Finished Project: 1935 Pleated Dress


Hooray!  A finished project!

I just love the 1930s. It feels good to get back to sewing one of my favorite decades of fashion.

This was one heck of a project.  All sorts of crazy things went wrong, but I feel victorious posting these photos.  I did not let the dress beat me!

For this project I started with a vintage 1930’s fabric I bought at a vintage sale several years ago.  I had been holding onto it, waiting for the perfect opportunity to make a pleated beach resort style 1930’s dress.  When I found the theme for February for the Historical Sew Monthly was “Tucks and Pleating”, it felt like the perfect opportunity to make it happen!


I settled on this pattern. But…

When I pulled out my fabric it was suspiciously full of holes!  NO!!  These were probably in it when I bought it, and I just didn’t realize it.

So I went to another plan and picked another bodice to use, since I could not cut all the lovely pleats I had envisioned.

But it was late, and I cut the bodice two sizes too small, confusing it with another alternate bodice I was thinking of using.

I was so mad!  I gave up for the day.

But the next day I got up and was determined to make it work.  I had *just* enough fabric to add a few slivers at the underarms.

Ta Da! It worked!


Here’s the info for the Historical Sew Monthly

What the item is: 1930’s Dress with Pleated Back

The Challenge: Tucks and Pleating

Fabric/Materials: Vintage 1930’s Cotton

Pattern: A mix match of two vintage patterns by McCall

Year: 1935

Notions: Vintage shell buttons, snaps, hooks and eyes.

How historically accurate is it? 99.75%.  The only thing I did differently was use polyester thread, since that’s what my machine prefers, and buttonholes with my automatic buttonholer.  Oh, and the belt was interfaced with fusible interfacing.  Everything else, from seam finishes to fabric to pattern are authentic to the 1930’s.

Hours to complete: Probably around 6.

First worn: Today for pictures!

Total cost: I didn’t keep track, but if I count a vintage pattern, most likely around $60.

7 Comments on Finished Project: 1935 Pleated Dress

  1. Cate
    March 2, 2016 at 1:44 am (8 years ago)

    Despite all the problems it turned out to be a gorgeous dress, I admire you for sticking with it. I’d have probably given up. I love the pleat at the back and the shape of the cap sleeves, they add really lovely details to it.

  2. Toni Jo
    March 3, 2016 at 10:55 am (8 years ago)

    Truly lovely! This is my favorite decade as well, I wish I were as skilled as you are!

  3. Lisa
    March 5, 2016 at 11:22 am (8 years ago)

    Wow, talk about triumphing over adversity! Well done!

  4. Tara Loughran
    March 9, 2016 at 9:42 pm (8 years ago)

    Hi. I just found your blog and I’d like to find more places to wear period costumes. I’m wondering if you have a calendar of events or if you could point me to some other historic costume enthusiasts. Thank you!

  5. PinhouseP
    March 16, 2016 at 12:47 pm (8 years ago)

    Perseverence FTW :) It looks lovely!

  6. Jessica Cangiano
    March 18, 2016 at 7:01 pm (8 years ago)

    Marvelous frock and choice of belt buckle to compliment it. How fantastic are the slanted breast pockets here?

    ♥ Jessica

    • Lauren
      August 12, 2016 at 8:22 pm (8 years ago)

      Thank you!

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