This attempt at a comparison led me all over the place.  A zig here and a zag there and back to square one.  Hmmmm.  It’s been months, literally.  I almost scrapped the idea, except for the fact that I found a treasure trove of patterns I liked.  Sometimes, perspective makes the difference.  What we may term as a mistake isn’t really a negative if your perspective allows you to view it as a learning experience.  If you can acquire this perspective, besides making life less bumpy, it can clear new pathways.  Literally, you can rewire your brain.  But, that’s another topic.  All that said, Vogue 7539 and Vogue 7540 are difficult to find, which was one of the factors that led me through this wild goose chase.  Heh, heh – yeah, pun intended. I did a lot of flapping and sputtering about!

This comparison begins with a Vogue magazine spread (Vogue Patterns, January/February 2002, Spring Forecast issue).  This spread features two patterns designed by Claire Shaeffer; Vogue 7539 and Vogue 7540. 




The blurb in the red side bar reads: “Make it your way.  Claire’s unique pattern collection offers two sewing options: the couture way—with intricate dressmakers details—or the ready-to-wear version—the same great style with a few sewing shortcuts.  The red silk dress is packed with couture details.  It’s meticulously underlined and has a specially constructed facing for a custom fit.  The zipper is applied by hand, grosgrain ribbon is used for a waist stay, and lingerie guards are applied at the shoulder.  The ready-to-wear version takes a more streamlined approach: simple lining instead of underlining, traditional facings, and a zipper applied by machine.  The coat offers more of the same.  The lining extends beyond the garment edge forming a mock-piped border, buttonholes are made by hand, and the three-piece sleeves feature buttoned cuffs.  If you don’t have the time or patience to fuss with the details opt for the simplified version with a traditional lining, machine buttonholes, and optional purchased piping.  See how Claire gives this coat a third alternative in her article Creative Expression: A Fashion Make-Over on pages 14-17.”

The fashion make-over, referred to in the above quote, used Vogue 7539 and basically Ms. Shaeffer used a different material, eliminated the lining and in-seam pockets and added patch pockets. (I found lots of useful/helpful information in this particular issue).




It was all so far, so good until I attempted to find these two patterns.  I found the coat pattern, eventually, but not the dress pattern.  One detail I appreciated about the dress was the belt. I liked the belt’s design and that it is optional-wearing.  Two details I liked about the coat was the back drape and the neckline.

There weren’t any features about the coat that I didn’t like.  The features on the dress I wasn’t jazzed about were the pockets, (I just don’t need any “extras” at hip level, thank you very much), and I would prefer a little higher neckline (this has to do with being “vertically challenged” and I deduced a higher neckline would give the optical illusion of being not so “vertically challenged”).  These were just personal preferences.  I find the dress very attractive overall.  Very smart looking.

The closest I came to finding a similar pattern for the coat was McCall’s 4603.  This pattern was released in 2004.  There’s no back drape and the neckline is lower.


My daughter brought to my attention McCall’s 5480.  We both liked this pattern (that’s a first!).  However, she assumed I was merely looking for a lightweight coat pattern and was not aware of my other criteria and purpose.  Things began to go awry at this point.  I jettisoned off into looking at varied coat/jacket patterns and the longer I looked, the more I found that they were nothing like the original coat I had first focused on.  But, I did find new (older) patterns I’d not noticed before and liked and added to my stash.




After numerous excursions into the wild and “not pertinent”, I reined myself back and began looking at patterns that featured a dress and a coat together.  By the way, coordinated coats and dresses were very popular in the 1950s into the 1960s; especially for Easter attire on the East coast.  Two that I looked at that I thought were attractive, but did not resemble the Vogue patterns I share below.




Then, at long last, I found the coat pattern!!  But, alas, the dress pattern remains elusive. I then took another detour and began looking at belt patterns before returning to searching for a dress pattern.  I finally decided on Vogue 7473 as a compromise and am resigned to improvising the belt. 


V_7473_for blog



Sew, I don’t view this endeavor as a fail or time wasted.  Sometimes, you don’t always get what you want, but if you’re willing to compromise you may find something suitable and discover a few new things and lessons along the way.


Honk Honk!



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