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Topic: Reverse pattern lookup?  (Read 505 times)
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« on: January 13, 2007 11:40:51 AM »

So you know how they have these online phone directories where you can enter a phone number and it spits out the name of the person who was last assigned that number?  Well, I'm looking for something similar, but for dress patterns.  I'm quite sure no such thing exists, so I'm hoping you Craftsters can be my search engine. Wink

I originally posted this in another thread, but I felt it was confusing the issue that the first Craftster was asking about, so I'm moving it here.

I was just home visiting my folks and came across two of the most wonderful vintage dresses from my past.  This first one was my mom's, and I remember her in it very vividly.  I asked her where she got it and she told me this story:
When we lived in Indiana, where I grew up, my mom went into this second hand store we'd often frequent.  As she walked in the door, this woman appeared, like some kind of thrift store angel, with a bundle of red and green fabric hung over her arm.  She looked my mom up and down and said "here, try this on."   My mom didn't know the woman, and she didn't work in the store.  The dress, a simple, sleeveless sundress with matching bolero, fit like a dream, and from that day forward my mother wore it to any sort of special occasion ever after.

Now the tragedy: my mother is a slim little lady, and while she no longer wears the dress, I would have to remove a rib or two to even think about zipping it.

I've been scouring the internet for a similar pattern, but nothing has turned up yet.  Can y'all help me?  I loove the details in this, the fabric, everything!  Sorry for the shoddy pictures.  I tried to put it on and take photos that way, but it won't zip and the flash kept bounching off the mirror.  So here goes:

Bad mirror picture:

Front with jacket:

Back detail:

I'd be thrilled to buy a similar pattern if anyone has or knows of one.  Thanks for your help!

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« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2007 08:39:10 PM »

I can't help you out with finding a pattern but I could suggest that you make your own based on the dress.  It shouldn't be too hard for the dress but the bolero might be a little tricky.  All you really have to do is figure out what connects to what and how many pieces there are. 

Take something like tissue paper (hey, that's what patterns are anyway), trace where the seams are on the tissue paper.  Measure 5/8" or so for a seam allowance all around.  It's certainly going to take a bit of brain power, but if you're familiar with sewing patterns already, you probably know some basics of how things go together.

That's the most basic description of what to do, but I'm hoping you get what I'm saying!

><-- Miss Cara --><
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2007 11:15:40 AM »

I agree with MissCara, this doesn't look too hard to grade.  Sometimes you can even be lazy and just add some extra width at the side seams.  This is especially easy with sundresses, I have done it a number of times, and no one's the wiser.

But if you don't want to mess with tracing . . . go to Ebay!  The section you want to head to is:

collectibles > vintage sewing > patterns > women

Once there, do a search on the most distinctive feature of the dress (I'd try "dress bolero" or "midriff" to start), maybe combined with your bust size.  You'll probably be able to find something quite similar, though you might have to adapt the pattern slightly for some of the detailing (the notch in front, the piece work in back).

I know a girl, who had premarital sex?  Do you know what she did on graduation day?  DIED! -- Mr. Weir, Freaks and Geeks
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2007 01:38:34 PM »

Thanks for your help, ladies.  I have been haunting ebay a bit but so far haven't found quite what I want.  I wish I had the fabric, too!  It's such a wild print I'd never buy, but somehow in the design it really works.

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