1930s Black & White Ensemble

I'm excited to show you guys my finished 1930s ensemble! It's one of the rare times that I got to use a true vintage pattern, and it turned out just as I wanted. (Also a rare thing, ha!)

I made a muslin of this first to try out all the parts of the pattern and make sure all the pieces properly fit. With a couple of length adjustments, it actually fit pretty well right out of the envelope. 

It did take me multiple tries to get the skirt vent pleated and placed correctly. You have to snip the "V" portion at the top out of the skirt piece, and on the muslin I snipped too far. I made a decorative fix for my wearable muslin version, but I did manage to correctly cut and sew the pleat in correctly on the final version. Woooo!

I also love the back of this design. While the pattern has an option to leave the back open, I went with the button back for a more everyday-wearable piece. All the buttonholes are bound as well, so it's a detail that sewists will especially appreciate (knowing all the hard work that goes into it). I used the black crepe, but I did iron on a bit of thin interfacing first to make it easier to deal with.

I love the option to wear the dress alone or with the jacket, or to wear the jacket with other pieces. Coordinating separates are just the best!

TLDR Sewing details

modern cotton voile and modern rayon crepe 
Pattern: Simplicity 1364
Notions: buttons, snaps, frog
How historically accurate is it?  It's pretty accurate! I did use iron-on interfacing, but other than that everything is appropriate for a 1930s garment. 
Any tricky parts to the pattern?  The skirt vent was a struggle! It took me a couple tries on my muslin before I got it right. (Luckily, I got it on the first try on the real version.) 
Did you change anything?  I only did a couple of length adjustments on the jacket and skirt for my short self. 
Time to complete: a couple days
First worn: August 22, 2021

Total cost: I think the pattern was $20, and the fabrics were probably about $40 for the amount I used. The notions were largely random bits from my stash that were gifted or bought very cheaply. Total: $60ish + time & labor!
Notes: This pattern looks pretty simple, but it has lots of little details that are pretty time-consuming (a snap placket, bound buttonholes, etc.)


  1. It turned out beautifully! I love the collar on it.
    The 1930's is one era that I haven't dabbled much in yet. There are so many beautiful subtle details from that era!


    1. Thank you so much! I’ve definitely gotten more into the 1930s in the last few years. It’s fun!

  2. It's lovely and yes - bound buttonholes!