Oooh…1940s evening wear. Yummy! What I particularly love about the evening-wear of the ’40s is that it goes from the über-sexy femme-fatale look, to the capable, confident career woman, to the super-sweet and innocent girl next door.
Mine are mostly inherited from my grandmother, and mostly fall into the career woman or innocent girl next door varieties. If her patterns are anything to go by, she clearly wasn’t comfortable with the femme-fatale image!
I also love that some of these patterns were also suitable for wedding dresses. It’s so lovely to think you could make a wedding dress out of a pattern, and then make the same pattern up as a frock to wear for events later. And, of course, this being the ’40s, many women were married in suits and daywear.
Speaking of wedding dresses, I think Simplicity 3446 was my grandmothers wedding dress (all together now: Awwwww….). It’s such a gorgeous example of the transition between ’30s & ’40s style. I bet it would look good as a shorter dress too.
On the wedding dress theme, you may remember Simplicity 4215. I wasn’t happy with my first version of it, but that was due to the fabric, so I really want to make it up again. I’ll be needing a ’40s dress for this year’s Windy Lindy, and I’m torn between 3446 and 4215. They are sort of like dress opposites, with the fullness and lines of the design reversed from one to the other. Thoughts on which I should make?
Moving away from weddings, how about a frock that is just dripping with sweetness (pretty much literally). The bows on the cover version just kill me. I wonder if anyone ever made it up with the bows? I wonder if the pattern gives you the layout for the bows (must check on that).
From sweetness to the confident career girl, I just love Butterick 8966, and it kills me that it would be such an unflattering style on me. There is something so effortlessly elegant about it. It says “I don’t need to wear a fancy evening dress to look smashing”. Also, the hat show with the day dress? I’m certain it is made of hundreds of silk violets, and would be fabulous and ridiculous.
And that’s it. Just the four evening wear patterns. I guess Grandma didn’t have a lot of excuses for evening wear in the 1940s.
What do you think? Do you have a favourite? And which of these (or my day-wear patterns) should I make for Windy Lindy 2012? The theme is Blitz Ball, which is a slight contradiction in terms!
Update: With two pretty new patterns:
I pretty much bought McCall’s 3145 for the jacket. Those sleeves…swoon! I bet the swirl on the skirt is amazing too.
I wish I’d owned HJ 4485 before Windy Lindy! How amazing would it have been in that fuchsia brocade?