Pattern Comparison: Vintage Vs. Reissue
Vogue S - 4382 (1953) Vs. Vogue 1043 (2008)
I haven't done a pattern comparison in quite a while and when I saw Vogue 4382 from 1953 on eBay, I knew it was time. Vogue, Butterick and Simplicity have all reissued patterns, and with the popularity of vintage styles that isn't a bad idea. The original styles have timeless appeal and certain vintage patterns can be expensive. Are the reissues as good as the originals? That depends on the pattern company. Let's take a look at these two Vogues.
First, let's look at the actual pattern pieces. Each dress has a small number of pattern pieces - only 8 pieces for actual construction. The new Vogue has one extra piece and that is a cutting guide for the inside stabilizing belt.
According to the measurements on the pattern envelope, the old Vogue is a size 14 for a size 34 bust, and the comparable size in the new Vogue is a size 12 for a 34 bust. Once I started to compare the actual pattern pieces, there wasn't really a whole lot of difference. All of the older bodice pieces fit right on the newer pieces with very small discrepancies. Note that the older pattern is an "unprinted" pattern meaning that there are not any cutting lines, seam lines, circles, squares, notches, etc. printed on the pieces. All of the pattern marks for circles, grainlines, etc. are a series of punched out holes of various sizes and shapes.
The only major difference I found is that the old belt is a bit shorter than the new one:
Here's a close up of the gusset piece for under the arm to faciliate movement of the arm in the garment. I have seen many different styles of gusset in vintage patterns.
The skirt is almost the same, but not quite. The sweep of the skirt (or the circumference) was a little larger in the older skirt. You can see the difference in the second photo below.
Second, let's look at a few things in the actual directions. For the most part the directions are exactly the same as the old ones. What impressed me was that even the instructions for interfacing the facing around the neckline was the same. You would think that this is one area where Vogue would have updated the instructions to use fusible interfacing or some other "modern" method. Take a look at a sample of the instructions in the photos below. The interfacing is basted to the wrong side of the bodice front, the facing is made and then applied to the interfaced front. Today, we would apply the interfacing to the facing and apply the whole unit to the front.
The gusset is applied the same way in the new pattern as the old pattern:
Both patterns have instructions for the inside belt:
The new Vogue has done those who are trying to sew the dress a favor and includes directions for putting in the side zipper. Note the directions from the old pattern, seen below, "Insert zipper in left side opening following directions on wrapper." I do hope the instructions on the zipper wrapper were good.
One thing the old pattern does include in the instructions is to make eyelets by hand to complete the fabric belt. Of course, they assume you know how to punch the holes properly and do a nice buttonhole stitch by hand.
Third, here are just some interesting things about this particular pattern. Whenever I open a vintage pattern, I never know what I'll find. Sometimes the previous owner will leave the alterations pinned in or notes or fabric samples.
Whoever made this dress previously shortened the skirt pattern. Notice that they shortened it near the top of the skirt and not at the hem. This preserves that nice big sweep of the skirt, while making it shorter. I do this often to vintage patterns, as I am short, but like a really full skirt.
The previous owner also made some notes on the envelope. I apologize for this photo being sideways. I've tried correcting it and reloading it and it is still sideways. At any rate, someone needed to lower bodice by 3/4" but cut it by the pattern in 1968! I find it interesting that someone chose to make this pattern in 1968. The pattern was 15 years old at that point, and the style would have been a bit dated as those mod shift dresses were gaining popularity at that point.
So is this reissue as good as the original? Yes, I think so. Vogue seems to do a good job with keeping the pattern the way it was, in sizing and directions.
Parting Shot: Yellow! My son brought in this packet from the mail as I was cutting out this yellow fabric. Is the yellow a coincidence? I have no idea, as this packet came from Spain from Paco. (Tomorrow I'll you something interesting he sent me!)