Saturday, July 28, 2018

Girls 1930's Dresses

When I planned my 1930's dress, I had several pieces of printed cotton calico that weren't quite correct for 1860's reenacting. One piece was just under 2 yards long and became my dress. I had a yard for Anne's gown, and just a bit for Rosie's, left over from the skirt of the dress I made her for Valentine's Day. The prints are not reproduction and probably not quite right for the 1930's, either, but they look good! I was happy to be able to use up some odd pieces of fabric and the girls can always use new play dresses!

I made Rose's dress first, even before I made my undergarments. Hers is based on pattern illustrations from the early 1930s and features slashed-and-gathered details at the underarms, front and back. I wanted to keep this dress as simple as possible, to go with what truly would have been an everyday, plain, easily sewn at home style that a little girl in rural Appalachia would have worn back then. 

I love the unfitted look and hemmed to just above the knees, this is long enough to count as a dress and short enough to be practical for an active little girl. Underneath, according to the patterns I found, a little girl could have worn matching panties or shorts. 

To finish the dress, I added plain fitted sleeves and finished the neck and sleeve hems with white bias binding. The back has a bound slit and closes with a button and elastic loop. Rose has worn this dress quite often since I made it and it will fit for a while!

I was going to make Anne's dress in a similar style but with tucks at the shoulders that released over the chest. BUT. . ..there wasn't enough fabric. At all. I ended up having to make her a more fitted style but I am glad for that because I LOVE how her dress came out! There isn't much growing room in it, but it will look nice for this summer and Rose will grow to fit it. 

Anne's dress has a fitted bodice with a V neckline, finished with a contrasting collar and bow made of blue plaid. The skirt is A line and hemmed to just above the knee. I had just enough scraps left to put in short sleeves and make a placket in the side seam, that closes with hand applied snaps. 

We all went down to the river (yes, it actually is a river though it is a very small part of the river here!) and the kids splashed and played under the bridge in the shallows. The sand is soft there, so it's a favorite spot. Benjamin caught a crawdad! 



  1. Adorable dresses on such cute little girls. How fun that Anne is dark haired and Rosie is so very blond. I've been following you for years, but I don't think I've commented much. I enjoy seeing all your creations. What a wonderful talent to have. :) Thanks for sharing it with all of us. Enjoy the rest of the the summer.

    1. Thank you so much! I think Anne has inherited my hair and Rosie has inherited her white-blonde locks from her daddy. Thank you for your comment! Have a wonderful summer as well.

  2. These are some very cute dresses and I love the print of the fabric! Your girls are going to have a great summer wearing these :)


Thank you for your lovely thoughts!