Category Archives: Retro

Retro Friday – my grandmother-in-law’s dress patterns

Today I’m not going to show you something I made. My mother-in-law was doing some cleaning out of old drawers, and she found some very interesting and sentimental documents from her mother. One of these was a folder labelled “Coupe et couture” which translates as “Dressmaking”.

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There are 22 pages of hand-drawn patterns, with instructions (in French) as to how to make the garments. I thought I had done some super detective work in figuring out when Mamie Paulette (as my OH’s grandmother was affectionately called) made the folder – one of the pages has instructions for “manche gigot” which are leg-of-mutton sleeves – I figured this meant the folder came from the late 30’s or early forties when those sleeves were in fashion. My hunch was confirmed later in the tidying up process, when we found some of Mamie Paulette’s certificated – one was for a dressmaking course she completed in 1940!

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There are some patterns that I’d love to try myself, such as her instructions for a simple dress, and a simple blouse. I don’t really know how to follow these sort of patterns as I’ve never done any dressmaking. Do any of you have any experience with these sort of patterns?

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