Treasure Hunt: A Retro Simplicity Find

You know those happy accidents that leave you questioning, “How on earth did I find this thing??” Yeah, those amazing finds that occur when you’re in juuust the right place at just the perfect time. I had one of these occurrences about a year ago when some coworkers and I were rummaging around for a last-minute gift in a little antique store in our old building. My friend was searching for a souvenir-type present for a friend’s newborn when some familiar envelopes caught my eye…

These adorable vintage patterns begged me to take them home, guys. I ended up with the two on the right, and for my first foray into true retro sewing I chose #9167 (because who could resist that oversized Peter Pan collar?!). According to the few resources available when I searched for this pattern number, it was released in the early 1970s. If any pattern historians have any additional info on this style, I’d love to connect!

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Opening up the envelope was a true blast from the past. I loved that the individual pieces (skirt, bodice, etc.) were referred to as “modules” and that the little illustrations were just so detailed. One thing I did not account for, despite it being printed clearly on the front of the envelope, were that the patterns were individually sized—in this case, a 10 petite. Let’s just say I am not a 10 petite, so I had to do a bit of grading by looking at the finished garment measurements for that size and compensating with the measurements I knew I’d need.

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For the fabric I used a (not-at-all-vintage) sheet I thrifted in colors I thought would suit the era I was trying to replicate while still looking modern and fun enough to suit my own tastes. I adore the small bodice flaps that function as belt loops and was thrilled to find the perfect pair of little orange buttons in my stash to secure them. The side gathers as opposed to a round-the-waist gather is another small detail that I think brings the look together beautifully.

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Overall, the construction was not difficult whatsoever and I’m so pleased with the final result—it’s comfortable and wearable, and, gosh darn it, doesn’t it pair so well with a set of Mary Jane heels??

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And, can we take just a teeny little second to appreciate how perfectly the dress complements my little vintage Kenmore machine (Jade the kitty for scale)? If this find wasn’t meant to be, y’all, I don’t know what is.

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