March 16, 2015


And now my 1937 dress is finished! 

It may not look very different from its picture in my previous post but it is: The zipper has been sewn down in its entirety, the back neck/ front panel/ scarf-thing has been finished properly, everything has been hemmed. It's a finished dress!
As you can probably tell, I didn't change the fit of the sleeves or the hem length. The sleeves are quite comfortable like this and I don't think they look over-the-top. It doesn't look 'normal' by 21h century standards but it doesn't have to, after all, it is a design from 1937. Which is also why I kept the hem length prescribed in the pattern. 
By now, I'm feeling almost embarrassed about my earlier complaining... After all, all I really had to change was the size. The proportions of the dress were fine. (I'm glad I traced the pattern, rather than cutting it out)

I'm still a bit undecided about the look. The dress is comfortable, there are details I like but I'm not sure. And I still think it photographs better than it looks, which is unusual. 

In this picture, you can see the design lines a bit better. 

I think I will make this dress again later in the year, in a very soft cotton, with short sleeves and a long scarf in the same fabric. That should match the style better. 
Because after all, this is an interesting dress: Curved panels, narrow A-line skirt with some extra flare at center front, center front/scarf, darted sleeve heads. 

I didn't follow all the instructions (which are clear and well illustrated). You were supposed to fold back the seam allowances on some panels and topstitch those on. I know that's a normal method of construction in 1930's and 1940's patterns but I didn't like the idea. Pressing seam allowances which are both curved and partially on the bias is an almost certain way to stretch them out of size and shape. So, instead I stitched the seams normally and topstitched afterwards. 
I also didn't make the front closure with fabric loops and covered buttons. It's a nice feature but fiddly to make and it could weigh down the delicate fabric quite a bit. Because this dress was going to be kind of a wearable muslin, I decided not to bother.
I'm sure I'll wear the dress at home (in fact, I'm wearing it right now) and I am interested in trying out more 1930's and 1940's looks. I am still getting used to it though. 
And of course, this is my first creation for the 2015 Vintage Sewing Pattern Pledge... 


  1. This looks wonderful! You've done such a great job. I love the contrast of the black and blue.

  2. I looks gorgeous and very flattering!