1940s-Inspired Dress


1940s Inspired Dress, Simplicity 1587 | Sew Anita

Earlier this year, I got really into Agent Carter, an ABC/Marvel tv show staring Hayley Atwell as the title character. The show is set in New York City post WWII, and has exquisite sets and costumes. And Hayley and the rest of the female cast is so breathtakingly beautiful in those 1940s fashions, I got really inspired to try my hand at making myself something inspired by that era. Which is why I bought a copy of the Simplicity 1587 at my local fabric store.

To be fair, though, the pattern did sit unused, till Lucky Lucille‘s Spring for Cotton challenge. She always host some amazing challenges, and I’ve been watching what everyone comes up with for the last few she hosted. But this time, instead of just looking at what other people did, I decided to try my hand at it. The directions were simple, use a 100% cotton fabric and make something vintage-inspired (20s-70s). So in comes┬áthis art gallery cotton voile I had in my stash, and the simplicity 1940s dress, so I could finally look like I could be an extra on Agent Carter.

Sewing this had its usual challenges, but in general was pretty easy to accomplish. It was the first time I got the little notch sewing (no idea the terminology, ooops, but I’m talking about that inverted V shape where the waistband and the skirt meet) sharp, and I was happy with it. The dress is full of wonderful details, and SO MUCH GATHERING. I’m not a fan of gathering, but in this dress it just added to the whole whimsical package. But you bet I groaned every time I saw ANOTHER gathering I had to do.

I loved sewing it, and I’m happy to be still wearing it right now and on my way to a book club meeting on this nice Utah Spring day!

1940s Inspired Dress, Simplicity 1587 | Sew Anita 1940s Inspired Dress, Simplicity 1587 | Sew Anita 1940s Inspired Dress, Simplicity 1587 | Sew Anita 1940s Inspired Dress, Simplicity 1587 | Sew Anita

  • Caroline Cook

    Your dress is very cute! Have you worn it about yet. I love dresses like this but I always hesitate to make them because I wonder how often I’d wear them. BUT your dress is so damn cute!

  • Hoffi Coffi

    I have sewn this dress before and you are right – there are a lot of gathers! I love your version – it’s got a great background colour as well as a cute print. :)

  • anitaboeira

    I wore it for the first time yesterday! It’s a little tight, which makes me think that if I do it again it needs to be on a fabric with some stretch, but it’s not too costumey, it’s more of a summer dress really. So it works out!

  • anitaboeira

    Thank you! I think the print really modernizes it. :)

  • What a great garment! I followed you over from the flickr group page, and am absolutely in love with the print you chose for this challenge. It’s retro but not frumpy, spring but transitional- such a good choice!

    Also, it’s very brave to have picked a pattern with the gathers at the hip- not everyone can pull it off but it looks successfully done.

    Beautiful piece!