Vintage Simplicity 8491


I love me some vintage clothing but I don’t always want to look like I’m wearing a costume, which is why I love vintage sewing patterns.It’s so much easier to look fresh and modern when you’re sewing a dress from a pattern and able to put your own spin on it.  Plus, I think that vintage patterns include design details and depth of instruction that a lot of commercial patterns don’t these days!


This is one of the first ever vintage patterns I bought, before I knew that I should be buying for a 34 inch bust and doing an FBA, instead of buying patterns for a 36 bust (my actual size, but my waist and hips are consistently a size smaller) so this is sized a little too big for me.However, I love the insert panel in the front– it looks like princess seams but there’s actually darts at the side.


I made this up to be a smart little work dress for the office. Sometimes it’s just easier to have one nice dress than to put together a dress and a skirt! This dress is for days like that, where I want to look impressive but am also sleepy.

I got this wool twill from Mood on Black Friday. I ordered it without getting a swatch because I am a Rebel Without A Cause (TM). It was labelled Bubblegum Twill so I was afraid it w0uld be a pepto-y color, but it showed up the perfect petal pink that I am super into lately.


As this is a vintage pattern, it only came in one size. I shortened it 2.5″ inches at the lengthen-shorten lines after just looking at it, and then ended up taking up another whopping 4.5″ worth of hem. Were vintage ladies way taller or just way more modest? Or both?

The hardest part of this dress was that inset panel with the points. I went slow and made sure to follow the instructions for this one. It’s a clever trick- you cut out a square on the bias the reinforce the seam, sew it on the corner, and then clip through the body of the fabric until just before the seam line, and then carefully arrange the point until there is no puckering. The bias square helps you maneuver the fabric and make the dark without a big pucker.


I used an invisible zipper in the back, which just goes to reaffirm my hatred of invisible zippers. I think I am converted to a lapped zip girl from now on! Invisibles just always pucker at the bottom and I can’t bloody stand it.

There is a self-fabric belt that comes with this pattern, but I haven’t finished making it yet– I’ve never been a huge fan of the matchy-matchy look, but I might make it and finish it at some point later. For now, I’m digging it with this brown leather belt.





3 thoughts on “Vintage Simplicity 8491

  1. Pingback: #memademay week two | Thread Tension

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