A funny thing about that vintage Simplicity pattern

A common complaint about Big 4 repro patterns is that while they use the original pattern illustrations, the patterns themselves are often noticeably altered from their original release. This creates, at the very least, confusion when the finished garment ends up not looking like what was supposedly on offer.

Here’s a little discovery — not just repros that have this problem!

You may remember my last post about my adventures with Simplicity 3010 from 1959.


I pulled this pattern out last year intending to make a dress for Halloween. I found a really fun bat motif lace at Joann. I thought it would be super fun as an overlay. It was too late though. Halloween came and went and the lace went into the stash.

The illustration for View 1 is clearly drawn strapless with a lace overlay. But, as I discovered when I actually made this pattern, there are no pieces or instructions to actually make the dress as illustrated. There is a mention of using net or marquisette (The Dreamstress explains marquisette here) for the facings if you choose to make the dress from lace but that’s it. There is nothing about lining the bodice in the manner illustrated or attaching an overlay skirt. The fact that View 1 is shown without pockets probably has to do with it being impractical for a dress overlay. I suppose perhaps it was assumed that a 1959 sewist would just know how to get this done? I can’t see that a 1959 lady was going to wear a lace dress without a lining. It boggles a bit.

I have my own ideas on how I would recreate that illustration. I’d flatline the lace before putting in the darts. I wouldn’t make it strapless either so I could wear a regular bra. It’s a really cute drawing but it doesn’t make sense. The architecture to support a strapless style bodice isn’t present in the pattern. Tsk tsk Simplicity!


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