A Forties Six Gore Skirt Shirtwaist Dress Made From a Frumpy 90’s Frock

I have been participating in some of the weekly challenges at The Sew Weekly. This weeks challenge was to refashion an old and neglected garment.This dress above started out as a shirtdress from the 90’s. It was really long and boring looking before I refashioned it  We went to the old Fillmore train station near our home to take these photos.
The above two photos are what the dress looked like when I brought it home. I liked the fabric and the fit was good so I removed the top bodice, cut a new skirt from the old skirt fabric, and drafted an under bust waist band. I also shortened the sleeves and added some vintage rick- rack trim.
My Design Inspiration:
A forties six gore shirtwaist dress.
Source: google.com via

Creating A Six Gore Skirt:

I drafted a basic skirt pattern. For a basic skirt drafting tutorial click here.
I slashed the skirt were I wanted the gore seam to be.

I traced the pieces to another larger paper and added the flare starting just below my hip line. Then I added my seam allowances.


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  1. Alicia says

    o. my. word!! are you kidding me?!? this looks like you walked off a 1940’s movie set! i LOVE it! and it looked so…um, Amish before? but way to see it’s potenial! i think i would’ve walked right by…way to go!

  2. angie.a says

    Great upcycle! SO much cuter than the original (but that fabric is adorable. Good find!)

  3. Shabby Soul says

    Your dress is darling! You are a wonderful seamstress! I get too frustrated when I am sewing clothes to ever be successful at tailored things – BUT you do a great job!

  4. Sherry from Alabama says

    Great job, Justine! The dress is so flattering on you. I’ve lately begun to refashion too. It’s so rewarding. I’m so happy to have found your blog. Now, I’m going to check out more of your posts. It’s very nice to meet you!

    Sherry @ A Happy Valentine

  5. Clare says

    I love what you did with it, Justine! And those photos are so much fun. 🙂

  6. says

    I’m completely inspired by this! Am always finding ugly frumpy dresses in lovely fabrics in charity shops – now I’ve an inkling of what to do with them! 🙂

  7. Maggie says

    Really fun and cute. I love the location shots at the train! Better than the Vogue Patterns Magazine which used to have great location backgrounds..but no more. Also, I love your shoes!!!

  8. Mongs says

    well done. Your talent amazes me.


  9. Meg the Grand says

    This is fantastic! A completely fabulous refashion – you would never guess what it looked like before!

  10. says

    Hi Justine, I’ve just been going through your posts over at the Refashion Co-op. You are very talented! This would have to be my favourite!!! It’s a very flattering dress. I can remember my mother wearing dresses like this in the 50s. And that beauty case brings back memories… I still have mine from the 60s. It looks almost identical to yours. Fashion trends tended to stay around for a lot longer in those days.

  11. says

    Wow, fantastic! I’m so impressed by your vision and execution. And a little jealous, because I love the finished product! 🙂