1930s | 1940s | Children | Dresses

Mystery dress

November 28, 2012

Hi all! I haven’t posted anything in a long time but I hope to catch up soon. We are in the midst of moving so most of the sewing stuff is either packed or in boxes and there seems like no end in sight. So, to keep myself somewhat occupied I have started to “organize” all of my piles of mystery pattern pieces I got from a barn sale this past summer (I have tons of pics on my blog). When sorting through them initially I found several chunks, for lack of a better word, of pieces pinned together. They have no envelope, no picture, no labels, and all are unprinted pieces. The first pile I was able to easily discern is a little girls princess seam dress. I’m guessing late 30s or early 40s based on most of the other small sized patterns in the stash. The only part I cant figure out is the shoulder. I think the funny sticking out piece is a pleat. But what in the heck is the inserted piece (#5) that goes with it? I haven’t made anything that resembles this and I don’t have any other patterns that have a piece like this (I don’t think, it’s so hard to keep track).

I have traced the pieces so they are easier to see and marked everything too. I know everything fits together and I’m not missing anything. There are two sleeve variations, a waist tie, and a collar. I also have no idea how to close the dress. There are no dot or notches indicating a closure area and I don’t think it can slip over the head. The neckline seems too high for that. I was thinking of just doing a back button and loop since its a little girls dress. My best guess is that is around a size 3 or 4. My daughter is almost 3 and she is very tall. This looks like it would fit loosely. The SA also appear to be a 1/2 inch. Any help is most welcome!

  1. Looks like you have it in the right place! Your fronts are too narrow without it.
    First some links to possible ideas. This is an alternative to the pleat theory: http://vintagepatterns.wikia.com/wiki/Simplicity_4031 Or it could be an inverted pleat like this: http://vintagepatterns.wikia.com/wiki/McCall%27s_8103
    My guess it is it was supposed to look similar to this style in the T yoke part: http://vintagepatterns.wikia.com/wiki/Simplicity_3790

    There are some great tutorials on how to sew mitered corners or square pieces to get neat results. Seems like a cute dress. Hope some of this helps.

  2. I would say you’re right on the back piece, looks like a dart to me. Piece #5 looks to me like it’s in the right place — I think you are missing an insert between the center front and side front pieces. Or maybe piece 5 was longer and was cut or torn at one point?

  3. http://www.etsy.com/listing/104980263/vintage-1967-mod-girls-pleated-dress?ref=sr_gallery_43&ga_search_query=Child+sewing+pleat&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_ship_to=US&ga_page=2&ga_search_type=all&ga_facet=Child+sewing+pleat

    This is what I found that matches the shoulder. My thought is that maybe #5 is some sort of contrast. Then #5 is topstitched on top of the pleat bc the top edge of the pleat is low and would be raw? I just can’t picture it. I may just have to cut it in fabric and fool around.

  4. How exciting … a little pattern puzzle mystery!
    I haven’t checked all links in the previous comments … my first guess was a insert with tucks?
    Can’t wait to see how you make it up!

  5. My first thought was the tuck, pleat, gathers, whatever, went into the insert with the skirt sewn flat. I’ve been watching an old Shirley Temple movie this week and it seems the bodice pieces are more sewn over the seams, like that T-yoke above, with edging detail, rather than inserted. Maybe use an accent fabric.

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