Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Revisiting the Pattern Collection

After yesterday's serious topic, it’s time to lighten up and share another selection of goodies from my burgeoning pattern stash!

Today we have 1940’s dresses. The styles of the decade ranged from the tea-length, flared hems carried over from the thirties, to the narrow, fabric-conserving dresses triggered by wartime shortages, and then to the voluminous skirts of the post-war New Look. Shoulders grew and shrank, hemlines went up and down, but a common theme of tailored fit and ladylike refinement ran throughout.
The shirtdress or shirtwaist is the style I most strongly associate with the 40s. Even the simplest dresses had special little details.

Some more casual styles. The dress on the far right is from 1950, and shows the transition to a fuller, longer skirt.

I could not resist these gorgeous reproduction patterns. A bit beyond my skill level at this point, but maybe some day…

The shirtdress continues its popularity. In the 80s the silhouette was supersized but recognizable (left and center). The modern shirtdress (2005 pattern, right) looks like it could have come straight out of 1942.

I haven't yet tried sewing any of the original 40's patterns. Some are unprinted, which I think takes some getting used to, and some are missing minor pieces and will require a bit of ingenuity.

Have you tried sewing any of these older patterns, and if so, what's been your experience?



  1. Your stalking post certainly gave me pause for thought regards my own on-line information. There really are some nasty folk out there. A big thing I enjoy about blogs is connecting with lots of nice folks. It's heartening in a world that seems at odds with me and my values.

    Anyway, nice dress patterns!
    My vintage patterns don't come with many instructions - at least not enough for my liking. That's where other pattern instructions and sewing books come in handy.

  2. I love vintage sewing patterns! I have made a few, but it has been quite a while, going back to before I was blogging. I would like to make one and blog about the process. I had a few planned this past fall, but Bob ended up having his surgery, and sewing fell off the radar. Now that he is going to the office two days a week (the first day was today!), I am planning for spring/summer sewing. I want to complete a few of the Vogue reproductions before I try true vintage patterns again. I have the two you've shown here, but will have choosing one with an easy rating for my first project!
    I love everything 30's through 70's, but I haven't recovered from the the 80's fashion mistakes enough to wear anything that reminds me of them! I cringe when I hear about 80's themed parties, remembering how we thought that the 1950's was soooo long ago when we had sock hop days in school.

    I have heard that once you work your way through one unprinted pattern, it becomes second nature. I'm skeptical, however!

    Happy sewing! :-) Anita