Sew Craftful/Sew Vintage Couture
Sew Craftful/Sew Vintage Couture
For the vintagely-inspired seamstress

about vsp

Sizing Vintage Sewing Patterns

Storing Vintage Sewing Patterns

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Early french couture copies

In 1948 a number of French designers sued for unfair competition and took steps to stop American manufacturers from copying their dress designs which were selling in American markets at extraordinarily low prices-and lacking in Parisienne French couture standards.  

In the New York lawsuit, Wolfs & Greenbaum, Inc used the label names of Christian Dior, Pierre Balmain, Jacques Fath, Jeanne Landin, Molyneux and Jean Patou on its cotton manufactured dresses; selling them for $8.95.  

The designers, members of the Chamber Syndicate de la Couture Parisienne, stated the company was able to make the copies by flying to Paris with a selection of American cotton goods and commissioned them to interpret the fabrics in their latest design ideas.  

The manufacturer then produced a million copies of the dresses and sold them in 12,000 American stores, each dress carrying a replica of the French designer’s distinctive label.  

W&G agreed to cease manufacturing the dresses, to remove the unauthorized labels from the existing stocks, and to never use the name of a French designer on any of its designs without written authorization. 


New vogue sewing patterns

In 1956 Vogue Pattern Company made changes to its pattern construction.  Beginning March 1 of that year, every new Vogue pattern design became “printed and Perforated”.

During that time, it was the only pattern containing both easy-to-follow features-that being “printed” and “perforated”.    

Vogue called it a “blueprint to perfection”.

On each Vogue pattern was clearly marked with a pattern number, the number of pattern pieces, the pattern size and the outlines of the pattern were printed with long broken lines around the edges; making it easier to mark darts and seam lines.

Perforations (cut out of circles, squares and triangles) made pinning “tailor tacking” and adding chalk marks easier.

Each pattern piece was exactly the size that the fabric should be cut; eliminating the guesswork on how much to leave for “margins” (seam allowances).

A sewing guide with simplified, enlarged diagrams also pointed the right way to go and pattern included a sheet giving instructions on alterations, fabric preparation, cutting, marking, pressing, fitting and finishing tips.  

Every new pattern envelope, with all these features bore a symbol with the legend “Vogues New Printed and Perfoated Pattern.

Wedding Essentials at SPANX

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Early making of sewing patterns

Behind the scenes of old time pattern making.

The Sketch

Before the collection showing, the designer’s inspiration began with a fashion sketch of each design that would go in the line.

The Miniature

After the sketches, the designer made a miniature pattern of each design in muslin, fitting it on a half or quarter scale form.

After changes were made on the scale a full-size muslin copy was made.

Each pattern piece was checked against the pattern “staple,” one of a series of heavily glazed paper pattern parts, to ensure absolute accuracy.

The muslin was then made up in every version shown on the pattern envelope, for example, with short sleeves, long sleeve, full skirt, circle skirt and ect.

The muslin was then fitted on a live model to check ease and movement. After any and all adjustments were mad and the muslin re-fitted on a model (as often as necessary to achieve perfection), the designer okayed the muslin….