CORRECTION! Since I published this blog I found out Simplicity does have a small archive. They used to have a huge plant in Niles, Michigan. When then closed the plant a couple people from the New York office went there and rescued the old patterns that were there! They also started buying vintage patterns to reissue as well. (June 27, 2019)
After the first few reissues, Simplicity started buying copies of vintage patterns to do a proper job in house and also used patterns from the vintage collection my sister Theresa LaQuey has. She has a lot Simplicity patterns to her name!
But, let's cut to the chase! Ever since I realized I owned a copy of the original 1947 pattern, I've been wanting to see how they are different. As a retired person, I now have the time.
I will show you the two muslins I sewed up. I chose the scoop neck view because the vintage pattern I have is cut away at the lower neckline so I can't make the one with the collar. This older pattern has one pattern for all three views with a cut away for the different necklines.
Now, you can just SEE the differences. Original is on the left.
Now I will compare the wearing ease for the two patterns.
My vintage pattern is a 12 (30" bust, 25" waist) but I added 1" all around and lengthened the waist 3/4" so it would fit my modern size 6 dress form.. So it is now for body measurements of a 31" bust and 26" waist. The finished garment measurements are 37" bust and 26" waist. This gives 6" ease in the bust and no ease for the waist.
I used size 8 from the modern reissue. The body measurements are 31 1/2" bust, 24" waist. The finished garment is 34 1/2" bust and 26 1/2" waist. This gives 3" ease in the bust and 2 1/2" in the waist.
Hmmmm. 6" to 3" difference for the bust ease and 0" to 2 1/2" difference in the waist. Or to put it a different way, the difference between the bust and waist for the 1947 pattern was 11"" and for the 2013 pattern only 8".
A little ease in the waist is nice but maybe not 2 1/2". Interesting, too, considering the body measurements in 1947 had the waist larger in proportions to the bust than now a days, even though the garment silhouette was more narrow waisted.
4 vs. 14!!!
Why is this? Well, here are the pieces the 2013 pattern has that the original doesn't.
2 additional fronts and backs (with a multi size pattern you can't have a cut away for a second necklines)(too many lines, too confusing)
4 facings (front and back for both necklines)(the original uses bias tape cut from scraps for the neck and the front pattern piece has an extension that folds back to form a self facing)
Waist ties (the original gives measurements to cut them by suggestion)
2 pieces for neck bow and knot (the original says to use a piece of knotted ribbon)
To amuse myself, I weighed the pattern pieces for each pattern.
The pattern pieces for the 1947 pattern - 0.2 ounces, for the 2013 - 0.7 ounces.
Everything including envelope and instructions in 1947 - 0.7 oz, in 2013 1.6 oz.
For which, by the way, they give you no instructions or measurements. You were just expected to make shoulder pads.
The original pattern instructs you to hem this peplum with bias tape used as a facing then hand slipped stitched in place. The newer pattern says to make a double rolled machine stitch hem. Just a sewing choice.
I'm not sure if the average modern sewer would have to patience to do all that, single layer cutting and making bias for everything. I would love to hear your opinions.
The original has a high neck with collar, high neck no collar and scoop neck views.
The newer one only had the high neck with collar and scoop neck.
So, there you have it. A glance into the minds of two pattern makers working 47 years apart from each other. Both pretty blouses, but different, for sure.
BUT, I'm thinking ... I bet I could modify the modern pattern to be more like the original. So, that will be a future blog, probably in a few weeks. Need to make a pair of pants that actually fit me. Pants are SO hard!!!