1. I can ignore an instruction and use a different method, if I'm doing so because the alternate method is better. Not because I'm lazy. For instance, I will probably finish my raw edges by serging rather than pinking or overcasting them by hand. (I know hand overcasting is a hallmark of fine couture garments,but I'm making stuff that I actually want to wear on a regular basis, so durability is an issue for me.)
That's it for now! I'm sure I'll come up with more as I go along.
2. Take fabric suggestions seriously. I usually take the suggested fabrics on a pattern as just that: suggestions. Sometimes I really throw caution to the wind (wheeee!) and use a dramatically different fabric for dramatic results. But here, I want to have as much of the home sewing experience of the 50's as possible, and I want to achieve similar results to what's in the book.
3. Try to achieve the original look of the pattern as much as possible, but alterations can be made for contemporary wearability. For instance, there's no skirt length I despise as much as that dowdy mid-calf length of straight skirts on 50's patterns. I will definitely be shortening them to knee-length.
Oh! Commenter Meg helped me come up with a much better acronym for Vogue's New Book for Better Sewing. Henceforth, I declare that the volume shall be referred to as VoNBSS. (Pronounced VOWN-biss). Now, isn't that more manageable than VNBFBS?