Vintage Pledge – A dress for your inner mod air hostess

Pattern envelope

When Marie from A Stitching Odyssey announced the Vintage Sewing Pattern Pledge I did not intend to participate – but I did start to notice the vintage patterns that were appearing on Ebay in my area were catching my eye more often.  As a result, I started buying vintage patterns which added to my previous ‘collection’ of two.  Then Laura Mae from Lilacs & Lace  joins the Vintage Pledge with a guest plot that served as a reminder about why vintage patterns are really worth it.

So I pull out one of my vintage patterns that had been ignored for far too long (thankfully with a matching bust size to limit the alternations) and off we go:


Pattern:  Simplicity 5891

Size: 16

Alterations: A slight thickening of the waist *cough*

Fabric: Textured Japanese cotton from Tessuti

The pattern dates from 1965 and it for sure has the ‘mod’ feel to it.   Definitely a different style than I am accustomed of wearing and for the first couple of wears I felt like it was a strange ’60’s air hostess costume as it has a touch of corporate uniform to it.  Surprisingly the dress has since become a regular addition for my weekday corporate wear.


The fabric is a Japanese textured cotton from Tessuti which was an impulse purchase for the fabric stash the moment the fabric was available on the Tessuti website. And then imagine my delight when my favourite local designer used the fabric in her Winter collection  – Maiocchi Day Dreamy dress  (that is a sign of great taste right?)

Front tie

The dress features a front tie which is really quite sweet, but the print does not do it justice.  Little tie, are you trying to hide in there?


Alterations were very little.  After double checking the flat pattern for the amount of design ease and I only needed to add extra to the waist. I was a bit generous in adding waist ease as I was hoping the dress would be suitable for work and I didn’t want to risk being uncomfortable while sitting at the desk all day.

The skirt was very long but I was trying to stay true to the ‘vintage pledge’ and I didn’t shorten the skirt patterns before cutting the fabric pieces.  As a result the hem allowance is huge – but I do find something luxurious in large hem allowances, no cutting corners to save fabric here.


The patterns instructions have some neat steps that I really enjoyed including – seam binding over the waistline seam, and on the sleeve and skirt hem lines; hand worked thread bars.   With these additional hand work details it only felt fair to interline the skirt with silk organza and catch stitch the seam allowances down – and there is the added benefit of reducing the wrinkles.

Seam binding instructions


Some details of vintage patterns I love – the little construction notes jotted over the pattern envelope, the rusty pins to shorten skirt lengths, the more detailed/couture construction steps then modern patterns; the marked seam lines and little arrows to tell me the stitching direction.  I certainly did enjoy the wonder of using something that had probably been packed away for the last 40 years.

Next up on the vintage pattern adventures will be a shirtdress using the Bishop Method of Clothing Construction. Wish me luck!

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s