Happy Valentines Day!
I’m elated to share this special dress with you!
This is a retro 1940’s silk dress with raglan sleeves, gathers on the bodice and skirt, back neck darts and a side zipper.
Pattern Name: Decades of Style #4013 1940’s Dorothy Lara Dress in a retro traditional American style tattoo silk print
Size Range: By bust sizes — 30″ – 46″
What size did you make? Graded up to about a size 48″
What are your…
- Measurements: 48-41-52
- Body shape: Pear-ish/Spoon
- Height: 5’8
- Bra size: 44D
What adjustments did you make and how long did they take? In addition to grading the pattern up, I also added an inch to the skirt length. I sewed rayon seam binding on the skirt hem and sleeves with narrow hems. This pattern is simple to grade up with few pattern pieces and it didn’t take much longer to do the grading and add additional skirt length than to cut the pattern out.
What was the construction process like? Did the instructions make sense to you? The construction process itself is simple and the instructions are easy to follow and suitable for a beginner. However, this pattern features faux smocking on the bodice and waist gathers which involves a lot of top stitching that can be time consuming, but it gives the dress a different effect than gathering alone. This pattern is unlined, but my version is underlined in the bodice and lined on the skirt and is finished with rayon seam binding. I opted not to underline the sleeves. On the waistband I also added lining along with the interfacing as my fabric is rather thin, but this added a little more bulk to the band and impedes the invisible zip a little. All of the hems are hand sewn. I was going for a vintage feel inside and out which took longer than the suggested instructions.
How do you like the pattern’s fit? Do you think the design works well for your body shape? This dress has a very loose fit in the bodice which can either give you the illusion of a larger bust or accommodate a larger one. The raglan sleeves are loose fitting and comfortable and I think this dress fits me rather well. For a more 1940’s silhouette, it’s suggested to add shoulder pads, but although I did make a capped sleeve pair, I opted not to keep them in this dress as I like how the silk fabric paired with this pattern resembles a kimono and I prefer the less structured fit. The skirt is also a little shorter than most 1940’s dresses, thus the reason why I added some length and a narrow hem.
Will you make the pattern again? If so, what fit or design changes will you make? Yes! I’d love to make this dress in a cotton voile for a more casual, easy summery look. I wouldn’t do anything much different from how I’ve sewn this dress. Perhaps some contrasting fabrics or top stitching thread to play up and show off the design features.
Do you have any advice on this pattern for other curvy sewers? Are there any resources, tutorials that helped you sew this piece up? I think this dress would look great on other curvy figures. I’d love to see more versions of this pattern and how it looks on different body types. I imagine it would work well for someone with a large bust. I used this grading method to adjust the sizing.
Pattern Rating (1-5)
- Size Range: 4
- Instructions: 5
- Construction Process: 5
- Final Fit: 5
- Overall Rating: 4
- This pattern does go into smaller plus sizes, but does not have a wide range that would work for a variety of sizes. However, with the small amount of pattern pieces and the quality of the initial sizing, it is easily graded up and I had no issues with the fit. The instructions and diagrams are easy to follow and would be attainable by a novice, so I feel they are spot on. The pattern pieces fit well together and are well drafted. I’m very happy with the finished garment and look forward to sewing another.