My Bonnie Blue Dress
A few weeks ago, by daughter gave this dress to me and I knew that I would have to fix it for the 1940’s challenge. I have never seen anything like it! It is so lovely and unique. This is a KerryBrooke fashion made for Sears and Robuck and made in the USA. It is made from rayon, a popular fabric used during the 1940’s. It was originally invented in 1884 and called artificial silk. It wasn’t until 1924 that it was called Rayon. This dress is trimmed in a pink woven cotton, which is used in the peek-a-boo facings around the scalloped neck and pockets and bias trim on the cape sleeves. The dress was a size 20, which was very loose and baggy in the bodice, but the skirt fit well. I decided that I would try doing some major alterations to the dress in order to make it fit me.
I took the zipper out, picked the skirt and sleeves off, picked open the sides of the bodice and put it back on my dress form. I pinned it to fit on the sides, about 1 1/2 inches, and marked it with a white colored pencil. I took off about 1/2 inch on the top half of the arm-circle and took 1/2 inch of the bottom of the bodice. The sleeves are caps that overlap under the arm so they were were easy to adjust and reattach. I reattached the skirt, and put in a plastic zipper instead of the original metal one. I had a hard time deciding just how long to make it, but after researching 1940’s hem lengths, it was obvious that during wartime, the dresses were shorter, but still below the knee, while in later years, they seemed to be a bit longer. I found a happy medium and used my vintage hem guide to mark the hem. The original hem was somewhat uneven, so measuring from the floor made it easy to straighten it out. I used the hem stitch and hem attachment to sew the hem. I love that thing! Hemming by hand just takes too much time! I happened to have a pink thrifted belt to go with it, which was great because I really didn’t want to make one. I’ve been out in the garden all day and I am suffering from severe allergies. My energy level is not what it should be.
I did a little research, trying to find dresses or patterns similar to this KerryBrooke dress and came up with a few to share with you. I love the scallop feature, and how the pockets come to a point at the bottom, sit on the sides of the dress, and the hint of pink around the edges. I’d like to copy this dress for a summery look, possible in a light floral fabric.
Since I have been following a strict rule of not purchasing RTW clothes this year, I’ve had fun creating my own wardrobe and trying to figure out how to best interpret the challenges with the fabrics that I have already, thrifted finds, and an occasional splurge on new fabrics and patterns. It’s also fun just to shop for accessaries and shoes. I really don’t miss or even need to buy RTW. It’s been very easy to cut that out of my budget. I may just keep doing it indefinitely.