1940s | Dresses

Seersucker, pajamas only?

April 24, 2012

I’m having a hard time with this one y’all. The perpendicualr nature of the stripe allignment was taken right from the cover of the pattern. I initially wanted to make 40s pajamas with this lovely estate sale find fabric. Then I said “no way, look at those cool stripes. A dress you shall become!”(Simplicity 4640). However now I’m thinking maybe it looks too pajama-ish. What are your thoughts? Was seersucker a material widely used for day dresses?

The buttons are white plastic little balls from my stash and I’m going to add a more 50s winged cuff to the sleeve, in the blue, with a button attaching the wings. Thoughts?

  1. Your dress is lovely, and very appropriate in seersucker, imho! Googling the word located an article on Wikipedia with references to an erudite 2006 New York Times article on its usage in all kinds of men’s clothing, including suits. Congratulations on your fashion statement!

  2. Thanks! Lol, I googled “seersucker vintage dresses” and got a ton of hits but that doesn’t really give me a good estimation of its actual use, just that there were a number of pictures related to my search. Maybe I’ll bring seersucker back! Woot woot!

  3. I have some (mainly lime green) seersucker waiting to be made into a dress. I showed my Mum and she said “Oh, the tablecloth fabric?” then I told her what I was going to do with it “Darling, I’m sure it won’t look like a tablecloth once you’ve made it up” (there was still a shadow of scepticism in there though). Hey, we’ll bring the look into fashion together! I think the dress looks great by the way.

  4. I think your dress is looking fresh & summery. Seersucker washes & irons like a dream, so it will always look pretty.
    My mum has always had home-made tablecloths of seersucker, from my earliest memories in the early 1960s to the present day. In fact, I have one too!! I never dreamed it could be made into clothes! Ha! Every day we can learn something new!!

  5. Yes absolutely – seersucker was very commonly used for dresses in the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s. Remember to read on the back of the pattern envelope for suggested fabrics and you will find seersucker listed on many patterns. Seersucker is great to wash and wear, I have been planning to make a seersucker dress too, I found some great colours at a local store. It’s great for those 50’s halter sundresses (remember the closing scenes of the Grease movie). p.s. I note that you cut your fabric using pinking shears. I personally dislike doing that because I believe you lose some accuracy in the cutting. Vintage patterns recommend cutting your pieces with straight scissors then triming seams later with pinking shears. Your dress is going to look great. I like the use of chambray for the collar.

  6. I wore seersucker dresses while traveling in Europe in 1964. It made for great travel clothes when you were washing things in the sink basin and just hanging them up to dry. All my mother’s doing. She always did hate ironing.

  7. Thanks for the support! I hope to finish it today while my little dude is at school. The only issue I’m having is that the wide wale of the fabric is making it look like the seams have a ripple to them. I French seam everything; which was especially easy on this dress bc the fabric is so lightweight. I think once everything is all together the bust seams won’t bother me.

  8. I live in the South and Seersucker is basically a way of life. Not just for PJs!!! And if you found 100% cotton Seersucker it is a great find indeed. The Swiss firm that manufactures all the really good quality 100% cotton Seersucker did not renew it’s contracts this year due to the rising price of cotton (thanks China). So we are looking at only being able to get our hands on cotton poly blends in the very near future. Bummer. So you may not only be making a cute little re-pro dress. You may just be sewing up a little bit of history.

    1. It’s deff cotton. I got it at an estate sale in my neighborhood. It was $1 for 5 yards. Yup, I scored. Actually, now that I think of it, I got the chambray there too. $1 for 1 yard. It was basically $1 for everything. It was a great day.

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