“Promenade Deck” 1930s Dress Pattern- Sample Photos!

Newly finished just a few weeks ago (at time of writing in Summer 2023), I finally have some photos to share of the version I made myself of the Wearing History Resto-Vival pattern R150 “Promenade Deck” Dress and Cape pattern.

Before I start, don’t let the white I made this in fool you! This dress has a long sleeve option and is totally wearable into fall and winter. It’s kind of a year-round pattern!

I did rate this one as “Advanced Difficulty” as well, after quite a lot of pondering. I really tried to talk myself into putting it at “Intermediate”, but there’s quite a few fussy little vintage details that make this probably best for those who are advanced, or at least those who are familiar with vintage techniques.

The pattern has been professionally graded to include sizes 30″ bust through 44″ bust all in the same packet. The period original this was based on was a size 34″ bust. If you’re unfamiliar, vintage patterns were only available in one size per packet.

This pattern includes several tricky construction details, including bound buttonholes, raglan sleeves, a black bodice pleat, a shawl collar, tapered seam allowance to a clipped dot at the collar, an unusual open front bodice construction which closes with hidden buttons and loops, release tucks at the front and back skirt, and almost no instruction for fastenings (it’s best to know how to set a zipper or sew a skirt placket). All of these make a beautifully period authentic ensemble, but can be tricky for modern sewists to attempt. Previous knowledge or an adventurous sewing spirit recommended!

The original pattern was stamped at the store inside the top flat with a date of July, 1936. That happens to be the date of the maiden voyage of the Queen Mary, a ship that holds many happy memories for me (see here, here, here). And so, “Promenade Deck” was christened!

The original instructions were quite confusing and somewhat vague, so I have supplemented notes after almost every construction step. They aren’t as in-depth as modern “learn to sew” patterns, but hopefully it helps clarify some of the steps in which the original was quite vague and expected you to know what they were talking about. What I did omit were extra instructions for zippers, as there are quite a few really good zipper tutorials online. So if you don’t know how to set a zip, certainly refer to old sewing manuals or videos or tutorials online. Zippers were quite novel and new in the mid 1930s. I’m actually a bit surprised they even mention it for a side closure! So, it’s no wonder they didn’t walk through *exactly* how to do it in detail. People were still very much figuring out how to do it on their home sewing machines.

Interestingly, this is the second thing I’ve sewn this year that was from 1936 and featured a zip option. It could be that this particular year helped spearhead them into being standard options for home sewing patterns. Maybe? More research is needed!

I took quite a lot more photos than Etsy allows, so here’s even more:

For the front closure, the original has you leave it open all the way down center front, and then fasten it with three little buttons and loops on the inside. I thought this might be prone to showing what I’m wearing underneath, so I suggest in the instructions to add a modesty panel behind that front opening. Or, do like I did here, and seam up center front with enough of an opening to slip on over the head, and then add hooks and thread loops or buttons and loops to close.

Ah! I forgot! For my fabric I used white cotton pique (I have a ton of this. I can list some online if anyone is interested, at the time of writing this). I used a vintage zip picked up somewhere in my shopping adventures, and I used white hooks. I used self-covered buttons and a self-covered buckle.

You can grab this pattern in either printed and mailed format or in E-pattern to download and print at home or send away to a copy shop (like A0). Of course, we own Pattern Printing Co, so if you’re in the USA I suggest you order from us for very competitive prices in A0 pattern prints!

Etsy: Printed pattern https://www.etsy.com/listing/1531926102/

E-pattern: https://www.etsy.com/listing/1531922772/

Website: Printed pattern


Happy sailing!

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