Project 12: Sewing - 1940s "Swing" Dress

Sewing this dress was fraught with frustration! I stumbled on the step for the shoulders (again), the sleeves didn't fit and therefore when I thought I was done, I wasn't because if you can't get the dress on over your head, then you're not done are you?? And then I ran out of thread. Aack! But I survived. 

I'm just pleased that I finally made the 2nd deadline I made for myself! Well, it's not completely finished - I need to sew in the snap tape and hem the skirtline, but other than that, it's done! I plan on doing the rest this afternoon.

Here is my dress in disgrace. I should have taken a picture before I ripped out the sleeves that were too small. Apparently my body doesn't conform to standard sizes. Ha!

I'm even wearing my '40s hat!
And the dress has shoulder pads
(my '80s self is still in denial about it)
Here is the dress with finished sleeves that fit! I'm hiding the side that still needs the snap tape. Also, I need to find a more serious '40s-style brooch. I'm not sure exactly what they looked like then, but I'll do some research and then go hunting at an antique mall. Oh, goody!! :-)

I'm not sure about this style of dress on me. I can definitely see why girdles were so popular for smoothing out the curves. I could use me some of that! Haha! The pattern itself wasn't too difficult, except for the shoulders. I'm pretty sure the drawing in the pattern is inaccurate. It caused me a world of anger and frustration and if I was a cursing person, I would definitely have used a few choice words. Luckily, I restrained myself.

I used rayon for the fabric and it was pretty nice to work with - it stayed put where I pinned it and took a bit of abuse when I ripped out my sleeves. (I was pretty mad, okay?!) The only downside is that rayon does not like to be ironed.

I'm finding that this sewing challenge this year is not going to be as simple as my ration project last year. Sewing is a different ballgame altogether and more of a test of my patience and perseverance. It'll be good for me though! I'm looking forward to working on something for someone else - like a nice and simple shirt for my son. He's going through a growth spurt right now, and, by golly, he better not outgrow the shirt I make for him by the summer!

January's Project
Clothing: 1940s "Swing" Dress
Fabric: 100% Rayon


  1. I'm sorry you had so much woe with this dress! It looks very nice, though, and very 1940s. And the shoulder-pads aren't too huge. :) I think you did a great job.

    1. Thanks, Mairi! Your words are always so encouraging! :-)

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