Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Red and White Swing Dress

Hi everyone. Remember this pattern, Advance Pattern #4199?

Well I finally got around to finishing the dress. Knowing that the pattern would be a touch large for me, I went ahead and made it up anyway without making any alterations. And guess what? Yup, it was a little too big! Well, actually it's quiet wearable but a bit too roomy in the bust area for me. And that's perfectly OK because I'm hoping this dress will work for someone else. You see, I'm slowly, oh so slowly, making items to add to the "Made By Me" section of my shop. This 1940s reproduction dress was listed this week! I would love to hear your feed back.

1940s Reproduction Swing Dress. Just listed!
The dress is made from a red and white striped cotton that is light and slightly springy. It's machine sewn but the neck, sleeves, and hem I finished all by hand. The fabric really drapes and moves beautifully so I think this would be perfect for swing dancing! I believe it's a cotton/rayon or cotton/nylon blend. It was a left over piece from my fabric stash so I'm not really sure. The first picture shows the dress over a small crinoline so you can get an idea of the skirt width.

The side zipper
I really like the wrap style bodice - it's slightly gathered to where it attaches to the shoulders which gives the bust area its "roomy" fit. If I make this dress again I'll make 'View Two' with the contrasting bodice. What do you think?

The neckline has a great key-hole detail and closes with a hidden hook and eye. There is also a zipper on the left side. I did not add the bow at the neck as shown in the pattern but that can be added in a jiffy! I added a black bow belt for contrast in the pictures, which sadly are a little washed out. I soooo need a new camera! The fabric is really a nice bright red in person.

As I mentioned above, the dress was made using the measurements provided by the vintage pattern. I did not make any alterations. Pattern is a vintage size 18. Bust 36, hips 39.

The actual measurements of the finished dress are as follows.
Under arm to under arm - 19" (I believe this would best fist a 34" to 38" bust)
Waist - 15" across (Will best fist a 27" to 28" waist)
Skirt length - 28" from waist to hem

Dress back, no crinoline underneath. The first picture shows the dress over a small crinoline to give an idea of the skirt width.
Close up of the bodice.
I love the little key-hole neck detail of this dress. Also I think the picture below shows the true color the best.

As you know I love getting feedback on all my projects. But what I would like to know from those of you who shop for vintage or vintage reproductions is:
  • What kinds of vintage or vintage reproduction items do you look for?
  • What would you consider a reasonable price for a simple reproduction dress like the one above? (As this is the first time I've made this dress I'm considering it as a sample. Also the fabric, thread, and zipper came from my stash so cost to create this dress was very low.)
  • What kinds of items seem to be lacking in world of vintage reproductions? (Some day I want to offer a line of smart looking 1940s cocktail dresses.)
  • What would be a good waist/bust size to offer for dresses and skirts? (Many original vintage pieces tend to run small. I've passed up a number of dresses that I love but know will never fit!)
  • Color and/or fabric preferences? 
Don't forget to enter my giveaway for one of my "Picnic with my Valentine" aprons. Details here!


  1. Wonderful job on this dress. Love how the pattern all lines up and super cute with an apron! I hope it finds a new home very soon:)

  2. Thank you Joanna. This dress didn't last long in the shop at all! It will be on it's way to a new home tomorrow. :)

  3. Wow, it's gorgeous! I love it as a dress!


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