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Pattern Puzzle - Vintage Fancy

Monday, March 16, 2015
Since the earliest of my pattern making days I have had a passion for the tailored femininity of vintage styling.  And now that I have discovered an extensive online community that enjoys both fashion and vintage designs I am presented with so many beautiful options for our weekly pattern puzzle.   I found this weeks inspiring image in a wonderful tumblr blog, The Tailors Desire, full of all things vintage.  :)Vintage Fancy Sewing Pattern

This design has a most distracting and flattering use of Contrast in an interesting asymmetric design.  Part of the magazine description included: 
 'The squared neckline and dramatic hip fancy will make you ever so feminine.'

Assuming we are working with woven fabric, without any stretch, I have chosen my women's fitted dress block to base the fit of the new design.  The front has the asymmetric detail so a tracing of the full front block will be needed.  The back however is symmetrical and needs only half back to develop the pattern.
  1. Begin by building a grown-on neckline for the front and back.
  2. Extend the shoulder line, front and back, into a grown-on cap sleeve style.
  3. Drop the underarm point for comfort and curve the side seam into the lower edge of the cap sleeve.
  4. Lengthen the dress block to just below the knee and taper the side seams toward the hem.
  5. Mark in the back yoke line and consider transferring the shoulder dart into the yoke seam.
  6. Shape the back waist on the CB line by 1 cm.
  7. On the front draft mark in the neckline, yoke seam and the vertical panel seam through the dress.
  8. Note that I have moved the right side darts a little to fit in with the new panel line position.
  9. Curve the lower edge of the front side body panel from princess panel to side seam.
  10. This seam will hold the waterfall feature and the hip fancy.
  11. Extend the line for the waterfall pattern making sure the leading edge is shorter than the seam edge.
  12. Mark position and size of the hip fancy to give you a guide for the patterns final dimensions.
  13. Now mark in the cut lines through the front dress to include extra fabric for the gathered drape.
  14. Mark cut lines into the front right yoke to include extra fabric for the gathered drape.
Vintage Fancy Pattern Plan
Trace off all the separate pattern pieces.  Please note that :
  1. All front pattern pieces are single cut R.S.U.  (right side up for fabric)
  2. The exception is the waterfall pattern piece that may be cut double or single depending on your fabric choice.  As a single cut it would also be R.S.U.
  3. The back pattern pieces are both cut in pairs for the symmetric styling.
  4. The front neckline, on the yoke patterns, has a turn back facing included in the pattern piece.  As does the back neck on the yoke pattern.
  5. It is possible to treat the front neckline on the dress panel in the same way - with a turn back facing.  However it may be more stable if a separate facing is used.
Final Patterns Vintage Fancy
This was such a delightful pattern to work out and I hope to see many of you giving it a go.  Let me know if you have any questions in the comments section below.  I'm always happy to help.  :)

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Mioara Cretu commented on 16-Mar-2015 08:06 PM
Wonderful design. I love this kind of dresses. Fashion 1940?
Julie-Ann Gilman commented on 16-Mar-2015 11:10 PM
I have had this dress pinned on Pinterest for a while now from a fashion catalogue called Modes Royals. I've been racking my brain trying to figure it out. Thank you for this. I will definitely do this.
fotomarieke commented on 17-Mar-2015 08:13 AM
Lovely and elegant
Anonymous commented on 17-Mar-2015 10:32 AM
Hi Mioara, yes I have confirmed it is a 1940's style. I found a couple of pinterest albums with lots of Modes Royals pattern covers and they are really adventurous designs. You may see more of them in the puzzles in the future. :)
Anonymous commented on 17-Mar-2015 10:34 AM
Hi Julie-Ann, I am so pleased to hear you will be able to make use of the pattern making instructions. I have just found a couple of Modes Royals pinterest albums and there are stacks of wonderful ideas. Please come back and share your project when you are ready. I am here if you have any questions. :)
Anonymous commented on 17-Mar-2015 10:35 AM
Thanks fotomarieke, are you thinking of making this?
Lauriana commented on 17-Mar-2015 08:10 PM
What a lovely design! I'm sorry I missed the last two pattern puzzles (busy with other things) but I adore vintage styles like this. In fact, I was already thinking about trying some asymmetric, gathered 1940's styles this year...
fotomarieke commented on 18-Mar-2015 08:50 AM
Dear Anita,
I could certainly think of using elements of this dress.
The big flounce and sash are a bit overdone for my personal situation, but I like the neckline and asymmetric pleats .
However there are projects that have now priority. I keep it in my mind and go breeding....
Anonymous commented on 18-Mar-2015 09:24 AM
Hi Lauriana, it's great to hear from you. Yes I noticed your absence and totally understand. :) If you google Modes Royals there are stacks of wonderful and interesting designs. they must have been an amazing pattern company to produce such innovative design. Enjoy :)
Anonymous commented on 18-Mar-2015 09:27 AM
Totally understand fotomarieke, there are always many more interesting projects than time available. I agree about the hip fancy, a step to far for everyday wear but perfect for the red carpet. ;)
Diana Diamond commented on 22-Oct-2015 05:33 AM
Thank you so much for these patterns. I think I'll be trying this out along with some other patterns I've seen. You're a God send. Thanks Again
Anita commented on 23-Oct-2015 12:37 PM
Thx Diana. We'd love to see your photos when you're done. :)
Joan commented on 09-Feb-2016 12:22 AM
Hi Anita, I'm thinking of giving this a go to wear to a wedding. I'm a bit confused by the front darts. I can see where you have moved them at waist and shoulder. Do the darts actually get sewn or not? I can see any excess fabric could be lost in the front right drape and gather but what happens on the other side?many thanks.
Anonymous commented on 09-Feb-2016 09:20 AM
Hi Joan, thx for getting in touch. The bust and waist darts on the left panel side (on the left when wearing) are included in the panel seam shaping. The bust and waist darts on the right side are included in the gather drape. No front darts are sewn in this design (they are all in the seam or gather drape) but there is a waist dart in the back. I'm hoping I've understood your question. :) If not please keep asking...

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All images, designs, photos and layouts on this blog are created and owned by Anita McAdam© of Studio Faro. They are available FOR HOME AND PERSONAL USE ONLY.  If you would like to use our content for teaching or commercial purposes please ask.  I have some amazing resources for teachers and manufacturers. ;) enquiries@studiofaro.com

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