Pattern Puzzle: vintage 1930’s

Posted by Kathleen Fasanella on Feb 28, 2012 at 5:35 pm / Pattern Puzzle / Trackback

It’s been awhile since we’ve done one of these, did you miss them?

If you’re a recent visitor and have no idea what a pattern puzzle is about, we have a separate category for pattern puzzles in which we play “guess the item”. Typically I post the pattern pieces and you have to guess what it is. You can draw a sketch of the finished item or garment and either post a comment with a link to your idea or you can email me (kathleenATfashion-incubatorDOTcom) and I’ll post the link for you. Once folks have had a chance to submit their ideas (usually a day or two), I post the solution and pat everyone on the head. We like pats, yes we do.

Today’s challenge was inspired by a link that Elizabeth Kloian sent me. Here is what the pattern pieces look like:


This pattern is actually for sale! Either tomorrow or Thursday, I’ll post a link. Until then, feel free to post your idea of what you think this design looks like. Give it your best shot and good luck!

23 Responses to “Pattern Puzzle: vintage 1930’s”

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February 28th, 2012
7:26 PM

I’m thinking a strappy dress, with a self-faced front and a cowl drape at the back. The strap would pass through the self facing at front and attach to the upper back edges. The back piece is on the left and the front piece, with bust darts, is on the right. The front is wider than the back, so it is probably gathered with the strap.

February 28th, 2012
8:57 PM

I’m thinking it might be a skirt.
Back piece on the left with darts rotated horizontally into the side seams.
Front piece on the right with darts also rotated into the side seams.
The triangle shape “excess and void” could be creating a narrower shaped waist with the excess of the back wrapping to the front.

I’m guessing the rectangle piece to be some sort of bow, tie or drawstring since it doesn’t duplicate any curvatures of the waistband or hemline that would make me think it to be a facing.

Sandy Peterson
February 28th, 2012
10:29 PM

I have absolutely no idea!! But I look forward to the answer.

February 29th, 2012
4:52 AM

Bias cut gown w/ front & back cowl draped neckline and spaghetti straps.

February 29th, 2012
8:19 AM

Please post links to sketches or send them to me!

February 29th, 2012
10:55 AM

A two layer apron….using the Vintage 1930’s as an important clue.
Or, a cape.
Or, a skirt.
I have a love-hate relationship with Pattern Puzzles!

Clara Rico
February 29th, 2012
12:35 PM

Last night I was trying to figure this out until all I could see was a salt and pepper shakers. Then this morning I gave it another try. I realized I was imagining a dress without arm openings! That wouldn’t be any good.

I think I finally got it. The front is open above the bust darts and the back has angled cap sleeve that extends into front arm hole.

The collar is very wide at the top, like a halo below the face.

I sent you a pic, Kathleen. Could you please post it?

If that makes sense… I sent you a picti

February 29th, 2012
3:08 PM

cowl front cowl back halter dress.

Lauren Ingle
February 29th, 2012
3:11 PM

Is this a voluminous two piece sleeve? With darts at the top and the bottom gets gathered/eased into the band (the rectangle in the middle).

February 29th, 2012
3:33 PM

I’m guessing a raglan sleeve top, a line, with bell sleeves, and the tie is either to gather around the neck, or as a waist tie (given it’d be super blousy). ( left = sleeves, right = front and back, and tie). I may be wildly wildly out here, I just cannot figure how you’d make it into a dress!

Don’t think I’d wear it !! You’d need just the right fabric plus a great figure to carry it off.

February 29th, 2012
5:56 PM

Okay, since membership has its privileges, I’ve posted the solution in the forum. I will post it out here tomorrow.

The forum post is also a tutorial because… this pattern is pretty messed up. Or rather, the pattern is probably okay but in those days, they drew the quarter scale pieces rather than scaling them down with a pantograph and since I’m working off the illustration of the quarter scale, I don’t have a rendering of the full size pattern for comparison. I’ll explain more tomorrow. Until then, keep your guesses coming.

I almost forgot -I have to go start dinner but afterwards, I will post links to sketches that several of you sent to me. I sincerely appreciate your patience!

February 29th, 2012
7:00 PM

he he shows how wrong you can go assuming the lines should match up!

February 29th, 2012
8:29 PM

I’m thinking a loose-cut top with a front and back cowl. The thin strap goes across the back neck, to hold the shoulders in place (prevent them from falling off the wearer).

February 29th, 2012
10:53 PM

ok, I will give it a try, before checking on the solution, lemme think:

I cannot think of anything! lol. It looks like something that would be wrapped around something round on top, possibly with a tie being fed through on opening on the top, or maybe there is something sticking out (arms? wooden sticks?) It does not remind of a dress, as there is an area that gets narrower or folded back on the same piece with the pattern piece on the left.
I was thinking a slip-cover-but for what. SO now I am guessing-hand puppet! :) ok, time to go peek.

February 29th, 2012
10:54 PM

bwhahahaha, I was sooooo off

March 1st, 2012
3:03 AM

Oh wait, I was so focused on the cowl facing that I didn’t realize there are no armholes…

March 1st, 2012
8:37 AM

Well this was such fun! I stumbled onto this puzzle yesterday just in time to give it a try. I think it is a cowl neck dress with the bodice dart converted to gathers, with additional ease at the bodice side seams and with the back skirt darts converted to gathers roughly at the waist. The strip might be a belt or it could be a halter. I think the shoulders are connected by sewing the outside corners of the cowl together. I can hardly wait to see what the answer is.

March 1st, 2012
10:41 AM

I think it’s basically this only as a dress, and knotting on the shoulder. Bust darts on the right-side piece which makes it the front. Triangular flaps on the upper back (left piece) wrap to the front and form armhole gussets??

March 1st, 2012
1:01 PM

Today I found a great site on New York Public Library’s web-site:

It is a link to fashion drawings from 1930-1941. Hey, who knows, the Pattern Puzzle solution could be here :)

March 1st, 2012
2:05 PM

OK I could not help myself.
This looks like a cape to me.

Pattern Puzzle: vintage 1930’s pt.2
March 1st, 2012
6:09 PM

[…] Member Forum « Pattern Puzzle: vintage 1930’s […]

dawn hocknell
April 11th, 2012
3:53 AM

if it wasn’t vintage 1930s i’d say it was a trapeeze halter neck top with self facing at back and cowl drape at front? but as it is, i’d say it looks nothing like a 1930s dress, or top, so i’m going go with a child’s dress with smocked neck/yoke

April 30th, 2012
7:17 AM

First I tought of a cape? but I think now it is a strapless dress with self facings and a belt

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