It was Vogue… It was beautiful… It was serendipity

Inspiration struck me this weekend… not that I ever need inspiration to sew with my ever growing list of things to sew. I was reviewing some of my patterns and cataloguing a couple in a few spare moments and I came across a lovely pattern that I had admired and bought on etsy last year.

At that moment my eyes rested on the date and note written on the pattern envelope… “February 19, 1963. Yellow cotton” It occurred to me that was almost exactly fifty years ago. Who knew what had become of the original dressmaker. With the promise of Spring, the pattern had been purchased and made, the style was so very 1960s… was it made for a special occassion? A date? A dance? A wedding? Was it the dress she had hoped to win a heart with?

Vogue 9940

Vogue 9940- a one piece dress with released pleats

What I know about the pattern is that it had been in circulation at least by April 1961. Being an incurable romantic I was suddenly overcome with a desire to make the dress. I had recently laundered and prepared some beautiful black and floral cotton which was just waiting to be cut, cut, cut….

So the dress is well and truly underway. I decided to go with the optional lining on the skirt. The bodice has been more or less constructed (my first attempt at catch stitching a cotton stay into the neckline), I am procrastinating about pinning and basting in the cap sleeves. Then its just a matter of attaching the skirt, hemming and overcasting the seams….


The big question is… where and when shall I wear it? Hmmm!

Incidentally if there are any other vintage fabric lovers out there who have any Calpreta cotton (often advertised as Calpreta carefree cotton) I would love to see pictures of the designs.I actually found 2M at a thrift shop this last weekend (ha- the places I drag my husband)! The design and colour palette looked very mid century… when I laundered it I found the name stamped in red cursive on the underside. When I did some research on TROVE I found the newspaper advertising from the 1950s which confirmed it had been sold by a number of retailers in Canberra between 1956-1959… anyway, I can barely wait to imagine something great to make from it!

A Calpreta advert from a 1960s Vogue pattern Book (US edition)

A Calpreta advert from a 1960s Vogue pattern Book (US edition)