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The 1935 Linen Dress

Added Aug 4, 2010

by ajtak7171

Vienna, Austria






Finished! This is the linen dress that comes with the striped jacket I posted previously. It’s from a magazine from 1935. What horror to find out they simply forgot to put instructions in the magazine! I looked everywhere, but they were nowhere to be found. Alas, these instructions usually are very, very rudimentary and don’t say much more than “put it together” anyway… So I went for it and I believe I figured the construction out alright. Forgive me for saying so, but I think it’s to die for!
The only thing I changed was adding the pockets. I mean, can you believe they were not there to begin with? With the princess seams and all, it was so easy to add them! I lowered the neckline by quite a bit, about 8 cm (more than 3’’), and I made that cool pleat inset at the bottom of the skirt a bit wider. I also made the dress shorter, but not too much, and I think that is due to my short legs, not to modernize it. Look in the illustration, it’s so hard to see how they want it – those legs are soooo long!
Now I want the shoes she is wearing. Although – I would definitely not wear them with socks :-)
I admit, I like this so much (can you believe it’s from the 30’s?!), I very seriously consider making that other dress, too, the one with the bows and the jacket. And while I’m at it, why not go for the coat, too?
Thank you for the button suggestions on the jacket – I hope you like what I decided on…

Material Notes

100% Linen




Spring, Summer, Fall
Garment Type

50 Comments Sign in to add a post

  • Lady_large

    Jun 29, 2017, 07.04 AMby jellybear

    please could you tell us the name of the magasine you used?

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    Feb 2, 2012, 08.57 AMby Ljiljan

    Incredibly !!

  • Missing

    Jan 4, 2012, 04.45 PMby laurenp

    Oh my goodness! I realise I am a year late to see this (how it escaped me, I’ll never know). This is incredible, looks amazing! What a brilliant job, I hope you wear this all the time.

    Did you find the shoes to go with it?

    1 Reply
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      Jan 25, 2012, 10.30 AMby ajtak7171

      Thank you! It’s alright, I am a month late seeing your lovely comment, too ;-) I actually have not yet found the shoes, but if I did, I would even consider them wearing with socks now… a year can change a lot, right?
      All the best to you!

  • Missing

    Nov 21, 2011, 11.17 AMby Katatkinson

    I just joined in and the first thing I look at …. is your outfit. And I want it!!!! Dress and jacket. They are absolutely gorgeous. I wish I could get this pattern.

    1 Reply
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      Nov 22, 2011, 08.47 AMby ajtak7171

      Thank you and welcome, what an honor! I sure wish all my garments would turn into such all time favorites as this one ;-) It’s a complicated thing with the copyrights on these old patterns, so I’m afraid I can’t just share it… You’ll find other goodies for sure!

  • 121bcd6a71a_avatar_large

    Apr 6, 2011, 06.52 PMby harrietbazley

    Fashion illustrations are distorted of course, but I wonder if the ‘slim, long-legged’ effect in costumes of this era was intended to be obtained by positioning the waistline to lie slightly above the natural waist? This would account for the altered neckline as well…

    I love the effect of the belt worn over the jacket: I hadn’t even realised until that point that it was a separate piece.

    1 Reply
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      Apr 7, 2011, 02.25 PMby ajtak7171

      Thank you! Yes, you might be right, I am sure they did just about everything they could to elongate the legs. How funny, that we think this length for a skirt is unflattering nowadays… The neck as low as I made it though would definitely have been a tiny scandal back then :-)

  • Missing

    Sep 15, 2010, 08.43 PMby jeanninechiplis

    This is a beautiful dress. So well made. You are so talented! I keep coming back to this page to admire it. I would be more than happy to purchase a pattern. Size 12 petite would be great (Burda, help us all out here). It would seem all of the above feel the same way. I have a beutiful piece of linen just waiting to be made into this dress.

    Thank you for sharing this.

  • Vintage_lady_resize_large

    Sep 14, 2010, 06.35 PMby vintagegal

    I love this dress! Amazing job…let me know when you are going to make the pattern available…maybe Burda ought to make you an offer, and make it available to all. Wouldn’t that be nice….(hint, hint!) I am sure you are going to get more compiments than you know what to do with, when you wear this!

  • Avatar-cupcake_large

    Aug 13, 2010, 02.20 PMby frkbustad

    It’s amazing!!! I love the pockets. You did an incredible job working out how to put this together without instructions! Well done, and do go for another one.

    1 Reply
    • Blogportrait_large

      Aug 14, 2010, 08.41 AMby ajtak7171

      Thank you!! And yes, I am already working on another one… this one even has instructions (rudimentary, but I appreciate them so much more now!) …it should be posted very soon :-)

  • Charlie-deeshadows1_large

    Aug 11, 2010, 05.20 PMby smallone

    you know I read somewhere that in that era women were expected to have the garment construction skills and so would just know how stuff was meant to go together! you did such a fabulous job figuring this out and it is elegant and quite timeless and very beautiful in the color and fabric you’ve chosen. I love the pockets too and funny I’ve noticed that in illustrations older patterns may show a lower neckline but in person they are a lot more conservative….anyway all round nice job and very inspirational.

    1 Reply
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      Aug 14, 2010, 08.38 AMby ajtak7171

      Thank you so much!!! Yes, even I still had “crafting” class, only the girls (for knitting, sewing etc.) and the boys learned how to use a hammer and nails. Now they all learn both, but I bet even less of it…

  • Anton_large

    Aug 11, 2010, 04.58 PMby guinea-pig

    Really beautiful. I think the version you have made looks better than the sketch of the design. Why is it that that the artists distort the dimensions? The legs on the drawing look far too long to me. Would look good with a hat dipped over one eye (as in the Carly Simon song!).

    1 Reply
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      Aug 14, 2010, 08.40 AMby ajtak7171

      Thank you! Yes really, the dimensions are distorted! But most fashion designers still do that today – I guess it makes the illustrations even “catchier”… Oooh, I like the hat idea!

  • Button_s_large

    Aug 10, 2010, 04.48 PMby lmb

    Your projects are so inspirational. I look forward to seeing every post and garment you make. Everything is so full of style. Nice job.

  • Vatten_large

    Aug 10, 2010, 09.54 AMby ichigogirl

    Ooooh, it’s fabulous!

  • Cb5600cf5992e2688db48a079214470ef00cfd4f_large

    Aug 9, 2010, 11.43 AMby judabra

    Wow!!! Well done. Was linen the suggested fabric, or did you decide to use it just as preferred choice?

    1 Reply
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      Aug 10, 2010, 04.11 PMby ajtak7171

      Thank you! Yes, they suggested linen for all the above dresses. I felt very authentic making it the way it was originally meant… :-)

  • Love_large

    Aug 8, 2010, 02.17 PMby queeniepop


  • 2ec794ad0aab31308b80ae690170adc92f1f5e0e_large

    Aug 8, 2010, 07.30 AMby marmota-b

    No instructions. right. I got a number of german and Austrian sewing magazines from 30s and 40s into my hands and that’s quite right, no instructions. But conquered it! I love those pintucks – if they are pintucks – and the versatility of the belt! From the first photos I thought it was attached to the dress and then, bam, it’s worn over the jacket. :-)

    1 Reply
    • Blogportrait_large

      Aug 10, 2010, 04.12 PMby ajtak7171

      Thank you! Well yes, I believe pintucks is the right word in English… In German they are called “Biesen” and there was nowhere to find a translation… Instructions really are always very basic in those magazines, but this one really got forgotten entirely…

  • Fa7d22c14ad5fd9dd5a6038305d0d81c632d93f0_large

    Aug 7, 2010, 04.25 PMby gretch


  • Image_large

    Aug 7, 2010, 10.36 AMby lorelle

    Its beautiful. Its a lovely dress and you wear it well. Beautifully made.

  • 5895503519_d42bddbd6c_o_1__large

    Aug 7, 2010, 08.59 AMby nikkishell

    This is seriously amazing! I can’t believe you did it without instructions. You are super!

    1 Reply
    • Blogportrait_large

      Aug 10, 2010, 04.13 PMby ajtak7171

      Thank you!!!

  • Missing

    Aug 7, 2010, 06.26 AMby northome

    Absolutely gorgeous!

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    Aug 7, 2010, 02.19 AMby skeeler

    Yes, absolutely “to die for”

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    Aug 6, 2010, 11.37 PMby 6kidsathome

    this outfit is amazing. please post the pictures if you do create the other outfits.

    1 Reply
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      Aug 10, 2010, 04.13 PMby ajtak7171

      Ooooh, you bet I will! Thank you for the compliment!

  • Green_eyes_large

    Aug 6, 2010, 12.57 PMby frankiesoup

    This is SO stylish – I just love it! If I saw this in a shop I would buy it in a second!

  • Dsc09451_large

    Aug 6, 2010, 10.55 AMby solochels

    You did an amazing job! I love everything about it! Is there anywhere/anyway to get this pattern?

    1 Reply
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      Aug 6, 2010, 02.50 PMby ajtak7171

      Thank you!!! The pattern probably only exists in that magazine, not as a single pattern. I am looking into the copyright situation, as so many people are always asking about those patterns…

  • Margesimpson18_large

    Aug 6, 2010, 08.18 AMby ellie-sew

    Wow, how gorgeous! I could watch it for hours! Apart from the great job you have done again, it is a very classy, sporty and also stylish combination. I like both, but the jacket is exactly what I am looking for. Is that jersey?

    1 Reply
    • Blogportrait_large

      Aug 6, 2010, 02.41 PMby ajtak7171

      Thank you so much! Yes, I believe it’s a cotton knit, with a touch of “Elasthan” (don’t know what that is called in English…). Quite loosely knit, lovely to wear (am wearing it right now :-))

  • P1060934_large

    Aug 5, 2010, 08.56 PMby tilly-vanilly

    This is bea-u-ti-ful! So impressive. The pockets are particularly stunning.

  • Dec-avatar_large

    Aug 5, 2010, 01.27 PMby elegantmusings

    Absolutely stunning! I love the addition of pockets—they add a lot of dimension to the skirt!

    1 Reply
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      Aug 6, 2010, 02.42 PMby ajtak7171

      Thank you so much!!! This means a lot, coming from you. I’ve been admiring your projects since I very first came to this site!

  • 4bec6d03f566ef32e602036dc123453f07973bac_large

    Aug 5, 2010, 12.19 PMby sallyleigh

    Wow, wow, WOW! I would wear a dress like this every day if I had your sewing skills…different fabric for each day! So divine. BRAVO!

  • Profilepic4_large

    Aug 5, 2010, 10.26 AMby carolyn-s

    This is gorgeous! You’ve done a beautiful job, and with no instructions, very impressive! I love your fabric choice, so chic and understated glamour to a T. Stunning!

  • Mn_2010_068_large

    Aug 5, 2010, 06.59 AMby norskie

    Very, very nice and you have the figure to go with the lovely dress. How about giving those riding pants a shot?

    1 Reply
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      Aug 11, 2010, 06.46 AMby ajtak7171

      Wow, you people really look at the pictures closely! Did you figure they are riding pants just by the shoes? They are the kind that “bulge” out at the thighs, but yes, they are actually really cool, and they come with a riding jacket, too… hm… looks like I’ll have to sew the whole darn page :-)

  • Img_6603_1_large

    Aug 5, 2010, 06.36 AMby tatyanaci

    I like!

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