Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Tennis Frock Pattern 1939

I have a few 1930s & 1940s Women’s Wear magazines with drafts for various jackets, dresses and skirts and thought I’d share a few of them.  The drafts use the bust measurement as scale and the instructions are easily followed.

First up is a sweet and simple Tennis Frock from June, 1939.
Follow this link to view and download a copy from Google docs, no sign up necessary:

If anyone drafts and makes this up, please let me know and email me pics to share here or a link to your blog!  I'll be posting a few more soon.


  1. I've put this on my "to-do" list - I'll let you know how I get on xx

  2. FABULOUS! Thanks for the link!!!

  3. I downloaded and wanted to say say "Thank you!"! (new subscriber)

  4. Thank you for sharing, that is too kind of you!

  5. How pretty! Thanks for sharing :)

  6. You're all welcome :-)

    Jennie - thanks, please do.

  7. Oh, the dress looks fabulous - thank you for sharing it!

  8. I decided to jump in and try this. Last week I drafted it onto wrapping paper -- The measurements given in the sample are larger than mine, but I didn't want to complicate matters on the first attempt by changing them to my own measurements.
    Last night I began my test version and I've now almost finished the bodice (still needs buttons, front darts and sleeve cuffs).
    I wasn't sure if the pattern included seam allowances, but since I was working from a bust size several inches larger than my own, and the instructions suggested the front darts can be adjusted to fit, I figured I'd risk it. However i hedged my bets and only seamed with a 1/4" allowance rather than the 5/8" I've seen on vintage printed patterns. The result *just* fits, so if anyone drafts this to her own measurements I'd recommend adding a seam allowance.

    The major pieces came out ok, but I ended up improvising the collar and facings after I had cut out and assembled the bodice; the front facings were easy, the collar and neck facings required a couple of tries.

    The sleeves have a gradual curve on one side and a sharp curve on the other, and the instructions don't make it clear which is the front. I tried it both ways, and settled on gradual-curve-at-the-front, with the tucks at the top of the sleeve near the shoulder-yoke.

    Further updates as it progresses.

  9. Skirt has been attached. I ran low on fabric, so it's a couple of inches shorter than called for in the original pattern. Looking at the photo again I see my waist seam is a bit crooked. May get lazy and just hide that with the belt and make sure the skirt comes out even when I hem it.

    I am also going to omit the pocket this go-round as the fabric print is already a bit busy.

    Like most dresses I've made from vintage patterns, it's very comfortable to wear, but the close fit and non-stretchy fabric make getting it on and off the hard part.