1930s | 1940s | Dresses | Hats | Vintage Sewing

In Your Easter Bonnet, With All the Frills Upon It

April 9, 2012

Hello Ladies!


Hope you all had a wonderful Easter!  (and Passover – I celebrate both!)  In celebration of this wonderful holiday when all vintage ladies used to purchase or make a completely new outfit, I decided to recreate a springy dress from one of my favorite movies of Hollywood’s Golden Era.  The film is A Man Called Peter and the stunning actress who inspired this project was Jean Peters herself.

The dress in particular which I deemed most suitable for the occasion was a tailored but still feminine 1940s dress.  Actually, in was supposed to be set in 1936, though the bodice looks like 1940 and the skirt makes it looks like it’s 1950s!  Whatever the case, I made up the pattern as I went along and managed to finish the dress on Saturday afternoon.

As you’ll see in the photos, there are nine wide tucks across the upper bodice with an invisible hook and eye closure down the front.  The Peter Pan collar and turn-back cuffs are made from heavily interfaced silk shantung, and the rest of the dress was constructed from combed cotton.

Since I am on the shorter side of things, I didn’t feel that this was the most flattering dress on me in comparison with full skirt silhouettes, and the horizontal lines definitely make the wearer look a bit chunkier (which is certainly not what I’m going for!).

Nevertheless, I was so excited to wear this dress, and I completed the effect by carrying a beaded vintage purse, wearing four-inch heels and a 1930s hat, and rolling my hair up into pin curls.  It was so fun!


Hope you all had a wonderful weekend, and you can see more pictures on my blog.


Happy sewing!



  1. Thank you! Yes, Ofir – those heels were something else to hike in! I had to walk a couple of miles round trip in them to get to the upper level of a woodland “sanctuary” of sorts where the pictures were taken. They felt just fine in the shoe store, but once I walked a long ways in them it was not so fun.

    But I would much rather wear pretty things and be uncomfortable than wear frumpy things and feel fine!

    Thanks for the encouragement!

    Happy sewing,


  2. “But I would much rather wear pretty things and be uncomfortable than wear frumpy things and feel fine!”

    Yes. This needs to be embroidered on a sampler or something. My husband wonders why on earth I squeeze myself into a vintage girdle and petticoats and heels when my regular uniform is flip-flops and jeans. He couldn’t possibly understand, but you do!

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