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40s Shirt Waist Dress (09/2012 #114)

Added May 12, 2016

by shibz

, Australia






I originally purchased 4.5m of this rayon for another project, but managed to eke out this dress and a dressing gown from it when I changed my mind. I’m loving the 40s Agent Carter vibes of this pattern but beware – it is exceptionally blousy and could easily be a frumpy mess in a less drapey fabric. I am very tall and had to raise the elastic casing at the waist a whole 6cm so the elastic would sit at my natural waist without an avalanche of fabric being gathered above it. Otherwise, I just made my usual fitting changes.

Something else to note about this pattern is that the instructions are incorrect. They seem to repeat steps with slightly different variations, and some steps they overlook together. I know Burda have a reputation for terrible instructions but this strikes me as a printing/editing error more than anything. There are some dodgy translations too: it took me a while to figure out that “sew inside facing edge to yoke, not exiting needle on right fabric side” meant “understitch facings to yoke”. And the instructions for the belt are missing entirely, so you best have a belt kit prepared with instructions if you want to make the matching belt. I have contacted Burdastyle.co.uk (where I bought the pattern) to no avail.

Changes made to a size 40 bust and shoulders, 42 + 2cm total width waist, 44 hips:
- 13mm forward shoulder/forward head adjustment, with sleeve cap moved forward 13mm to match
- front neck lowered about 6mm
- new facings drafted to accomodate changes
- elastic casing raised 6cm
- kept length of hem (i.e. 4cm hem allowance) by finishing with a narrow overlocked hem

- Continous bound placket http://buzzybeesworld.blogspot.com.au/2010/10/tricks-of-trade-continuous-bound-sleeve.html
- Slot method of attaching cuff http://buzzybeesworld.blogspot.com.au/2010/10/tricks-of-trade-attaching-shirt-cuff.html

Material Notes

Rayon, from Spotlight. Tessuti lightweight interfacing. Vintage belt kit and buttons from op shop.


Garment Type

5 Comments Sign in to add a post

  • Simba_nov_06_large

    Jun 19, 2016, 12.15 PMby nrobson

    i love this! i love the forties, and what a gorgeous floral =D

  • Avatar_large

    May 15, 2016, 02.42 PMby Iris Arctica

    Wonderful dress and thanks for the useful tutorials! I have been thinking about sewing this pattern and it’s good to know that it’s very blousy.

    1 Reply
    • Missing

      May 16, 2016, 08.56 AMby shibz

      Yeh, the blousiness works so well in a soft drapey fabric like rayon, but would easily go wrong in a stiff fabric. Hope you make one up too, it is a lovely pattern :)

  • Betykissposterd906_1__large

    May 13, 2016, 10.15 AMby Ivanamania

    I love this dress!

    1 Reply
    • Missing

      May 16, 2016, 08.56 AMby shibz

      Thank you! Me too :)

  • Maminek_large

    May 13, 2016, 08.50 AMby RashaT

    Beautiful dress and fabric:-)

    1 Reply
    • Missing

      May 16, 2016, 08.56 AMby shibz

      Thanks :)

  • 20170310_191639_large

    May 13, 2016, 05.21 AMby Mary Athey

    This is gorgeous and what lovely fabric . I normally don’t read the instructions as I find them so confusing. I tryband work the pattern out myself x

    1 Reply
    • Missing

      May 16, 2016, 08.55 AMby shibz

      Yep that’s what I usually do! But I still reckon I am owed pattern instructions when I purchase a pattern :)

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