Shapeless but cozy: vintage Vogue 1071 flannel dress

This was the wrong time of year to make a thick flannel dress. It’s going to be a great option later in the year but right now the UK is having its annual two weeks of summer so I put it on just for these photos.

The pattern is vintage Vogue 1071 by Claude Montana, dating from 1982. I have found some pictures of the original from an auction site which show it made up in black wool knit with leather panels, but Vogue’s instructions also recommend wovens, including flannel, and the version on the pattern envelope looks to have suede panels.

Photo of vintage Vogue 1071 pattern envelope

I made mine up in black cotton flannel from Empress Mills. It is a lovely fabric to touch: really thick and fuzzy. In fact it was a little on the heavy side for this pattern. I also bought a length of black polyester suede to do the panels, but when the fabrics arrived I realised the texture of the flannel was so similar to suede that the panels would be effectively invisible, and didn’t bother adding them.

This is a nicely drafted pattern – everything goes together well – but it’s not what I think of as a typical Montana style, probably because it’s an early one. There are no shoulder pads and no shaping. The back is completely plain.

It does have one Montana feature: plenty of pockets. There are a pair of very roomy ones hidden in the side seams, which is where in practice I’ll put my stuff, and also two breast pockets. Those are fancy welt pockets with flaps and were a pain in the neck to construct because they’re so wide and deep their seam allowances encroach on the front placket. But if I ever need to carry more than the side seam pockets can accommodate I have room to do it.

I’ve found the older Vogues run much more true to size than the modern ones: ie I need to make the size the size chart says, instead of one or two down. However they’re also single size patterns, and my copy of this one is two sizes smaller than I am. I checked the finished pattern measurements for bust, waist, and hip, determined that there was so much design ease that I’d fit into the smaller size with room to spare, and made it up without adjustments other than for length. What I didn’t think to check was the cuff circumference, and they’re a little tight. Not unwearably so, but I definitely need to undo them to get my hands though.

Thanks to my husband for the photos.

12 thoughts on “Shapeless but cozy: vintage Vogue 1071 flannel dress

  1. Nice. The collar, done up, looks interesting- but I’m sure too hot to do for the photos. This will be great in fall and winter with leggings.

    1. Heh funnily enough I was thinking of making a winter coat for my husband – but I’m going to have to start soon to get it done in time 🙂

  2. It’s got something. I like the casualness of it. It’s in the ballpark of coat-dresses, which are more useful than one would think. The buttons are perfect.

  3. I really love your take on this 80s dress. Will you wear it belted or just as is? The collar looks great undone too, which you don’t see on the pattern envelope.

  4. Looks warm! I could have used that in Inverness recently! (I packed for cool weather, which worked well. Except that one day in London with soaring temps!)

  5. I love this dress. I can remember my aunt making/wearing it in the 80s. I even have a copy of it in the collection of patterns old patterns she passed on to me!

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