Sew For Victory – Rosie the Riveter shirt dress

Happy days – I managed to finish my Sew For Victory wartime-inspired dress!


A little more than a week ago, I told you about my last-minute change for this project, opting to take inspiration from women working in WW2 rather than the post-war pattern I had originally planned on making. I couldn’t resist getting my friend Martha, who designed this blog’s header and logo, to make me a Rosie the Riveter-style poster as well as taking some snaps of the dress for me. She’s a talented cookie, that one!


As you may have already guessed, I used yet another pattern from Gertie’s New Book For Better Sewing. Man, oh man am I in love with this book. The patterns are beautiful and the instructions even more so. Due to lack of time, I just winged it with this one and went muslin-free. Daunting! But it’s turned out quite well.

The only major alteration I made was the length – I lopped off a whopping eight inches from the skirt. EIGHT INCHES. In case you hadn’t guessed, I am pretty much a hobbit. Gertie must be ridiculously tall. I crave her power.


The only other adjustment made was to the sleeves. Originally, the puffiness looked absolutely ridiculous on me, so I fudged it a bit and managed to make them a bit more conservative. I think I needed to take a bit off at the top of the armhole because the shoulders were a little wide for me. Everything else worked like a dream. The elastic shirring at the back makes the dress fit beautifully without making you feel constricted. Thumbs up on the design.

I would tell you what kind of fabric I used, but I’ve completely forgotten…

Those of you who have followed the blog for a while may notice one little milestone here…


Bound buttonholes! ALL SEVEN OF THEM! One’s a little bit wonky but I don’t actually care because I finally managed to do more than one vaguely presentable buttonhole. There is something rather therapeutic yet distinctly horrifying about making bound buttonholes, but it’s the best feeling ever when it all comes together.


In all, not half bad considering I only started a little more than a week ago. Now I can look forward to perusing all of the other lovely creations on the Sew for Victory Flickr group. Exciting!

Hopefully, I can pull it out of the bag for the Mad Men challenge and all…


15 thoughts on “Sew For Victory – Rosie the Riveter shirt dress

  1. Rochelle New says:

    So cute! I love your inspiration and your bound buttonholes look amazing! I keep telling myself I’m going to try them on my next project. …but then I chicken out lol. Some day I swear I’ll tackle them! The dress looks great 🙂

  2. Arla says:

    You look terrific, don’t get me wrong, but there’s something off about this dress. Can you elaborate on what you fixed? I’d love to make this dress if only it looked right.

    • Arla says:

      My gut would be to say there’s something wrong with the transition at the waist in the front, but in the back it looks like a dream so that might be off. Maybe it’s the top is too large for you?

    • Elena Cresci says:

      Hi! Sorry I’ve only just seen this… I didn’t do anything to the dress but you’re right, the top fits a little funny. The only thing I had to change were the sleeves because they just didn’t work and all I did was take the gathers out. I think I’d need to make some sizing alterations were I to make it again. That said, it’s comfy and I don’t think the sizing issues are too bad.

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