In Sew For Victory

Sew For Victory Completed Muslin


This is technically muslin number two because my first attempt was a no-go. I had to redraft the neckline because it was so tight and so high that it was not only uncomfortable to wear, it actually kinda hurt. I wanted to make this dress 100% true to pattern, but I know I’d never wear my final dress if I didn’t make a few changes.


After scooping out the neckline a bit, the next change I made was to take out the back zipper and replace it with just a simple key hole type opening. On my final dress I’m going to use something else besides the hook and eye closure at the top because I don’t like the way it holds the gap open right now. I’m honestly surprised the pattern didn’t call for this method to begin with. There was a metal ration still going on in America in 1946 so you’d think people would be in the business of not using extra zippers! Make Do and Mend, right? Plus, it makes so much more sense to just have one zipper at the side instead of one at the side AND at the back neck.


This was a total stash busting project so I don’t feel bad about having to make a second muslin. The fabric, the lace, the bias tape, and everything else used to make this dress, came from supplies I already had in my sewing room. Plus it’s adorable and I will actually wear this dress! Wearable muslin success!


The fit in the bust isn’t perfect and I could use some shoulder pads to help the shape, but I’m happy with the dress overall so I don’t think I’ll fuss with any fit adjustments on my final dress.


I’m working from an original Hollywood pattern from 1946 and some of the directions are a little strange. For example, it said to use bias tape to bind just the bottom portion of the arm scythe and use a different method to finish the rest of the inside seam. That didn’t make any sense to me so I just used bias tape on the entire bit.


If I did the bias tape as instructed it would be turned to the inside and you wouldn’t be able to see it from the outside at all, but I think it looks really cute like this!


I should have used bias tape to bind the center seam in the back too for a cleaner looking finish. I’ll have to make a note of that for my final Sew For Victory dress.


Again, not the perfect fit, but this isn’t a dress style that’s meant to be super fitted so I think I’m just going to leave it as is! I did end up taking about 4 inches off the hem line though. Even for a 1946 style I think the skirt was awkwardly long. I don’t want too much of my knees to show either so I’ll definitely have to pay closer attention to how much I’m hacking off and hemming from the bottom on my next go.

So what’s the plan for the final dress??


Well it’s pretty much going to be the exact same dress as my pretty polka dot one shown above, but made out of a very special fabric. I don’t want to give too much away yet, (I want it to be a surprise reveal!) but lets just say I have some serious love for Spoonflower. I will also say that my final fabric is a cotton sateen so hopefully I’ll get a nicer sleeve drape than with the plain old quilting cotton. I’ll find out soon!

How is your Sew For Victory project coming along? I’ve seen some amazing things showing up in the Flickr pool!

I can’t to see everyone’s final projects!

p.s. That four inches of hem that I cut off the dress? …ask Lucille where it went 😉



  • Milena

    I love this version! Thanks for the close up on the flutter sleeve, I now finally get how to draft one..:) p.s. I think that all the 40’s patterns were drafted for shoulder pads, mine even has instruction how to make them. I am close to finishing my project, only not sure about the hem length, do you have an idea? Were they always bellow the knee or on some occasions lower?

    • Wartime lengths did get a bit shorter. I’ve seen many that hit just under the knee, but many of my vintage patterns are a bit longer (mid to upper shin) so I suppose it depends on a length you’re comfortable with! You didn’t really see hemlines above the knee unless it was on a sportswear type garment. Hope that helps 🙂

  • This is adorable! Love it on you!

  • lloydine greschaw

    i love it s so cute. covers things not covered now days. lol

    • Thanks, I totally agree with you on coverage! 🙂

  • Liz Alexandre

    This is adorable, the pattern, the lace and the polka dots. 1940s pattern skirts are so long! I have cut 4″ off mine when cutting out and still think more is going to need to come off. Hopefully mine will be a wearable muslin too.

    • A lot of war time 40’s styles had much shorter hems, which is the look I like to go for. Just under where the knee starts is my favorite length. Good luck with your muslin!

  • Claire Eggleton

    This is so pretty. I love how the lace compliments the spots. I can’t wait to see it in your chosen fabric

  • Rachel Proffitt

    This looks so cute! I love how it turned out- very nice for spring! And Lucille looks lovely in her strips 😉

    • Thanks! Spring time was what I was going for. Lucille likes the look too 😉

  • Rebecca Wagner

    Love the sleeves! they look great.. ahh look at her. Adorable:)

    • Thanks! And yes, she’s pretty much the most adorable thing ever if I do say so myself 😉

  • I LOVE it!! The “flowyness” (just made that word up) of the sleeves are my favorite part. This will look so amazing with your special fabric!

    • Flowyness is totally a word 😉 I would even say “Flutter-ery” lol I didn’t like the sleeves much on that Colette blouse but I love them on this dress!!

  • This is so cute. Definitely a keeper even if it isn’t quite perfect. Can’t wait to see the final version though!

    • Thanks, Helen! I think it’s a keeper, too 🙂

  • This is beautiful!! I adore the lace detail.

    • Thanks! That’s something I added last minute after the bodice was already sewn together so it was kind of a pain to put on, but totally worth it!

  • SewIThought

    Can’t wait to see the final product! Reminds me I need to get crackin on my Sew for Victory dress..eek!

    • I just extended the deadline to April 1st so you’ll have a bit more time 🙂 Good luck!

  • ozzyblackbeard

    Your dress is gorgeous! I love the fabric (what’s not to love about polka dots!), the lace and the floaty sleeves. And the photo of Lucille is brilliant! Good luck with the next version. Lynne

  • You made the bird print thats on the pattern envelope!!! Awesome!! #PutABirdOnIt 😉

  • I love the polka dots and lace paired together! The dress looks great, and I’m really looking forward to seeing your secret fabric all made up.

    • Thank you! I’m looking forward to it as well. Hopefully it turns out!

  • Love the lace addition–you are so good at adding the little details! My pattern calls for shoulder pads too, and it gives brief directions for making your own. I might try that!

    • Thanks! Yeah my pattern also gives directions on how to make your own, but I found these ones at a fabric store and they seemed the perfect size (and were cheap!) so I’m saving myself a step 🙂


    Oh my goodness, it’s looking beautiful! I’ve been without my sewing machine for over a week now and I’m so worried I’m going to miss your deadline. I will cry if I do as this is such a fun challenge to be a part of!

    • Aww please don’t cry! I would be willing to extend the challenge so everyone has one more weekend to sew if need be!

  • Chillmer

    That is adorable!! It is definitively a wearable muslin SUCCESS!

    P.s. I just got those same glasses (or similar) and I love them. Zenni?

    • Thanks! Yeah the glasses are from Zenni! Cute aren’t they?

  • You look great, I love that dress! And Lucille, darling as always.

  • christine

    adorable!!! looking forward to seeing the final version!

  • It’s adorable! This fabric and the little lace detail definitely make this an eye catching garment. If this is just the muslin, I can’t wait to see the real deal!

  • This is super cute! It looks very light and comfortable for spring and summer.

    • Thanks! Yes I think it will be the perfect summer dress.

  • sallieforrer

    It looks adorable! I just love those fluttery sleeves! I think a shoulder pad would probably fix some of the wrinkling in the bust – and, I mean, this is the 40’s we’re talking about, which only loses the top spot as the decade of shoulder pads because the 80’s had to come along and get all “power suit-y” on us… I’m super excited to see your finished make – is that a bird I spy on your fabric….?

    • Thank you! Yeah I bought some shoulder pads for my final dress so hopefully they’ll make a difference. I tried to find the most strictly functional shoulder pads possible. Not like the 80’s “Come at me, Bro!!” ones haha! Oh man, my mom had a few power blazers in her day. So good. And yes, in regards to my fabric, I put a bird on it 😉

  • The muslin looks fantastic! And I seriously do the same thing with extra fabric to my dog. He gets so annoyed at me LOL

  • I LOVE how your second muslin came out!! It’s adorable, and I’m sure you’re seeing things we wouldn’t notice but I think the fit is great! The polka dot print is really cute, too. Maybe the bias binding on only the lower portion was because that’s the only part that would peek out, so you wouldn’t waste a supply where it wasn’t needed? But that sort of counteracts the two zips. lol I’ve occasionally found funny things in 40s patterns that seem to go against everything I’ve read about rationing too, it’s interesting. I do know I have at least one vintage pattern that closes at the back neck similar to what you’re going to do, if you’d like me to check and see what it recommends (I think a thread loop and button if I recall).

    • Thanks, Dear! I was thinking a thread loop with a nicer looking pearl button too actually. I also might attempt to draft a facing instead of bias binding for the neck line so there’s no stitch line. Annnnd I should probably learn how to use my blind hem foot so I can have a nice hem finish too. I’ve got some work to do!

  • Rochelle, I truly adore your wardrobe. It is always so bright and colourful! I am aiming to make mine that way. I like simplicity, but I just can’t stay away from super bright and cheery patterns. They just make me happy, ya know?

    Can’t wait to see the finished product!

    • I totally agree! You’ve gotta have some cheer in your wardrobe. Especially if you’re expecting a winter storm in mid March like we are in Vermont haha! Sewing bright clothes definitely helps get me through the gloomy weather 🙂

  • Brigid

    Oh! Your wearable muslin is lovely!
    Don’t tell me you actually were able to copy the original fabric on Spoonflower!!! That will look SO amazing! 🙂

    • Thank you! You’ll just have to wait and see with the fabric 😉 😉 😉

  • Helen McFadyen

    This is gorgeous and so summery looking! So nice when you get a decent wearable muslin out of a project. It’s like a free dress! 🙂
    Can’t wait to see the “real” dress!

    • You’re right! It is like a free dress! That’s such a nice feeling haha 🙂

  • Alexandra Cuckoo

    Oh my goodness, I love this dress on you! It’s simple but feminine! Way to go on the wearable muslin!

  • Nice job! I wonder, since the bias tape @ arymscye was meant to fold under and be attached on the wrong side, maybe they had it only for the bottom so that there wouldn’t be a stitch line on the right side where it would be holding the bias in place?

    • Thanks! Yeah I think you’re right about the no stitch line. I was trying to avoid that too which is why I used the bias tape like I did instead of folding it all down and over the seam.

  • Kat Sultanie

    You look lovely! I love the colour and the lace feature. It looks gorgeous. I can’t wait to see your final version.