Donna’s True Vintage 40s Dresses

This is the first (of many) things I’ve made for Donna. Her mother once owned a vintage shop full of wonderful true vintage clothes and furniture. Sadly it was all sold off some time ago for a mere fraction of what it would be worth today since the current trend for all things vintage has somewhat escalated. That said, pretty much anything 70s or 80s is now considered ‘vintage’… to me that’s just my childhood! Lmao.  In my head anything pre late 50s is vintage but that’s a whole different debate.

Anyway, Donna has a fair few original 40s and 50s patterns that were handed down from her mother and lucky me got my hands on a few of them. 😀 The first was this little beauty…2017-31-07-20-00-35

Now Donna is quite petite (lucky cow) and so most 40s patterns not only suit her down to the ground but then tend to fit her too without much adjustment at all.   Even so, once I had restored the original pattern and copied it, I made a toile of the top half of the dress (the bottom is quite loose fitting so not really necessary to toile fit) out of some random pieces of fabric in my stash that were too small to make a whole garment with.   Sad mare that I am, I still tried to match up the fabrics a  little bit at least. Well blow me if it not only fit perfectly but Donna loved it so much I ended up putting a waistband on it and she now wears it as top! In fact she likes it as a top so much I went on to make another one out of an old skirt she liked the pattern off which I teamed up with some old bedsheets! 40’s style ‘Make Do and Mend’ at its finest! 😀 2017-31-07-20-24-40

The first version of the full dress was made from a dark blue Crepe du Chine and I used a buckle from my stash of vintage buckles and buttons to finish it all off. 😀 She doesn’t always look this stern by the way 😉

The second version of the dress was made with a print Donna found online… I think they are supposed to be deer but they look more like donkeys to me lol. The only problem I had really was finding a buckle to suit without using one identical to that used with the plain dress. When Donna wears the blue version she tends to team it up with green accessories (shoes and hair flower) so we decided to change the buckle of that dress to a nice vintage green one she had picked up and put the metal one from my stash on the Deer dress… perfect.

Most of these photos have been shamelessly (with permission of course) stolen from Donna’s Instagram feed where she regularly posts #ootd (outfit of the day) pictures. You can follow her here… She also makes all of the lovely hair flowers and corsages that she sells on her Facebook page and her Etsy shop… check them out. 😉

This slide show is of the second blouse made from the pattern that was made from an old skirt and a piece of old bed sheet I just ‘had’ kept as it was pretty. This also shows the order of construction.  The pen marks are water soluble Crayola pens.  As usual I like to hand sew all my hems.  Its worth noting as well that first time I made this I decided to pin and sew the little front shoulder sections like a normal seam rather than following the pattern instructions of folding up the seam allowance and then stitching that onto the front like a kind of applique… Needless to say it didn’t sit right at all and I had to unpick it! Sometimes the old fashioned way really is the RIGHT way!

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Happy Sewing

Lainey x

About acraftteacuppa

Vintage kinda gal loves all things 40s 50s and art deco. Loves all kinds of crafts especially sewing. addicted to fabric, antiques and shoes. Have two sons and two Akitas that I adore. Passionate about our armed forces, WW1 family history. Living on WW2 Rations for Charity for a whole year. Would one day like to have a tea shop/haberdashery/sewing rooms to relax chat and teach/share all sorts of craft skills in <3
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