Friday, 8 January 2016

40s Style Black Dress

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,

Lynne

23 comments:

  1. What a lovely dress! The shape looks great on you and such special buttons.

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    1. Thak you! I'm very pleased with the shape of the skirt, it makes a change from a half circle skirt!

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  2. It's a lovely dress Lynne, and looks great on you. The buttons look lovely - I can see why you wouldn't want them getting wrecked in the wash!

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    1. Thank you! I was delighted when I spotted the buttons, they are perfect for my dress.

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  3. The dress is so beautiful, Lynne, and it looks perfect on you! I find your blog so inspiring and look forward to it each week. And on a side note, I just got a book on vintage knits and will be knitting a 1940s style shrug for one of my daughters. So enjoy seeing what you are up to each blog post!

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    1. Oh, thank you! I'd love to know what book you have, because I'm hoping to do more knitting this year since I've changed my knitting technic.

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  4. I love this style of dress. Especially in black. And those buttons add the perfect finishing touch :-)

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    1. Thank you! It's a bit of a different style for me, and I'm very pleased with how it turned out.

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  5. Gorgeous dress Lynne, you're so clever with your pattern drafting, well done!

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    1. Thank you! I'm enjoying pattern drafting, it's a bit like a puzzle to solve if that makes sense!

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  6. Lovely dress Lynne! I especially like the shoulder details and the buttons. I still haven't made a black dress but really need to, I'll have a think about a pattern now I've seen your stunning dress!

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    1. Thank you! A black dress is definitely a handy thing to have, and my old one was really past it's best.

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  7. So good to see you found a use for the buttons - they're gorgeous and really brighten this super-stylish black dress. I'm very impressed with your drafting Lynne - brilliant result.

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    1. Thank you! When I saw those buttons, I knew they'd be perfect. And they were obviously waiting for me at the front of the basket!

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  8. I really, really adore this dress and the buttons are supercute. Excellent pattern drafting Lynne!

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    1. Thank you! I'm delighted with how it turned out.

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  9. Love that vintage look. You ought to see if you can find a vintage weekend near you so you can dress the part! They are quite popular in my neck of the woods! Now you need to rummage through some old knitting patterns and find a vintage cardi to go with it!

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    1. Thank you! I haven't come across any vintage weekends in my part of the world, but you've reminded me that I have some old knitting patterns that came from my Granny - I must look them out.

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  10. Wonderfully classic, thanks for linking your pinterest board, loads of inspiration there ;o)

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    1. Thank you! I don't know what I'd do without Pinterest now!

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  11. This is amazing! You have such good drafting skills! I'm on a mission to make a 40s dress too :)

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Thank you for reading my blog! I love reading your comments, so please feel free to leave a comment if you have the time :) Lynne.