Liberty print shirt dress: Simplicity 1880

by thelittletailoress on June 22, 2013 · 16 comments

in 1940s

I love shirt dresses! I think the first one I fell in love with was Sandy’s peach one in Grease when I was a little girl. The 8 year old me couldn’t comprehend her makeover- why on earth would she trade the pretty pastel dresses for the shiny black lycra and poodle hair?

Being a lover of sewing with vintage patterns I already own a couple of vintage shirt dress patterns. One of which I have made up in a blue gingham and one I am yet to try but am very excited about.

So I realllllly didn’t need Simplicity 1880 but there were so many cute variations with the pattern and I managed to convince myself into the purchase based on these and the slightly more 40s charm it had going on! I really can talk myself into pretty much anything when it comes to the acquisition of sewing or knitting supplies!

Simplicity 1880 Front

Simplicity 1880 Back

I decided to make up a toile of the version with little puffy sleeves first. I followed my measurements from the back of the envelope and the pattern came up as a pretty good fit so I would definitely say go with your measurements on this one.

The fabric is a discontinued Liberty print that I just love love love love!  I lined the skirt with a white cotton lawn as tana lawn is very fine and as a result a little see through without a lining.

I would definitely recommend this pattern if you want to create a vintage style shirt dress with the convenience of a modern pattern. I have already adapted the pattern to be a sleeveless style as I have always wanted to make a sleeveless shirt dress a la Betty Draper.

I am also looking forward to making one up with the longer sleeves for the cooler seasons.

Thanks for reading, there are more photos and construction information on my blog The Little Tailoress. Pop by and visit if you have a moment.

Until next time.

This post was written by...

– who has written 5 posts on

Hello! My name is Ami. I just got married and live in London, England with my lovely husband Jan, and our crazy little pooch called Gatsby. My main passion in life is sewing. I have been sewing since my mother taught me as a little girl- and have been making my own clothes since I was a teenager.

thelittletailoress's posts / thelittletailoress's website

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Sewingthe60s June 23, 2013 at 12:05 am

Oh goodness its so pretty! I think my mum made a wrap skirt from a similar print back when i was a little kid. This fabric seems to remind me of it. Lovely work!


Sue @ A Colourful Canvas June 23, 2013 at 1:22 am

I agree. This is so very pretty! {Sigh} To live near Liberty’s would be such a treat…but possibly could get a little expensive. :)

Sue xo


mariebayarea June 23, 2013 at 2:18 am

Pretty shirtdress. Matches your decor.


Joni June 23, 2013 at 6:17 am

Aww, that is adorable! I may have to give this pattern a second look. Nothing like a classic shirtwaist.


LilliansEnsembles June 23, 2013 at 6:27 am

Very cute dress, I like the material. A great staple dress!


Eileen June 23, 2013 at 7:10 am

Love it, and I love how the background matches your dress. Well done!

I’m really into shirt dresses at the moment, though I’ve only made one. I find I sew too many dresses (can you have too many) and decided to focus this year on separates. Sigh!


Miss Virginia June 23, 2013 at 8:30 am

It’s lovely! you did a great job!


Caroline June 23, 2013 at 11:09 am

If only pink could look that good on me. Sew beautiful! I love shirt dresses as well. Would like to make a sleeveless version.


Stephanie June 23, 2013 at 1:08 pm

You are so adorable! :D I too love shirtwaist dresses and have to try and stop myself from buying too many shirtwaist dress pattersn.


Lyric June 23, 2013 at 3:47 pm

Yay, I am loving it. Thank you for sharing. Now I’m off to read your blog.


Annie June 23, 2013 at 11:08 pm

Oh I love it! The fabric is gorgeous.


Francie June 24, 2013 at 1:44 pm

You really have captured the sweet, contented homemaker-look with this darling dress! A real inspiration to me as a housewife. Thank you!


Rachel Marie June 24, 2013 at 5:27 pm

LOVE it! So dainty and adorable (as per usual).


manicpop11 June 25, 2013 at 1:11 pm

Adorable! I love shirt dresses. The pattern and color is lovely too!


Lelie - A Bouquet of Buttons June 27, 2013 at 3:34 pm

A very pretty dress!


girliefrank June 27, 2013 at 10:09 pm

Normally I’m not a fan of pink or floral prints, but this dress is lovely and you look absolutely gorgeous on you. Well done!


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