To the Gallery, and a Fruit Break

“To the Gallery” is the 1940s dress I made myself for the vintage patterns challenge –  a very light, summery dress, which proved perfect for the ridiculously hot Spring day when I took my kids on an excursion to the Art Gallery of NSW.  The fabric is a Japanese quilting cotton from Lincraft – I got the last of the roll and it was just enough – and the pattern I used was Vogue 8811, a 1940 reissue that I’d tried and failed with before. This is a really straightforward pattern, but I underestimated my size when I first tried to sew a dress with this pattern.

I’m not really sure how a 1940s dress is supposed to fit, or where a 1940s shoulder pad is supposed to sit… mine may not be in quite the right place, but their position was also adversely affected by a heavy shoulder bag. Oops – that’s why it looks like my shoulder pad is making a break for it :)/

This dress is not a style I’d normally wear, so it’s been interesting to try a new silhouette – and regardless of whether this is really “me”, it’s a super comfortable dress in hot weather!

I’ve blogged this dress here if you’d like to see more photos or find out about about the dress I was originally going to make.


And now for something completely different!

While I was going through my stash trying to decide what to include in a giveaway, I came across a loud and fruity cotton seersucker I’d originally intended to use for my daughter – oh, a couple of years ago! There was only a metre of it, so I decided to get cracking and whip something up while a metre was still enough 🙂

I wanted a dress that would provide some shoulder protection in summer, so I used a 1970s pattern with a shoulder ruffle (Style 1862), graded down from a size 12 to a size 6. My daughter loves the fabric, and seemed to appreciate the little details I added – cute buttons on the yoke, and side seam pockets …

This dress – the “Fruit Break” dress – is blogged here if you’d like to read more,

10 thoughts on “To the Gallery, and a Fruit Break

  1. The fabric you chose for the 1940s dress is beautiful, I actually really love mixing vintage patterns with Japanese fabrics, something about it appeals to me 🙂 I also really want to see the finished McCall’s you started with…


  2. Ohhhh!! Your flowery dress is just beautiful. It screams summer gallery opening. I love the 1940s style, but am also unsure about shoulder padding them. I have a ‘retro’ butterick 1940s dress with sleeves just like this one. I’m debating when I make it to put in the shoulder pads or not.


  3. I love love love the colours and pattern for your daughter’s dress, but wish there was a good close-up of your dress fabric, as it looks very interesting, as well as totally appropriate for hot weather. Hope I didn’t miss it over on your blog!


  4. Your dress is so pretty, such lovely fabric. Shame about your original dress, thank goodness you made a toilé first, because now you know what needs to be altered to “make it work”. Froctober, maybe?!


    • Thanks :). I’m a bit nervous to make up that original – I’ll probably get the fit all wrong and annoy any 1940s purists – but it does look like it’d make a lovely little dress. Yes, Frocktober should be when!


  5. Both dresses are lovely. The link to your daughter’s dress didn’t work for me, though I just used the archives on your blog to find it. It looks like it will be a firm fav for the summer! Really nice job on both.


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