1940s

Marian Martin 9359

May 10, 2009

I’m new here. I’ve been lurking and reading for months and finally said to myself, “Hey, you sew–why don’t you actually join??” I’ve only been sewing a few years and, except for the basics show me by my mother, am largely trial-and-error self-taught. I particularly like 1920’s though 1940’s housedresses.

I’m working on a different dress right now, but the last two have been Marian Martin 9359, which is undated but probably dates from 1948-1951-ish. The pattern illustration is pictured above.

This is the first version. Pardon the decapitation–I was suffering from a particularly bad hair day and there was no reason to publicize it.

The pattern went together ridiculously easily. It’s a pre-cut, unprinted pattern but I didn’t miss the pattern markings and found that, as long as I cut carefully and paid attention to the prescribed seam allowance, everything went together perfectly. (I’m notoriously haphazard about following pattern markings anyway; printed patterns are mostly wasted on me.)

Oddly, the front shoulder yoke piece is too long along the inside [neck-side] edge. I expected it to be too long along the outside edge because I left out the shoulder pads (wore them in the Eighties and will never wear them again). However, the shoulders fit fine: It was the upper bodice that was too big. I solved this by folding a wedge in that pattern piece, taking up about an inch along the inside edge, then tracing and re-cutting it.

I made the second version of the dress using the new yoke piece and taking a little out of the center front panel (the pattern, according to body measurements, was a little big overall, but it only really mattered in the front bodice). Very simple, and the results fit beautifully, though I don’t have a picture yet of the second dress.

The fabric for the first dress is a 1930’s-inspired navy/red/tan geometric stylized flower print. The fabric for the second dress is rust with cream and black flowers and black rick-rack trim.

Anyway, I love the pattern and had to force myself to switch to a different one for the next dress so I don’t get stuck in a rut.

  1. The shape of the dress works very well with your figure.

    I love the red detailing, it really brings out the interesting shaping of the dress.

    And welcome! 🙂

  2. What a fine frock! Love the trim. Nothing wrong with making a frock a few times if you love it. I think it would look quite different in, say, a pale background with a large scale print.

  3. I think the amount of piecing makes it a little unsuitable for large prints, personally. Not that I don’t like large-scale prints, but this is a six-gore princess-seamed dress with those extra shoulder-yoke pieces, exterior pockets, and a sweetheart neckline–the overall dress is a little busy. I think there is a little too much interruption for a large-scale print. The dress in real life actually looks quite different from the drawing–the skirt is a lot more full and, of course, the bodice is less broad (because no real woman has ever been built like a fashion illustration). The actual pattern pieces are quite narrow.

    I have, however, considered making a cowgirl version with a contrast yoke, added back yoke, and appliquéd contrast trim on the sleeves and pockets. I think that would be hilarious (and I’m from Texas, where I could get away with it).

  4. What an AWESOME pattern! I don’t blame you…. I would make like 12 of these. 🙂 Nothing wrong with busting out the same dress patterns over and over…especially one that has so much versatility. You can use ric rac, piping, lace, buttons and all kinds of different fabrics and it will look like a darn-near-different dress each time. Score. Love it. Great job. 🙂

  5. Love the dress, and detailing, and it looks really lovely on you. And actually, I completely disagree with above — it looks just like the pattern (only in real life, as opposed to a line drawing!). Hope you do make it again (and again) – and hope you post it here.

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