Recently I was wearing my first By Hand London Anna dress, and as much as I love it, it has seen better days. Also the inside is like a dog's dinner. I've long had a soft spot for 1940s style dresses, and thought it would be a good opportunity to make one. By the way, I have absolutely no idea what constitutes a 1940s style dress, but I seem to like patterns that say they are that style: I even made a pinterest board.
I appreciate that the poor light makes it difficult to see the details in this photo, but I'm just glad that it wasn't too cold or raining!
I drafted this using my block, and basically just took a look at the styles I liked and came up with something that looked doable. I liked the shoulder detail on my Sew Over It Vintage Shirtdresses (here and here), so used it; although I made a separate shoulder seam, whereas the Vintage Shirtdress shoulder is part of the back.
I changed the shoulder and waist darts into gathers, and added capped sleeves. The yoke was a bit tricky to attach to the bodice, so I ended up sewing it in two steps. I started at the middle point, and sewed out to the sides. The skirt is shaped to the hips, and then flares out.
The fabric is called "Plain Maypole Polyester Crepe Suiting Dress Fabric Black", and is from Minerva Crafts. It's lovely fabric; it's thick enough not to need lined, and is easy to work with.
I have to show you the buttons, which are just for decoration. I got them at a craft fair in Belfast at the start of December, and they are made from silk kimonos from Japan. The man at the stall was also selling kimonos, which were beautiful. Did you know that kimono silk is woven on looms that are 13 inches wide (or maybe it was 14 inches!)? I didn't!
I got seven buttons for £3.50, but I think I'll cut them off when I wash my dress and then sew them back on again. I would be very sad if they didn't survive the washing machine. The photos don't do them justice, as they have some yellow, red and blue in them; but they turned out to be hard to photograph.
I'm very pleased with how this dress turned out, and I think it will work with tights and a cardigan for winter, and also by itself in the summer. Win!!
Have a great weekend,