Dance Lesson – Playsuit & Skirt?

by LadyD on October 11, 2012 · 20 comments

in 1930s,1940s

I always have a project in mind for a dance outfit. And I saw a post today on a blog highlighting another post about the outfits in stage door.

 Ginger Rogers in Stage Door


I like the thought of a ‘playsuit’ but with a matching detachable skirt. As I’d wear it purely for dancing rather than ‘all day’ the usual issues I have with play suits and jump suits wouldn’t apply.

I’ve seen a few vintage patterns with this concept of shorts, swimming costume or playsuit with a detachable skirt.

I was looking at maybe using a modern pattern like M6533 and drafting a matching skirt. But what kind of skirt? A-line, circle, half circle, pleated or dirndl? What do you think.

I have been keeping back in my stash a nice printed cotton, black with little flowers.

This post was written by...

– who has written 33 posts on

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 For sewing, craft and general blog

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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

LBC October 11, 2012 at 8:17 am

The style of skirt depends on the era you’re trying to imitate. Playsuits with matching, detachable, skirts were pretty common. The style of the skirt went along with whatever was the prevailing skirt style, except they often buttoned all the way down the front.

This only has a few images so far, but here’s my playsuit set on Flickr. DuBarry 5615 (1943) is mine; the “dress” on the left is actually the playsuit with the skirt over it. The skirt is a standard early-1940′s A-line.


LBC October 11, 2012 at 8:23 am

Sorry–incomplete post.

If that were mine, I’d go back and look at some Seventies patterns for ideas. That looks a lot like a lot of Seventies and early Eighties jumpsuits. Maybe a wrap skirt?


LadyD October 11, 2012 at 9:54 am

Had a little look. Didn’t really like the 80′s look.
The only modern pattern I’ve found that comes close are ‘marfy patterns’

Apparently Marfy Patterns
Do not have cutting layouts
Do not have seam allowances
Do not have hem allowances
Do not have instructions for assembly

I could probably cope with the lack of allowances and cutting layouts just lack of instructions would throw me.


LBC October 11, 2012 at 10:03 am

Sorry, but . . . what the heck? Patterns for masochists? I mean, I could learn to deal, but why?

How much sewing have you done? Could you combine a blouse and a shorts pattern?


LadyD October 11, 2012 at 10:11 am

I don’t understand the point of paying for a pattern with nothing to help you put it together. lol

I’ve sewn skirts half circle, dirndl, A line & pencil, 3 shirts,1 blouse, 2 dresses….I always use a pattern even to start from before I start changing things. I have not sewn shorts before. I’m just worried not seeing the construction of a playsuit close up how I would make it so it fitted. I was wondering if I could find one in a sale take it apart and use as pattern.

I have this blouse pattern
what shorts pattern to match it with though?

LBC October 11, 2012 at 11:52 am

I could photograph the directions from my playsuit pattern for you. Not the same as getting the pattern, but you could see how it’s assembled.

I think mostly you need pants that open down the center front (as most do, anyway). Pants with a waistband might be helpful, too, at least for a first attempt, and probably pants that aren’t too fitted.

LadyD October 11, 2012 at 8:31 am

I like the advance 4161. That’s sorta what was in my head.

btw. just looking at your flikr groups. Inspirational images. I really have got to get over my fear of sewing things with yokes as its obviously what gives a 40′s impression.


LBC October 11, 2012 at 9:42 am

What’s up with yokes?

I love yokes myself, but I’ve never had any trouble with them. Get yourself a pattern and some cheap fabric and practice.


LadyD October 11, 2012 at 9:57 am

I was looking at buying Simplicity 3688 I have 4044 already.


LBC October 11, 2012 at 10:00 am

I have 3688 but haven’t made it yet. From what I’ve heard, it comes out pretty well.

Melissa January 20, 2013 at 2:16 am

I have both patterns myself!
I made the jacket from 4044. Not hard at all!

Tami Rebekah October 11, 2012 at 8:42 am

So cute!! Loving your blog!! And your style!! Following you on BlogLovin!! Feel free to followback. Hope you have a great week!


LadyD October 11, 2012 at 9:15 am



Lisa October 11, 2012 at 1:46 pm

brilliant. adorable! rock on! I say something short-ish and flouncy (circle?)


Debbie October 12, 2012 at 6:06 pm

I had an outfit like that around 1960. The skirt buttoned all the way up the front and had loose pleats.


matilda's girl October 13, 2012 at 1:33 am

My mom had one of these. Playsuit had collar, buttoned down the front, gathered skirt that buttoned down the front so HAD to have the buttons on the skirt and the playsuit line up. No waist in the playsuit so it bloused over…she wore it to drive to Barstow in the 1947 Chrysler…it felt cooler that way but once we saw Grandpa we were forbidden to let him know that it was a one piece suit…somehow that was scandulous and he would be disappointed in her.


Bella October 15, 2012 at 7:38 pm

Yeah, but you gotta have the legs for it. She looks amazing because she WAS amazing.


LadyD October 16, 2012 at 3:34 am

Thats the reason I want an attachable skirt. lol!


gildasglove December 25, 2012 at 1:40 am

Did you find a pattern? I noticed this one at
You’d have to add sleeves if you wanted them, but the line of the legs looks right.


LadyD October 11, 2012 at 1:54 pm

That would be brilliant if you could do that. :)
Edit: Just been going through my pattern stash. I have Butterick 5229. That could work with different sleeves -and flaring the legs- couldn’t it? (I’ve used it before for a dress


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