Retro revival


OK, it’s official, I’m back in the ’60s! My big sister did comment (via email) on my 1967 “umpire” shirt that “Love the shirt on today’s blog think it’s one of the nicest things you’ve made, don’t usually like 60’s stuff, wore it first time round, be interesting when you get to big skirts with net petticoats underneath stiffened with sugar!“. Well, I haven’t quite got to that, but I’m getting closer. I found this fabric in Astratex in Richmond, Melbourne. I immediately fell in love with it, feeling as though I have owned this exact fabric at some point in my dim, dark past. It has just the right degree of gaudiness for me and contains nearly all my favourite colours.


The lovely lady at Astratex suggested Vogue 8592 for this fabric, but then told me that it was not available anywhere!


She had a pattern in my size scattered around the shop. She rounded up the pieces and encouraged me to copy it. I am never happy with this. There are the obvious IP issues, but also the fact that I’m never sure if I’ve missed something vital out. Anyway, I got home and immediately went to work scouring the known universe for a copy of this pattern. I found one (yay!) in that outer universe known as Amazon. Immediately paid a premium to buy it and am really pleased. It doesn’t look much, but it’s a really simple pattern that will be perfect for spring.

This was one of the rare occasions when I have bought fabric for a specific purpose and was aghast to find that I didn’t have enough! For a start, the fabric hadn’t been cut straight with a difference of 14 cms from one side to the other. Then I needed 2m and only had about 1.4. What to do? Go for a walk and consider the options! I decided that the pattern was such that I could cut the front and back in different directions. I jigsawed it together and don’t think it’s obvious.


and it has pockets – nice deep ones!


One of the things I like about this pattern is the fact that it is quite fitted across the bust and then falls in lovely flowing lines. I probably could have made it shorter, but this is a more elegant length on me these days. Maybe the next one…


The necklace is one that Tom and Bridgette brought me back from their visit to the Murano glass factory in Venice. It is quite lovely with just the right tonings for this dress.

On a side note, every time I visit my local shops I find a facsimile of something that I’ve made. I have found my shingle dress (the exact dress in a cheaper t-shirt material) and a version of the umpire shirt in French Connection, and yesterday I found in Country Road a sarong dress (not yet worn/blogged) that I made a few weeks ago . Country Road also had a t-shirt with the sleeves I used in this dress, and the gathered sleeve tops that I worried about in this dress. All in all, my friend S, with whom I play ladies on Saturday mornings has been most impressed. I am now waiting to find today’s dress somewhere…

Review of Vogue 8592

Pattern Description:  Dress in two lengths with raglan sleeves in two lengths and elastic neckline casing.

Pattern Sizing: 8-16. I made the size 10 in line with the pattern sizing, but would make an 8 next time as I took the dress in quite a bit.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes Were the instructions easy to follow? Yes

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? I like the loose, flowing and retro nature of the dress. My pattern had quite faded lines and I completely missed the addition of the casing for the sleeve. I was able to ease the sleeve on to the dress, but it’s probably a bit tight under the arm. The neckline is quite wide on the shoulders, and time will tell whether this is comfortable.

Fabric Used: A lovely Italian stretch cotton from Astratex in Richmond, Victoria

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made: The pattern contains an elastic guide for the neckline, but I took quite a bit off and could probably have done more but I wanted it to sit flat without too many obvious gathers. The length was good for me, but might be a bit long for a younger person. I had read a review saying that the back could have been on the fold. I didn’t do this as I didn’t have sufficient length of fabric, but I can’t see why there is a seam in the back, other than to maximise fabric use.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others? I might make it again if I can find the right fabric. I think it will be one of those easy dresses that I will wear often.

Conclusion:  I love the fabric I used and think this was the perfect pattern to showcase its retro nature. The pattern is now quite difficult to find as it is out of print, but it seems to be quite a timeless design and is potentially a useful pattern to have in the stash.

The details:

Pattern: Vogue 8592

Fabric: Italian stretch pima cotton from Astratex, Richmond, Victoria

Shoes: Ettore Masotti

Necklace: Murano glass


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