1930s Sweater Dress

by Nabby

in 1930s,Dresses,Vintage Sewing

Hello, everyone! Well, this is my first time posting on the new and improved site, and I am loving it!
I made this dress for the Burns Supper that I hosted a few weeks ago.

The plaid parts started out as a huge vest from Goodwill, and the equally large red sweater dress was an etsy find:

I started by removing the sleeves in order to move the shoulders up and take in the sides. The sleeves were originally gathered at the shoulder, but I wanted the shoulders to lie flat for a smoother line down to the bell, so I put in a series of radiating darts. The sleeves were three-quarter length, so I cut off about six inches so I could add the lower parts. I reattached the sleeve band to the bottom, which I had gathered. I was very proud of the way these turned out; I had to do a lot of measuring (which is not my forte) and drafting, and they ended up exactly as I had planned, which is rare for me!
Luckily, it came with a tie belt, so I just cut it down and put a vintage buckle on it. I used the extra red material from the sleeves to back the collar and the insert for my hat, which I sewed from an old navy sweater. The plaid collar comes from behind the shoulder and is stitched in place with a vintage button.

This dress took me about three days to make, most of which was spent planning, measuring, and drafting the sleeves, and then procrastinating because I was afraid that my measurements were wrong!
You can see more pictures and details of the dress, along with some 1930s images that I used for inspiration, on my blog!

This post was written by...

– who has written 7 posts on WeSewRetro.com.

Nabby's posts / Nabby's website

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

karen February 16, 2012 at 5:03 pm

WOW I LOVE it! Amazing job, Bravo.

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Sarah February 16, 2012 at 5:08 pm

Wow! What an amazing refashion. I love the tartan contrast, just fabulous.
Btw I think there’s vegan haggis, if you dare..

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Lizzy February 16, 2012 at 7:02 pm

WOW!! you did a great job! at first sight I tought you did the dress and now I know it is a refashion, wow!

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Wyldehills February 16, 2012 at 7:11 pm

You do the most amazing refashions I’ve ever seen.

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Katherine February 16, 2012 at 9:18 pm

I love this – well done! So glad to see you posting again :D

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Miss Dandy February 16, 2012 at 9:49 pm

This is so amazing!!!

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Straight Talking Mama February 17, 2012 at 2:00 am

Gosh that is truly stunning!

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learningnewtricks February 17, 2012 at 2:05 am

You did such a great job changing the dress from boring to a dress with pizzaz! Love the way you used the vest and made it look superb on the dress. What a wonderful marriage of a plain dress and plaid vest transforming so effortlessly (at least that’s how I envision the process!) into such an elegant garment.

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NightingaleJen February 17, 2012 at 12:38 pm

Wow, this is incredible! You’ve done a great job, this looks truly vintage. Smashing!

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Jade February 17, 2012 at 4:09 pm

I’m dying! This is amazing and you look stunning in it.

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sewinghappyplace February 17, 2012 at 7:00 pm

This is just delicious. I think you absolutely nailed it with this refashion.

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tina vines February 17, 2012 at 9:42 pm

wonderful! this is so classic & well done! i would have sworn it was vintage :)

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A Few Threads Loose February 18, 2012 at 10:16 am

Ah, this is so fabulous I feel my head might explode! Well done, you clever girl!

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Zoë Winters February 18, 2012 at 10:20 am

Wow! I love this, it is amazing! :) x

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Time and again February 18, 2012 at 5:43 pm

Brilliant! Fabulous refashion!

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Veronica Darling February 18, 2012 at 7:06 pm

This is just AMAZING! Off to look at your blog now! xoxo

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BoPeep February 20, 2012 at 11:04 am

So stunning! It looks completely authentic! And a matching hat to boot!

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Julia Burgess February 22, 2012 at 3:55 pm

I absolutely love everything about this – the mix of fabric, the lower sleeve contrast (authentic 30′s look!), the asymmetrical collar treatment and the matching hat. Fabulous – and congratulations! You should be very proud of the results – and the planning, albeit time consuming, is definitely worth the investment.

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Le N'aiguillon April 9, 2012 at 2:46 pm

That’s brilliant!

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