Every now and then I chance upon a sewing pattern from the 1990s that makes me think “ooooh, that could work really well now”! Sometimes these patterns have been in my stash since the 1990s – other times I spot them on Etsy or Ebay. Case in point – Vogue 1401, published in 1994, located on Etsy.
Who else remembers the Vogue Attitudes line of patterns? They were terrific, in my opinion. So were the McCalls NYNY ones – they were a little more individual, and many of them are garments that I think could be worn at any time. To me, timeless doesn’t mean a little black dress and french jacket!
I had decided to make view B, the dress, in a cream and beige woven check from the Darn Cheap Fabrics $2 table. I figured that this might or might not work out, so I didn’t want to spend a lot on it. The next decision was what size to make. This was definitely a situation where the finished garment measurements printed on the pattern pieces were vital. This was designed to be VERY oversized. After some deliberation, I chose size 10 (my actual measurements put me in a mix of sizes 14, 16 and 18). This would still leave the garment looking oversized as designed but not completely huge. I shortened the pattern pieces at the lengthen/shorten here lines, hoping to keep the dress at about the same length on me as the presumably tall model on the pattern cover. Then I went for it!
The painted wooden buttons are from Chiang Mai. They work beautifully with this fabric! I don’t often wear traditional collars, and this one was straight from the 1990s. It definitely looks best worn standing up at the back. And there is HEAPS of fabric in those front overlay ties! So, how was it on me?
Definitely more tunic length than comfortable dress length – hence the skinny pants underneath! But overall, I like it! It’s definitely a different silhouette – those sleeves are HUGE – and I left out the shoulder pads. It may actually have benefitted from a small one – I am sure that there are a variety still in my drawers somewhere, so I may dig a pair out.
Construction was mostly on the sewing machine, with the overlocker just being used to finish off some seam allowances. I really enjoyed sewing this. It’s fun sometimes to sew something experimental, or that forces me to revisit sewing techniques that I don’t use as often nowadays.
Wow, those ties are long! They are narrow hemmed, and cut on the bias. My friend Megan remembers making the shirt version in cheesecloth back when the pattern was first released. Fabric choice is really important in this pattern – you need something that looks the same on both sides, and that is lightweight enough so that the knot isn’t too bulky. I actually think that this fabric was okay, especially when I compare how this turned out to the ones on the pattern cover.
I have only worn this once, as the weather has become too cold since then, but I think that it will stay in my wardrobe! It’s certainly not a typical 2017 garment, but I think it is fine if worn with confidence and it’s definitely individual. Will I sew it again though, in a fabric that is more my colour? Not sure yet. Maybe I’ll just dye this one!
Oh, the pants – they are Style Arc Elle pants, in olive bengaline also from Style Arc. These are my go-to skinny pants pattern. They’re great.