1929 Frock With Cape – Time To Get Your Gatsby On

1929 Frock With Cape – Time To Get Your Gatsby On

New to the Library is this darling Butterick sewing pattern #2996.  Listed as a 1920’s frock, it was actually advertised in Delineator Magazine, January 1930 dating it as a late 1929/early 1930 design.  The dress has all the feminine details such as three different hemline options, geometric seams, two piece optional cape, and a pretty tie, all making this the perfect party frock.

When making up any design for the Library, I tend to use only basic straight and zig-zag stitches in an effort to keep the dress as accurate as the tools a sewer from that era would have had to work with in her home.  The directions (or New Deltor as they were referred to), call for hemstitch detailing for the seams which would showcase the dainty geometric design.  But then I wondered how this would have been done in the 1920’s?  Our modern sewing machines tend to come with every gadget imaginable, but not so in 1929.  So, after researching my ‘The New Dressmaker’, published by the Butterick Publishing Company, 1921, they recommended the following:

“Machine hemstitching is used on blouses, dresses, lingerie, etc., to put together seams, finish hems neat, durable and gives a garment a dainty, finished look.  It is also used as a trimming either in straight rows or in a fancy design.  Prices for the work vary, but it is very expensive.  It can not be done at home as the machine required is too costly, but any plaiting establishment or salesroom of a sewing-machine company will do it.”

How charming is that?!

Front and Back of Dress

So, for the pattern testing stage, we used bias trim made of linen in a contrasting  color to showcase those gorgeous lines.

There are darts at the bust, front waistline, and along the back, as well as at the shoulders of the cape, giving this pullover dress it’s subtle shaping.  And if you omit the cape, it makes a fabulous dress on it’s own.  Although, difficult to show in photos, and having made this in a crepe-like chiffon, the dress just floats.


Front and Back Bodice






And it all finishes up nicely with a tie/knot at the neckline.

This reproduction dress pattern is now available at the VPLL web-store.

Although the web-store only accepts PayPal, this pattern is also available on the Etsy store and all form of credit card is accepted there.

Bette Davis Swim Ensemble

Bette Davis Swim Ensemble

Here’s a lovely pattern now available at the Library as a reproduction.  The original, #5215, is from the Butterick “Starred” collection and features a bathing ensemble as worn by Bette Davis.  And, yes, Bette actually wore this in the movie “Working Man”, filmed in 1933.  This “must have” style designed by Orry Kelly was advertised in Delineator Magazine, June 1933, and could easily be considered a fabulous addition to today’s current summer wardrobe.

t5215Betty Davis bathing suit

Two-piece outfit in either of two styles with attached undershorts and optional bandana.  Pattern is sized for a 32 inch bust.

View A (Yellow version below) has a halter-style top with plain front shorts that button along both sides.


View B top ties at shoulders and at the open back (Bali print version).  Shorts have a pleated front, optional belt loops and belt, and buttons along both sides.


And finally, here is the fabulous Bette Davis wearing this ensemble.  Oh my, and she wears it well!


Starting Off The New Year With….

New patterns!

And, oh what fun they are.

1930s Ladies Evening Slip, having a V-front neckline with gathered bra-like bodice and features a deep, plunging back with darts for shaping.  Can be made in shorter length for day dresses, or longer, with or without the optional flounce.  Perhaps a lace flounce with a lace bra overlay.  Perfect for wearing under 1930’s era evening gowns.  Pattern is sized for a 34 inch bust.

1930s Combination Undergarment, having a V-front neckline with bandeau bra bodice and features a plunging back.  Tap outfit secures along the side seam for a closure free look.  Can be accented with lace – perhaps along neckline and hem, or a lace bra overlay.  Perfect for wearing under shorter 1930’s era fashions.  Pattern is sized for a 34 inch bust.

1940s Ladies Undergarments, having darted bra with back hook closure.  Bloomers feature a gathered leg hem, and gathered waistline, with optional V front yoke overlay.  Can be accented with lace – perhaps along the neckline, or another lace bra overlay.  A ‘must have’ for wearing under 1940’s era fashions.  Pattern is sized for a 36 inch bust.

And, Laura at Lilacs & Lace, made a fabulous version of our 1950s Jacket Dress that I’m sure you’ll want to check out.  Talk about talent…  I am in awe of her fabulous work.

Off to work on more ‘new’ patterns…. stay tuned!




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