>Suspender Skirt, Circa 1938

>Ever since I started planning my wardrobe for our vacation last year I’ve been nearly obscessed with fashion from 1938.  I adore it.  It’s when you really see a fun influence in swing fashion from American culture and it was really a transitional period between the fashion lines of the mid 30s to the early 40s.  You’ve got the feminine touches of the thirties combined with the tailored lines of the early 40s, and fashion just went MAD for novelty.  I am fortunate enough to have just scored two catalogs on Ebay from 1938 and I’m hoping I can share some scans once they arrive! Yippee!

 
I made this skirt from Simplicity 2935 (which just happens to be on my Etsy store right now).  It’s most likely from 1938, though it may be early 1939. This skirt had been waiting in the to-make stash since last summer, though I’ve had the pattern a lot longer.  The fabric was bought, the blouse I meant to pair it with was made (a link to the blog entry on the blouse is here), but I just lacked motivation!  The prospect of going to a dance last weekend renewed my desire to sew it, so I pulled out the fabric, traced the pieces, and set to work!  Although it wasn’t finished in time, I did do all the little finishing bits to it last night and twirled around the living room in it last night to Mildred Bailey, wearing a pj top underneath.  Oh yes, I’m classy.
This pattern is really quite an interesting one in terms of fashion history.  It was on the brink of war and yet the fashion world was engrossed in Tyrolean or Alpine style, mostly from altered versions of dirdls or German folk dress.  I did a post on this a bit ago here.  This skirt is no exception to the fashion craze of 1938 through early 1940, and it has an attached apron to the front of the skirt.  As if, with ten gores, there isn’t enough fullness!  

  
This is such a fun, swirly skirt.  It fits slimly at the top and then flares out, making me want to swish and sashay around the house! I guess I need a proper excuse to wear it out!  Though people might look at me suspiciously when I start to sway in line at the grocery store… I swear there’s a difference between the “I have to go to the bathroom” dance and the “I have a swirly skirt” sway.  Hehe!
This is made from a black rayon twill with a nice weave that’s not too stiff and not too drapey.  Just enough to hold it’s shape the proper way! I think I made the skirt a little higher waisted than inteded, though, as I fit the skirt with the gores before I put on the high waistband (oops?).  I kind of like it that way, though! I think the waistline was supposed to hit around the middle of the waistband/yoke.  I also didn’t do buttonholes but just tacked the buttons on… I figured with a side fastener I can just slide on into it without the extra nuissance of buttonholes!
Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend!

21 Comments on >Suspender Skirt, Circa 1938

  1. MZ
    February 1, 2010 at 7:18 pm (7 years ago)

    >This ensemble is absolutely adorable! What pattern did you use for the shirt?

  2. reilly
    February 1, 2010 at 7:59 pm (7 years ago)

    >So cute Lauren!! I hope you post this all over the FL. ;)

  3. Miss CherryBubbles
    February 1, 2010 at 8:41 pm (7 years ago)

    >Oohh cute!! Who doesn't love a swirly skirt – especially with suspenders ;)

  4. Shrinky Inky
    February 1, 2010 at 8:57 pm (7 years ago)

    >oh thank GOD that pattern is not my size and I am too lazy to want to redraft it larger. whew.too cute Lauren, can't wait to see it on you. I have a repro red jumper and love wearing it – very flattering as well.

  5. Lauren
    February 1, 2010 at 9:07 pm (7 years ago)

    >That is sooo cute, Lauren.

  6. Wearing History
    February 1, 2010 at 9:07 pm (7 years ago)

    >Thanks, gals! Now to come up with a reason to wear it… hehe.MZ, I used DuBarry 1384b for the shirt. I'll add a link to the blog post on it to this entry.

  7. "The Golden Girl of the West"
    February 2, 2010 at 12:09 am (7 years ago)

    >Very cute! As much as I favor the 1940's, I have to say that I also am quite fond of the later 1930's fashions. I do also love the look of the 1920's, I just don't have the proper body type to wear it on a daily basis. I like to dress up in it though, especially hair & make-up. The garbs just look funny on me. I feel I am too short and curvy. It looks amazing on others! I think I start to favor anything 1935 and after that. The femininity came back again when the waistline came back up!Love your sewing fashions! Wish I was that talented at sewing, I'm working on it!XO~Syd

  8. Andi B. Goode
    February 2, 2010 at 1:29 am (7 years ago)

    >Dang. That's cute!! I've wanted a skirt like that for ages – it'd be perfect for swing dancing. -Andi x

  9. Amanda
    February 2, 2010 at 1:42 am (7 years ago)

    >How cute is that pattern!

  10. Ms. B
    February 2, 2010 at 2:47 am (7 years ago)

    >This is so cute! I love the print of the shirt!

  11. Brook
    February 2, 2010 at 4:13 am (7 years ago)

    >I love this skirt!!! I wonder how it would look on me… probably bad with the suspenders going over my boobs… but man…. I sure do love it!

  12. Fiona Timantti
    February 2, 2010 at 6:31 am (7 years ago)

    >Lovely skirt!

  13. stephanie
    February 2, 2010 at 10:43 am (7 years ago)

    >Wow! I adore this skirt!

  14. casey
    February 2, 2010 at 12:35 pm (7 years ago)

    >So fun!!! :D I love the drapiness of the skirt–full skirts are always cute. ;) I tend to act like a complete idiot when I'm wearing them–walking and moving just so to get the skirt to swish. haha!I've become a lot more interested in late 30s fashion lately–before I was stuck more on 1940/41 forward. Like you already said, the late 30s is a delightful blending of the 30s silhouette, what would become the 40s look and over the top novelty! :D I am looking forward to seeing some scans from your recent Ebay finds–I can't wait!!! :D♥ Caseyblog | elegantmusings.com

  15. Time Traveling in Costume
    February 3, 2010 at 5:42 pm (7 years ago)

    >I remember wearing one of these in the 60s. I love it. I called it my dirndl skirt, and it was made out of a green and white plaid.

  16. Lauren
    April 7, 2011 at 11:39 pm (6 years ago)

    >I remember wearing one of these in the 60s. I love it. I called it my dirndl skirt, and it was made out of a green and white plaid.

  17. Lauren
    April 7, 2011 at 11:39 pm (6 years ago)

    >So fun!!! :D I love the drapiness of the skirt–full skirts are always cute. ;) I tend to act like a complete idiot when I'm wearing them–walking and moving just so to get the skirt to swish. haha!I've become a lot more interested in late 30s fashion lately–before I was stuck more on 1940/41 forward. Like you already said, the late 30s is a delightful blending of the 30s silhouette, what would become the 40s look and over the top novelty! :D I am looking forward to seeing some scans from your recent Ebay finds–I can't wait!!! :D♥ Caseyblog | elegantmusings.com

  18. Lauren
    April 7, 2011 at 11:39 pm (6 years ago)

    >Wow! I adore this skirt!

  19. Lauren
    April 7, 2011 at 11:39 pm (6 years ago)

    >Dang. That's cute!! I've wanted a skirt like that for ages – it'd be perfect for swing dancing. -Andi x

  20. Lauren
    April 7, 2011 at 11:39 pm (6 years ago)

    >Thanks, gals! Now to come up with a reason to wear it… hehe.MZ, I used DuBarry 1384b for the shirt. I'll add a link to the blog post on it to this entry.

  21. Lauren
    April 7, 2011 at 11:39 pm (6 years ago)

    >Oohh cute!! Who doesn't love a swirly skirt – especially with suspenders ;)

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