Making a Vintage Dress: Patterns and Projects to Inspire

Posted by on Jan 5, 2014 in Sewing | Comments


To follow up with my last post, How to Make a Vintage Dress: Tips for Sewing Success, I thought it would be fitting to share some projects and patterns to inspire your next dress.

Styles and silhouettes have changed greatly as the decades progress, and there are many to choose from when sewing vintage dresses. It may take some research and sewing a few different eras before you settle on your favorite. Vintage sewing can easily turn into a history lesson when diving into different decades, but that’s half the fun of sewing vintage!

Without diving into that history lesson too deeply this time, let’s take a quick look at some beautiful dresses inspired by decades past.

Girl Modeling Vintage Dress by Craftsy Member1924 Draped Dress via sati5000

A classic 1920s dress features a loose, boxy silhouette that is made feminine with drapey fabrics. If form-fitting dresses don’t appeal to you, you might give the classic Flapper style a try instead.

Woman Modeling 1950s-Style DressPhotos via Miss Crayola Creepy

This clever alteration to the Sassy Librarian Blouse changes the original mid-century inspired top pattern into a long, elegant style that is reminiscent of an early 1930s tea dress.

Photos of Sassy Librarian BlousePhotos via Craftsy members Christine Haynes and lkoehn200545756

Having versatile patterns was essential in the early 1940s, when much of the world was experiencing rationing and restrictions on fashions. A classic day dress can look just as lovely in cotton as it would in wool, which makes it a great option for both a day out and a casual night on the town.

Woman Modeling Colorful Vintage DressPhotos via Lucky Lucille

Classy Vintage Day DressPhotos via By Gum, By Golly

Remember when I asked what your authentic style and silhouette is?

Are you a Bombshell, a Tia, or a mix of the two? Well here are two great examples of what those mixes look like.

Tia Dress on Dress Form, Tia Dress on WomanPhotos via Craftsy member Chance of Rain and instructor Laura Nash

Styles of the 1950s and 60s are making a big comeback thanks to popular TV shows like Mad Men and Call the Midwife. If you haven’t sewn a vintage dress before, a mid-century style is a great place to start. With a wide range of silhouettes and degree of difficulty, 1950s and 60s patterns are sure to suit any seamstress who wants a vintage dress for our modern times.

Two Retro Dresses by Craftsy.com MembersPhotos via Craftsy members Retro-iffic and cut and sewed

Vintage Dress on Form and Model Photos via seam33

Two Different Vintage Dress Photos via Craftsy members oonaballoona and bake.sew.craft.

Ready to start sewing vintage?

For reproduction sewing patterns check out Eva Dress, Decades of Style, Wearing History, Reconstructing History, Sense and Sensibility, and Mrs Depew Vintage.

For authentic vintage patterns visit Vintage4me2, Blue Gardenia, and The Vintage Pattern Marketplace, to name a few.

For in-depth instruction on how to add vintage design details to your sewing repertoire, check out Laura Nash’s class Sewing Vintage: The Flirty Day Dress. Not only will you create a fresh new dress with classic charm and personalized fit, you’ll also learn how to make a custom vintage-inspired petticoat without a pattern.

Where are your favorite places to shop for vintage or vintage inspired patterns?

Comments

  1. Gerda says:

    Het is een prachtig patroon, alleen mijn taille is niet zo slank dus zal de uitstraling hiervan anders zijn

    Gerda

  2. Tam Francis says:

    The 40s turquoise flower day dress is to die for. WOW! It’s perfect for my vintage novel The Girl in the Jitterbug Dress. I’ve got to clear out my craft room and set up my machine. There are so many amazing inspirations here! Thank you for sharing all these pictures.