Inside...Vintage Simplicity 5489


Remember my second #vintagepledge make, Simplicity 5489? Pretty cute, no? But it wasn't without its fitting woes, which I've finally got around to sharing, along with a tour of the pattern instructions.


Typically for me, the fitting issues I encountered were with the bodice and didn't affect the waist or skirt. After making a bodice muslin, I noticed the following problems: side boob gaping, back keyhole gaping and extra width across the back and shoulders. I pinned out the excess on the front pieces quite easily. For the back pieces I eyeballed the excess, took the muslin off, pinned out what I thought necessary, put the muslin back on and repeated until I got the fit I was after. 

At this point I need to apologise to my ever-suffering boyfriend. I stormed downstairs, demanded he pin out the excess at the back for me without any guidance whatsoever (he should just know what I mean instinctively dammit!!!), then proceeded to get really mad at him when he struggled. I recall stamping my foot and storming back upstairs while he looked on hurt and bemused by my reaction. I'm so sorry boyfriend!


Anyway, I marked the excess on my bodice pieces and even remembered to transfer them to the relevant facings too...yay me! After that though I fudged the rest in a totally non-technical way and it's probably down to sheer luck that this worked out for me. You can see the changes I made in the picture above...I basically treated the excess as darts which I violently flattened down (creases and all), taping them as I went along. This is *not* the proper way of doing things, which involves slashing and overlapping probably. So please don't do as I say, but I do think it's interesting to note that not everything has to be done by the book always...though it's probably best practice if you want to be on the safe side!

Right, onto the pattern itself! If you're into bygone styles, but are reluctant to use vintage patterns, I seriously suggest dipping your toes in the water with a 1960s pattern. The pattern pieces are usually marked really clearly and the instructions are a lot more detailed than older patterns.


Simplicity 5489 dedicates a whole sheet to using and altering your pattern, as well as nifty tips on cutting and preparing your fabric, transferring pattern markings and finishing your seams.



Amusingly, a disproportionate portion of that sheet is all about cutting layouts! So much detail! Could it be because resources were scarcer back then, so people had to be really frugal?


Reassuringly, the pattern's construction instructions are also pretty good, with clear illustrations to accompany each step.


I sure hope you found this little glimpse inside Simplicity 5489 interesting. How are you getting on with your Vintage Sewing Pattern Pledge? If you've not told me about your finished makes, please do so I can add them to my badass Pinterest board and spread the inspiration!

21 comments:

  1. I love these 60s patterns. That fitting technique scenario is great, the squish and squash and stamp technique. I like it.

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    1. Hehe, it's a tried and tested method ;o)

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  2. I always love sneaky behind the scenes pics!! Thanks for sharing!

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    1. I love it when people share theirs too!

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  3. Any vintage pattern I have is on hold at the moment - even though I have maternity wear ones. That is because apparently (vintage) pregnant women are not... well my elephant size. Very interesting insight in the simplicity patterns though, thanks for sharing!

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    1. I think all vintage patterns are tiny compared to our build nowadays...quite scary how we've evolved in such a short space of time really!

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  4. Even though I didn't make the pledge, I did just finish a coat using a 1950s Simplicity pattern and I'd love to be included in the Pinterest round up! Link is below. I really enjoyed using the pattern as the instructions, tips and tricks were just as thorough as yours!

    http://www.madalynne.com/made-portia-blue

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    1. It's stunning and I've added it to Pinterest and in my latest roundup! Maybe you'll take the pledge next year?

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  5. Poor boyfriend! Love that you stamped your foot though- good image! The dress is so worth any niggles as it is lovely.

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    1. Haha, I'm ashamed and proud of myself at the same time!

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  6. I am very familiar with the scenario between you and your boyfriend haha. Luke knows to stay away when he hears yelling coming from my sewing room!

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  7. Hahaha, it is so hard to explain how to pinch it out to other people!

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  8. I love that dress, but then I have that love of back detail like you. I am a fudger but then I rarely make the same pattern twice so I never get round to transferring the alterations. TUT TUT. Jo x

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    1. I'm very similar to you Jo...a fudger...hence I rarely repeat patterns!

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  9. Love the squashing the excess out technique you describe! Sounds very immediate and very effective :-D
    That's a great idea, taking a peak inside the pattern like this. And I love the final outcome too :-) As for the detail on the pattern layout, whenever I've looked at those, there's almost always a more economical way to lay the pattern out anyway. Also the amount they recommend tends to be more than you really need, they definitely erred on the side of cautioun in those days (Hey I grew up sewing my mum's old 70's kids patterns :-P On the bright side, it means I'm very good at working out an economical layout on my own, and estimating how much fabric I will need.) So I've got no idea why the emphasis on it!

    I just realised I finished a vintage pattern pledge make, here
    http://tropicalthreads.wordpress.com/2014/10/15/blue-velvet-jacket/

    I'd love it if you could pin a piccie of my jacket!

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    1. You're spot on actually...the layouts rarely make economical sense and they almost always over-estimate yardage! Loved your velvet jacket...pinned and included in my latest roundup ;o)

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  10. I've just stumbled across your blog on my hunt for more vintage sewing reads - you make such beautiful clothes- I'm very jealous! Where on earth do you find all your vintage patterns?

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  11. Hi, I just found your blog and what do you know, I made this dress a few years ago too! I just loved the pattern illustration and had to have it, though I went for the v-back version in a white cotton eyelet fabric I picked up in Bali. One day I'll tackle the keyhole back. Nice work, look forward to reading you...

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  12. Oooh, your version sounds gorgeous! I mostly get my patterns from Etsy and sometimes ebay...sometimes from the odd vintage shop too :o)

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