A 1940s wrap dress

I guess everyone has a few well-tried and modified patterns that they use again and again. One of mine is a 1940s pattern with pleats at the shoudlers and under the bust gives the shaping. My pattern is self-drafted, but I looked at the back sides of many 1940s pattern envelopes to get the shape, so the only difference betwen my pattern and an original is that this one fits me – with my long torso, large bust and relatively narrow shoulders. Then I decided to make a wrap-front version and that is one of the staples of my pattern collection.
The good thing with a few standard bodice and skirt patterns that fit you is that you can mix them to get many different looks; this time I went for a slightly gathered skirt and I also made a new type of sleeve, which I got from Janet Arnold’s book Patterns of Fashion 2 and which was taken from a dress from 1936.

The blue 40s wrap dress

Details of the sleeve and its pattern can be found at my blog.

• Meet the Author • Evis

A doctor of history, with fashion and clothing as speciality, obsessed with sewing. I make everything from medieval to modern, but most of my sewing is inspired by the 1940s. I have a rarely updated web site with some of my costumes and dresses: http://web.comhem.se/~u31138198/main.html

5 comments… add one

  • So cool! That’s one of the hardest thing when buying stuff off the rack. It doesn’t always fit your own unique shape. Excellent!

  • I have almost stopped buying anythign off the rack except cardigans and t-shirts (which I don’t use that much), but the fit issues on most cardigans irritate me enough to consider taking up knitting.

  • You’re right, that is a great fit! And I love the sleeves.

  • this is so lovely! great work!!

  • Lovely dress. 40s is my favourite. So flattering and pretty. Impressed that you pieced it together yourself. I really must learn to draft a properly fitting bodice.


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