fantastic.

This is my favorite of the bunch.  The double breasted suit is ADORABLE!  I love it!  This design is definitely going to be added to my project list.

Someone very familiar with the features of a traditional cheongsam might take issue with this design, but I really do like the collared version of this pattern.

At first glance, I really like 8245.  But upon closer inspection, this is a rehash of a previously released design.  I am willing to bet that the top portion of the bodice is a direct copy of Simplicity 4047.  That being said, I have already made two versions of the peplum blouse and will admit that it is an excellent pattern.  So, for anyone who missed it the first time around, I would highly recommend this design.

I suppose it is possible that two patterns released in the 1950s were incredibly similar, but last February Simplicity messed with the original illustrations to match their modified version of 1155, so I am not convinced that these are two distinct designs.  Here is a comparison of the line drawings of this season's vintage reproduction versus the one released is 2007.  Doesn't this look a bit suspicious?  I am, however, reminded that I always meant to make that fabulous jacket . . . 

The same issue applies to Simplicity 8243.  I am guessing that the pants portion of this pattern is a duplication of the pants included with Simplicity 3688 except for the addition of pockets and the closure has been moved.  Also, a released dart has been substituted for a standard one on the pant front - so maybe these are not an exact copy, after all.  

But what happened to the cuff on the short sleeved blouse?  Perhaps it was simply a fold applied to a basic sleeve on the original vintage pattern, but why change that lovely feature when it clearly is a part of the original. 

This 1960s design is fairly basic, but I do appreciate the french darts on the dress.  And the jacket is pretty cute.  I do wonder why there is not photo on a model, though.  But what I really want are those hats!!

The apron is nice, although I already have five or six different vintage reproduction aprons patterns, so do I really need another?  That being said, I find that the vintage ones have so much more character than contemporary aprons made almost exclusively from rectangles with very little shaping, so hooray for more interesting choices.

There are two lingerie patterns from Madalynne in this catalog.  I have been wanting to try my hand at making a bra for some time, but I would like something more long-line than either of these designs.  I am probably better off finding a vintage pattern and working from there, but this might be a starting point for me.

also like Mimi G Style's new shirt dress pattern.  I think that the style lines are great.  This design is not made for knits, but I can absolutely see this in a fabulous DVF inspired knit.  And I am going to have to check out that double collar feature.

There is something very 1970s about this dress, and I love the tie neck.  I am not so sure that a blousey elastic waist is the best look for me, but I may have to try this one as well.

So I would say that this is the most interesting Simplicity release I have seen in quite some time.  It is rather puzzling that of the thousands and thousands of vintage Simplicity designs, the company would choose to reissue duplicated designs, but I am very excited to see so many of them in one catalog.  I have a feeling, however, that anyone with a more contemporary design aesthetic is going to be rather disappointed this time around.


  1. I like the way these vintage reproductions were styled: hair, shoes, makeup, body type of model, etc. It's also nice to see fabrics that match/are similar to the original illustrations.

  2. What Peter said - I'm glad that at least Simplicity seems to know what they're doing when it comes to the vintage repro patterns.

    If you're looking for a longline bra pattern you could have a look at Ohhh Lulu on Etsy.

  3. 8242 is definitely going on my wish list, with that perfect jacket. Really enjoy your summaries and analysis of these patterns. Samantha x

  4. For a few days Pattern Review has all Simplicity on sale for $3.99 each (with additional savings available for paid members). Among other patterns not in this group, I got from the above choices 8244 and that adorable apron 8232. When I try to get the sales in the stores, which are all an hour away from me, they never have the pattern I want - so I like the on-line sales (and I qualified for free shipping.) I haven't perused the Simplicity offerings for some time. I was pleasantly surprised by how many vintage reproductions they offered. I could have bought twice as many as I did. I agree - the styling with the original pattern cover as a guide is spot on.

  5. 8242 is a pretty straightforward pattern, but the sample on the envelope is a hash. I have come to expect this sort of bad sewing on the photos for the indie pattern companies, but the jacket is just stunningly awful. On closer inspection, there's a lot left to be desired on the others as well.

    The styling is lovely. The hair is perfect.

    1. I wonder if they think we won't notice how poorly they fit or are sewn. I find that I just compensate for those glaring issues (though I do feel a bit disrespected by them) and see the garment as Laura Mae would sew it up :) The bra and the apron fit great - the rest not so much. I wish gloves would make a comeback in force.

  6. I need the first 1940s suit and the trouser pattern!

  7. I gasped when I saw that first pattern, and was so pleased by the rest of these! I can't wait to pick them up and make some of these wonderful designs. Those pants are really appealing, and I'm interested in seeing how the lingerie patterns are sized (if they accommodate odd sizes, as I am one).

  8. Overdue gripe session #1

    "You buyin' any of this?"

    "Not a chance!"

    "She's promoting herself as all, "fit, flare, and flounce"."

    "When we know she's all, 'snit, scare, and pounce'."

    "Mmmm hmmmm."

    "And we'll end up with at least twice the unrest if she were to double breast."

    "Tanks and troops can't stop this one in her tracks."

    "You just KNOW she'll break out a long reserved pose once she suits up."

    "I'm thinking it will be an, 'onslaught-by-an-ingenue', utilizing a photo-montage, and sepia tone to really rub it in."

    "She would go there, wouldn't she."

    "And how!"

    "THAT Laura Mae!"

    "Yes, (pause) THAT one!"