I made this dress from one of my cherished patterns in my stash, McCall 3189, and afterward looked through my McCall magazines to see if it had alternate views and a description, and it did indeed! My version is made of a vintage rayon/linen blend fabric and instead of the split all the way up the back bodice I seamed it up the center back and left a slit near the top neck. Wouldn’t you know I had the perfect hat to go with it already?
It seems this style of dress was called a “Monk Dress” because the front was cut all in one piece and then belted or gathered in. Perhaps reminiscent of monk’s robes, though it may be a far stretch even for fashion! A little research and I found the two dresses, also from 1939, showing the style. One is a mail away pattern with a bolero. Seems you learn something new every day!
I finally got a chance to wear my dress, so added some photos to this blog post :)