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1940s Make Do and Mend Dress

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

1940s wwII dress and 1950s felt hat  plus size vintage via va-voom vintage


I recently bought this awesome, handmade, 1940's dress from The Vintage Haberdashery. I love the print on the top, I love how light it is, love the fact that it was stitched by hand ages ago. I do feel bad about it though because I had to take it in at the waist a bit.  I'm sure I will alter many more vintage dresses in the future but the first one is probably always difficult.

 I did hand sew it, to keep with the hand stitches of the rest of the dress. The skirt seems to have been made from an old coat lining. It has that light feel to it and I can barely see the needle pokes from the original stitches. It is made from several thin panels which leads me to believe that the seamstress didn't have much to work with.

1940s wwII dress and 1950s felt hat  plus size vintage via va-voom vintage

Whoever she was, she really knew how to make a silk purse from a sow's ear! The dress is so old that the pinked edges have started to fray so I re-pinked some of them. Is "re-pinked" a word?

1940s wwII dress and 1950s felt hat plus size vintage  via va-voom vintage

Cutting into that lovely old fabric with my pinking shears felt so wrong, but  I wanted to preserve it to keep it from fraying into a pile of threads. The dress made me remember the stories that my great grandmother told me about growing up during the depression and living through WWII.

Wearing the dress makes me wonder, did a mother wear this dress when her son came home? Did a girl scrounge up what she had around the house so she had something to wear on a college interview? Whatever the case, it is still loved, well preserved and appreciated. Now the big issue will be how to breastfeed while wearing a vintage dress

1940s wwII dress and 1950s felt hat  plus size vintage via va-voom vintage

Dress: The Vintage Haberdashery
Hat: St. Charles Antique Mall
Gloves: Alton, IL Antique store
Shoes: Payless
Antique compact: St. Louis Antiques

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