Cori and I took a mini vacation to the coast where I had the chance to take some photos of my latest sewing project, 1940s beachwear! I used the Sunkissed Sweetheart 1940s Sarong Separates pattern from Wearing History.
I have wanted to make this pattern for a while now but as I don't have many opportunities to wear this kind of clothing it was pushed towards the bottom of the project wish list. This summer I knew, that if I could plan accordingly, I would finally have the chance. I have a WWII event in August this year that has a lovely beach area so a friend and I have begun planning for some fun photos. Amazingly these beach separates were finished way ahead of schedule, something that doesn't often happen, so they made their debut for the 4th of July! Yeah! I didn't actually make it to the beach as you can tell but the salt marsh made for a fun photo location!
This fabric has been sitting in my stash for a couple years now waiting for just the right project. I think I bought it originally to make a dress but non of my vintage patterns felt right or I didn't have the right amount of material. It's always something isn't it? Then, while doing some reach for my upcoming photo contest (yes it's going to happen!) I stumbled across this quote.
Checks, stripes, and plaids were shown for spectator sports wear, while bold designs featuring conventionalized flowers in bright colors were good in beachwear. - May 19, 1940
Perfect!! I quickly pulled out my pattern and fabric to see what could be done. Sadly I didn't have enough to make the long sarong skirt. As it was, I had just barely enough for the top and short skirt.
Everything went together really quickly. The only real tricky part was adding the little reinforcement piece where the top and skirt pieces are gathered. The directions, which for the whole pattern are very clear and easy to follow, recommends drawing lines to follow while you sew these bits. I found that tip to be helpful. My fabric was a cotton blend of some sort that drapes beautifully but was a little fussy to handle when sewing the gathered sections. If you use something similar just take your time and use lots of pins and be sure to mark everything clearly.
I made the size 14 top and size 16 for the sarong. Because all the sizes are included I just clipped the edges of the pattern pieces so I could fold the paper back to the size lines that I needed. This pattern uses LOTS of bias, either purchased in a matching color or self fabric. You may have seen my Instagram post showing the pile of self bias! And I still needed to make more after that. But it's a good use of leftover fabric. :) This pattern can be purchased as an e-pattern or printed version. I went with the printed version because I didn't want to cut and tape all those pages together. But that's me, I like to pull out a pattern and dive right in if I can.
Both the top and skirt are wrap styles so the fit is very adjustable. I really like that the sarong has ties on the inside of the skirt as well as on the outside. Although it overlaps quite a bit in front so there is plenty of coverage, the extra ties make the whole thing feel more secure when wearing. This is a rare occasion when you will see me in a swim suit on this blog, lol! It's a 1940s terry cloth suit. I love it but I'm not sure I would want to actually swim in it.
I had planned to wear a stack of colorful Bakelite to match the bright colors of the fabric. But in my haste to change and wade through the salt marsh I completely forgot about them. I did, however, remember to grab my awesome new eagle pin which, as it was the 4th of July, totally makes up for the lack of bracelets.
I have so many photos that I want to share of this outfit and about the location that I think I'm going to write a separate post. So until next time, happy sewing!!
You can read another review of this pattern by Emileigh of Flashback Summer. She made the long sarong in an amazing vintage print. Go check it out!
1940s Top and Sarong Skirt - Made by me
Scarf - Gift from Emileigh of Flashback Summer
Pin - Flying Dragon Antiques
1940s Swimsuit - Facebook vintage buy/sell page
1940s Swimsuit - Facebook vintage buy/sell page
Sunglasses - Thirfted
Summary of the Pattern
Fabric: Bright cotton print, feels like it might be a blend of some kind because it drapes much nicer than a quilting cotton.
Pattern: Sunkissed Sweetheart 1940s Sarong Separates from Wearing History. I made the size 14 top and size 16 for the short sarong
Notions: Thread and looooots of self bias.
How historically accurate it it? Very! It's a period perfect sewing pattern and I have seen pictures and descriptions of similar prints.
Any tricky parts to the pattern? Not really, the gathered parts are a bit fussy as noted above but I think that was mostly due to my fabric.
Did you change anything? Nope!
Time to complete? Most of this was completed over a single weekend. Hemming the bias tape took the longest but I like hand sewing so I didn't mind. I just watched an old Hollywood movie while I worked.
First worn: July 4th, 2016! And I plan on wearing this many more times.
Total cost: I splurged and bought the printed pattern which sells for $28 but I'm pretty sure I bought it during a sale. The fabric I've had in my stash for a long time but I know I only paid a small amount for it. I'm going to guess the total cost was less than $35.
Notes: A great pattern and very easy to follow. Just take your time on the gathered sections. Next time I'd like to make the longer sarong, possible as an evening version because I think that sounds awesome!