There is a little bit to unpack here, starting with how I did, then didn't, then finally did acquire my copy of this pattern.
I'd been watching for this pattern for several years before a copy finally came up for auction on eBay at a price I felt was reasonable. I placed my bid and won. And then I waited. After about a week, the seller contacted me and apologized. She'd gotten her wires crossed and sent my pattern to the winning bidder of a different pattern. This person was so enchanted with this pattern that she hadn't bid on that she refused to return it. So, the seller returned my money and I was back to watching, watching, watching.
The irony is that in my personal opinion this is by far the ugliest of the Bicentennial costume patterns out there. Even the patterns sold in the newspapers tried a little harder than the Vogue design team responsible for this one.
Back in 1976, the pattern companies really didn't have historical patterns of the caliber of the best patterns that are available today. They offered costume patterns with varying levels of historical accuracy. Typically designed for use in local pageants, parades, or theater productions, the designers had to meet the needs of people with limited time and budget, and possibly only basic sewing skills.
In a sort of perfect storm of awfulness, 1976 was period when 100% cotton or linen fabrics were hard to find, with local fabric stores selling mostly polyester blends. If you think this was deadly for the ladies' costumes, talk to gentlemen who marched in the stifling heat of July 4th parades in bright red 100% polyester broadcloth coats. (A few years earlier, in 1961, some of these same gentlemen probably sweated through dark blue or grey polyester broadcloth as they commemorated the Civil War. It's my belief that these experiences helped spur the research into greater historical accuracy that continues to this day.)
But in 1976, every town was going to celebrate the Bicentennial and by gum, we were going to dress the part, whatever vaguely historical part that was.
The Vogue design team seems to have checked boxes for "mob cap" and "fichu" and "square neck" and then gone out for a long lunch. On the way back to the office they must have seen a Laura Ashley dress and decided that was that. Even one of the interior illustrations evokes the Edwardian sensibility so central to Ashley's designs.
This printed pattern is unused.