Subversive Femme

Finished: DuBarry 5235 Jumper-Dress, circa 1940s

There’s something so practical and versatile about a 1940s jumper-dress – I’ve seen a few on Instagram lately and was inspired to sew my own version.

The pattern I went with is DuBarry 5235, which has been in my queue for 10 years…  It’s circa WWII-era but I’m not sure of the exact date.

It turned out so well, that I ended making it up in two colours – black and brown.

The great thing about this pattern is that there’s a massive seam allowing down the sides – meaning I didn’t need to do much to enlarge it.

I laid all the pieces out, measured them (excluding the seam allowance) and then compared to my own measurements.

I choose to use a side zipper because they’re easy to install, but the version with the button closure looks super cute too. I may try it next time.

I’m over the moon with how this pattern has turned out – really flattering and a perfect way to get that vintage vibe at work.

Fabric: both versions – gaberdine from Lincraft


  • Add some extra width at the side seams
  • Cut an armhole facing instead of bias binding
  • Lowered the points of the bust darts

Overall? There’s not much to say except this was a really enjoyable pattern and it’s now a wardrobe staple (along with swing pants).

The instructions are a tad ambiguous but most sewers could figure them out.

I just have to add a photo of Jakk from that day – doesn’t she look amazing in her 1950s menswear.

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    Sue Rostron
    August 17, 2017 at 11:40 am

    Hi I bought a 40’s booklet (has patterns included) on tailoring from an Op shop and want to send it to you if you are interested. I thought of your blog when I saw it. If you like I will scan a couple of things and email you to see whether you can use it.

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