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1945 Wool Challis Dress with Peplum

Added Dec 1, 2010

by lauramae

Novato, Californ...






EVA DRESS E40-6111 (Reproduction pattern) – 1945 Ladies’ Dresses; 16-piece pattern in size 18 (36" bust, 30" waist, 39" hip). Original instructions are missing; Xandra has provided minimal written instructions. The pattern is available at

This garment is a wearable muslin version of a formal gown that I wore last year.

The first thing I always do when I have a pattern that has been printed on bond paper, or anything thicker than pattern tissue, is trace my pieces on muslin. I prefer not to fight the difference between the paper and my fashion fabric while cutting. Also, I can write all over my muslin and make any necessary changes. When I finish, I just fold up the muslin pattern and store with the original paper pattern. Next time I want to make it up, I just pull those pieces out, iron them flat, and go to work!

I think I love every 1940s dress pattern that I have come across. I especially love the neck treatment on this particular garment: it shows just the right amount of skin. I also love a peplum (although this pattern uses the term “tunic”) – especially the way this one dips down in the back.

I used French Seams wherever possible for a finished look, and I used self-fabric bias tape to finish the left side seam where my zipper was inserted.

Be aware that a standard shoulder pad will not work with this garment as the front bodice cut-outs leave a rather narrow bit of fabric to cover the normal half-circle pad. I always make my own self-covered fabric pads out of cotton quilt batting, and this time around they are shaped more like a rectangle with a slight curve cut into each end to avoid any points visible through the dress fabric when worn.

The neck bands are a bit tricky. The pieces do not really match the curve of the neck opening, so I had to fudge this a bit. Also, the markings on the pattern seem to suggest that you cut them on the fold, but this makes the back facing difficult to work with so I ended up cutting four separate pieces.

I think this is a wonderful pattern, and I am so thankful to the ladies out there that are duplicating and sharing their treasures with all of us. I would absolutely recommend this pattern to someone with a bit of vintage pattern experience.

Material Notes

Wool/Cotton Challis (10/90) from Fashion Fabrics Club.




Garment Type

10 Comments Sign in to add a post

  • Mkc_large

    Feb 9, 2012, 09.00 AMby misskisscurl

    OMG! This is the resul I’d like to achieve!

  • Me_and_ry_ii_large

    Dec 9, 2010, 09.33 PMby norcalkitten

    This is fabulous!!! I have a couple of Eva Dress patterns and once I am out of the holiday season the sewing becomes all about me!!! You look beautifuL!

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    Dec 6, 2010, 12.18 AMby olystyrene

    This is a gorgeous dress! Well done!!

  • Me_pecks_large

    Dec 3, 2010, 01.23 AMby nessys

    This dress is a lovely cut – that neck line and “tunic” are winners. Lovely job Darl – and you look lovely. It was great to read of your method of transferring the pattern onto the muslin – is is very interesting!

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    Dec 2, 2010, 05.22 PMby mahaila

    Looks great! Nice work! (the detailed description is great too)

  • Img_1296_large

    Dec 2, 2010, 01.55 PMby milkyway

    OMG you look so beautiful, lovely dress and i adore your shoes too!! congratulations

  • 9042c0bf5223511d5cc13e721fdeef21914bb56c_large

    Dec 2, 2010, 07.13 AMby lauriana

    What a great dress! I love that neckline detail. And thank you for describing the pattern and your way of working with it.

  • Bild_large

    Dec 2, 2010, 07.00 AMby zaarissima

    so beautiful! I love the details!!

  • Logo_2_copy_large

    Dec 2, 2010, 03.01 AMby Ricardo Abreu

    Beautiful dress and the print goes well w/ your eyes color. It was very pleased to read the entire construction process, I want to see the final gown in the fashion fabic.

  • Avawa_large

    Dec 2, 2010, 12.59 AMby analogue

    Gorgeous dres! I love the neckline.

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