Sunday, 9 January 2011

McCalls 4728 - 1942 summer dress

I started my New Years Resolutions off with a bang this year, by making 2 of the 12 garments I've set myself to finish in 2011. On New Years day, feeling not in the slightest but hungover and with nothing to do, I started sewing around midday and finished at 11. It's amazing how much you can achieve with solid, uninterupted sewing time!
This pattern is a direct copy of an original 1942 issue that I bought last year (annoyingly I can't remember where from, and I can't find it via google!).

**Edited to add - I found the pattern!**

It's a simple day dress with a 6 gore skirt and gathered blouse top. It has 3 buttons in the front with bound buttonholes and a side zip.
The pattern has been well copied and I found all the darts, circles and tacks in the right places, which was a relief as some features like the collar relied quite heavily on accurate placement.
The fabric was a cotton tana lawn that I picked up in John Lewis in the summer. I managed to find thread and a zip to exactly match the greenish blue shade and I used white plastic buttons.
This was my first attempt at bound buttonholes and I'm very pleased with how they came out!
As you can see, the top has darts on each shoulder and gathers top and bottom.
I think that the cotton I've used could be a little too heavy, and I think these could drape better, but they still give the fabulous 40s blousy effect.
The sleeves have these lovely darts round the top edge which give a very structured shape.
The pattern does show you how to make your own shoulder pads, but I didn't bother. There's also a belt to make with this but I don't have a buckle I can use yet, so I haven't started that yet.
All in all, good dress and nice pattern which I'll almost certainly sew again!

The other thing I ran up before bed (and finished off on the 2nd) was a gathered dirndl style skirt. I've been meaning to make this for ages and knew how quick and easy it would be, but needed the new year to kick me into action!
 I used Gertie's instructions for a gathered skirt, only I made the waistband with a tab and button at the top using the instructions from the simplicity 3688 skirt, which I know pretty well now!
Easy and pretty natty if I do say so myself! The fabric I used is an odd loose weave cotton (I think) so it's summer wear only, but it's nice to have some new items waiting in my cupboard for the good weather!

My next projects are a winter dress, lining a jacket I already have and possibly a second house dress. So much to sew, so little time!


  1. Such a cute dress - I really love those colours :-)

  2. OOO I love your skirt! I am fairly new to sewing and haven't attempted buttons yet. But I can feel a skirt in the air (not literally of course, that would be odd) so I think my button avoiding days will be over soon! x

  3. That skirt is so cute and I absolutely ADORE your dress!! It is so pretty and summery and so flattering on you. Well done! :)

  4. That is fantastic, I would like my whole wardrobe to look like that!

  5. They're both gorgeous. I've got a 1930's blouse on my to-do list for Spring and it looks like it's exactly the same style as the top bit of your dress. It also calls for bound buttonholes which I may brave now I've seen yours! Lovely fabrics too. x

  6. They're fab, I love that dress! I'm glad Gertie's tutorial is easy, it's one I was planning to do this year. I hope mine ends up as good as yours!

  7. Fab clothes! You are so talented.

  8. love the colour of that dress and luv the style, any idea where I could get / find the pattern
    happy 2011
    joan in italy

  9. Wow, you must be great at sewing to make these so fast. I made a skirt pretty much the same but just above the knee some time ago and it took me weeks. The dress looks great too!


  10. The Dress is especially cute, I love that style, and the fabric you choose is lovely!

  11. Ah! You inspire me so (or sew?)! I've entirely forgotten how to even just thread a bobbin and would love to relearn this year. Great job on the outfits!

  12. Okay, I have a wanty. I'm dying to know who did the reprint because I can't actually live another day without this pattern.

  13. Love the dress and the fabric just made a dress V8645 using the same fabric.

  14. I found the pattern!

    Thanks for all the comments ladies. I'd say that this is a really easy dress to make, and the Gertie skirt is just about the easiest garment I've ever made. Honestly, even a complete beginner couldn't take more than 3 hours or so to make it. Have a go!