I was given this pattern to sew up and photograph, and it is GREAT. I was a bit nervous about the square neckline and the overall fit, but this pattern came together fairly easily. The directions are very thorough, and although the neckline and front of the blouse may require some extra thought before sewing, I just carefully followed the directions step by step and it turned out great. The skirt is fuller than I expected, probably about a half circle and delightfully swingy! The sizing was also accurate to the fit I've encountered in vintage patterns. (Though, obviously, measure pieces before cutting!) I highly recommend this pattern, and I can totally see it made up as day or evening wear with different fabric combinations. Very versatile and could work brilliantly for a 1930s capsule wardrobe, too!
Circa 1939 Blouse, Skirt, Shorts & Girdle Pattern
Circa 1939 Blouse, Skirt, Shorts, & Girdle
A Wearing History Resto-Vival™ pattern based on an original historical pattern from circa 1939. This pattern works well for late the 1930's through the early 1940's looks, but is so classic it can seamlessly be integrated into your modern wardrobe.
-- DESCRIPTION --
Misses' Bodice, Shorts, Skirt, & Girdle (belt). The bodice blouse is about waist length, has a square neckline, release tucks at front, short sleeves, and closes at the front with buttons. The shorts are cut full, have release tucks at front, and are finished with interior belting at the high waist. The bias cut skirt can be made in a short or long length and is finished with interior belting at the high waist. The girdle belt is made in contrasting fabric and can be worn with the skirt or shorts.
It is worth noting that the shorts have a period authentic vintage cut, which has a longer rise (crotch length) than modern shorts.
This pattern includes a blouse, shorts, skirt, and girdle (cummerbund belt). If you make the top and skirt in the same fabric it looks like a two piece dress. If you make the top and shorts in the same fabric it looks like a playsuit. If you use coordinating fabrics for the blouse, short skirt, and shorts in fabrics you've got a mix and match vacation or day to day wardrobe. If you add a long skirt to the vacation wardrobe it can carry you into evenings or be worn as a maxi skirt. Add the cummerbund girdle belt (a gathered fabric that closes with hooks and eyes) for that iconic late 1930s/early 1940s beach look.
Intermediate Difficulty. Must be familiar with basic construction and vintage methods.
--- SIZING ---
In WOMEN'S sizing. This vintage sizing standard was for a more mature figure. Misses, Petites, Plus Sizes, and Talls may require alteration to fit correctly.
GO BY MEASUREMENTS (IN INCHES), NOT SIZE NUMBER.
Sizing is based on period standards, which are VERY DIFFERENT than modern sizing.
This pattern was originally available in sizes 30"-38" Bust. No layout charts or yardage estimates are included for any additional sizes given. Test your placement when making a mock up to see how much fabric you will need of your final fabric.
-- YARDAGE REQUIREMENTS --
About Wearing History Resto-Vival™ Patterns
Resto-Vival™ Patterns are original historic patterns that have been restored and revived. Original patterns are usually available only in single sizes, precut from tissue paper and totally unprinted, with details like grainlines and darts indicated only by small perforations. Resto-Vival™ patterns are printed on sturdy bond paper instead of tissue and clearly marked with drawn and labeled markings. These markings aid the modern sewer in understanding the markings of the original pattern and the construction of the garment. Resto-Vival™ patterns follow the period shapes of the original patterns, maintaining the historical accuracy of the completed garment. Original period instructions are included. These instructions are text only (unless otherwise noted) and fairly minimal, especially compared to instructions for modern patterns. At least an intermediate knowledge of dressmaking and a good familiarity with pattern construction is suggested. You may choose to have a modern or period sewing book handy to help with basic construction methods that the pattern instructions do not cover in detail. Also, fitting a muslin mockup is strongly recommended, as all garments were meant to be worn over period foundation garments or corsetry.
The directions are well-written and the shorts, in particular, include thoughtful details on construction. This is a good value for what you get.