Vintage Mini-Post: 1940 pin-dot dress

This is the dress I made to wear to the WW2 weekend back in early June, that I didn't end up wearing because it was too cool! Well, the weather hasn't had a problem with being too cool for anything lately, so I've worn this dress a few times, and finally thought to get pics to document it today! I spent the afternoon at the Philadelphia art museum, which is a perfectly period location for a 1940 dress, so I thought I'd be clever and get photos of it today.

It's almost exactly the outfit I planned to wear to the WW2 weekend, minus the stockings and the hat! (Even I don't think I need a hat to walk around the museum all afternoon. Well, not yet, anyway. I'm not quite that far gone yet. *grin*)

Purse and bangles are vintage, shoes are Chelsea Crewe, and snood is etsy. (As an aside, it was the end of the day so there are tons of wispies escaping from said snood. My hair WILL NOT BE CONTAINED! It has strong feelings about that.)

I used Vintage Vogue 8812 and was overall very pleased with it.
I did end up having to take an ugly tuck in the bodice after it was all put together, since I was dealing with some fairly bad gaposis at the top of the bodice, and this isn't the kind of bodice you really want to be too loose! I'm willing to blame my disproportionately bust size on that, rather than the pattern, though. Since the top of the bodice is gathered and I managed to put the ugly tucks under the arms, plus the pin-dot pattern, they're hardly visible at all.
I did ignore a couple of things in the instructions, like the nicely bound buttonholes (nah, my machine makes perfectly ok buttonholes, thanks) and cutting the shoulder straps on the bias (why would I do that? that sounds shady. I don't want those to stretch...), but generally they made sense!
The fabric's a nice lightweight cotton shirting from Fashion Fabrics Club, white with little black pin-dots (that you really can't see in the photos! I promise it is pin-dotted though), and fully lined in cotton lawn from Dharma Trading, because this shirting needs to be lined to be wearable, I assure you! I made the lawn lining separately from the dotted skirt and sewed them into the waist together, but flatlined the bodice pieces and just hand-felled all the seams.
Which made some sense, due to the way this bodice was put together, but I do it with most of my "modern" dresses anyway. I like finished seams and I do not like bag linings!
The bolero is the same - pin-dot shirting lined in lawn. I even went to the extent of making my own shoulder pads as directed by the pattern, rather than buy ready-made. They look terrifyingly enormous from my vantage point while I'm wearing it, but they do work with the look!
The dress buttons down the back with five non-exciting buttons (and aforementioned non-bound buttonholes). I did end up angling the back strap attachment more than the pattern shows, simply because I liked it better that way! Also because I've always disliked the potential for falling straps, and that angle keeps them pretty well in place.
Escaping hair! *shakes fist*
And as an aside: why I chose a 1940 dress pattern for a WW2 event anyway - apart from the obvious allowances of "this could be a dress/pattern that's a couple of years old/from before the war/speaking from an American viewpoint anyway". Confession time: I don't like WW2-era fashion. Tons of vintage bloggers do, and they all look delightful and rock on with their bad selves - but personally, on me? Blergh. No thank you. I get interested again post-war, when the "New Look" transition starts to happen, but there's a definite gap in my pattern collection from '41-'45! So I figured 1940 was better than 1947...and then didn't wear this dress anyway. It's the thought that counts...?


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  2. Great looking garments...!!!


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