The 40s spring floral dresses

Yay! I finished sewing the 40s mother-daughter floral dresses last week and am almost done with a chiffon top to go with my lace shorts (yes, another UFO out of the way!). The patterns I used for the dresses were vintage Simplicity 3384 and 3611. The two patterns, unlike others in my stash were not part of the ‘true’ mother-daughter fashion series but something I put together as I saw similarities between them- front yokes and the pleats. My Simplicity 3384 was an unprinted pattern which came with no instructions. All I could rely on was the visuals on the front and back of the envelope. I had to kinda wing it and work the bits and pieces into a dress.

Here’s the mummy spring floral dress with yellow piping between the yokes and bodice. I wore it with a self-fabric belt made with another 40s dress last year.  I am beginning to think I might be slightly long waisted and added a few centimeters to the front and back bodice as I would to any 40s blouse pattern. Do you normally make adjustments to the bodice length, like me?

I adored the slightly higher sweetheart neckline, the pleats on the front bodice, front and back of the skirt but think I might have done the skirt pleats differently from what the pattern intended and could only wish I sewed the daughter dress first.

You see, both dresses came with centre front  and side front skirt pieces and these were supposed to be stitched together before the pleats were sewed. By doing so, the seam line becomes hidden below a pleat (as shown in image below). When I did this for the daughter’s version, I knew immediately that I have missed this detail on my dress. Mystery solved and now I know why there was an additional small dot on each of the side skirt pieces. So, it is quite a miracle that my dress fitted well upon completion. 

I usually buy only a yard of fabric for my lil princess’ dresses and as a result didn’t have sufficient pink floral fabric for the entire dress this time. So, I improvised and used an ivory eyelet fabric for the yoke and sleeves to create a faux bolero. Yellow scallop trim was used for embellishment. 

I adored the tiny Peter Pan collar but was quite surprised that the dress actually came with a front zipper in its design. I found an old regular zipper in my stash with the right length for it.

I am so glad to be sewing again and can’t wait to wear the dress out together with my princess. She has beaten me to it and wore hers last Saturday. These cotton voile/lawn fabric from Lecien are a dream to wear, so light weight and comfortable!

And thank you so much for leaving me suggestions/ links on lining the jacket which will be an ongoing challenge for myself while I finish the rest of the projects. Finally, I’ve gotten those jacket buttons and finished those buttonholes! I’ve got to start working on the lining, cuffs and collar soon but at least it’s progressing:)

Have a blessed week everyone!


20 thoughts on “The 40s spring floral dresses

  1. So lovely — red and pink together look so fresh and springlike. Yes, I think that your lengthening of the bodice improved the fit. I am both long waisted (add 1 1/2 – 2 inches length to every bodice) and have a deep rise (add 2 inches length to every pant front and back, at the waist). You will find that a proper fit disguises a nonstandard proportion: when a garment fits well, no one notices if you are “too long” or “too short.”

  2. Both are such great dresses. I love the yellow piping, and your daughter’s is so unique with the mix and match fabrics. When you mentioned mother/daughter dresses, I assumed you would make them from the same fabric. I really love how they coordinate, but are different. This could be a fun challenge to see you sew through this year. Chiffon top and lace shorts!?! I can’t wait to see this outfit post.

  3. @LinB: Thanks so much for sharing and I appreciate the tips for adding the length to the waist of pants. I haven’t actually tried that but will definitely consider adding in future:)

  4. @Crystal: Thank you so much:) I think we will be wearing the dresses out together a lot more when they are not from the same fabric but fabric from different colorways for instance. More fresh and fun that way:P

  5. @Hannah: You are so right, it’s difficult to tell so I tend to add a little more, that way if it’s a little too much I can always make it shorter but it’s not possible to lengthen when it’s too short so I have a habit of placing the paper pattern against myself to have a rough estimate first. So happy you like the dresses!

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