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Patternmaking Guide: Vintage-Inspired Dresses


The theme of this guide is vintage-inspired dresses from the 50s and 6os. There are three styles with a fitted bodice and a full skirt: a 50s style swing dress, a button-up dress with tucks, and a shirt dress with a large notch collar. But also one, rockabilly inspired, pencil dress with style line details and kick pleats.

You’ll learn how to add design details, such as button plackets, pleats, tucks, and collars, but also how to make a tulle petticoat.

Each of these dresses can be made both with and without sleeves. You just need to adjust the amount of ease.

These styles work best with light to medium-weight woven fabrics. For the pencil dress, choose woven materials with added elastane.

Due to the complexity of the dress details, such as the collars and pleats, and also the complexity of fitting the dresses, this Patternmaking Guide is classified as "Intermediate" in difficulty. It will be accompanied by the Basic Bodice Block -guide.

Who is this product is for?

For anyone who has already sewn a few garments using commercial patterns and is now interested in learning how to draft their own unique patterns. 

Who isn’t this product for?

Although the pattern making instructions provided are very detailed, complete-beginner sewers may find drafting these patterns quite challenging. Even a small understanding of garment construction will be extremely helpful. Also, these e-guides do not include instructions on how to sew the garments, so this might become a problem.

What is included in the e-guide order?

Each guide comes with the corresponding basic pattern instructions. So, in this case, the  basic bodice guide. This way you’ll be able to draft the basic block that is needed for making the dress patterns, should you not have one yet. The basic pattern guides also include additional patternmaking instructions related to the subject.

Notice, that none of the patternmaking guides include the actual patterns. Instead, there are step-by-step instructions on how you can draft the pattern yourself using your measurements. The instructions consist of pictures and text and are limited to patternmaking only, so there are no sewing instructions. However, there is a Facebook group where I provide support if you need help with this.

There's a separate PDF with links to extra resources that you'll find helpful.

You will get two versions of each PDF, metric and imperial; I know how difficult it can be to draft patterns and trying to convert measurements at the same time!


The patternmaking guides are for your personal use only, please do not publish or share the files or parts of them anywhere. Also, the garment designs provided are for personal use only, however, if you create your own pattern designs with the help of the instructions, this rule no longer applies to the resulting garments.

Return Policy

Due to the nature of digital goods, and the fact that you receive immediate access to the files, I cannot offer refunds or exchanges on the e-guides. So, please review the product information carefully before purchasing.

However, if there is a fault with the files or you get the incorrect items, do request a replacement.

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You'll get the Vintage-Inspired Dresses Guide and the Basic Bodice Block Guide PDF, both in two versions, metric and imperial. There's also a PDF with planning sheets for each dress.

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Patternmaking Guide: Vintage-Inspired Dresses

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