Subversive Femme

Finished: A 1940s Hawaiian holiday dress (Butterick B6380)

Summer is nearly here in Sydney – we’ve just had a bunch of really hot days, and it’s reminded me that I need to make some rayon dresses suitable for work.

Spotlight sent me a bunch of samples from Gertie’s latest fabric range, and this tropical Hawaiian print jumped straight out  – hibiscus and pineapples!

Gertie patterns butterick B6380 1940s sewing patterns rerview

The pattern is Butterick 6380, Gertie’s 1940s-inspired dress, and it’s perfect for drapey rayon.

Gertie patterns butterick B6380 1940s sewing patterns rerview

While the pattern went together really easily, I did make a lot of modifications to get the fit I was trying to achieve.

For the front bodice:

  • Full bust adjustment
  • Cut the chest tabs (that gather the fabric across the bust) slightly longer to hide my bra straps
  • Lifted the neckline by an inch at the front for modesty

For the sleeve:

  • Large upper arm adjustment
  • Reduced some of the puff in the sleeve heads

For the back:

  • Cut back on a fold and put zipper in the side instead
  • Raised back neckline by an inch

General mods:

  • Tapered in the waist
  • Changed skirt for half circle skirt
  • Reduced the waistband height by an inch

In total yardarge, the dress used about 1/3 m of plain black rayon for the bust, and about 2.75m of print for the rest.

Overall, I’m thrilled. The fabric is buttery soft, colourful and will be

I have a strong suspicion this dress will become one of my favourite patterns very quickly!

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  • Reply
    Sue Rostron
    September 28, 2017 at 11:18 am

    Hi Becs this is gorgeous and makes me want to make one.

    Hey I recently bought a 1940’s tailored sewing booklet with patterns intact at an Op shop and would like to send it to you. Shall i send you a pic of the front cover to see if you can use it. I just couldn’t bear to leave it in the shop.

    • Reply
      October 7, 2017 at 1:44 pm

      Oh Sue that’s so lovely of you! I’d definitely love to see it 😀 my email is subversivefemme @ gmail.com if you’d like to xx

  • Reply
    October 4, 2017 at 12:43 am

    OMG! I thought that tropical fabric looked familiar! So happy to see it in action. I can’t wait for this new line of fabric to be released!!! xx Gwen

  • Reply
    October 18, 2017 at 6:57 am

    Fabulous! Will have to make one for my daughter.

  • Reply
    sarah monks
    November 21, 2017 at 8:14 pm

    I am about to make this dress for my bestie. She like the neckline so we are doing a test run and if all goes well she will have this bodice for her wedding dress, yay!

    I am not sure how to go about doing the FBA when there is no bust dart can you please tell me the method you used/point me in the direction of a tutorial.

    • Reply
      December 13, 2017 at 10:12 am

      HI hon – you don’t need a dart to do it, you just cut the FBA lines where a dart would approximately live if that makes sense? And spread the excess into the gathers below the bust?

  • Reply
    sarah monks
    November 21, 2017 at 8:16 pm

    Sorry that wasn’t super clear. I have done non far FBA before but I don’t want to mess up the gathers.

  • Reply
    February 15, 2018 at 3:42 pm

    Oh my goodness! That’s delightful!

  • Reply
    January 11, 2019 at 5:06 am

    That hat is incredibly precious!!! ? Where did it come from?

    • Reply
      January 16, 2019 at 3:47 pm

      Thanks hon! I actually found it in an Op Shop!

  • Reply
    Gay Housden
    June 27, 2019 at 7:34 am

    I love the mixture of black and floral, it is very skillfull and flattering

    • Reply
      June 28, 2019 at 9:10 am


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