What I’m working on: the 1940s “Minnado” dress

Just a short one today, but am mega excited to be working on the most delightful 1940s vintage dress pattern.  It’s not got any printing on it & has punched holes, some larger than others.  The instructions could almost cover two sides of a beer mat.  It has strange shaped pattern pieces with right angled seams.

1940s dress instructions

I am making it with some fabric the lovely Debbie from Minnado’s House sent to me.  It is synthetic, has wonderful drape & I am not sure if it is Rayon, never having sewn Rayon before???  It is quite tough though, my pins don’t like piercing it & even my sharp little sewing machine needle behaves like it’s been through 5 layers of denim.

1940s dress pattern

It’s navy & is festooned with spriggy flowers & cherries.  I will endeavour to insert some zig zag into it somewhere, you know me!  Gosh, I’m enjoying it :-)

Next up: I’ve finished a UFO!!

32 thoughts on “What I’m working on: the 1940s “Minnado” dress

  1. Lizzy

    Exciting! I’ve got several vintage patterns… I’ve been too nervous to try. I just get them out and stroke them gently…. LOL

  2. Karen

    It’s going to look amazing, Winnie! I may have to copy you again & try to find that pattern. We all know how well that turned out last time. Love the gathered bodice & the shoulder/sleeve placket. I bet it’s really flattering.

    Is the fabric vintage, too? It has that cool vintage look.

  3. punkmik

    Oh I want to try my vintage pattern. I have a PJ one. Shouldn’t be too hard to get a decent result from it … hopefully. :P That fabric is lovely, with the fruits and flowers. :) (or is it just flowers? I forgot my glasses today)

  4. Esz

    WOW this gonna be fab!
    The fabric probably isn’t rayon – from my experience, needles LOVE rayon – it sews and irons beautifully. But on the flipside, it creases like a bugger and depending on the weave, ravels quickly and is slippery! The latest dress I’ve made is rayon (not blogged yet) and it was interesting but nice to sew with.
    Regardless – your dress is going to be great! I love those unprinted patterns – IMHO they can be easier to work with over printed ones, because they’re easier to mark. Just have to be extra sure you have the pattern pieces the right way up (if you’re cutting a single layer) – This I also learnt while making my last dress! :-D

    (trying to post again without my website as I’ve noticed a lot of my comments go into spam)

    1. scruffybadgertime Post author

      Thanks for the advice Esz, I can see what you mean about right way up getting mixed up! Thanks to your descriptions this is not Rayon, I know now what it is not, but what it is? No clearer!
      I shall pop on over to check out your lovely creation :-)

  5. Jane

    Oh lordy, I nearly wept when I read this, could you make anything more covetable Winnie? The most PERFECT 1940′s dress pattern (you’ll get your head round the perforations, trust me!), navy blue rayonish fabric, with spriggy flowers AND cherries, plus lovely buttons and red zigzags. I can’t WAIT to see this! x

  6. Debbie

    ooooh, I am so glad you are making that dress with that fabric. I knew you could put it to a much better use than me! I don’t know if the fabric is truly vintage but it did come in a bin bag from a 93 year old lady’s fabric collection. I don’t think she has sewn for at least 15 years…

  7. Andrea

    Ooooh, that print looks dreamy – love the colours. It’s great that you are enjoying this project so much. Can’t wait to see the finished dress!

  8. Katrina Blanchalle

    You are very brave. Last time I worked with one of those there was a lot of ripping of seams. The pattern was okay but I had some trouble with the instructions which must have resulted from a paper shortage.

  9. silvia

    Very, very cute! The pattern is interesting and doesn’t look crazy hard. I’m sure you’ll be fine. That fabric looks like poly. But heck, you were alive in the 80s. Remember if you grabbed your French Connection box shaped, shoulder padded blouse you’d get a handful of wrinkled fabric? Does your cute fabric act like that? If not, I’d guess polyester. Have you tried a “sharp” sewing needle? Maybe a sword of needle will help the sewing.

    Can’t wait to see your pretty frock.

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