Striped 1932 back-wrap dress: Historical Sew Fortnightly

Ladies & Gents, I present you with the striped Historical Sew Fortnightly challenge! It is done but not quite photographed because the light was terrible today. What I made: 1932 Woman’s Home Companion pattern for a back-wrap dress in a pin-stripe navy blue linen, for the stripes challenge.



I’ve been planning to make this dress for, oh, a year or so – ever since I found the pattern on Etsy. I mean: a back wrap closure! How brilliant is that? You eliminate the fitting problems of the front-wrap closure (which are, potentially, I assure you, many), and, well, actually you eliminate the closure-problem altogether. And who wouldn’t want that? Closures are time-consuming. And depending on how pretty you want to make them, they can be very expensive.

But also, this dress has a really pretty silhouette. I love the fluttery sleeve on View C. That’s the one I made, but with the V-neckline of View B, except not with a reverse facing. But more on that in a bit.

What’s bad is that the light’s been terrible the past couple days, and I only finished the dress today in the late afternoon. When it was raining and occasionally snowing. So I’ve only got some pretty terrible pictures, mostly in-progress ones. Still, here are the details.


The fabric is a striped navy-blue linen from my favorite fabric-shop around the corner, Truemart Fabrics. It might have a touch of something else in it but seems t0 be mostly linen, and it’s got the coolest variegated purple-to-yellow-to-white-and-back-to-purple pinstripes. And a lovely drape. I wound up trimming the neckline with my most favorite trim in the world (since childhood – my mother used to trim dresses she sewed for us with just this trim when we were little) in navy blue, which is not entirely period-accurate, except in Hungary (where the trim is from).

The silhouette is amazingly flattering, the dropped shoulders and fluttery sleeves draw attention upwards and the elongated waistline are so very 1930’s sylphlike. (Can you tell the 1930s is one of my favorite periods in fashion?)

Here’s a shot of the back:



Yes, yes, it still needs a good pressing in this picture. I’m hoping tomorrow there shall be light! More to come about this dress. I love, love, love it.


But for now, the facts:

The Challenge: Stripes

Fabric:  3 yards variegated pin-stripe navy-blue linen

Pattern: Companion Patterns 5486

Year: probably 1932

Notions:  thread, Margit-cakk floral trim

How historically accurate is it?: the shape and style, yes. The trim, yes (they made it back in the early 1930s too). The fabric: the main color is accurate but not the variations in color for the pin stripes.

Hours to complete: 3. It came together amazingly quickly. I mean after tracing the pattern, which was a pain because it’s a 1932 perforated tissue pattern.

First worn: just today, but I’m planning to wear it again lots. It’s so very flattering. And the best part: it fits me perfectly, with no alterations. Unusual, and awesome!

Total cost: I got the fabric for a song ($6 a yard) and used a bit less than 3 yards. The trim was 50 cents a meter. So the entire dress cost less than $20.

This entry was posted in Learn, Recommendations and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.