I found this glorious pattern when flicking through some vintage pattern sites; however, the $US25 plus postage price tage seemed a little extravagant for a pattern in the wrong size. I love the tucks along the scoop neckline and the stand-away collar, so I have attempted to re-create the pattern myself. Don't you think the original designer would be stoked that somebody wanted to re-create her design forty years later?
I wasn't sure how the collar was drafted. The pattern was described as 8 pieces, so I guessed these were
1. Front bodice
2. Back bodice
4. Front armhole facing
5. Back armhole facing
6. Bow detail
7. Pocket flap
This left only one peice for the collar so I presumed it was a single bias strip.
The following drawings show how I re-created the neckline. I started with a close fitting bodice with classic waist shaping (refer to "Metric Pattern Cutting" by Winifred Aldrich). I rotated the waist dart out a little. Then I closed the bust dart to draw in a new neckline. I then slashed and spread the pattern in two places for the two neck tucks; once slashing to the bust point and the other slashing to the armhole. I spread the pattern pieces 2 cm along the new neckline.
When I had another look at the original photo, I noticed the dress had a centre front seam and I wondered why...perhaps the original designer slashed and spread towards the centre front, or perhaps the dress did not lie on the straight grain or maybe it was a fitting tool for the tucks...I'm not sure. Maybe one day I'll come across the original pattern and find out.
I put the dress on my dressform to adjust the tucks and refine the neckline shape.
I changed the pocket flaps to patch pockets, repeating the tuck detail and bias edge from the neckline (a bit hard to see in the photo). In the original version the pocket flaps are positioned at the bottom of the waist darts. My fitting changes result in a much shorter waist dart, so I wasn't sure whether to maintain the original position or move the pockets to the bottom of my new dart...in the end I moved them up.
The end result? I think that my neckline is not quite as elegant as the original version, but overall, I have captured the essence of the original design. The process was fun, but for my next project, I just want to take the pattern out of the envelope and get sewing, no changes required!