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McCalls printed pattern 4597 from 1958

McCalls 1958 printed pattern 4597

Here’s a dressmaking project from vintage McCalls printed pattern 4597 from 1958. First and foremost on the schedule this week is making a dress from this pattern for my daughter. The Preference dance at the high school is Saturday, a deadline that’s creeping right up. The dress will be red but I really want this hot pink silk to fit somewhere into the final picture- a sash of some sort, stole, shawl, a fabric flower corsage, hat, belt… I’ll think of something. Red and pink together are hot.

McCalls 1958 printed pattern 4597

Vintage sizing-

I love just looking at vintage patterns, the drawings, and oh the measurements! In today’s world the dress I’m making would be size 6 to 8. According to the sizing chart shown here, the same measurements equal a size 16 in 1958.

McCalls 1958 printed pattern

By sheer luck this pattern is a size 16 and so very few alterations to the pattern will be needed, thank goodness. And the pattern says ‘easy’ another bonus on the pressed-for-time schedule. I love reading the instructions on old patterns and seeing what’s changed and what’s stayed the same in the sewing world.

McCalls pattern 4597

I can’t remember where I acquired this pattern but, when it arrived in my hands, all of the pieces had already been cut out, and in some cases cut up (above). Some detective work hand to be done to make sure the pieces came together right. I’m weirdly excited make this elbow with darts, I can’t say I’ve ever made a sleeve like it before- kinda fancy.

Missing pattern piece-

One piece of the pattern was missing, the front neck facing piece. This is fairly easy to replace, it’s basically the same shape as the neck line of the front bodice piece. I just re-created it on paper by using the bodice front as a template- don’t forget to add seam allowance when making a new pattern piece.

McCalls 1958 printed pattern 4597 once adjust to fit in this day and age, is a lovely timeless design.  All ready to be cut out… so exciting, and finally getting to the good stuff. The fabric is a nice medium weight gabardine, that hangs quite nicely.  Although I feel like I might want to line the whole dress to make it feel more substantial. We’ll see how ambitious I get in the end.

By the way… stay tuned tomorrow for a great homemade-by-my-mom prom dress story from my high school days, I’m going to see if I can find the actual picture tonight!

For the next step in the making and wearing of the dress look here.


  1. kalamitykelli

    November 5, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    So……..what is the Preference Dance all about? And yes, it will be beautiful! Did I tell you that my daughter’s wedding dress was a 1962 Vogue pattern? I can’t wait to see this finished product!

    1. NoelleOlpin

      November 5, 2012 at 2:08 pm

      Preference just means it’s a ladies choice dance. πŸ˜‰

      1. kalamitykelli

        November 5, 2012 at 2:58 pm

        Oh! Now I see – we used to call that Sadie Hawkins Dance – Oh my God, I’m old.

        1. NoelleOlpin

          November 5, 2012 at 3:58 pm

          I remember it as Sadie Hawkins too! I think this is the fancy dress up version of Sadie Hawkins- hey, I’m all about reasons to dress up! I’ll just hide my wrinkles behind the camera!

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