Hot! Upcoming Theme: Out of Time, The 1940s

Next week’s theme call for a creation inspired by the 1940s. The 1940s happen to be (at least, at the moment) my favorite fashion decade from the 20th Century. Perhaps because of the practicalities that arose from rationing, the 1940s¬†silhouette and style is probably the easiest to wear today (and not look like you’re wearing a costume.) Part of my love also comes from the prints of the time. As you can see below, they started out very similar to the 1930s prints that you seem commonly in feedsacks and housedresses. By the end of the decade, the illustrations are far more stylized and approaching the quintessential mid-century aesthetic. Either from 1940 or 1949, the fabrics were gorgeous. Oh how I would love to shop from these pages of the Sears catalog!

From the beginning of the decade, 1940:


From the end of the decade, 1949:


Mena Trott

Mena Trott started The Sew Weekly to document her attempt to sew all of her own clothes in 2010. Since then, she's made over 125 outfits and has way more clothes than she needs.


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  1. Such a cool observation. Although I love the 40s, I have never paid attention to the patterns. Thanks for posting :)

  2. I must admit – I was completely lost about 1940’s fabric prints – this is wonderful!

  3. I think I’ll go for a 1940s pattern but modern fabric. I may in venture into sewing real silk! Love the fabric reference, thanks Mena.

  4. This is great – I wish the prices were still the same now. Plus look at the range that was available – I really feel I was born in the wrong time…”sigh*

  5. such pretty patterned fabric. The 40’s are my favorite, too… I’m going for some men’s pajamas, I just can’t resist the “excuse” to make them up finally!

  6. Oh my gosh, those are so beautiful! Yet another reminder that I was born 50 years too late!

  7. wow – the colours and prints are amazing.

  8. So beautiful! Delicate, pretty, and the illustrated styles that go along with the fabrics! I want that little girls dress in the second photo – think you can find us a “make this look” for that dress Mena?

  9. I love the detail that they go into about each fabrics features! (it’s also making me learn what some of my fabrics might actually be. eep. I didn’t even realise they were that old.) I wish we had this kind of thing now. Oh spotlight.. you got nothin on 1940’s sears.