Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Advance 3025 ... it's not love (and a pattern giveaway)

I was super excited about this pattern when I got it.  I loved every detail of this early 60s design: the diagonal bodice seams, and the simple neckline.  I loved the shape of the 3/4 sleeves and the pleated skirt of version 1.   I loved the button details at the waist on version 2.  I loved the flippy hairdos of the  imaginary women modeling the dress on the pattern envelope.   In short, I was really psyched to make this dress.

Last Fall, I figured the weather would be perfect for the 3/4 sleeve version, and I started sewing it up with high hopes.  Alas, there was to be no fairytale ending.  On me, the dress looks nothing like it does in the illustrations.   As my husband put it, it looks like "something a nun would wear".  ("But I like it!" he was quick to add.  Smart man.)    But he's right:  even after extensive alterations to remove gobs of fabric from the sides and underarms, this dress still looks like something I bought at the thrift store but probably shouldn't've.  

The dress ended up in the back of my closet until last week, when I pulled it out along with some other items from Fall that I had forgotten to photograph for pattern reviews.  It wasn't as bad as I remembered.  But it's still not good.   Even after tons of reductive surgery, the bodice is still too loose to be flattering.  And I should have realized that the loose 3/4 length sleeves would do nothing for my skinny wrists.

And yet.  When I look back at the illustration on the pattern envelope, I fall back in love with it a little.  It's foolish, I know.   But maybe ... maybe I'll try it again.  With different fabric.   A solid color perhaps, with topstitching to show off the bodice seaming better, as in version 1. And definitely with a complete muslin of the bodice first.

As luck would have it, I ended up with two copies of this pattern -- a size 12/bust 32  I am (perhaps foolishly) going to hold on to, and a size 14/bust 34 that I have no need for.  So if you too feel the strange and perhaps sinister allure of Advance 3025, add a comment to this post with your email address.   I'd love to find a loving home for my size 14 pattern.    I'll  (randomly) choose a winner Sunday evening.


  1. i like the neck line, too. chop off the sleeves and you'd have an instant winner. the print is lovely. so is the color.

    i like how dinky is always more interested in the planter than the goings-on.

  2. also, are you trying to induce/insinuate vomiting or are you giving a thumbs up?

  3. I was impressed by your array of dresses posted on Sewretro. I agree this one is not so flattering. (I'm not entering for the pattern either, as I know that neckline will do nothing for me.) I, too, am drawn to the vintage patterns by the drawings, but I must always remind myself that I won't wear a bullet bra, girdle or crinoline, so some patterns just aren't for me. I'll be watching to see what you sew next!

  4. I'm kind of torn because I reeally like the waist detailing and it would be curious to try this but but...hmmm...I can't help it, always up for a challenge. Count me in! :)

  5. As someone who loves vintage style, is in the process of learning to sew (and blogging about it!), AND happens to be a 34 bust, I don't feel selfish entering this giveaway like I usually do.

    The pattern is gorgeous, and with alteration I think you could make a really great version.

  6. I used to collect 1960s dress patterns compulsively. I can't sew, and there was no plan for me to learn, but I dreamed that these dresses would look as slick on me as on the cartoon ladies with their flippy hair. I'm glad to know the reality may not have matched the daydream!

  7. Did you try to belt it and wear it with some high heels? Those details can make a lot of difference!

    And I love giveaways, especially when they concern patterns. So I would love to enter!

  8. I would like to enter! smgjic [at] hotmail [dot] com.

    I'd have to grade down a bit, though....sure you don't want to keep the 34" and give me the 32"? :P


  9. Count me in for the giveaway!

    chronicallyuncool [a t] gmail dot com.

    I have a Jackie O tribute dress in mind. I bought McCall's 6759 (check out the Jackie illustration!) but now the curved bodice seams are scaring me a little. Your Advance pattern looks less intimidating! (Check out the Jackie dress that started it all here:

    Also, shorten that dress a little and add a fluffer/crinoline/petticoat and a belt. It will make tons of difference! Seriously. The fluffer alone cures 80% of my frump issues.

  10. I would love to win! I am just now getting into sewing with vintage patterns, and this one would be great to add to my small, but growing, stash!
    maryfibe [at] gmail [dot] com

  11. I found you on Sew Retro. I love all of the dresses you've made.

    I live in the Houston area, too. Would love for you to visit my blog.

  12. I'd like to give this one a go!

    I agree that the version you have now is not good. There's also the difference between the artist's depiction on the envelope and reality.

    I think with re-drafting/re-fitting--and definitely a different colour--this one could work. You could also try lowering the neckline a little, and see if that helps.

  13. Thanks for the feedback on my dress! Definitely some ideas here and on my post at Sew Retro to keep in mind, both for this dress, and future sewing projects.

    Sophie Miriam, I'll keep you in mind if I decide to ditch the 32 bust version of this pattern. It might happen if I either give up on it, or manage to draft a winner from it, because it's looking like something that works is going to deviate significantly from the original. On the other hand, you might be better served by keeping an eye out for the size 10 / bust 30 version of this pattern, because it runs WAY big.

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