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Wednesday, March 4, 2015

· Stripes and Buttons 1930's Dress ·

This 1930s dress was a fun challenge!  It started out yeeeears ago as a piece of less-than-3 yards of cotton.  It's kind of a drab color, so it never clamored for sewing and thus was relegated to the further realms of the fabric stash.

Being less than 3 yards, every time I came up with an idea, it was too little to accomplish.

Eventually, I became fond of 1930s styles, and discovered how much I loved this stripe fabric (also from the stash), and how well they'd work together!

I was able to eke out a dress from the fabric, with only the barest scraps left over!  I used a Vintage Pattern Lending Library pattern and was very happy with it!

Bound buttonholes, because I need all the practice I can get!

This dress makes use of one of my favorite 1930s fashion themes- buttons!  And not just some buttons, LOTS of buttons!  Exactly zero of these buttons are actually necessary, and only two are functional ;-)

The sleeve detail was not originally in the pattern, but the sleeve flounces that were part of the design didn't seem very practical for an everyday dress.  This was my compromise.

Vintage 1980s shoes- gotta love the 80s for bringing back so many 1910s and 1930s styles!

I have to enjoy these shoes as much as possible in pictures, because they are juuuust on the verge of too small.  They really only like being worn for 5 minutes at a time. :-/

The openings for the neck drape are also bound- more practice!

This fabric is kind of funny- in most lights, it ranges from brown to olive.  However, it also registers as positively green in some lights!  Thankfully, I'm happy with all its incarnations!

· Photography by Kathryn ·


  1. Oh, Lily!! This is positively gorgeous. I just love every aspect of this dress! The buttons are such a cute contrast, and so is that striped fabric! I love how you used both things to add so much character to a beautiful but simple fabric. Your bound buttonholes are to be admired, by the way. ;) I have yet to try them, but I have a couple of 1930-40s books that describe them in detail, so I really have no excuse not to conquer them.
    Lovely, lovely job! I can't wait to invest in some 1930s patterns and start sewing those styles. I love them so much!!
    I can relate to the shoe problem. Sometimes it's worth the pain though. Especially when the shoes are that cute! :)
    Thanks for making my day with your beautiful work!!

  2. How adorable! It's such a fun and interesting design, and the colors are so pretty. The stripes against the leafy pattern add so much interest, and I love all the buttons. Brava!


  3. This is so gorgeous! I just love the two fabrics together as it looks so glamorous! Excellent work, I love it! :D

  4. This dress is so unique and truly stunning! Your sewing never ceases to amaze me. : ) I am always excited to see what your new projects will be.

  5. I love the contrast fabric & all the buttons! The detail on the sleeves is just terrific too! :D

  6. Oh!!! Your dress is gorgeous Lily! I absolutely love how you combined the stripes with that print and color! SOO pretty!

    the Middle Sister and Singer

  7. SO FANTASTIC!!! I'm going to check out that pattern now...

  8. How charming! You are making me want a new 30's dress now! :)

  9. Wow wow wow! So nice Lily! So nice!

  10. Seriously! You are so adorable in this era! I am so loving this dress on you!

  11. Don't get me wrong-you're absolutely beautiful no matter what era you dress in, but the 30's really suits you well :D I love the little neckline detailing, and the sleeve cuff just ties it all it. Love it!

  12. This is a gorgeous dress. I love all the little details, the trims and the buttons. It looks great on you.

  13. Such a stunning dress; you've done a fabulous job with it! I love the stripes and buttons and olive-y tones all together, and it looks so authentically 1930's that if you had told me it was vintage I would totally believe you! Well done. :) ❤

    bonita of Lavender & Twill

  14. Wow, you are all so sweet! To be entirely honest, I didn't want to post this dress because I didn't feel like it was terribly flattering. In fact, the post has been waiting to be released for over a year... So thank you all for your encouragement! You're the best! :-)

  15. My word, do you look amazing! I really, really mean that. Every last element of this beautiful ensemble works in perfect harmony together and creates such a strikingly gorgeous vintage look.

    ♥ Jessica

  16. The 30s are a new favorite era for me, I'm completely into it now, and that outfit is so perfect 30s! :) And the shoes are fab, I can't believe they're from the 80s. I love finding things that came back into style that I can reuse to look older than they are. For one thing, the early 2000s featured a lot of wool skirts and now, they're everywhere at goodwill. :D

    1. Thanks, Hannah! It is shocking to see how many 80s things had very solid 30s influence! It's so much nicer on the pocketbook when styles get revived, isn't it?! ;-)

  17. Just did a web search for "how many yards to make a 1930s dress," and this post came up.



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