Debi's Vintage Pledge Project: 4th July Dress

Debi of My Happy Sewing Place, has been blogging her vintage sewing projects since 2009. Her blog was one of the first sewing blogs I read, and although she has sewn patterns from the 1930s to 1970s, the 1940s is her favourite decade, particularly McCalls patterns:

I am beyond excited to be participating in the Vintage Pattern Pledge this year!  Many of you may follow my blog, My HappySewing Place and will know that I am undertaking a massive vintage sewing endeavour called the ‘1940 McCall Project’ where I am attempting to locate and sew all the 1940 McCall patterns that exist!  My Vintage Pattern Pledge garment is just such a pattern!

Pattern Details
I used McCall 3792, a fantastic summer dress pattern.  It features some great details such as interesting bodice tucks which lead very nicely into a shaped waist detail.  It is more low-cut than other 1940 patterns—which is nice for summertime.

Fabric and Notions

I made the dress up in red, white and blue for the 4th of July.  I just so happened to be in NYC today and took some photos to celebrate vintage Americana.

If you look closely at the fabric, you see that the tiny red dots are actually little strawberries on a background of navy blue.  The fabric is a very nice to handle cotton, which also means it is cool for summer days (not exactly something we have a lot of in Scotland, but I digress…)

The bodice front closure is partially sewed and the top bit closes with small snaps. The sleeves are gathered at the top and finished with a bias underfacing. The skirt has two front pieces and one smooth back piece with long darts.  The back bodice is gathered at the waistline with darts at the upper back. 

Sewing it Up

Fitting this dress was more of a challenge than I was expecting.  I had to grade the pattern up by 2 inches all around—which is usually ok with straightforward pattern pieces.  But the bodice, though not complicated, has some unusual elements, which made fitting difficult.  For some reason, I had such a challenge matching the skirt onto the bodice.  Most of the 1940 McCall patterns attached the skirt to the bodice with a lapped seam—meaning you are topstitching the waistline.  Getting a straight match of the bodice and skirt was tricky given that the bodice overlaps.  My lovely husband, David, was so sweet and actually pinned the skirt to the bodice while I was wearing it!

Final Verdict

Overall, I am very happy with the dress—a nice 4th of July summer dress!  Now I feel like eating some strawberries ;-)

Thanks Debi, what a sweet dress. I hope the Scottish weather gives you plenty of occasions to wear it!

K x


  1. Debi has outdone herself (again) and what a backdrop too! Thanks for joining in Debi!!!

  2. As an American I appreciate your nod to the 4th of July. Beautiful job on the dress and the pics are great.

  3. Lovely fabric for this one Debi - perfect accessories too ;o)

  4. This dress is gorgeous and I love the top wrap bit and it's fits lovely


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