Red Forties Housedress Made From A Tablecloth

I finished the tablecloth dress! To be honest I’m ready to move on to sewing some more draping styles. I would like to try this pattern in a a rayon challis. It will be a lot easier this next time since I already have all the pattern revisions made. The Collette pattern blog suggests making a pattern you like up in different fabrics since most of the hard fitting work is done in the first draft. I will be putting it in my vintage and repurposed fashion show in September. 
The pattern was mail order and had no brand…

This was the original envelope but sadly there is no postmark. Allin commented on my last post on this dress that it was from maybe 1942 or 1943. Allin worked at the LA County Museum in the costume department.

All the materials were from my thrifted sewing supply collection. The button, rick rack, and zipper were from a yard sale. The tablecloth I bought at the thrift for  2.50$ . The pattern was more expensive, ten dollars, and bought on e-bay.
Scalloped pockets.
 The finished pattern looked too much like a boxy uniform. A little too housedressy. I  lowered the neckline, took in the sides of the bodice, took the darts in, and hemmed it about 5 inches.

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You made it to the end of the post! Please stop by often for a variety of sewing projects, clothes making tips , and stylish handmade living. Feel free to leave a comment and say hi!


  1. HoffiCoffi says:

    This is fabulous! I love the scalloped neckline.

  2. It’s wonderfully beautiful!

  3. I love the dress. Everything about it is so cool, from the style to the buttons. Your scallops are amazing. I know that they are not that easy.

  4. I love the scalloped neckline, it’s fantastic. They must have taken ages!

  5. This dress makes me happy, and I have been pretty low lately! So that is saying a lot :-)

  6. Vintage Girl says:

    Oh, I love it! The fit is wonderful. You did a great job.

  7. Brandy Layton says:

    This is just gorgeous!

  8. This is gorgeous! I love the scalloped neckline and fabric choice! You’re such a productive stitcher!

  9. Absolutely wonderful! The fabric is so cheerful and I love all the little details! Another lovely project!!!

  10. khriste B says:

    Wardrobe envy!!!

  11. Another great job Justine.

  12. Goodness, this dress is so amazing! The print is incredible. What a wonderful use to which to put a tablecloth ;)

  13. Good job! :) And I once bought a tablecloth just to make a dress or skirt out of’t done it yet,but I plan on it!

  14. Sew…so…so…sew….cute! Love the whole thing! Amazing!

  15. What a cute pattern!! And what an adorable job you have done.

  16. Anna. Kathryn Vaughn says:

    How did you get your hands on this pattern? Please share with us your secrets. Dress is so cute.

  17. I like the scalloped neckline and the ric racs you added to the pockets really compliment the scallops. I think this dress has a lot of details so it will look good in a solid cloth too!

  18. what a lovely dress, so cute and charming. Who would have known it was a table cloth and only a total of $12.50. You’re so skillful, the scalloped neckline is marvelous!


  19. I’ve just come over from Refashion Co-op to say what a lovely dress this is. I really like the scallop detail, especially on the pockets with the ric rac.

  20. The dress is wonderful and in such a pretty fabric. You did an awesome job.
    I absolutely love the pattern! I guess the hunt is on for a copy as I doubt that it’ll be easy to find.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Looks fantastic!

  22. I am just starting a dress project from thrifted materials, too! LOVE this dress and love your blog. I will definitely be following it for more!

  23. This is SO lovely. The red really suits you, and the scallop edge on the neckline is beautifully crisp = what a great job!

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