• Tara Deighton

Sewing My Dream Wardrobe ~ The 1930's Shirt Dress


It's been in my mind to make a late 30's, early 40's style Shirt Dress for quite some time. I've come across them at vintage fairs and in shops but they're always too petite for me, or too expensive or too fragile to wear. And I really want to wear mine! Such a good and flattering style. So I decided to use one of my favourite and most used patterns ~ the Simplicity 8447 and turn it into my dream version of this style classic.



I take you through the process in this video on my YouTube channel should you want to sew a long!


I love to create pages for my projects in my trusty moleskin and I find doing a technical drawing really helps when it comes to drafting the pattern! All the decisions are made at this stage which makes pattern cutting much quicker and far more straightforward.



I used a lovely heavy Rayon viscose with tiny little hearts strewn across it ~ so pretty and really beautiful to work with. I find lots of my vintage style fabrics from Missy Mop Fabrics ~ she has a great eye for finding gorgeous fabrics, all deadstock and sustainably sourced too!



In the end, this was a bit of a Frankenhack as I used the blouse from the Simplicity pattern, a self drafted A line skirt pattern and my high puff sleeve pattern. I also drafted a tie belt to go with the dress but think I prefer an actual belt after all.



I'm in love with my dress and I think it's one of my favourite makes EVER! Sometimes you have an idea for something and once made and tried on, it doesn't quite meet your expectations. But this dress, my 1939 shirt dress, totally exceeds what I had expected!



I have some beautiful true vintage fabric from the 1930's, so I'll be making up another version asap and how wonderful to have one {or maybe 2, 3 or 4...} in lovely linen for the warmer months?!


I have basically worn this every day since it came hot off my sewing machine which is a testament to a very successful make indeed! I can't wait to get sewing my next one in time for Spring!



Every Gal, vintage inspired or otherwise, needs a shirt dress or Shirtwaister in her life. But maybe she needs say, 5? One for every occasion!


I hope you're keeping safe and well in these troubling times? I'm finding a great deal of solace in sewing, as I always do.


Tara x

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