Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Sewing plans: Wartime dress, and swimwear!

Spring is definitely up and springing around here, despite a small flurry of snow today (it was 7 degrees celsius! Where did snow come from?!) Anyway... this has prompted me to think about some Spring sewing. A couple of my Winter sewing projects fell by the wayside semi-completed, so I will need to finish those too, but I have been wearing the Winter items I did complete non-stop, and it is now time to contemplate some warmer weather designs.

The first thing I will be making is this dress, Vogue 8936 from 1941 - a quintessentially WWII design, although rationing didn't begin until 1942 in the US, so this pattern still has frills and isn't marked as a utility design. This dress would have been illegal to make in the UK!

I picked this pattern up on etsy last year and was a bit scared of using it due to its fragility, but the pattern pieces are in good shape, it's just the envelope and instructions which are falling to bits, I keep the envelope safely inside its plastic wallet so I will just have to be very careful with the instruction sheet when making the dress.

Here is the fabric I'll be using. I'm going to make view B, pictured in red on the envelope, but with the patch pockets from view A - no frilled trimmings though! The collar and cuffs will be in contrasting yellow, and I picked up these large yellow buttons for a bargainous 19p each.

I also procured these vintage early plastic belt buckles on ebay, and will be using the yellow one for a self-fabric belt for the dress. I'll also be making a fabulous straw hat with flowers and leftover fabric trim to match the dress!

My next project after the dress will be a new frontier for me... swimwear! I swim most weeks, and my current suit is getting very worn out. It's a plain black three-piece of bra, tankini top and shorts which I've had for eight years - very much the swimsuit of someone who is trying to blend into the background. The elastane has deteriorated and it's now saggy and partially see-through - not a good look!

This is the fabric I'll be using for my new suit.

I have looked all over for a swimming costume I like and which will be supportive enough in the bust, but so far the cheapest option I've found are these Esther Williams suits at nearly £60! Sainsbury's had a fabulous red and white spot tankini, but they've sold out of my size and failed to restock it for a number of weeks now.

I'll be using the Esther Williams suit as inspiration, but trying to incorporate proper underwired cups inside, under a draped front.


  1. ooohhh! Love that pattern! And your fabric is perfect!!

    1. Next up after these is the trousers from Simplicity 3688, I was looking at your version the other day for inspiration, Debi!

      The buckles arrived today :D The yellow is even prettier in person, can't wait to make the dress and belt! xx

  2. great fabric choices! I woudl suggest making a copy of the pattern instructions so you can preserve the original, and that way you can make marks too =-) looking forward to the finished results!

  3. Wow! Love the Hawaiian swimsuit material, that is going to look amazing!! :) x