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Jan 21, 2014

Mystery of Vogue 4742 REVEALED, or "Do the Bustle!"

Good news, readers!  Despite today's blizzard, my vintage 40's Vogue evening gown pattern arrived in the mail.  It's S-4742, and I believe it dates back to 1946.

The pattern looks like it still has its original folds and came complete with instructions.  The seller didn't have the original envelope, however.

As soon as I got it, I grabbed the instruction sheet and studied it.  I had to find out how that panier effect was created!

Lo and behold, there is an elaborate understructure, a panier, very much like this:

The instructions explain exactly how to construct it.  They call it a bustle.

As for the bodice, it's very straightforward.  It's boned, of course.

I hope to make this gown for Cathy in the coming months.  I don't know the pattern size (the pattern pieces aren't printed), so I'll measure the total waist of the skirt pieces and that should tell me.

Exciting, no?

In Miyake coat news, I worked on the lining today.  Would you believe I spent more time on the lining than I did on the coat itself?  And it's just a half lining!  I used the same lightweight wool plaid I lined my toggle coat with three years ago -- I had enough plaid left in my stash.

I didn't have enough leopard knit to use for the facings, so I used another remnant from my toggle coat -- some gray melton wool, which adds some welcome heft to the front of the coat.  Tomorrow I hope to insert the lining and attach the collar.  Most of the seams major seams will also need to be topstitched.

Meanwhile, it's been snowing all day today and it's still snowing now.

Remember that fabric I found on the street a few weeks ago (a bit of which I used for that newsboy cap)?  It's been sitting on my balcony and is now covered with snow.  When it melts I'm going to have to launder all the fabric all so it doesn't get moldy.

In weather like this, when I'm basically stuck indoors, it's feels good to have a sewing project in the works -- and a cup of hot tea.

Have a great day, everybody!


  1. Can you imagine one of the big four including something as unusual or complex as a panier or bustle in a design now? That's something I'd love to see!

    1. There are corset patterns of course, but I panier seems very exotic!

  2. "ahhhhhhhh, do it! Do the hustle, do the hustle!" I remember! Thanks Peter!

  3. What's inserted horizontally to stiffen the bustle?

    1. Boning. In the ones I've made for theater, they're the cheap plastic boning, but if you were making fine garments, you'd want spiral steel stays. I used to buy them from Richard the Thread.

  4. I think you need to make a pair of those crazy disco pantaloons/skirt things that those chicks are wearing in the video :)

  5. You definitely wouldn't have wanted to make that dress if you were if you were on the heavy side (like me). You would have had to go through doors sideways. You coat is going to be very beautiful.

  6. Wow-- that video brings back memories of living in the dorm at college. You'd hear the music, someone would bang on your door and you were expected to go out and do the Hustle.

  7. At least you know the fabric is free from all bugs without having to stick it in the freezer? :-)

  8. Everybody was stick thin in the disco era.

  9. That pattern is extremely cool. I learn so much from the instructions in vintage patterns, and the garments usually end up being really well-fitting and well-constructed.
    In '74 I made a Quiana polyester wrap skirt to wear while doing the Hustle. It was so easy to spin on those Kork-Ease platform shoes. Woo!

  10. Oooh! Thank you for sharing the "bustle" effect - that looks almost as fun as swooshing about in a hoop skirt!

    I would imagine most ladies in the 1940s would be familiar with the robe de style look of the 1920s, if not the panniers of the 1700s. Perhaps the designer of the pattern was a fan of "vintage" looks?!


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