White 40’s shirtwaist dress

This dress is part of my 40’s wardrobe project. Making a wardrobe after the suggestions from a 1940’s book on “everything a woman need”. Originally posted on my blog where you can find more info on the project.

I started this dress two years ago, for the better part of that time, the only thing left have been the buttons, buttonholes and the hemming. As predicted it didn’t take me long to actually finish it, when I sat down to it and now I can cross off another item on my wardrobe list. Namely the white, washable shirt dress for spring/summer year 1. The pattern is an original 1940’s pattern from Simplicity. For once I didn’t need to make any adjustements to it, probably because the bodice is meant to fit loosely. It fits well around the waist, but it do need a belt to give it a better fit and a more finished look. It is the first time I make a collar like this and I must confess that it shouldn’t be looked at too closely…

The fabric is a very sheer cotton with a woven checkered pattern, completely interlined with plain white cotton to make it opaque. It made the whole cutting process a bit of a bore as I first basted the two layers together and then handled them as one fabric. The buttons are white glass buttons that once sat on one of my grandmother Greta’s dresses. Back then they all had  blue flower painted on them, but wear and tear had reduced them to blue irregular flecks, so I scraped that off. I try to incororate something from my grandmother’s huge stash of sewing supplies whenever I make something, even if it is just basting thread, so I’, very pleased that I was able to use something more visible this time.

Today was the first time I wore it and it is a very comfortable dress. It was quite hot, but the dress was quite cool. As we were going to drin Afternoon tea with some friends that had stipulated hats as a must I also got the opportunity to wear the green Vintage Vogue hat I made some time ago, but never really had chance to wear. The dotted stockings are from What Katie Did and the black suede shoes are from the late 80’s. They do look quite a lot like shoes from the 40’s, though the toe should be a little more rounded.

 
 
I’m not sure if this is really the best cut for my ample bosom, it kind of look like my front are all breasts until my waist start. I usually prefer a more fitted look to avoid that trick of the eye. However, the blousy fit is probably part of why this is such a comfortable and cool summer dress. I predict I will use it a lot!
 

On our way home. The angle of the hat got more and more absurd as the day progressed. The sun glasses are from my grandmother as well and are original ones from the 1940’s.

 

• Meet the Author • Isis


Who am I? Happily growing older and trying to have as much fun in the meantime. Lives in the vicinity of Stockholm, mainly ruled by five cats. Sewing makes me happy, so I try to do it every day. Writes about the 18th century and various other sewing projects in Isis’ Wardrobe and about creating a 1940’s wardrobe in Fashionably Forties.


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5 comments… add one

  • I love the dress. I have the same issue with my ample bosom. I really need to figure out how to adjust patterns to right around them.

    Reply
  • You look very nice! The hat is a fun touch too. I wish I could wear white but I usually get it dirty.

    Reply
  • You look fabulous

    Reply
  • Great dress and how lucky to have so many things from your grandma!

    Reply
  • So cool that you’re able to use things from your grandmother in your sewing–I wish I had that option… It looks like a great summer dress!

    Reply

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