by Erin on October 19, 2006

Vogue 8489

Laura sent me this — thank you, Laura! I love the neckline, and I'm totally stealing the pockets-in-the-middle-of-the-skirt idea. So easy!

This is from seller BootyVintage on (obviously, I don't spend enough time on etsy, as I didn't realize people were selling patterns there now). The pattern is $20, plus shipping, but look at the size — B39, hard to find!

I don't know if I'd piece the back the way it is in this pattern — perhaps I wouldn't feel the need for a horizontal line running the full width of my rear end — but it'd be easy enough to take out. Or keep, and add BACK pockets?

I'm slightly concerned about the woman in the print version in this illustration, though. Doesn't she look as if she is awaiting instructions from the mothership? One possibly helmed by Ming the Merciless? Oh, well, at least she's dressed appropriately for world domination. Can't take over a damn thing with no pockets!

{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

Becky O. October 19, 2006 at 7:58 am

Love the sleeve length too, ooh!Did you catch the glove rule? If you have short sleeves=gloves, 3/4 sleeves=cold naked harlot hands.


Anonymous October 19, 2006 at 8:28 am

I don’t think the Cohorts of Ming would wear little white gloves. I prefer to think Print!Woman is listening to the music of the spheres.NancyKay


Anonymous October 19, 2006 at 8:41 am

I notice the size on this is a 20. I just started sewing again, or at least thinking about it. Looking at the measurements on patterns, I’m in shock. I wear a 10 off the rack…is it possible that I would wear a 16 in a modern pattern?


Anonymous October 19, 2006 at 8:57 am

The pockets are good. The neckline is fabulous! Squared necklines provide the perfect foil for a lovely, curved neck, and this one, elongated as it is, takes the effect to new levels. The 3/4 sleeves are perfect. I’d want buttons on those pockets to keep them from pooching out.I can see this done up in two similar shades of silk shantung, a slightly darker shade below the hip seam. Charcoal with medium grey? Black and navy? Hmm…


Anonymous October 19, 2006 at 9:03 am

is it possible that I would wear a 16 in a modern pattern?Generally, add 6 to your RTW size for your modern pattern size. Vintage patternsadd 10. Pay no attention to the number! It’s just a number. You’ll waste time and money making something that fits your perception of your size. You know that astounding fact that often circulates during discussions about standards of beautythat Marilyn Monroe wore a size 14? Well, she did. A vintage 14, which is akin to a modern 8.


Nora October 19, 2006 at 9:28 am

Anon 8:57, I love the idea of two colors in silk shantung! – how about orange and red? or eggplant and red? (I think I’m wishing for fall colors, living in California as I do…) And I’d do the collar in the contrast color, too, because that collar rocks.And I think NancyKay is onto something with the music of the spheres.


La BellaDonna October 19, 2006 at 10:14 am

Anonymous in Shock at 8:41, if it helps, keep in mind that the old (vintage) Size 16 Miss meant exactly that – a size to be worn by a sixteen-year-old miss. Feel better? Now, if you’re going by your bust measure, and you wear a C-cup or over, take your chest, or over-bust, measure (under your arms, but high on your chest), and use that as if it was your bust measurement when selecting patterns. For instance, if your bust measures 34″ and you are a B cup, then you would buy a 16 pattern in most vintage sizes, and a size 12 in most modern patterns. If your bust measures 38″, you’d expect to buy a size 20 vintage pattern, or a size 16 modern pattern … unless you were a D cup (patterns are sized to fit B cups). Then you’d measure your chest, and find that it was probably right about at the 34″ level. So you buy the size 12 modern/size 16 vintage pattern, so that it fits around the neck and shoulders and back and ribs, and you alter it for the bust only, since that’s where your size variance is.It’s just a number, Anonymous; it’s not a value judgment.


Robinson October 19, 2006 at 10:15 am

I love the two tone idea for this dress and I might try it on a different dress if I can find a suitable one. I wish I could buy this pattern for myself, but I’m a little concerned about doing a 6 inch full bust enlargement at this point in my very young sewing career (is it even possible?). However, I am so thrilled to have found BootyVintage (love the name) because ALL of her patterns are a whole lot closer to my measurements than most other vintage sites I have found (a 26″ waist? C’mon!). Of course, momspatterns also has some lovely “plus” sized patterns (and I actually found one that fits my measurements exactly there – yeah!).


La BellaDonna October 19, 2006 at 10:18 am

However, am I the only one who’s bothered by the fact that the center seam on the lower panel doesn’t line up with the edge of the section above it? I realize that it’s because the seam is lining up with the center front line of the upper section, so of course the actual edge is a bit over, but … it bothers me. I keep wanting to push it over just a little bit. I think I would have to do that, if I were to make that dress.


jill October 19, 2006 at 10:21 am

Here’s a weird circumstance: I own the block that is used to make the helmet hat. The block is a beautiful sculpture, and makes one ugly hat, that only looked good on Father Knows Best’s wife,whatever her name was.I have never figured out why really full 50’s mid calf skirts were worn with brimless pin head sized hats.


Anonymous October 19, 2006 at 10:48 am

la bella, Is that right that Size 16 meant age 16? What then of a vintage size 8 or 10? Doesn’t seem to follow. Just curious; I’ve never heard that before.


Robinson October 19, 2006 at 10:55 am

Oh, wait. LaBellaDonna, I’m so confused. Am I going about measuring myself incorrectly? I’m measuring the fullest part of my bust, but I should only do that if I’m a B cup? Measure above for larger cup sizes and then do the full bust enlargement for my cup size? Oh, the possibilities if I’m understanding this correctly!


La BellaDonna October 19, 2006 at 11:43 am

Anonymous 10:48, that is indeed what those sizes initially meant, and you might not have heard that, if you don’t have ancient patterns and/or ancient mail-order catalogs heaped up in piles. Of course, those sizes eventually lost all their initial meaning, and now mean whatever the manufacturers want them to mean. (And yes, that IS what an initial size 8 or 10 meant – look at the bust for the vintage size 12, for heaven’s sake – 30″. And the 10 and the 8 were smaller. They were smaller because they were for children.)Robinson, it’s possible you’re not measuring yourself properly – and the books do advise you to try to have somebody else do it, if possible. As you sew, you’ll be measuring yourself in a lot of places, but as for what measurement to use when buying a pattern, that full bust measurement only works for getting a pattern to fit right if you’re a B cup. What size bra do you wear (AND are you sure you’re wearing the right size bra?)? You buy your dress or blouse pattern by your bust measurement, if you’re a B Cup. You do that because all commercial non-specialty patterns are sized for B Cups. Some patterns will include additional fronts in different sizes – C, D, DD; they’re worth getting when you find them, whether or not you intend to make that particular garment, just because they’re useful to have to work from. If you’re BIGGER than a B Cup, do not buy the pattern by your full bust measurement (that is, the measurement around the fullest part of your bust). For instance, if you measure 34″ around the full bust, and you wear a B cup, buy the pattern with a 34″ bust. This does NOT mean if you wear a 34B bra, buy a bust size 34″ pattern. If you wear a 34B bra, that means you’re 36″ around the full bust, and you would buy the pattern with a 36″ measurement. If you measure 38″ around the full bust, but you wear a 34D bra, do not buy the pattern with the 38″ bust measurement. Measure your chest/high bust, and pretend that’s your bust measurement and buy by that. If you’re a 34D bra, your high bust will probably be between 34″ and 36″, so you would buy either a 34″ bust pattern or a 36″ bust pattern, depending, and make a full bust alteration to fit your bosom.It’s very, very important not to try to fit a large bosom by just buying a larger pattern – all the other proportions will be way too big, and instead of making an alteration to fit one specific area, the whole pattern will be too big except, possibly, in the bust, and you’ll wonder what’s wrong and why the dress doesn’t look right and how come you can’t sew anyway. Your back, shoulders, arms and ribs aren’t necessarily bigger if you’re chesty – just the bust. It’s easier to fit the other parts with a standard pattern, and just alter the pattern in the front for additional width and length to fit your bosom.


oracle October 19, 2006 at 12:49 pm

This kind of neckline can look good on someone who is unflattered (de-flattered?) by wide or scoop necklines that begin their journey downward from a distance away from the base of the neck. Women who could wear this well may have a muscular neck-to-shoulder line, a high clavicle or other innocent structural details that could benefit from a boost of self-esteem. The Peter Pan collar on yesterday’s dress could be another option for such a woman. Both styles need to be fitted well to work well with these kinds of body shapes; but then, necklines do best when fitted well no matter who they’re on. It can be such a relief to see necklines with interesting details that hug the neck base before they drop down or open up or whatever they do. Just because folks can’t wear a wide open neckline doesn’t mean they want to be shut up tight into a jewelneck or other such things which isn’t to say that jewelnecks aren’t perfectly nice in their own right!Jill, you’re a riot.


Anna October 19, 2006 at 1:12 pm

Im SO EXCITED you guys found me! Remember this summer when we were all talking about the dearth of large sizes in vintage and contemporary clothing, and I promised I’d offer large size patterns on my website? Well it’s taken me forever to get that going because it turned out to be a lot harder than I thought it would be to manage shopping carts and inventory on a website, but I finally found a home on etsy (cool site, btw). The patterns I have listed right now are just the beginning, and I’m so thrilled that you all are interested. Thanks so much, Erin, for posting this link. I promise to scour the dark corners of estate sales and auctions and locate reasonable size patterns for all of us.AnnaBooty


La BellaDonna October 19, 2006 at 1:12 pm

Jill, I would love to have one of those little sculptured space hats! Do you make hats, or just collect the blocks as sculpture? I actually look pretty decent in that type of hat due to … I guess, due to a fairly pin-headed hair style! 😛 (I have long, long hair, pulled straight back in a long, long flat french braid.) Fifties hats seem to vary between the teeny – unobtrusive? – and the large picture hat. I don’t know what the reasoning was, if any. I do know that the classic 50’s full-skirted look was started by Dior, in honor and fond remembrance of his mother, and you find just the same types of hat shapes/families in the clothes of 1915 – big picture hats, and quite small hats (often with feathery antennae).Oracle, I can see where fitting the neck and shoulder for this would be a Rare Treat if the neck muscles are highly developed (as mine are, although not as much as they once were). It’s nice to have an option that doesn’t leave a muscular neck looking too beefy or built up (not something I strive for in a dress). And amen about necklines needing to be fitted well!


vespabelle October 19, 2006 at 2:43 pm

I love the neckline on this dress!Adding to LaBellaDonna’s discussion of sizing, think about the word “bust.” A bust of Chopin or Beehtoven doesn’t include their nipples, but stops right at what us women would now call “the high bust measurement.” Marta Alto said that the latest version of her book Fit for Real People totally omits the full bust measurement since it’s HIGHLY IRRELEVANT to most pattern buyers/sewers as LaBellaDonna notes above.


La BellaDonna October 19, 2006 at 3:58 pm

Erin, this is for Robinson and all the other folks who are thinking about sewing, but haven’t committed to buying any “How Do I Do That?” books yet. I happened upon it quite by accident, and I think it’s worth preserving, and worth sharing (perhaps a link, perhaps?): Ooooh … I don’t know that I’m entirely comfortable with the fact that the full bust measurement is being left out entirely; after all, it does count when you’re sewing for yourself – it lets you know where your bosom ends! (And how many inches DIFFERENCE you need to account for in the alteration!)


enc October 19, 2006 at 6:59 pm

Yes, and her head is so small . . . uncomfortably small . . . undoubtedly filled with alien propaganda . . .


Anonymous October 19, 2006 at 7:19 pm

labelladonna, You have just inspired me to sew for the first time in 10 years. I tried to make myself dresses while I was in college, but they were always ginormous in the shoulders and hips especially and the underarms were a disaster and I could never figure out why – it was because I was buying based on my DD bust measurement! – but do you just add inches to the “pointiest” part of the bust pieces and then pin and tack from there? Thanks a million…Duro dress here I come.


Anonymous October 19, 2006 at 8:35 pm

Anonymous:For FBAs (especially for the Duro Dress) here are some links (with photos) that might be helpful. Note that each blogger/sewist refers to the books she used as a guide; wonderful additions to your sewing library: also these instructions on a basic FBA. I’ve found this one very helpful: Belladonna: Thank you, thank you for explaining “use your high bust measurement to choose pattern sizes” in a way that finally makes sense to me. Recently, while studying one of the “making patterns fit you” books in my sewing library, I came across a passage about how the length of a garment from the shoulder seam to waist *must* be longer in the front to cover the bust with fabric. Got out my measuring tape to check this out: for me, 4 more inches of length required on my front. No wonder flat patterns with the same length front and back don’t fit!CMC


Robinson October 19, 2006 at 9:00 pm

Yes, thank you LaBella… the thing that is so confusing is both the patterns I have purchased as well as my Sew U book advise measuring the fullest part of the bust when deciding on pattern size. No wonder so many people give up!!


Floridaprincess October 20, 2006 at 12:18 am

Thanks La belladonna for all the info. I had been wondering about some of the bust issues. I need to buy some how do books. Im afraid I will not be able to comprehend them. Thanks for posting the new vintage site.


Lisette M October 20, 2006 at 7:06 am

Oooh! Someone else who is familiar with Flash Gordon and Ming the Merciless. Loved the original which I watched when I was a kid (of course they were quite old even then, but in Cuba all you got was American tv programs and movies that were made before Castro took over)


Bellaleigh October 20, 2006 at 8:07 am

A wonderful blog with Full Bust Alterations tutorials is Debbie Cook’s Stitches and Seams. On the right, she lists “My Sewing & Pattern Tips” and that is where the tutorials are.Some of the tutorials are even animated! They all are fabulously done and have been a real help to me, who must do an FBA all the time.


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