Grs, please?

by Erin on July 14, 2009

Vogue 1751

Karen has been looking for this pattern for a while, with no luck. Any of you have a copy mouldering away?

Here's her note to me.

Attached is a picture of a vintage pattern that I am dying to have: Vogue Paris Original 1751. The designer is Grs. Today is the second time I've been outbid in the last 5 seconds on Ebay, and my heart is breaking all over again. I think the dress is so chic, and I would love to wear it to an upcoming charity event. Can you help me? I need to put out a call for this pattern — I'm willing to buy the pattern outright, or even pay to borrow it for a time. I can trace it out, make my own copy, then give it back. Or maybe you can recommend another venue where I can beg for patterns. :)

Anyone game? This looked exactly like the kind of pattern I would buy at a yard sale, ooh over, and never make, but I checked my stash and I don't have it. If you have a copy in the same boat, email me and I'll put you in touch with Karen!

{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

Tanya July 14, 2009 at 9:11 am

is this seriously a Madame Gres pattern?!!! Holy crap, i didnt know she did patterns!!! She is hands down my all time favourite designer!!!! ooohhhhhh my god, just hyperventilating here… trying not to use so many exclamation marks here, but i just cant help it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Packrat July 14, 2009 at 10:04 am

Sorry, not this one.


Anonymous July 14, 2009 at 10:19 am

Does that dress really require a pattern? I mean, it looks like you could freehand this, doesnt it?-Sandra


Anonymous July 14, 2009 at 10:34 am

I do wonder how flattering the finished product would be. Even the model looks bulky in it. Just my personal opinion!


Latter-Day Flapper July 14, 2009 at 11:08 am

Is it just me, or is that basically a circle with a head-hole and armscyes? Or possibly a circle-and a half? Like the tent-i-est tent-dress ever.


Latter-Day Flapper July 14, 2009 at 11:10 am

Okay, Vintage Pattern Wiki says its semi-fitted with right-shoulder drape, which suggests that, in a pinch, it could be approximated using a sheath-dress pattern with the shoulder thing grated on. Youd have to do a test muslin, of course.Id kill to see the back of this pattern envelope, to see the pattern pieces. That would solve a lot of mysteries.


Anonymous July 14, 2009 at 11:56 am

That pattern is a whole lot more complicated than it looks at first glance. What some call the tenty bit is only on one side, it goes off on a diagonal in front and seems to end up a drapey bit over a shift dress on the other side. Fascinating. With the right floaty fabric (and the right figure!) it must look amazing. Hopefully somebody has it out there and is willing to let Karen (and us all) know!


Anonymous July 14, 2009 at 12:54 pm
serencymru July 14, 2009 at 1:20 pm

Karen, you need to go to and sign up so that you wont be outbid on Ebay again.


Tara July 14, 2009 at 1:35 pm

serencymru, still only works if you have the highest bid. Youll still lose an auction using esnipe if you lose the bidding… I have, many a time. However, it can be a useful tool if you do want to place your bid at the last second.


Birgit July 14, 2009 at 1:39 pm

Actually, the pattern consists of sort of an underdress and a big, cape-like drape over that. Erin, I am sending you an email…If you are a fan of Madame Grs, there is a recent Fashion Legends two-part article in Sewing with Stitches Australia (used to be just Stitches Australia) by Eddi Frantz.


Cookie July 14, 2009 at 1:40 pm

I wish I were electronic…I would set up a link to a Sewing Conspiracy Target Board, where wed post images of the elusive patterns were looking for…and collectively strategize about bagging them.I mean, how red carpet worthy is THIS one?(PS: It took a year, but I finally found Butterick 2241!!!)


Lisa @ the Vintage Fashion Library July 14, 2009 at 3:16 pm

She can post a search on, too.


Latter-Day Flapper July 14, 2009 at 3:18 pm

Aargh! They totally shorted me on the packet verso! No pattern pieces! Darn it all!


Lisa Simeone July 14, 2009 at 3:46 pm

I know theyre not by Madame Grs (and I think this pattern isnt, either; just using the cachet of her name), but these two dresses by Tracy Porter are similarly floaty. And theyre on sale for an absolute steal — 50% off the already marked-down price (sorry I cant do the proper HTML thing in the following links):This one would be $35: this one only $25:


Cookie July 14, 2009 at 5:04 pm

Karen: Someone named PeppermintChick has an image of the Gres pattern in her flickr collection…Who knows? She might not actually be that wild about it, or may need some fast cash this week…follow the link and make your pitch! (And route her back here to see comments; maybe well catch Peppermint is in a somewhat Fairy Godmotherish mood?)


Karen July 14, 2009 at 11:47 pm

Hello everyone. Karen here. Thank you all for your comments and suggestions. Birgit, my hero, has jumped in to save the day. I just knew that Erin and her disciples were the right folks to ask. :) Youre all beautiful, smart, witty, terrific people! Cookie — the image in PeppermintChicks collection is just a photo she grabbed online. She doesnt have the pattern.Lisa — I just signed up for PatternRescue.comThanks Erin. Thanks everyone.


Anonymous July 15, 2009 at 9:33 am

It could be fun if we got a large group of sewers to post the out of print patterns they lust for. I am always interested in seeing what appeals to other people.Where do I find the Sewing Conspiracy Target Board? It sounds like a story off one of those old patterns Erin writes about.


theresa July 15, 2009 at 10:22 am

You are dead one as always Cookie. I lust for an Alfred Shaheen style Hawian, sarong, petal bust dress pattern. Hobby Lobby evilly had a out of print pattern book with their pattern books that had the very thing! and get this it was a HALLOWEEN costume pattern book!


Cookie July 15, 2009 at 12:25 pm

Cookie — the image in PeppermintChicks collection is just a photo she grabbed online. She doesnt have the pattern. For this, she must die….PS: Theresa, my pet, did you just call me a dead one? (!!!) How soon the Conspiracy turns upon ITSELF!!!


Lisa Simeone July 15, 2009 at 1:36 pm

Cookie, you are a riot!


Cookie July 15, 2009 at 5:02 pm

Thank you, Lisa : )So, does Karens above comment mean Birgit had the pattern, and sent it to Karen through Erin? Or Birgit has a lead?? Is Birgit in Australia? WHATS GOING ON???? And whats the charity event Karen wants this for? Have we made fabric choices yet?…/c., /c.,


Karen July 15, 2009 at 7:17 pm

Sorry, Cookie. Yes, Birgit has the pattern and has generously agreed to let me copy it then send it back. I am ecstatic and so grateful. I will wait for the pattern before I make a final fabric choice, but I was thinking blue silk crepe ( What do you think? I promise to send pictures when the dress is done.


Anonymous July 16, 2009 at 6:44 am

I just love a happy ending!


JenO July 16, 2009 at 10:16 am

Karen,When you get the pattern, you will reveal to us how the styles bias swing is designed, right?


Cookie July 16, 2009 at 12:25 pm

You know, I can well see this becoming the official uniform of the Sewing Conspiracy Club. It could flatter a variety of body types, and we can for sure conceal patterns, etc, under it. When you see a man or woman wearing the fellow Gres 1751, you know somethings up.


Karen July 16, 2009 at 5:09 pm

Ill make a note to myself to get back to you, JenO.


Theresa July 17, 2009 at 3:37 pm

So sorry Cookie, I meant DEAD ON!


Sheila Savell July 23, 2009 at 2:34 pm

Whenever I am looking for vintage sewing patterns and cant find what I want I do a saved search on ebay – i.e., vogue 1751 dress and whenever one is listed ebay will email you. Voila – Ive been lucky so far!


Karen October 28, 2009 at 9:59 pm

It occurs to me that October has come and almost gone without my having made this dress. The charity event was canceled, so I lost my good excuse. But I havent forgotten — pictures when I do finally sew this up. Maybe for a Christmas or New Years party? I live in Santa Monica, CA, so I can get away with sleeveless in December. :)Thanks again to Birgit for loaning me her original pattern.


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