In Progress– 1930s Peach Wool Dress & Jacket

I’m pretty excited to be back in the 1930s. I haven’t made myself any real proper mid 1930s dresses in quite a while, and this particular pattern has been on my to-make list for years!

Last year (or the year before?) I thrifted this incredible peach wool with a great basket weave. Looking it it, I immediately thought “1930s dress set” because it mimics the look of some of the knit garments I love so very much! And I was lucky to thrift five whole yards for the grand price of around $12 for the whole piece.

This was an epic thrift day. I also found tailoring supplies like hymo, twill tape, and stay tape- one of which had the address of Claire Shaeffer in Palm Springs. I was a little star-struck, I admit.

The pattern I’ve selected is this lovely little Butterick number. I’m guessing it’s from around 1934. (Ooh! I feel fancy- after typing the last sentence I’ve looked up the sequence number on and found it *is* 1934! Yay, pattern nerd win!)

This is probably the closest to the actual fabric color. It DOES NOT like to photograph!

I’m too lazy to get up and look at the pattern number properly, but here’s a close up of the cover art. I’ll be making the square neck version C-I because I don’t care for the feel of high necks on me. I’ll also be making the jacket in A, if my attention span holds.

First up, I cut my bodice pieces and thread marked the perforations. This probably took a good few hours.

The front bodice upside-down. Yes, I use those Beatrix Potter books as pattern weights.

If you’ve never seen a perforated pattern, this is what they look like. Each of those holes distinguish something important. This is the neckline facing towards me, and in this case it indicates where to cut for the square neck, the shoulder seam allowance, the slit for the opening, and where the bound buttonholes go. Oh yes, and the triple marks are where to cut on the fold. It’s not that bad when you get used to it, but this is why I mark these with actual print lines on Wearing History patterns I base on vintage originals. (No, no plans fo this pattern yet. Sorry, folks. This project is for pleasure alone).

Next up were bound buttonholes on the sleeves, and I was pretty chuffed about how well they came out. I used the same method as I illustrate in this tutorial. Side note- HOW has it been TEN YEARS since I made that tutorial ?!?!

I forgot to show the wacky sleeve piece, and the sleeve facing piece on top. Luckily I had the right color of silk on hand, also likely thrifted or from an estate sale. I found a $5 tag on it when I pulled it out of the stash.

The rest of these photos are me entirely too pleased about my sleeves. Lol.

After the bound buttonholes were in, I slit the fabric and gathered the fullness in to the marks. After this was stitched I pressed it downward and narrowly top-stitched it to make sure it wouldn’t want to flop back up into the sleeve body.

Then I attached the nice silk lining. The bottom and pointed edge were done by machine, and the rest was all hand-sewn to place. I then prick-stitched the lining around the outer edges by hand to prevent it from peeking out to the right side of the garment.

I chose a silk lining because not only does it cut down on bulk, but it also will be nice and smooth against my skin. Wool can be quite itchy!

With both sleeves done it looked like this. See how cool it is that the lower portion is not a band, but is a sort of gathered dart to control the fullness?

Close-up of the detailing.

And a close-up on the inside, since I’m so darn proud of my hand finishing.

At this point I’ve probably spent more time on cutting, thread marking, buttonhole making, and lining than I used to spend on an entire dress! But I am quite enjoying the process of slow making these days.

Hopefully I will remember to update here with my next set or progress photos! I’ve now moved on to the front bodice.



6 Comments on In Progress– 1930s Peach Wool Dress & Jacket

  1. Maxine Martel
    January 24, 2021 at 5:37 pm (3 years ago)

    Lovely! Will you be making a PDF pattern to sell it at some point?

  2. Esther
    January 24, 2021 at 5:56 pm (3 years ago)

    What a gorgeous dress!!! Can’t wait to see it on you :)

  3. Michelle P
    January 24, 2021 at 6:36 pm (3 years ago)

    Love getting to see the interior details and finishes with your comments. Those sleeves are beautiful!

  4. Quinn
    January 25, 2021 at 5:45 pm (3 years ago)

    I love the unusual sleeves! The pattern laid out flat is crazy looking–thanks for showing us how it goes together. I do hope you show more making of photos of this dress.


  5. Laura Mae
    January 29, 2021 at 3:06 pm (3 years ago)

    They sure don’t make sleeves like they used to! And yours look glorious in that fabric.

  6. Wishful Nostalgic
    February 2, 2021 at 9:09 pm (3 years ago)

    I really admire ladies who can sew clothing like this! What a talent to have. I look forward to seeing your finished dress.

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