Fine lines, empire lines…! A few vintage sewing patterns I have and love…

There is something so alluring and flattering about the empire line… I like patterns that have a straightforward empire line and those that have a midriff waistline.

Pretty McCall 8437- 1940s glamourarama!

Pretty McCall 8437- 1940s glamourarama!

Simplicity 8243

Below  are a few examples of patterns that feature pretty midriffs with gathered bust lines… I really think this style is so classic. These appearances were in the 1940s, 1950s and 1970s…

photo 4 (1)

Whilst McCall 8437 is made up as an evening dress I think the shorter length in cotton would also be fabulous for a Summer dress in cotton- I particularly like the subtle slit at the back.  The zipper is in the side seam and the instructions advocate the use of grosgrain ribbon for a waistline stay. I have actually started to make this in the pineapple cotton of my last post (to go with the bolero)… most of the bodice pieces have been sewn or basted but I will wait to do the side seams and fully attach the midriff until I can do a proper fitting with a view to finishing it by New Years Eve. Who knows what the second pregnancy will do to my waistline! A small price to pay for a bundle of joy… I will also wait to cut the skirt (but the fabric is all ready and waiting). One modification I will be making is to line the midriff.

If you like this pattern I would recommend it because the instructions are actually pretty good, with notes for sheers (ie hand rolled hems) and velvet… the pattern includes a slip pattern. I think this a gem that will be staying in my collection!

I don’t own this Claire McCardell Spadea 707 (the image is from one of my Spadea catalogues) but it is similar to another McCardell pattern I have and top be honest, there were a few “knock offs” of this Style made by some of the mainstream pattern companies that borrowed many elements odf this dress, so keeping my eye out for them on ebay and etsy…

McCardell 707 from spadea catalogue


The flutter sleeve variation on this 1970s Style pattern is a pretty variation too….

STYLE 1157 1970s

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