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Wartime British fashion: Bestway 19665

I first became interested in WW2 British style after seeing the same American 1940s patterns circulating on the internet time and time again and wondering what had happened to all their UK counterparts. Strict clothing and fabric rationing, austerity restrictions on how clothes could be made and shortages of nearly everything under the sun combined to make British wartime fashion a bit different from the American look we’re accustomed to seeing.

Envelope reads: “Professional Dressmakers are reminded that they must comply with the Making of Civilian Clothing (Restriction) Orders.”

This Bestway pattern from 1943 or so is an original British design that took into account austerity restrictions on civilian clothing design and the fact that the average home seamstress had to cope with fabric rationing. I briefly entertained the idea of entering it in Pattern Review’s vintage pattern contest, but it quickly became apparent that this wasn’t going to happen… I sew slow.

More details over at my blog!

{ 19 comments… add one }
  • NewVintageLady May 10, 2010, 5:04 am

    Ive always wondered what pin tucks on skirts like this looked like. Thanks for taking the time to do them.
    Lovely dress.

  • Sophie Miriam May 10, 2010, 7:53 am

    Wow, that is fabulous!


  • Stacy May 10, 2010, 8:20 am

    That is so cute! You did a great job.

  • caroline May 10, 2010, 8:59 am

    That is just gorgeous!

    I love the color and the tucks on the skirt and your shoes too!

  • Bethany May 10, 2010, 9:16 am

    This is fantastic! Even if you sew slowly, this is beautiful and worth the wait 🙂

  • Cecili May 10, 2010, 10:32 am

    That is one terrific dress! I love it

  • Amanda L. Woade May 10, 2010, 11:05 am

    Wow, that dress is amazing! It makes me want to make one myself. Great job, taking the time to do it was totally worth it.

  • April May 10, 2010, 11:53 am

    Amazing – I sew want one!

  • Bea W. May 10, 2010, 12:01 pm

    Oh I love it. The colour combination is beautiful and the shoes are perfect with it.

  • Anna | Mormor hade stil May 10, 2010, 12:32 pm

    I love just about everything about it! Great job sewing slowly! 🙂

  • Marie May 10, 2010, 12:38 pm

    If sewing slowly produces such lovely results, then its well worth it!

  • sewinghappyplace May 10, 2010, 2:51 pm

    I love this. You did a great job. Thanks for sharing with us.

  • eeten May 10, 2010, 3:52 pm

    ooommmggggg i LOVE it

  • Jilly May 10, 2010, 4:59 pm

    That is awesome. Your skin looks so perfect I thought at first it was on a mann-e-q. Dress is fabulous! (And so is your skin)

  • Jana May 10, 2010, 7:42 pm

    It's got a supercute airline stewardess vibe, too. LOVE the dress!

  • Mischka May 11, 2010, 1:37 am

    Sewing slowly doesn't matter when this dress is the result. Well done! I watched an episode of Foyles War over the weekend and I couldn't get my eyes off of the clothing. Other than the colour this would fit right in.

  • sewconvert May 13, 2010, 7:56 am

    Wow, this is really well done. Looks fab on you!

  • Anonymous May 17, 2010, 6:48 am

    OMG, this dress is gorgeous.
    Please scan this pattern!!!!!

  • Le N'aiguillon April 11, 2012, 2:56 pm

    Gorgeous indeed!

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