Vintage Sewing

The Yellow Du Barry Suit

June 22, 2015

It’s been a very busy spring in terms of sewing. Between participating in sew a-longs (see my Spring for Cotton blouse here) and getting ready for the big WWII airshow in Reading, PA, I’ve accomplished a lot! I’ve been making a healthy dent in the fabric stash as well as my personal vintage pattern sewing pledge.

Today I want to share with you the yellow crepe suit I made for the MAAM’s WWII airshow and reenactment weekend. The yellow crepe for this project was left over from my Winter Formal Dress made from Simplicity1469.  I received several nice compliments while wearing this. But this suit was so bright outside in the sunlight, yikes! Particularly when standing beside so many drab green military vehicles and tents.

Photo courtesy of Joanna of Dividing Vintage Moments

The construction was fairly simple, though I did have some sizing issues to work out with the skirt. One of the things I really like about this suit is the mock blouse, or dicky, that is attached to the jacket. This could easily be changed out with one of a different color or style to create a completely new look.

I have more photos and construction information on my blog.

Summary of the Pattern
Fabric: Mustard/yellow crepe from discount fabric store
Pattern: Du Barry 5371
Year: 1942
Notions: Zipper, snaps, red bias tape, vintage buckle
How historically accurate is it? Very! The crepe is very close to dresses of the period and the trim was inspired by the pattern artwork.
Any tricky parts to the pattern? I had some fitting issues with the skirt when it came to attaching the waistband but was finally able to work those out. I think that was more on my (rear) end and not so much the pattern. 😛
Did you change anything? Other then sizing I just added a few extra snaps
Time to complete: About a week and a half working during the evenings.
First worn: June 5, 2015 at the MAAM WWII weekend
Total cost: Around $30, although this is the second outfit made using this fabric so in reality it’s closer to $15
Notes: Overall very happy with how this turned out! Next time I’ll make the dicky a touch longer.

  1. I have this exact same pattern! I’m slightly intimidated by it, mostly because I’ve made an apron…that’s it. But yours is beautiful! I love the red trim (and the hat). Also because I’m always curious: what shoes did you wear with this?

    1. Hi Lauren!
      The blue hat is vintage as are the shoes I wore for the first part of the day. They were red to match the trim of the jacket. I switched to a pair of 40s repro shoes later in the date made by Dancestore.com.
      Don’t let this pattern intimidate you, it doesn’t have the same amount of tailoring that most suit patterns have. There are a few darts in the jacket to help shape it but that’s about it. It’s not even lined! Although I suppose you could add a lining if you wanted to. If you need any help with the pattern feel free to send me an email. vintagevisions27 (at) gmail (dot) com.
      -Emily

  2. I wish I’d been there! I love your suit! We went to the Reading MAAM airshow four years ago, because my DH is a lifelong WWII scholar, and Babe Hefron and Wild Bill Guarnere were scheduled to be there. I loved seeing the recreated fashions of the time, and enjoyed the re-enactors in the uniforms of their respective units. Maybe next year!

    1. Hi Maria,
      Meeting the veterans is one of the best parts of the airshow!! Bill Guarnere was scheduled to be there last year but sadly passed away. 🙁 However, last year I did have the chance to meet Lt. Dick Cole who was Doolittle’s copilot! This year I met a USMC veteran of Guadalcanal!
      -Emily

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