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1930s | Dresses | Vintage Sewing

1930s Sweater Dress

February 16, 2012

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!
  1. 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.

  2. 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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