Sunday, April 7, 2013

Foray into the Forties

I've got a couple of WIPs that I've been working on the last few weeks, and wanted to share them with you, just to prove I've actually been sewing. The first is a modified version of Butterick 5152 (the 1948 robe pattern). This was essentially a wearable muslin, as I've never used the pattern before and the fabric was some quilting cotton I used as part of a stash busting effort. I've shortened it and added a waistband that will button in order to make it into more of a house dress. Sorry the second picture is a bit fuzzy. The camera and lighting in my house this morning weren't cooperating as I would have liked. 

Overall this pattern went together pretty easily. I cut a size larger than I usually would, so that it will be comfortable for immediately post-baby. The only issue that I ran into with the pattern was the blousing effect on the bodice back. The top is intended to blouse, as was the style in the 40s (particularly in a robe), but the blousing at the back of this was a bit extreme. I am a bit swayback as well, which may have something to do with it. I had a friend (also swayback) come over and try it on before I did any alterations since fitting on myself is a little challenging right now. I ended up taking about 2 inches of length out of the bodice back in order to get a smoother line. I have yet to hem it or make buttonholes in the waist, since I want to wait and do that once I'm not a complete watermelon anymore and can check it on myself. 

The second project I've been working on is a 1940s shirtdress. As I've said before, I'm making an effort to make myself some nursing friendly dresses to wear, and so shirtdress, and other patterns I can easily adjust to open in the front are on the docket now. This one was also a stash buster; another quilting cotton that's been sitting around for a few years. The pattern I'm using is Simplicity 4729 from 1943. I'm making View 1, but without the ruffle trim, and will most likely only use two buttons (as in View 2). 

I've got the bodice and skirt assembled, and just have to attach the sleeves, hem the skirt and finish the fastenings. I really like how it's coming together so far, and I may well use this pattern again in the future. 

I really liked this "coffee bean" print, but I do wish the fabric were a bit less stiff. I think the skirt would hang a little better. Again, as more or less a wearable muslin, I'm pretty happy with it. 

I'm still debating what to do with that rayon print I posted last time, but in the meantime I have another button front dress pattern in the queue. Once I get this shirtdress finished up I will be starting on this 1930s pattern: Simplicity 2636 from 1938. I have this lovely, pale lavender, cotton lawn that I plan on using for it. It will be nice and light for summer, but will obviously require a slip at all times. I've actually got a 1960s slip in my "collection" with a broken strap that I never wear. I never wanted to get rid of it because I got it for free, it's exactly my size, and the lace is pretty, but I haven't bothered to fix it either. I realized the other day that I could actually make it into a nursing slip when I do fix the straps, since it needs to be done anyway. I can just as easily use snaps or hooks to make it more utilitarian. 

I'm going to be making View 1 (without the sash) since the tiny buttons on the front bodice are actually functional. I was a little surprised by this, but was glad to discover this since it means I don't have to alter the pattern to add functional front buttons. I'm going to need to find/make a narrow purple or green belt to go with it, but once can never have too many different colors of belts anyway. 

Hope everyone else is enjoying their weekend!


  1. Me gustan todos!! Te admiro y admiro el hecho que estés cosiendo vestidos para cuando tu bebé haya nacido, eso es maravilloso!

  2. Such a pretty frock - even my comment is from the 40s!

  3. Just followed yoir thread from wesewretro and im loving all your button front dresses and patterns ..this 30's one is tiny do you need to grade it up or does it fit you in that size ?

    1. Thank you! I did have to grade that one up, but it's actually in the UFO pile now because of some fit issues I need to deal with, and I'm about 10 lbs lighter now than when I started it.


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