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Pattern Puzzle - Vintage Update

Monday, April 27, 2015

The vintage inspiration for this weeks #PatternPuzzle has come from a pattern I found on the So Vintage Patterns website.  Unfortunately this particular one has been sold but they have a mountain of great vintage patterns for all eras.  I was attracted by the asymmetrically-set,  diagonal seams with gathered drape.  But not so much the button decoration.  By adding the extra seams I believe I have made it easier to construct as they eliminate the corner seams.  I have also reworked the back view from the original design to carry the front diagonal seams through to the back dress.Vintage Update Dress Pattern

Starting with my fitted dress block, or your favourite basic dress pattern, trace out a full front and back block to workout this asymmetric design:

  1. Extend the shoulder line to make a cap sleeve extension on the front and back bodice.  Eliminate the back shoulder dart.
  2. Mark in the position of the main diagonal seams on the front bodice, above and below the waistline.
  3. Connect these seams through to the back dress ending on the shaped centre back seam.
  4. Add an 'A' Line flare to the front and back skirts, from the hip to the hemline.
  5. Add a grown-on collar to the front bodice approx. 3.5-4cm wide.  The length of this collar is equal to half the back neckline measurement.
  6. Extend the front edge of the collar into the front wrap line to finish on the first diagonal bodice seam.  There is a wrap over of approx. 10cm on that seam.
  7. Connect the front vertical seam from under the bust to the hemline.
  8. Mark in the dashed lines on the skirt patterns to indicate where the extra fabric will be added for gather and flare.

Vintage Update Drape Dress

For the front bodice pieces, close and transfer the darts to the under-bust area.  The right side of the bodice is gathered back and the left side has a single dart.  You will notice I have slightly altered the dart position between the sketch and the pattern to ideally improve the making.

For the skirt patterns, fold out the waist dart to create flare in the hemline for the front right skirt and both back skirt patterns.  Then add some extra flare on to the side seams to achieve your desired hemline circumference.  The front left skirt pattern is a little different in that it has gathers where it joins the diagonal seam.  Cut this pattern open and add fullness to the hem and the gathered seam.  For this vintage design I would imagine that a total of 200-250 cm. in the hemline would be wonderful.

Vintage Sewing Patterns

The main pattern pieces are set out below with grainlines and cutting instructions.  To finish the collar and neckline a full facing is required and for the cap sleeves a bound edge or narrow hem is also ok.  Or alternatively add a full lining to the front and back bodice, remembering to add fusible interlining to the collar and front neckline of the lining piece.

Vintage Update Sewing pattern.

I hope you've all enjoyed the puzzle and the instructions in this post.  Please do not hesitate to ask any questions you have in the comments section below.  Enjoy :)

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Theresa Asafuah commented on 27-Apr-2015 02:53 AM
thanks for the details but i did not understand the front very well.
Also were will be opened and what fastening will be suitable.
Anonymous commented on 27-Apr-2015 09:05 AM
Hi Theresa, thanks for dropping by the blog. The opening is in the centre back seam with an invisible zipper. Ask any questions you need about the front and I will help you understand. :)
Susan Bateman commented on 27-Apr-2015 09:42 AM
I love it Anita , can't wait to try making it.
Thanks again for another wonderful style to have a chance to experiment with.
Anonymous commented on 28-Apr-2015 09:37 AM
Thanks Sue I am so pleased you like this one. If you would ever like to share your new creations we would love to see them. :)
Lauriana commented on 30-Apr-2015 03:31 PM
Another lovely vintage style dress! I really should make of these gathered 1940's numbers soon...
I agree with adding seams to help make the construction a bit easier. In designs from the 1930's and 1940's, they were really fond of complicated angular seaming. It can look great but in some cases, it just seems like a lot of trouble.
There's one thing I've noticed in three vintage designs which have been made into pattern puzzles so far (this one, the 'vintage booty' dress and the 'vintage fancy' dress): All are based on gathered styles from the 1940's and in their Pattern Puzzle version, they all have grown-on cap sleeves. It's a nice and simple to make sleeve and it was sometimes used even before it became very popular around 1950, but it makes me wonder... Both this dress and the 'booty' one include a picture of the inspiration which has a different sleeve style.
Are these designs given this particular type of sleeve to update the look? Or to save on unnecessary complication?
Anonymous commented on 30-Apr-2015 03:56 PM
Thanks Lauriana for the great observation. I have had a quick look and I think there are a combination of things going on. Firstly they are less complicated and less likely to give away the sleeve or armhole location in the puzzle end of things. There is also my own design inclination. I have always favoured the cap sleeve and you can see that in many of the other #PatternPuzzles. Not just the vintage ones. And yes, I do think it updates vintage styles easily and you can see this sleeve type in many current fashions. And finally, I grew up in a sub-tropical climate (Queensland) so perhaps I am more included to design for summer? Well you certainly got the old grey matter going with this question! Thanks again for your fabulous contribution. :)
fotomarieke commented on 01-May-2015 06:20 PM
Lovely dress. For the moment I am working on the perfection of v- necks, to get them without gaping. this gives more trouble with bigger cupsizes, but my knowledge is growing
Anita - studiofaro commented on 02-May-2015 11:37 AM
Hi Fotomarieke, it is great to hear from you again. You are right, gape darts are essential for bigger busts. Did you see the post on gape darts? Here is the link for much more detail - http://www.studiofaro.com/well-suited/pattern-fundamentals-gape-darts :)
Rutaba commented on 31-Dec-2015 06:36 AM
Thanks alot for this great great great blog! I were planning to recycle my old embroidered long shirt without damaging its embroidery... this gave me a great idea! its pretty interesting and unique blog... live long and stay blessed! :)
Anita commented on 31-Dec-2015 10:26 AM
Welcome Rutaba and thank you for the blessings. :) So pleased to hear that my blog inspires. Let me know if you have any questions; I'm always happy to help.

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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 my content for teaching or commercial purposes please ask.  I have some amazing resources for teachers and manufacturers. ;) enquiries@studiofaro.com

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The challenging patterns, the exciting new design trends and the impossible drapes; that's what I live for.  Disclaimer: These new ideas are offered here for testing and are offered without guarantee.  Allow yourself time and space to truly test and perfect the patterns for all your new ideas.  And please don't give yourself a hard time if the first toile is less than perfect.  It's simply part of a process. Enjoy :)

Using my content

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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