Holiday Sewing

by Jeanne on April 16, 2014 · 11 comments

in 1940s,Dresses,Vintage Sewing

Sewing while on holiday? Not a feet-up do nothing at a beach resort holiday but a visit to my Mum- without husband and offspring, where the weather was warm and sunny and and I wasn’t working … so definitely still a holiday!
While still home in the UK I’d bought and had some patterns delivered ahead of my arrival, just to save international postage, no sewing was intended. Well I only lasted 6 days without sewing before this 1940′s Hollywood shirtdress just begged to be made up.
The pattern was one size smaller than needed so I just added ½inches at waist and hip seams as I cut out. It had many many perforations needing marking for the pleats… I cheated big time and used a lead pencil to mark (no chalk to hand and pins kept falling out of the loose weave linen). Unfortunately many of those dots ended up on the right side as that was how the pleats needed to be folded up but fortunately an eraser took the most obvious dots away. The sewing instructions were minimal – the horizontal slashes that the sleeve pleats go into were therefore confusing at first as the illustration in the instructions really wasn’t helpful and the slash and pleats didn’t match up too well. They got done in the end, a topstitch on the outside helped and cotton bias binding strips on the inside to make it all neat.
The 4 front buttonholes are bound and I bought some pretty shell buttons locally but no belt buckle was to be had…I’m sure I have one at home that will be good. So for its first outing the belt was safety pinned closed. It has its second outing tomorrow being worn on the looooong trip home.

Definitely a pattern I will use again and soon too but in a soft fabric, like a thin crepe next time so it will seem quite different.

This post was written by...

– who has written 15 posts on

Professional costumier & pattern designer and it's also what I do for fun... usually 1930s & 1940s style.

Jeanne's posts / Jeanne's website

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Lauriana April 16, 2014 at 12:33 am

Wow, that dress looks amazing!
I love the unusual pleat details and that linen is very nice. It almost looks like a super-posh version of designer’s muslin, which I quite like.
And it looks so good on…


Jet Set Sewing April 16, 2014 at 5:18 am

Gorgeous, and beautiful fit! Looks very authentic.


PepperReed April 16, 2014 at 6:50 am

Wow! What a fantastic dress! I love the pleat details. Great Job!


Emily April 16, 2014 at 8:51 am

Great dress! I love the pleats and your shoes are perfect! Great job!


Nat April 16, 2014 at 11:43 am

I’ve just made a couple of modern shirt dresses but that old style has so much more class, i’m inspired!


Jeanne April 16, 2014 at 3:59 pm

Thank you all for your nice comments!
It’s the first shirtdress i’ve made for myself and I’m definitely sold on the wearability.


Patrice April 16, 2014 at 8:15 pm

Excellant fit!
I have sewed on vacation…last month we stayed at a really nice resort in central California, and I sewed in the our room while DH went fly fishing. It was a lovely vacation for both of us!


datura April 16, 2014 at 10:36 pm

Just lovely…I like how the small details elevate it so far beyond a casual shirtdress. It looks beautiful on you!


Anthea April 17, 2014 at 8:06 am

Wow, love this dress! Very nice!


Nicole April 17, 2014 at 12:52 pm

This is so cute! It reminds me of a dress I bought from Anthropologie’s sale room. I love the pleats.


Snowma April 17, 2014 at 2:22 pm

What cuteness. I love deep tucks.


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: