Advance 2823 : A Little Girl’s 40’s Dress

Advance 2823. This pattern isn’t dated but I think it is from the early 1940’s.


I really like how this one turned out! I bought this little girl’s pattern on e-bay and made it up for 8 year old Lily. She loves how it turned out and it’s similar to her vintage Brownie uniform. The fabric was bought at the Rose Bowl Flea Market for only two dollars. The buttons I bought new and they cost more than the fabric! The skirt is cut on the bias and the bodice has a notched collar neckline and shoulder pads with puffed sleeves and a gathered shoulders with patch pockets. I haven’t seen details like this in my modern children’s patterns. The pattern also called for bound buttonholes but I just made regular machine buttonholes. I have never actually done a bound buttonhole. I’ll leave that for another time!
Here are some new things I learned on this project:
Facing a sleeve with bias binding. This is an easy and neat way to finish off a sleeve without any stitch marks showing on the outside.

Making shoulder pads. This is a cinch and you can make them in matching fabric. I used some cotton batting I already had. The serger makes little things like this so easy to do. I don’t know how I functioned without one for so long.


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  1. Marie says

    This dress is the bees knees in my opinion and you little girl looks divine in it! She’s lucky to have such a talented and selfless mummy to make one-of-a-kind dresses like it! Very lovely!

  2. khriste B says

    So pretty. I will be on a little lass dress making mission for spring. Luckily I have a vintage darling like yours.
    Bound button holes are easy once you physically have a go. It’s a detail you will love. So have a go love!!

  3. Brandy Layton says

    This is fantastic! I just recently purchased vintage patterns for both my boys. Seeing this makes me so eager!

  4. Another Sewing Scientist says

    That dress is adorable, but kind of grown up at the same time. I look forward to the day I can get my kids to pose in their Mama-made clothes, rather than running away!

  5. Amber Elayne says

    What a sweet dress! I particularly like the waist flower detail and the gorgeous buttons! She looks great and is obviously very chuffed with her new dress! Nice work!

  6. Sew Country Chick says

    Thanks girls! It was fun to make such a grown up style in a pint sized version. And Maria, I will give bound buttonholes a try!

  7. says

    You chose such a pretty color for her and that pattern is charming!
    And I bet she’ll learn to appreciate not looking like every other kid from the mall. ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Louise says

    Thats looks perfect, I’ve been thinking of making a similar dress for my 8.5yo but hadn’t found an appropriate pattern, and never thought about going vintage. Might give it a go….

  9. Adrienne says

    What a lovely dress! I want one! =) Was it hard to figure out? I have heard that old patterns can be really tricky.

  10. Sew Country Chick says

    To Adrienne,
    n your answer to vintage patterns the instruction sheeet sthat come with them are really good. The patterns don’t have markings on them prior to 1950 but once you learn what the dots are they are just the same.

  11. sertyan says

    Wow, I love this!!! Especially the notched collars. were they hard to sew?

  12. says

    This dress is just wonderful, so________very_________wonderful. Why won’t MY girls wear clothes like YOURS does (stomps foot several times) LOL! Your daughter looks just lovely. Nice work!

  13. says

    I remember patterns like this in the thrift stores when I was a young girl in the 1960s… I used to have a book (wish I still had it!) about how to repurpose fabric from men’s trousers to make clothes for boys. It was written during WWII when fabric was in short supply.

    Also fabric in those days was not nearly as wide as it is now – 18″ was common and 36″ was as wide as you could get.

    I remember when the mills started making 60″ fabric (long after I took sewing as part of my Home Economics classes in the late ’60s, alas) – how amazing it was to me that fabric could be that big!

    Anyway I always loved making complicated dresses – those “easy to make” designs are no challenge at all and usually don’t hang or fit properly. So I really like your little girl’s dress all the more for its nice tailoring and pretty details. Especially the flower at the waist – <3!!

  14. says

    There are not enough bon mots -good words- to say about this creation.
    From the way it turned out, the fabric & color choices to even the photos it is Perfect ๐Ÿ™‚ That is quite the little model you have as well. She’s precious and appears to love the dress.
    I am loving your generosity in sharing the little tips and tricks learned. I create retro doll clothes and I long for a little girl to dress in this! (Mine is now 21 but I daresay she does love vintage designs)
    Thank you!

  15. says

    This is really adorable! I’ve been focusing on learning how to draft patterns but after seeing this I think I’m going to start hunting up vintage patters!! Too cute

  16. says

    Another absolutely gorgeous dress, Justine!!! The polka dots, the buttons, the style, the puffy sleeves… it’s wonderful!!!

  17. Gabrielle says

    This is such a darling dress – and it strikes me as also being very practical for a little girl (pockets – yes, long enough for running and climbing – yes, loose enough to be comfortable – yes, sun protection on shoulders – yes). Quite inspirational!