Monday, September 8, 2014

DRESS-OF-THE-DAY 8: 1940s House Dress/Smock

In celebration of NATIONAL SEWING MONTH (here in the United States), I've decided to do an intensive blog series (well, intensive for me who obviously does not always make the time to blog), featuring a dress (or two, or a style) each day, not previously presented on this blog. Some will be my own creations, whether I used patterns or designed them myself. Others will be pieces I admire. Either will include an analysis and maybe some sources, history and tips. (At least, that's the goal.) I also have some guest bloggers scheduled (exciting!)

And now on to the Dress of the Day!

In my drooling over Smock Tops phase, I came across this great vintage pattern (ca 1940s), and shortly thereafter snapped and bought it...
 Features that appealed to me:
  1. I have a weakness for shirt-dresses (those which resemble a fitted blouse but longer, sometimes flaring into a skirt, and button-up the front)
  2. The fitted style of the 40s is flattering to a wider shouldered figure
  3. The square neckline variation along with a more traditional blouse collar
  4.  The fun little detail of the diamond shape pockets!!
What I did...
I didn't get around to making a smock from this pattern until I came across this nice vintage, sort of Feed-sack reminiscent fabric, a colorful small floral quilter's cotton. 
Matching Bow!
I had these neat vintage buttons, blue with green around the edge, which were a perfect match. I decided to add the rick rack later, because the pockets and neckline were lost in the busy print. Love the turquoise accent, which also ties the buttons in better.
Not being of 'model' height, I made View 3 to View 2 length (the shorter 'tunic' length one in the small sketch), and it landed just above where the dress length views were supposed to fall.
TIP: I thought I would be okay using a size 16 vintage Simplcity pattern, since I normally make a 14 in their patterns, and their system really hasn't changed since they first started producing patterns in the 1920s (I think....?). But I definitely had to let out the seams a little, especially in the bust. So, be wary of sizing differences between vintage and modern (although I knew off-the-rack clothes definitely suffer from major industry changes -I take a size 12 in clothes produced in the 1990s but only a size 8 in current clothing, I didn't think the same of sewing patterns, but live and learn). 
And now that you've successfully navigated this blog entry, here's a reminder about the Steampunk Apron/Bustle Mini-Sweepstakes (details here).


  1. Super cute! The rick rack really does make the dress sing! Love your mop prop too, :)!

  2. Gorgeous. And I find sizing very perplexing 'cause it's not uniform and changes over time.