A Linen 1930s Easter Dress


I did it! I made myself a new dress! Every time I actually accomplish that in the little spare time that I have these days, I feel utterly satisfied and pleased with myself. Juggling a small pattern “business” (“come on, one pattern for sale does not a business make!” I know, I know… two new patterns ARE on their way!), tending to an ever active 6 month old, keeping house, AND trying to update my wardrobe at the same time is no easy task. But deadlines do help. So that is why I came up with the crazy notion to make myself a new dress for Easter… two weeks beforehand. 😱 And I decided to do my first ever smocking on it too. 🀯 Yeah… I am crazy like that. But I did it! Would you like to see?


This, my dears, is my version of View C from Simplicity 8504. I cut out a size 14 (but could have easily gotten away with a size 12) from some beautiful Midnight Blue linen from I got a tip off from The Paper Moon Vintage that the pattern ran true to size except in the waist (which is actually what I would expect from a 30s pattern), and ended up adjusting accordingly as you will read below.


I ended up taking in the waist on the skirt about two inches, grading it out to the hips, and just gathered in the excess in the bodice when I attached it to the midriff yoke. I didn’t shorten the skirt any, as I liked the original intended length on me (one of the joys of being of average height).


The major change that I made was to smock the sleeves instead of doing the originally intended shirring and attach them to the upper undersleeves from View B, instead of doing the elastic edge from the pattern. I am SO glad I made both of these modifications. I have always wanted to try smocking, and I learned from making my wedding dress that undersleeves almost always support poofy oversleeves better than just an elastic band.

Hat: Gift from Gabe | Earrings: Vintage cameos | Stockings: Old | Shoes: Vixen Vintage‘s instasale years ago


Just the details if you please:

What: A Linen 1930s dress.

Fabric: Main dress: Midnight Blue IC64 Linen from Fabrics-store.comΒ | Collar: Vintage? linen from Gabe’s stash

Pattern: View C (with modifications) of Simplicity 8504.

Notions: Thread: Gutermann, 100% cotton | Zipper: Standard 14″ Coats & Clark | Buttons: Vintage-stash | Buckle: Gabe’s stash | Buckram (for belt): Stash | Embroidery floss for smocking

Design Changes: Sleeves were smocked instead of shirred, and mounted on the undersleeves from View B. Waist was taken in 2″ and graded out to hips on skirt. Bound buttonholes instead of handworked ones.

Would you use the pattern again? YES!


I just love how the smocking turned out on the sleeves. Not bad for my first time, if I do say so myself. And I can tell you I fully intend to do more projects with smocking on them in the future. πŸ˜€


Handpicked zipper courtesy of last-minute midnight sewing the night before Easter. Yes, that is how close I cut it in making this dress.Β  If it wasn’t for Gabe’s help in the last few evening hours of Saturday, this dress would not have been finished. Even the belt wasn’t finished before Easter, so I had to substitute with my trusty black leather belt. And, just so you have proof that the dress was done on Easter morning (which ended up being cold and windy πŸ˜› ):


Though it wasn’t our original plan for how we were going to spend Easter, we had a wonderful time with friends and family at Gabe’s family’s place. We even got a photo (in the wind… And the cold) of those among us who dressed up vintage for the day. Even Buster Brown joined in with his first Mommy-made 1930s romper. πŸ™‚


I am pretty pleased with how this dress came out, and I am looking forward to using Simplicity 8504 again in the future. I dream of making view B in a rayon velvet someday. Wouldn’t that be lovely?

Well, that is all for today. The baby is down for his nap, and I am ready to get to work on some pattern instructions. Catch you later!

Have you made Simplicity 8504?

Do you love or hate linen?

Did you make yourself a new Easter dress this year?


Brigid E.


P.S. The reason I am not wearing my rings in these photos, in case any of you noticed, is because I have been dealing with terrible dishydrotic eczema on my hands, and it makes it painful for me to wear my rings these days. 😦

Author: Brigid Everson | Photography: Gabriel Everson

11 thoughts on “A Linen 1930s Easter Dress”

  1. Lovely Dress Brigid! It looks great. I love linen, but sadly my fabric stash is woefully devoid of it.
    How hard was the smocking? It’s one of those things I love, but am too scared to try.
    Blessings, Celia


    1. Oh my goodness, Miss Celia, I was surprised at how easy the smocking was! Thankfully I had access to my mother in law’s pleater, which made things much easier. But it really was a breeze to do. I would totally recommend giving it a try!


  2. Deadlines are a fabulous way to get things done! I actually set myself an Easter deadline for a dress, too. It still needs belt loops but it gave me a fabulous sense of achievement to have it all sewn up and ready to wear. It was made from a thrifted piece of sateen that marvellously resists all wrinkles – I drove for two and a quarter hours while wearing it and the pleats on the back looked as though I hadn’t sat on them at all.

    Your dress looks absolutely amazing – I love the smocking detail on the sleeves. Linen is such a beautiful fabric and it seems to be a perfect choice for that pattern.


  3. So lovely, Brigid!! I love this style and the classiness of it and how it also looks comfortable. The smocking is ever so pretty, also (maybe one day I’ll learn how to do that) πŸ™‚ Thank you for always inspiring me in my sewing aspirations.

    So wonderful to read your new post and see your lovely photos.

    Many blessings!


  4. Stunning! And so classic. Bravo on all the accomplishments wrapped up in this dress ; ) The smocked sleeves are by far my favorite feature, so much more interesting than shirring (and might even give me a taste for bishop sleeves).
    I say crazy is only crazy when you can’t pull it off ; P


  5. That smocking looks fabulous! I’m totally impressed you managed all this with a 6-month-old. They make sewing a balancing act. πŸ˜‰


  6. Wow, that is your first go at smocking? That is REALLY good!!!! You are so good at making outfits! I wish I could do that…… Thanks for sharing!


  7. Oh Brigid! I just love it!! This style suits you so well.

    As I shared with you, I’d just picked up this pattern and now I’m all excited to do my own make of it! Thanks for the insights on the fit!

    I LOVE linen!!

    I miss reading your writing so much too btw<3 Thanks for taking time to share with us:)


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