Anne Adams 4695: tiny giraffes, giant collar

the pattern: 
Anne Adams 4695
Not dated, but when I posted this on Instagram and asked what decade people thought it might be, Fabric Tragic pointed out that the postmark reads 1974. I had not noticed! That Sarah. She is smart. 

Anne Adams was a mail-order pattern company, The Googles more or less confirm that it was operational from the 1940’s-1970’s. 
I’ve had this pattern for about ten years (yard sale find), and every time I have flipped past it in my pattern box, I glance at the outer envelope and think, “wow, totally boring dress,” and keep flipping. Forgetting completely that the illustration on the outer envelope is the generic mailing-envelope art, and that the real dress is illustrated on the information page inside. 
Therefor, now when I am pattern-lurking on eBay and I see a vintage pattern without it’s envelope, instead of thinking Ew Gross Do Not Want, I reserve judgment for a second to see if it’s just that it’s an Anne Adams and the original owner threw away the boring mailing envelope. 


No recommended fabrics list. Kinda odd. I usually ignore the recommended fabrics anyway, and make whatever out of whatever, but it is helpful to at least know what the pattern was aiming for. Was this supposed to be a light-weight shirt dress or a heavier coat-dress? I don’t know! It has pleats like a shirt, but horizontal buttonholes like a coat. It’s a mystery. 


the fabric: 
Light-weight cotton with giraffe print. The giraffes are all oriented in the same direction, which meant I had to cut the collar with a center back seam so both collar points would have an upright giraffe. 

Look at that collar though.

No really, look at it.


It is way past the shoulder seam. It is galloping right outta there. 
On an unrelated note: see those Rose Quartz earrings? Some girl told me they looked like a lump, and I totally ignored her and was annoyed, but looking at the earrings now in photos I can see that they match my skin too closely in color. Dang it. Gonna throw them. 

Back to the dress: it’s not the greatest. 


The back is boring.
The front is boxy. On me. Square Zone.  Box City. Unflatter Town.
As shown below, even posing in that classic Child’s-Idea-Of-What-Fashion-Looks-Like can’t fix it. 



Leaving the skirt unbuttoned kind of helps, I was almost sold on keeping it that way, but then, after I had changed and put away the photo backdrop and the ladder and was about to go run an errand, I thought, “should I wear my new dress?” And then I answered myself, “no,” and then I thought, “ok that’s a bad sign.” 

So I cut it into a shirt.

That’s better.    
And look! 
Sophie Giraffe photo bomb! 

14.25 hours. I had estimated 12.
I flat felled the sleeves instead of setting them in, and the side seams are French. Sleeve placket is faced! That’s what the pattern told me to do!  Faster and easier than a lapped placket, and not bad looking, but So Weird! 

I made the skirt a little shorter than called for, but the button placement is exactly following the pattern. Which seems a little risqué in the skirt department there. The pattern doesn’t exactly say “hey girl, go ahead and show the world about eight inches of your slip”, but it doesn’t say to stitch the center front shut below the last button either.

Sew It or Throw It:
Throw it. Keeping the shirt, throwing the pattern. 
To make this look good on me, as a dress, I would need to give it a waist seam, make the skirt flare out, talk sense into that collar, and what would be the point. That is too much work and obliterates the original design. There are other shirt-dresses in the sea.
So I am going to carefully place this pattern and envelope in a plastic Baggie, with the dress illustration facing outward, and all the pieces safely kept together, and send it off to the thrift. 


Oh hey, Vintage Pledge! I know, I pledged to do one pattern from each vintage decade that I own, and I’ve already done the 70’s, but it seems like the spirit of the pledge is to sew more vintage patterns, so in that spirit I am tagging it. 


11 thoughts on “Anne Adams 4695: tiny giraffes, giant collar

  1. gorgeous shirt. I only ever sewed one ann adams patttern…. and i thought the pattern a bit clunky (and made for a more matronly bust) – love that oversized collar


    1. It is kind of clunky, and matronly through the bust!
      I think the button placement is a bummer. I like having a button at the level of the bust point, so the collar can roll open into a nice deep V but not show the slip underneath. This one has a button above the bust level and one below, making the V either overly modest, or way way too open.
      I have one more Anne Adams pattern that I’m looking forward to, it’s got an almost sportswear look to it, kind of a raglan sleeve, sweater-y, big pocketed top with pencil skirt. If that one also dissapoints, well, I guess I’ll have some insight into why the company went under.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I made up one of these patterns once and found it rather like yours – just a sort of lowest common denominator dress that reminded me of school uniform, or any uniform actually.


  3. Yup! Definitely better as a shirt. Although do you think it might have worked in a viscose or lightweight knit? Except I’m already thinking about those tucks wobbling all over the place as you sew!


    1. The wobbling, totally.
      The tucks are really big!
      They look big in the drawing, but I was hoping that would be a matter of the tucks (and the collar) having been generously drawn, like the artist indulged in a little artistic license.
      I expected they’d be quarter inch from fold to stitch line, or three-eighths, but they are half an inch from fold to stitch line! Massive!
      Not only are they huge, they are set on a curve, (there’s a bust dart hidden in between two of the tucks that angles them all off straight) so even in my stable cotton the tucks wave a little.
      Might be interesting to do them to the inside, so from the face you only see seams and then added fullness below. Interesting for someone else that is, I feel confident in letting this pattern go find its new owner.

      Liked by 1 person

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