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Wartime British fashion: Bestway 19665

May 10, 2010




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!

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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)

  4. 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.

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