Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Last Day of School Dress

A few weeks ago when I was planning my 1940s dress I spent some quality time looking at vintage patterns on Etsy. I didn't buy any but I loved this one and this one. I don't think I could have resisted if they had been Emily's size but since they weren't I decided to see what I could do with what I have here already. That was the point of the no new patterns challenge after all.  I looked through my stash for a pattern with a similar bodice and settled on Simplicity 2265

I took some pictures of the process so I could tell you how to transform your very own modern pattern into a 1940s style sundress.

First, I used my curved ruler to mark where I wanted to to put the ruffle into the bodice.  I'm pretty sure the original had real princess seams but I've yet to meet a 4 year old who needs these so I just cut a curve and added seam allowances. 

I didn't use the same part of the curve for the back but I did make sure that both curves intersected the shoulder notch so the pieces would line up.
I made the ruffles really long so they would be super fluffy.  The bottom tapers down to just the 5/8 inch seam allowance.

Here are all the bodice pieces and the sash laying out together.  The sash is a full width of the fabric and about 3in wide.  I really just eyeball these things so I don't have an exact measurement.  As you can see I also added length to the bodice.  Emily is tall and I wanted it to come to her waist.

I sewed the front and back inner pieces together at the shoulder.
I decided to do the neck with ric-rac instead of lining.  I forgot to stay stitch though and I really should have.  I also trimmed the ruffle with ric-rac then gathered it and sewed it to the inner bodice.  Do remember to finish the seams before you put the ric-rac on though so you don't get strings.

Then I sewed the shoulder seams for the outer bodice pieces.  I marked the back so I wouldn't get confused.  I also trimmed the arm wholes with ric-rac.
It was hard to get a good picture of this but all you do now is sew the outer piece to the inner piece with the ruffle sandwiched in the middle.   

I had to fold the sash a little to put it onto the waist band.  I like this look though.

I didn't take pictures of the skirt but its pretty simple too. I wanted to do a full width of fabric for the front and the back which would have been super full but I cut a piece wrong and had to use half widths. The ruffle is twice the width of the skirt so I used two width of fabric but if I hadn't messed up I would have used 4. I hope you like it. I absolutely love this one. Emily does too but she was pretty sad about the last day of school so she wasn't a great model. Let me know if you have any questions.


  1. Adorable!! I can't let my daughter see this or she will want one immediately.

  2. This is adorable.. YOu did a great job coping the vintage pattern.. such pretty fabric too.. Happy sewing.