Milwaukee Sentinel #9329

I finally finished up this great little dress. It’s a mail order pattern from the mid to late 40s. The fabric is a soft and silky cotton from my newly inherited monster stash. I had just enough to eek out this dress. The only thing I ended up changing was to shorten the hem by a few inches and to eliminate the sleeve facings. I just did a narrow hem instead. The pattern wanted me to face the split sleeve (so four facings!) then invisibly tack them down then top stitch the side. Um, nope.

I love the dress. If I make it again I would take the bodice sides in just a bit. I find it to be a tad blousey for my taste. The pleat in the skirt front is almost invisible but if I had used a thicker cotton it would be seen. I love the belt too, the buttons function and tie in well with the bodice. The buttons are vintage and I’m pretty sure bakelite from my stash. The best part about the dress is clearly the pockets! I had piped them in white but it looked funny. How can piping look weird? I ripped it out and it looks so much better. This dress is a great casual addition to my wardrobe and I think very typical of the type of dress that would have been popular at time it was published. More on my blog of course….

On a total side note, I have started getting grumpy with the way cotton dresses stick to cotton undies. Now I know why silky undies are so popular.

• Meet the Author • Always Alice


I'm a self taught seamstress with only a couple of years under my belt. I love to sew from 1940s and 1950s patterns and try to work a little vintage into my modern life. Each garment helps me get closer to creating and designing well constructed and original garments.


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10 comments… add one

  • What a darling dress! Great fabric choice, too—it looks vintage!

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  • That is really cute! I love the way it blouses at the back.

    These dresses were meant to be worn with a slip, which solves the sticky-cotton-undie problem (as well as helping keep the pleat from going between your legs and preventing shadow-through of your legs in the sunlight). I love cotton undies, and I also love slips!

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  • Now that is what dresses are supposed to look like. Gorgeous!

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  • Love it! Gorgeous!

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  • Love the dress… looks great on you :-)

    I agree with Jessamyn – slips solve all those problems, as well as dresses sticking to stockings/tights. Also my clothes seem to stay fresher and need less laundering because I wear slips everyday. Look at charity shops, I oftyen find them with tags still attached.

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  • What a fabulous dress!!! The fir is perfect xx

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  • That was meant to say ‘fit’!

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  • Jessamyn and Megs are correct; pretty dresses like this were never meant to be worn without a slip.

    So now you have an excuse to sew yourself a gorgeous 40’s bias-cut slip!

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  • I love this simply lovely dress! What mail order pattern did you buy and was it hard to alter the pattern to your size?

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  • Love it! I want this pattern. How?

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