Sunday, December 17, 2017

title pic A 1940s Dress for a WWII Dance

Posted by Edelweiss Patterns on May 30, 2016

Happy Memorial Day!  

Here is my 1940s dress which I sewed for a WWII themed dance that my husband and I attended!  I sewed it from an extremely rare vintage Butterick Pattern 9218 using a lipstick red rayon print.


The bodice has very intricate shirring at the sleeves.

2016-05-30 22.37.44

As you can see, the original pattern was floor length.  But since this was a swing dance we were attending, I shortened it to below-the-knee to make for easier dancing.  I also shortened the bodice a bit so that it wouldn’t look out of proportion for the altered dress length.  



The bodice back has a hook and eye opening at the neckline and a slight slit for the back closure, plus a side zipper which was very common for the pre-1950s (and even many post-1950s) dresses.  I finished this back opening by hand using tiny invisible stitches.  


Here we are at the WWII dance!  My husband’s jacket is an original WWII U.S. Army technician’s jacket which I found in mint condition online.  It worked perfectly!  Most everyone came in period correct attire that evening, but I personally think that his outfit was the most authentic. :)  I wore pearls, vintage tights with the seam down the back, 1940s style dance shoes which look straight out of the era, and I put my hair in victory rolls.  So much fun!


And I was so thankful that someone got a video of the dancing that evening!  The live swing band was superb, and the event was held in a historic aiplane hangar.

Video credit to Junelle May


The dress came together so easily when I sewed it, and I loved dancing in it, as well!  The skirt has quite a few gathers – it was published in pre-ration 1940, so wartime fabric restrictions wouldn’t have applied to this design. 


I thought the dress was a bit plain on its own, so I added rosettes to the neckline, a chiffon ruffle down the bodice center front, and a cinch belt to keep the bodice nicely fitted. 


And I’d like to thank my husband for taking me to another airplane museum today so we could take more photos!  The original location was a bit dark the day of the dance so we had to reshoot some of them.  

I hope you all have had a wonderful Memorial Day, and may we not take for granted all the sacrifices of the men and women who have served our country!

Happy sewing,


P.S. For more behind the scenes photos you can visit my Instagram

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