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sickly studies


I’ve been coming down with some sort of respiratory sickness since Saturday, I’ll spare you the barf-y details, but I’m like 90% positive it’s influenza. I honestly can’t remember ever having the flu (and no I don’t get flu shots, though I probably will after this because the flu is not awesome) so I totally consulted Dr. Google, stumbled upon, and realized “oh good, I don’t have to make an appointment with the real doctor because they probably can’t do anything for me anyways on account of me harboring a virus and all”. Hooray for over-the-counter medicine!

Luckily I was well enough to go to my pattern drafting class on Monday, but I took a nauseous-y turn for the worst soon after that and have been in bed ever since. I’m feeling so much better today but still have an obnoxious dry cough, despite the sea of cough drop wrappers and liquid expectorant consuming my nightstand right now. I suppose one good thing about being sick in bed is the amount of time I have to read my homework packets and try to find some inspiration for my final project that I’ll be working on this semester.


Obviously I’m going to replicate a 1940s design!! But which one should I pick??


I’m starting to build quite the collection of original WWII era magazines, and as much as I love referring to online archives and resources, nothing beats holding the real thing in your hands.


Pattern making is all about creating a basic shape for your garment (a sloper) and then manipulating it by adding darts, fullness, and/or contouring, to add interest of design. The above photo (full downloadable booklet here) shows the two styles of dresses that I’m considering for my project. On the left you see classic examples of everything that goes into taking that basic dress sloper and making it into something exceptionally un-basic. On the right you have a much more utilitarian design with not as much design interest added by way of darts or fullness, and none of that crazy bodice gathering!



I just can’t help but love a WWII utility shirt dress, though! Especially this one with those fold-over pockets and perfect bodice shaping. Swoon! Buuuuuttttt for the sake of learning and better understanding the techniques discussed in the class, I should probably attempt to make something like this…


This dress would be a real challenge for me and will have me contouring, slashing and spreading, and darting my way to pattern making super stardom! I mean I’ll be a super star in my own head because seriously you guys, this would be quite the ambitious project for me to attempt. I actually found a link to the 1941 version of this dress and it explains a bit better how it’s constructed. I believe I see a zipper at the center front? Hmmm… yeah. Ambitious.

Or maybe I should try to recreate the best of both worlds?


How about a fancy utilitarian-esque wrap dress?! I guess I should concentrate on my sloper first. One step at a time, right? …did I mention I really love the super cute shirt dress with fold-over pockets?

What would you choose?



  • Just found your blog, and love it! I’m also taking a pattern drafting class, at the local community college.

  • Oh my, so many gorgeous dresses! But,…. I must confess I have a weakness for fold-over pockets or any kind of pocket details for that matter, so definitely the shirtdress with fold-over pockets!

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  • Honora

    Sweet darling Lucille is doing her best to care for you. Why don’t you let her choose?

  • I hope you blog some about learning to create patterns. I have been learning it myself and it is difficult, especially if you are starting from a sloper (which is what I did too). You might find this post interesting: Personally I don’t know what is the “right” way to create a pattern but it is teaching me a lot.

    Anyway, I’m just interested to see how you do with this.

  • Oh honey, I’m so sorry to hear that you’ve been struck down the flu. Tony developed it this Wednesday and has been sick as all get out. We both had the flu (the second worst I’d ever had) earlier this year (Feb, I believe), so I’m almost surprised he’d get it again so soon, though of course getting it once doesn’t prevent you from having it again, unless it’s the same strain. Too bad though – I wish the flu was like chicken pox in that sense.

    Thinking of you and sending tons of healing, feel better wishes and hugs your way,
    ♥ Jessica

  • Aww man, I’m sorry you’re not feeling well. I’ve got a pretty disgusting gooey cold right now, so I’ve been pounding Dayquil and trying to suck it up, but truth be told I’m beyond relieved that it’s finally the weekend so I can rest! But I can’t wait to see what you make for your final project! Sadly, we don’t get to pick ours and we all have to draft the same thing (rumor is it’s a buttondown shirt). But these dress options are fabulous! It’s so exciting!

  • Oh no! That sounds horrid- I hope you feel better soon. And it is great Dr Hamhound is there to administer cuddles and such. B&P do the same for me when I am poorly. Bless! I’m torn between sassy superstar frock and the utility dress. So many fun options!

  • Oh, Rochelle! I’m sorry to hear you are so ill! You may want to try an excellent old fashioned remedy: a mustard plaster. It sure did the trick for me when I had whooping cough!

    Also, putting Vicks (or similar vaporub) on the soles of your feet and then wearing cotton socks will stop your coughing. It works!

  • Sorry you’re not feeling well! Your inspiration dresses are wonderful. Are you creating slopers in your class, buying them, or working off a fitting shell? I started a pattern making class in September, and it’s been so fun! I put a bit on the sloper company we used here: I’m so fascinated to hear all the different methodologies!

    • I’ll be making my own sloper from scratch based off my measurements 🙂

      • Oh neat!! We took the easy way out and just bought customized ones!

  • Ooh well those fold-over pockets are a total win in my book of course! I wish I wore dresses more often because I’m swooning over pretty much every single one you showed. Why can’t I bring myself to wear them?? 🙁

    That ruched-front (is that the right term?) 1941 dress is ay-may-zing. I can see why it might be too much to attempt right off the bat but what about as a second project? I feel like it’s so different compared to the patterns you usually encounter!

    Sending get better vibes. Be gone, flu!!! *hugs*

  • Feel better soon!

    As for the dresses, I can not, for the life of me, choose between 40s dresses…. They are all so impossibly fabulous 😀

  • I love the green one with with the asymmetrical buttons! Get well soon.

  • The green one , its gorgeous. I’ve been poorly too and missed my class. Lets hope we are both ok for the weekend.

  • Sorry that you’re sick!

    Where are you taking the pattern drafting class?

    • Hi Amy! I’m taking it through the theater department at Alfred University. Does Buffalo have any similar courses?

  • Pat

    I’m not a doctor, but I did get the State of CT Dept. of Health positive for influenza test last year. It does sound like you have the flu. Feel sick, then feel better, then right back in bed with a dry cough. By the time I went to the doctor it was too late for Tamiflu. You have my sympathy and hope for a speedy recovery. All those dresses are something I would covet.