Thursday, July 03, 2008

When Vintage ain't Vintage...

If you've been reading my ramblings lately, you know that I've been on a real vintage kick...not so much sewing actual "vintage" patterns but incorporating the techniques and details from the patterns into my TNTs. I think I've been pretty successful and I am very happy with the garments that I've worked the vintage magic on so far...

So I'm on Simplicity's site the other day and I find this:



It's Simplicity 3559 and since I've been trolling almost every pattern site on ebay that sells vintage patterns and several other websites, too, for Jackie Kennedy looks and 60's mod patterns, I immediately recognized this silhouette from the line drawings. To say I was excited was an understatement...I could purchase a pattern in a size I could wear out of the envelope (well with a little manipulation) and I would get those wonderful instructions. I promptly ordered the pattern from the website...we won't go into why I won't wait for a 99 cent pattern sale at the only fabric chain around here and how I think it is like going into the pits of hell to shop there...

So the pattern arrived today! Now first I have to give Simplicity props, they are very quick with the pattern delivery! However, I was very disappointed after anxiously opening the envelope. Simplicity are you listening, cause this is important...don't skip onto the good parts...really HEAR what I'm saying! Us, vintage fanatics (notice how I included myself in there!) WANT, NEED, the original instructions...not some trumped up instructions that are taken from bits and pieces of computer generated instructions that are laying around.

Folks...I should have gone looking for the original pattern (which btw the number is conveniently NOT displayed on the new pattern)! See I love those old instruction sheets. Each one is a sewing lesson in itself - full of trusty tidbits that challenge me and increase my sewing knowledge. So basically I got a rip-off...dang Simplicity is ripping itself off and not doing a very good job of it! *LOL*

There are 2 pages and 4 sides of instruction...and the construction sequence is soooo off in this dress that I will end up not even using the instructions. Except for tying off the darts (really is that an older technique?!), there is nothing new and different in here...okay so maybe they are on the recyling kick...maybe they are being green...*shaking head* nah...I don't think so...

I will probably make the dress, cause it is a cute silhouette and will work well in my "Summer of Sophisticated Dressing" wardrobe...but *sigh* I am disappointed...


19 comments:

  1. Yes, please do make this dress. I think it will look lovely with the rest of your sophisticated wardrobe. Your JCC capsule is lovely, btw. Perhaps you could incorporate this dress as an extension???

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  2. Oh no! The instructions are out of sequence? I have this pattern and usually follow the instructions given (not comfortable enough to do without yet). Could you please let us know what steps you took when you complete the dress - if it's not too much trouble?

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  3. I think the third view (pink w/buttons) would look fabulous on you; I imagine you could find some vintage buttons, i.e., the round ball-shaped buttons that were slightly two toned or some kind of a glass, ball-shaped button. Would definitely look professional/sophisticated! Linda

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  4. It's definitely worth trying to find out the original pattern number - I bet someone on AS or PR would know. The lady who writes the Pins & Needles blog did a brilliant series of posts on another of these reissues comparing it to the original pattern and instructions, which led to me buying a copy of the original issue for the instructions alone.

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  5. First, thank you, Anwen - I'm glad you sought out the original pattern based on my blog posts!

    I agree with you, Carolyn. I have found that the Simplicity reissues are not as good as the originals. The instructions are different and some pattern pieces have been redrafted. Remember the jumper/dress Simplicity reissue I compared - that was quite different from the original. Vogue does a much better job with sticking with the original draft and instructions. I actually have a Vogue comparison I'm going to post next week.

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  6. Ooh, fantastic - which pattern is the comparison about?

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  7. I wish I had known you were buying this pattern. I could have warned you that typically the re-issues don't have the original excellent instructions. What I find amusing is that a vintage pattern will cram amazing instructions (with a million pics) onto 2 pages, while a similar modern pattern will take 4 pages to write down crappy instructions. I just don't get it! Don't any of the pattern companies ever look back at the deltors from the "good old days" and wonder why they stopped writing useful instructions?

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  8. Having finally worked on a real vintage pattern, I too fell in love with the directions. They actually tell you how to make a flat fell seam!!

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  9. I've heard Marji make this rant too. For those of us who haven't sewn vintage yet, I'd love to see a post where you guys go into more detail about vintage pattern instructions vs today's stuff. I guess I don't know what I'm missing.

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  10. Lindsay - here's the link to Summerset's "Inside the Envelope" series

    http://scpbanks.blogspot.com/search/label/Inside%20the%20Envelope

    I'd definitely like to see more of this sort of thing!

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  11. And here's the simplicity comparison I mentioned

    http://scpbanks.blogspot.com/2007/10/pattern-comparison-simplicity-1734_31.html (that's part three)

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  12. Ah Ha! I wondered why a little viewed post of mine from last summer was suddenly getting hits. I have edited the Stitchery's post to show the difference in the patterns pieces since I had the original and the new release Simplicity 3833.
    if you're curious: http://thestitchery.wordpress.com/2007/08/18/older-simplicity-sloper-compared-to-the-newer-retro-release/

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  13. Because I edited the old post to show more pics I see where Simplicity has now removed the original pattern picture from the front of the front of their Retro release all together!

    I'm flabbergasted! Why would they do that?

    Not only do you not have the original pattern number now you can't even search for the original.

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  14. Carolyn, you just talked me into keeping all the patterns that I inherited from DH' grandmother. It never occurred to me to look at the instructions. Sorry about your disappointment, maybe you should actually write to Simplicity. Maybe they could send you a personal copy of the original.

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  15. Carolyn, you could find the original on this pattern. Go to the Dress a Day blog and click on the vintage pattern resources. You'll find it. If I come across it, I'll let you know asap.
    Marguerite

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  16. I am old enough to have sewn 'vintage' in the original, at least 70's patterns and I do remember instructions even in the 70's and 80's being a whole lot better than they are now. Especially when you get an easy or very easy Vogue. They are so bad it's a wonder beginners don't quit sewing before they even start.

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  17. The older ladies in my family, all lifelong sewists, have been mentioning this for years. They say it's because people "can't write" anymore. Wouldn't you think that it would be easier to just reprint the original instructions with these retro patterns? They could just say at the top they are reprints and "before sergers" or whatever.

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  18. The dress is beautiful, but, like you, I'm a big fan of the original vintage instructions (I got my hands on a couple of them and Summerset has been so kind showing us several examples too) so I understand your disappointment. I'm pretty sure you'll do fine without the instructions though!!

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