Simplicity 1587

Simplicty 1587

This is my best attempt at a 1940s look. My hair didn’t want to cooperate and curl properly, and the closest thing I have to a hat is this fascinator-headband-thing, but over all it ain’t bad.

I haven’t historically been interested in 40s fashion but I think this dress my be changing my mind…

Simplicity 1587

The Pattern: One of Simplicity’s 1940s retro patterns which I’ve had in my stash for a long time.

Simplicty 1587

The Fabric: A black on beige polka dot rayon challis from Joann Fabrics. Rayon always makes me think of the 40s.

Simplicty 1587

The Changes: Not much at all, just adjusting the size in the hips.

The Results: I do like the dress but I have a few complaints. It’s too big in the bodice (especially in the back) but at the same time there’s not much ease in the sleeve.

And since the sleeve cap is so tall and narrow, whenever I move my arms the fabric pulls across my upper chest (I think the model on the envelope is experiencing the same problem).

Simplicty 1587

Also, the gathers seem rather minimal. There’s hardly any on the bust seam line at all. It almost looks like I just sewed that seam sloppily instead of having intentional gathers. Why did I even bother sewing all those stitches??

Simplicty 1587

But mainly I don’t love how all the neat seam lines get lost in the polka dots. I think that would happen with almost any print, though.

Simplicty 1587

I enjoyed the ruching on the sleeves and the fit of the waist yoke and the swishy skirt but I doubt I’d make this pattern again. I have a few other 40s patterns, though, that I would like to try out if I find the right fabric for them.

  • I really liked watching “bomb girls” for the 1940’s fashion. It’s on Netflix.

    • I haven’t seen Bomb Girls yet but I am a little obsessed with Call the Midwife. It’s set in the 50s but still have a great vintage vibe.

  • I love the yoke/swishy skirt. And the polka dots are perfect for a 40’s dress.

  • Ehy! This is a wardrobe masterpiece! It turned out beautiful and you look amazing! Polka dot are supercute and the result is really elegant. Congrats.

    • Wow, thanks so much!

  • I think you look adorable in this dress, Dixie. I love the fabric and your hair. I’ve heard that the reissue patterns have had fitting problems. I hope you don’t give up and maybe try a vintage pattern next time. The actual forties patterns fit pretty well. I think they added more ease to the new reissue ones.

    • Thanks Justine! I plan on using an actual vintage pattern next time. I think I’ve got the 40s bug now.

  • Naomi

    You look great in it though!

  • verykb

    I really like how it looks, although the issues you mention are annoying for the wearer. Have you seen ‘Till the Sun Goes Down’, UK website, vintage fabrics and shand has a couple of 40s patterns called Now and Then. There’s a lovely dress

    • Ok, I just looked up that website and now I’ve gone down the rabbit hole… so inspiring! They have fantastic prints. Thanks for the tip!!

  • perfect dress. lovely fabric and i agree with justine below, the reissues are often simplified and even if you look at the back drawings of the pattern pieces in both there are subtle differences in the cutting line.

    • Thank you! I know that the reissues are based on modern blocks (the companies don’t keep old patterns stashes around to reference) so they’re never going to be just right. I’ve only worked with real vintage patterns from the 60s and 70s so I don’t know how an older pattern from the 40s would fit compared to a modern design.

      And yeah, I noticed the envelope drawing has more gathers at the center point on the skirt but the actual pattern only has gathers on either side of the point. That’s just one slight difference.

  • Looks very nice. Thanks for the heads up about the bodice/sleeve sizing. Just ordered this pattern as a birthday present, and hoping to start on it soon

    • Thank you. From what I’ve read, other people have mentioned the minimal sleeve ease, too, so it seems to be a common issue.

  • Caitlyn Myers

    It’s a shame about the fitting issues, because to me eye the fabric and the way you styled the outfit really nail 40s style. Here’s hoping that future garments made from reissues (or vintage patterns, if you end up down that rabbit hole) have a better fit!

    • Thanks, I have a handful of real vintage 40s patterns in my stash. They’re definitely starting to look more appealing to me now.

  • missceliespants

    Weird about the sizing. The look is SO cute on you.

  • Bethany Barrett

    I wasn’t sure I wanted this pattern, it really helps to see it sewn up! It does look very cute, despite the fit issues. Thanks for such a good review!


    Looks fabulous. A great look for you.

  • Oh that just looks so lovely! Great styling and I love the fabric you chose!