Swing Dance – Outfit Inspiration

by LadyD

in 1940s

About February time I started going to swing jive classes….

So I am looking for a good patterns for outfits that would give that 40′s feel but have a swooshy skirt.

I spotted this on a youtube clip of rita hayworth and fred astaire. (Wish I could dance like her) From the film ‘you never were lovelier’. [1942]

Now I’ve got to find a pattern for it….

Could I take a pattern like this (the pink one):

And convert it to a tie up blouse? (who’d have though its from 1979!)

Any recommendations, tips, advice?

Btw. I love the shoes! I do need to get some dance shoes.

 

This post was written by...

– who has written 33 posts on WeSewRetro.com.

I've always hand sewn but never created garments until recently. I love the retro/vintage style. Its so much more stylish and flattering than modern stuff. For my dancing escapades and folk music http://thelearningtoclogblog.blogspot.co.uk/ For sewing, craft and general blog http://stitchintimeandspace.blogspot.co.uk/

LadyD's posts / LadyD's website

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Annie April 5, 2012 at 2:30 am

have you looked at the sense and sensibility ’1940s’ swing dress pattern, it looks quite similar, and there was a sew along of it awhile back as well.

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LadyD April 7, 2012 at 3:26 am

I did look at it…but its not quite what I had in mind. Too halterneck-ish.

Reply

Tamara April 5, 2012 at 9:47 am

The Sense & Sensibility swing dress – http://sensibility.com/patterns/1940s-swing-dress-pattern/ – was the first thing that came to my mind too.

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LBC April 5, 2012 at 11:53 am

Third the suggestion for the S&S swing dress.

On the blouse, trace the pattern, but extend the lower front horizontally. Check out the shapes of the blouse pieces on the back of this pattern packet . See the long “tail” on the lower bodice?

Here’s another, simpler approach (might be a blousier fit, though).

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LadyD April 7, 2012 at 3:27 am

Yep. I can see what you mean.

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Jessamyn April 5, 2012 at 6:32 pm

Actually, I think the track you’re on is not bad. The S&S dress is just an approximation of the overall effect, but I gather you’re wanting the tied-blouse-and-skirt combination Rita’s sporting. Here’s a much better picture of Rita in the outfit:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/alicejapan/4232804019/in/photostream

It does appear to be a smooth fit from the shoulder like your pattern, rather than a yoke with gathering like the S&S version. I’d extend the points of the collar slightly downward to make it more 1949 than 1979, and add modest shoulder pads.

The skirt, I think, actually is pleated, with the pleats sewn down to about mid-hip. As you can see by looking at the back of the following 1940s pattern envelope, you just start with a couple of rectangles and pleat them to fit you.
http://www.etsy.com/listing/79838811

On the other hand, 1940s blouse and skirt patterns are relatively inexpensive, and if you’re anywhere near a 34 bust you could make your life both more authentic and simpler for just $9:
http://www.etsy.com/listing/87465447

Unfortunately these ’40s “swing” outfits were aimed at teens and 34 bust is about the largest I’m seeing right now.

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LadyD April 7, 2012 at 3:35 am

I do have some shoulder pads in my ‘may be useful’ box. In that photo you can see the type of material better too.
In the film itself its not too clear.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WUhhKELUxB0
I found it by accident looking up how to do a move called the shorty george. lol!

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