1940’s Dress-Part 3 (the photos)

I lost a little sleep this weekend, but I finished my 1940’s Du Barry 5947 dress for the Sew for Victory sewalong.

I’m pleased with the way the dress turned out. The fabric is light and comfortable.


I did a fair amount of hand stitching, which I hadn’t counted on. Mainly, the hem. I wanted a blind hem, and because the skirt is curved, I didn’t want to mess with a blind hem on the machine. I haven’t had success with easing and blind hemming at the same time. So I stitched it by hand while catching up on Mad Men.


I successfully raised the armscye and reduced the sleeve cap ease. The original sleeve had 5″ of ease–no wonder I had trouble setting it! I reduced it to a little over 2″ of ease, which took the poof out of the sleeve cap, but I don’t miss it one bit. I was able to set the sleeves without any gathering stitches. And my range of motion is much improved.

Scout leader Qui.

I thought this lovely silk scarf matched the dress beautifully, but I really don’t know how to style it! I feel like a scout leader and at the same time over-dressed.

Maybe the hardest part of this whole project was taking the photos of myself–it isn’t so easy. First I went to the park, but it was quite crowded and I chickened out. I settled on this vista overlooking the Capitola village. It’s a pretty view, but I’m not sure it’s really the best spot for photographing a dress. I made the best of it, and I practiced with some different settings on my camera.


Now that it’s all said and done, I’m so glad I joined the 40’s sewalong!  Working with the vintage pattern turned out to be not so scary at all.  In fact, I’m really pleased with the drafting of the pattern.  It went together nicely and fits great.  I like the pleated skirt now that it’s hemmed–it lays nice and flat around my midsection, but it flares out to a comfortable size.

I think I’ll probably avoid patterns with vestees in the future.  I didn’t really like putting in the vestee–I think I’d prefer a regular button up shirt dress with a collar.  I topstitched in dark green to accentuate the green-ness of the fabric, but it’s hardly noticeable in the photos, so I’m not sure it matters all that much.  Up close I guess it’s a nice detail, and it does help to outline some of the pattern design.

The sewalong motivated me to finish this detailed project, and also to try new techniques.  I’ve decided I love pinking seams!  Thanks Rochelle for organizing this event–I hope to join more sewalongs in the future and try more 40’s patterns too.


  1. Sweet job, Jacqui! I am so impressed!
    I have no knowledge on scarf knots and styling. But, I do think that the Capitola cliffs turned out to be a great place for your photo shoot.
    Fabulous, darling!

  2. I am totally in love with this dress, it’s totally awesome! You are very skillful with exquisite stitching and likes to combine fabric and pattern. I love it!

  3. This is so beautiful! I love it! It’s such an unusual and cool style! I love your photos, too, although they’re making me sad because it’s FREEZING COLD in NYC still. :(

  4. Yay!! It looks awesome!! I love the background photos too, they’re beautiful. I know what you mean about not knowing how to wear scarves. I think that’s why I only wear them on my head lol.

    1. yes! I’ve inherited some great scarves, but I’ve only worn them on my head too. This particular scarf is much too big for my head though… it needs to be worn like a cape. It’s gorgeous and needs to be seen.

  5. I think it turned out beautifully! And I think your photos are absolutely stunning. I also love the topstitching on the dress and how it highlights all the intricate details of this pattern – really, they just don’t make ’em like they used to, eh?

  6. Love the dress – it’s always daunting trying out new techniques but most of the time you end up loving them and wondering why you never used them in the first place!

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