Friday, August 11, 2017

Simplicity has gone vintage reproduction crazy.

Well, I missed the last Simplicity catalog release in July during my blogging hiatus, and then they go and release another in August - and there are lots of vintage offerings in both.

I will begin with my favorite.  I adore the style lines on this suit jacket.  The single button closure, the tailored silhouette, the breast pockets - love it, love it, love it.  My only gripe is that what looks like a blouse is actually a dickey.  I am betting that matches the original design, and I am pleased they stayed true to the vintage pattern, but I would much rather have another blouse pattern.  Still, there is a lot here that I really like.

I am trying to decide if I like this blouse and skirt combo because of the excellent print choice and the wonderful model and styling of the look, or if I actually love the design itself.  There are so many 1940s patterns with a similar look, and while I do like the center front tucks, I feel as though I already have something just like this.

Now here is something that I like to see . . . a vintage lingerie pattern.  If only they reproduced one of the more interesting/gorgeous options.  That being said, at least this is slightly more involved than the many petticoat patterns that may be found in the costume section of a pattern catalog.  The cut-in-one slip is  really lovely.  Could I get this look by combining a few patterns already in my stash?  Of course.  But I do hope this means that Simplicity will continue to reproduce the vintage lingerie designs.

On a similar note, this accessory pattern is one of the more boring vintage accessory pattern options I have come across over the years.  The turban is a simple rectangle of fabric, and I would bet that most people who sew could find a collar pattern piece from a dress pattern in their collection that could be used as a stand alone piece.  But after seeing the slip pattern and this accessory pattern with multiple options, I am hopeful they may release one of the amazing multiple sleeve patterns in the future.  That would make me a very happy girl!  More wardrobe expanding designs, please!!

This blouse is current sitting on my sewing table.  I am working up a wearable muslin in my continuing quest to find my perfect blouse.  I am not yet convinced that this will be the one, but the back yoke, the multiple sleeve options, and the fabulous collar have me very hopeful.  So far the only real issue I have is that this one is a real fabric hog.

Speaking of adorable blouses, how about the hooded one that comes with these overalls.  Love it!  I think this was a very nice choice to reproduce.  I would be very interested to see if these have more of the vintage trouser fit, or if they have completely redrafted the pants.

This particular dress is cute, I guess.  I like the neckline, but really, nothing all that special.

The styling on this suit is lovely, and I do love a bolero, but this is certainly not the most interesting or stunning version of the bolero/skirt combo.  It also looks like Simplicity continues to shorten their vintage reproduction patterns.  I have had this issue with quite a few of their previous designs, and I am still not sure of the reasoning behind the change.  Clearly they are styling them vintage, and not trying to hide from the old fashioned look, so why shorten the skirts so much?

Here again is a rather basic design.  I am pleased that all three pieces are included, but really the only interesting option is the three-quarter sleeved jacket, in my opinion.  Do we really need another basic sleeveless shift dress added to the catalog?  This one does have double darts, but that alone is not enough to get rave reviews from me.  Give me more special vintage details, please!!

And speaking of boring . . . the ubiquitous poodle skirt.  I am going to give them a slight pass with the expectation that the embroidery instructions to recreate the poodles are helpful, and at least there is a shaped waistband to make things slightly less yawn worthy.  But do we really need another circle skirt pattern when there are so many more incredible and interesting vintage skirt choices?!

This skirt option is slightly more interesting, but not by much.  There is a notation that a "vintage primer" is included, so I will be curious to see those original directions.  It would seem that Simplicity is listening to their customers . . .

I remember this design because Casey made it up years ago.  I seem to recall her saying that it was not the easiest garment to wear, which is often the case with these "simple to make" designs.  The concept is wonderful, but will it stay in place?  I think a well placed brooch is probably going to be very helpful in this case.

And here is another classic 1950s suit wardrobe.  I love the cropped jacket, but the skirt is nothing to write home about.  Not very exciting.  I wish they didn't release quite so many vintage options that are ho-hum, and concentrated more on quality instead of quantity.  Part of me fears that a lot of their customers are going to complain about the number of vintage reproductions and they will stop printing them.

And here is something I did not expect to find.  How adorable is this?  I love the 1930s Snow White.  The hat pattern is also included here!!  I also love the Royal Vintage Shoes which keep appearing in the styling this season!

This Sew Chic pattern is not an actual vintage reproduction, but it certainly has that look.  The infamous shelf bust silhouette has returned!  I think this one could easily go wrong depending on the wearer's proportions, but it has definite possibilities.

So I am slightly overwhelmed by the number of choices, but also slightly disappointed in many of the offerings.  That being said, there are a couple of winners here that I will definitely need to take home with me.  Now I just need to find the time to get back into the sewing room!


  1. I think they've certainly upped their game lately. There's a few there I'd loe to get my hands on- 8462 and 8445 especially. The styling is getting much better though.

  2. I'm pretty excited about some of these. Per your comment about the shortened hems, I wonder why they are shy about styling the models with the intended crinolines, especially when they have a pattern for them.

  3. I love all the reproduction options! I'm not a super sewist and will not be getting all of them by any means, but I love looking at all of them! Did you happen to see 8432? It's obviously a costume but to me it looks like it's designed after the 1940s women's baseball uniforms.
    Glad to see your catalog pattern reviews again!

  4. You are such an advanced seamstress, knitter and your handwork is to die for that really nothing offered is challenging enough to be worthy of your skills. I think modern patterns are designed for a less skilled and dedicated seamstress than you and others who have awesome blogs. I never follow the written instructions either as I own every advanced sewing book Amazon offers and can find couture techniques to make a garment I admire looking at. The slip and Snow White pattern are O.K. but not great compared to Vogue Paris Original patterns that are exact copies of the couture garment and have more detailed instructions than modern patterns.

  5. I have to agree, the current offerings are not awe-inspiring. The repros that are not exact copies lack the interesting style lines of the originals. I wish for once Vogue would re-issue some of the French couture Vogue Original Models from the 1950's from Fath, Schiaparelli, Desses and Dior that sell on ebay or etsy for $100 to $200+ . These prices are so out-of-reach. I'm imagining there must be some kind of problem with copyright that doesn't allow this....

  6. My favourite is the Rosie the riveter one - I really want to make the blouse. Interested in the petticoat one too (wish it didn't take so long for these to reach down under!) but not too fussed over the rest of them.

  7. Is it possible that instead of shortening the skirt, the model is just tall?

    Of course I'm bad at reading vintage pattern art. I can't tell from the drawing if the skirt is meant to hit mid calf or below the knee.

  8. I really appreciate when you review these. Oh, I am delighted by the Snow White (how many times have I bought that hat pattern?) and the overall pattern (the hooded shirt has been on my vintage prowl for some time). I am a little surprised it took them so long to get to the mystery wrap shirt pattern (the prices on that were insane for something that is pretty self-explanatory. Nevertheless, I will buy one.

  9. Ooh! I'm one of those people that looks best in those shelf bust dresses - they make me look far more curvy than usual. But, if you're already curvy, they may be less than ideal!