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January Sewing Project: 1948 Wrap Dress

Thursday, January 27, 2011


In an effort to sew more this year and to make things that I actually need, I've made a list of things I want to sew and when I plan to sew them. First, I'm starting with dresses with front openings. When the baby gets here, I'll need plenty of things that are easy to wear for nursing. If there are any other nursing mothers out there, do check out my post about Vintage Style for Nursing Mommas.


  The Pattern
 Even though its the end of January, it's not too late to whip up a quick dress to keep my sewing schedule on track. My first project was this 1948 robe, which I have altered to make a wrap dress. I love the flattering drape of a wrap dress. They're so comfortable, classic and wonderful to wear if you plan on going clothes shopping and will be in and out of the dressing room.This pattern is a Retro Butterick re-release and is available at your local fabric store up to size 24.











My Changes
I like the idea of this pattern but I wanted to make sure that it wouldn't come flying open at any moment like a robe would. So, I attached long ties to each opening at the front waist section. In my version, I split the side seam open at the waist about an inch and a half so that one tie goes through the hole, wraps around the back and ties in a bow at the side, like a normal wrap blouse or dress would. This simple adjustment really helps to keep everything in place where it should be and prevents any wardrobe malfunctions. I also shortened the skirt to just below the knee and left the frilly lace off of mine. I sewed a snap in the front to keep the "cleavage" area closed as well. With my alterations (and in a size 22) I used 3 1/2 yards of fabric. Oh, and here I am at 28 weeks! I'm not sure why there's no big belly in that first pic. I guess I was leaning forward or something? Very strange...

 For the fabric, I really wanted a pretty floral so I found this silky print at JoAnne fabrics. I originally fell in love with a cotton print but the feel and drape of this silky fabric won my heart. It doesn't wrinkle very easily too, which is a beautiful thing for a busy momma.
  I know, I said no more blue but I just had to have it. It has a hint of yellow and that bold red next to muted blue was so irresistible! Pj is always my voice of reason and he has agreed on my no blue rule since I mentioned it so I consulted him on the subject. He said "It's not blue, it's floral- that's different!" I love that guy!!

This was a super easy dress to make and the pattern instructions are very clear and easy to follow.  I cut it out yesterday morning and sewed it up within 4 hours. I did hand sew the hem of the sleeve and skirt, which wasn't calculated into that 4 hours.This will be a great spring/summer dress that I can dress up or down and wear long after my nursing days are over. I love it so much (and it was so fast to sew) I think I may have to whip up one or two more! The only thing I really didn't like about this outfit was my modern bra *yuck*! Next time, I'll be sure to wear one of my vintage bras to get a better 1940's shape.

Our Outing with Olivia



Today, we took Olivia out for date night with us and we had a BLAST!! We took her to McDonald's for dinner because they have a really cool salt water aquarium that I thought she would love...and of course, chicken nuggets with lots of ketchup! After dinner, we went to the book store across the street so she could pick out a new book. She loves to read and loves Sesame Street so she chose an Elmo book with a little Elmo puppet attached to it. We had a little bit of a hard time not pulling books on the shelf and tossing them on the floor but she was a good girl and helped pick them up and put them right back where she found them. Here we are, applauding her listening to mommy and putting the books away. Next step: teach her to put books away when we're at home! :)

11 Responses to “January Sewing Project: 1948 Wrap Dress”

  1. I love that dress, It looks gorgeous on you. And the fabric is beautiful.

    Olivia is so cute!

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  2. Brittany, you look so great, I can't believe you're 28 weeks pregnant! You always have such great hair, I'm going around in a mop of blah hair most of the time, I really must get tips! I actually have that very pattern, I made a sea green satin robe, it's such a great pattern, and it was so ingenious for you to make it into a dress! I'm working on a sewing schedule right now...not going so well!

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  3. LOVELY wrap dress! It looks fabulous!

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  4. such beautiful fabric. LOVE that dress. That picture of you and Olivia is just darling!

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  5. "It's not blue, it's floral- that's different!" - that made me laugh :-)

    You look great, the dress is so beautiful! Olivia is cute - my boy also loves Elmo. But who doesn't! :-)

    I was so keen to see the other post - vintage for nursing mamas - but it doesn't work. I'll try again later...

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  6. Thanks, everyone!
    Brandi, Thank you! I just updated my tutorials page at the top of the blog with all of my hair tutorials. If you don't already read Lisa Freemont Street, check out her You Tube channel. She's the best when it comes to hair!!
    Miss Bossy, thanks for letting me know about the link!! I tried fixing it a few times with no luck but it's up and running now! :)

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  7. Wow, from the front you can't even tell you are pregnant in that dress. You look fabulous in every shot! I have that pattern and didn't even think about making it into a dress. I have the perfect material just waiting for it. Thanks for the idea!

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  8. You look great in that dress and you have now inspired me to have a go on sewing that same dress ouch I'm a real rookie thoug. Wish me luck!

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  9. Wow! That dress looks fantastic! I've seen that pattern so many times and thought, "Oh, that would make a lovely dressing gown."and never given it another thought. I guess I need to take a lesson from you and re-imagine patterns.

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  10. Hi... new to your blog! You look amazing and your dress looks great. Thanks for the pattern and idea. I'm also a vintage loving mama and currently expecting. Your post couldn't have come at a better time because I'm already stressing out about what to wear when my belly starts to swell. Thanks!

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