Monday, February 14, 2011

Inspired by the 1940's. . .

I've been thinking a lot about summer dresses lately. Maybe it's because I am really getting tired of seeing the old, tired snow outside and maybe it's because I'm excited about the prospect of visiting my grandfather in the East this summer and want to be appropriately attired for such pleasures as beach-walking and historic-site-touring. Whatever the case may be, I've been encouraging my interest in vintage styles because 1) I have come to realize that, much as I may adore Victorian and other similarly "outdated" styles, I hardly ever wear them once I have made them because I don't like being stared at and 2) vintage styles from the 30's and 40's usually take much less fabric than Victorian styles and are cooler to wear, easier to care for and sew up quickly.

I came across this lovely pattern and decided I loved the style. I draped a pattern last week and started work on a dress right away. I used a mystery fabric I got from the thrift shop; I believe it to be a linen/cotton blend based on how it feels but it may be pure cotton. I am almost done with it and since this first dress is rather plain and severe, will be making another one in a prettier print with a more swirly skirt. For my version, I shortened the skirt to just below the knee as that seems a standard 40's length for daywear and changed the neckline to a V (more flattering to me) and put sleeves on it. I love the little gathered straps on the original pattern though. . .I may have to try that for my vacationing dress!


  1. Aw...what a cute dress! I can't wait to see it on you. :)

  2. Ooh it looks fun!
    I love those styles. I think I have a hate/hate relationship with my body right now, or else I'd make some new clothes too. Sigh.

  3. I really like the texture of that fabric.

  4. I love 30's and 40's. I'm looking forward to starting summer dresses too -- my only concern is I have NO idea what size I'll be come that time!

    And although the brown is a little, as you say, severe, it'll be easy to dress up with a pretty scarf tied around your neck, hair, or even waist. Then it'll be just lovely!

  5. Lovely! I love the 30's and 40's fashion!

  6. I LOVE that pattern! I'm sure that will look just lovely on you. I've always loved 40's era well as before 20's era :-) The 30's and 40's style are certainly easier to fit into the modern era though.

  7. Sommer, me too. I love pre-20's as well as 30's and 40's styles. The only era I really don't care for and never have cared for much is the 1870's-1900 era.

    It seems like vintage inspired dresses are back in fashion right now, based on what I see in catalogs/magazines and when we go to various shops. Sometimes I don't mind donning petticoats and corsets and long gown but I find that more often than not, I get unwanted (although usually positive) attention for that. It's like I'm shouting "Look at me!! Look at my clothes!"

    I feel guilty spending time and money on clothes I don't wear much. :( One of my resolutions this year is to only make styles I have a reason for - like regency styles for the Jane Austen festival this summer, 1860's or 14th century clothes for the SCA or Civil War reenacting.

    Vintage styles are so fun since they still have the "quaint" quality to them, but are cute and flirty enough to wear for everyday without looking stuffy or overdone and without attracting undue attention from passer-by people. Not that that isn't fun sometimes, but I get tired of being asked if we are Amish or part of a theatre group. :P


Thank you for your lovely thoughts!