Sewing Cafe

Patterns, Tutorials and Works in Progress from the Sewing Studio of Lynne Williams

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Thrift Store Find - Vintage Rayon Dress

Chuck and I were in Minocqua recently and upon completing our necessary business we decided to treat ourselves to breakfast and some antique shopping.  Breakfast was at Paul Bunyan's and before you groan in disbelief ( those of you who know it) let me just say horrible camp food eaten in the "family style" reminds us both of our childhood...and all goes hand in hand. 
 So let's just talk shopping for vintage fashion at Island City Antiques
You will not believe what Chuck found there! 
 He is such a hunter!!
They have such a small clothes rack there and I never, never, never find anything of interest, but Chuck, hit the jackpot..... for little ol' me.  
The rack was full of vintage garments in my size.  Someone's closet obviously was cleared out and did I benefit.

First up is this rayon dress.

 My apologies for the quality of this first shot.  I tried and tried to get a nice shot, but I don't think my poor little camera knew what to focus on. 
The daisy's, the ballerina's, the gift boxes, or maybe the rhinestone buttons?

What a curious mix up of a fabric.

The ruching covers the front yoke and is stabilized with a plain lining.  
The same is used for the facing on the front placket.  The small collar is under stitched.
Can you even believe that the self belt is still with it?

There is a small hook at the collar with a thread loop on the corresponding side.  
In some ways this dress is simplicity itself.  The facing and unfinished seams are basic to say the least, but then you have beautifully made spaghetti loops with the lovely little tie at the throat.
It makes me curious...and I was beginning to think it was hand/custom made for the client when.....

I found this one tag along the back skirt princess seam, printed with  style # 1240

The hem , which I pinned up so you could all take a gander at it is done with  rayon seam tape and a machine blind hem.
The belt overlaps in the back and has a series of buttons underneath with 2 buttonholes on the top so that you can adjust the fit.
Underneath the belt there is a small casing with some elastic in it, which is still in good working order!

I am hoping someone can provide some more information about this dress.
Have you seen ready made garments without seam finishes before?
What year would you place this dress from?

There will be more vintage garments  to follow...eventually..I promise - lol


  1. The print looks very 40s to me. I have some 40s dresses that came to me with tags and without seam finishes. It is also possible that it may have just had pinked seams and the selvages have frayed so much you can't tell they were ever pinked.

    1. The style as well don't you think, fairly minimal in its use of fabric. I too am thinking pinked as a strong possibility. I have a dress of my mothers from the early 50's which is pinked. Thanks for your input, its much appreciated:)

  2. I am so envious! That is a gorgeous find, and will you wear it as is...or refashion it? 40s for sure.

  3. Wow, that dress is pretty impressive! I love the fabric, of course, such a wonderful print, but the little details are really special too. Love the button loops and the crystal buttons. So beautiful :)


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