1930’s Butterfly Dress

This dress started as all good things do- with a clearance haul!


One of my local Joann’s moved locations last year and I bought many yards of beautiful fabric without a plan (which usually means they sit in my closet). However, I really have a thing for insects in fashion and I thought this would make an excellent fall dress.

Having decided this, I looked around for a pattern that would showcase the print well and also fit the 1930’s. I thought it would be passable as a 1930’s print- not really authentic, but it would fit in with other floral chiffons of the decade.


I ended up choosing a McCalls 7023 Reproduction pattern from LadyMarlowePatterns on Etsy.

I love the graceful skirts of the 30’s, especially those angled seams at the back.


However, starting this project I quickly realized that I was going to be VERY tight on fabric. I cut out the most essential pieces first, prioritizing the skirt portions. I was able to get 90% of the dress out of my original chiffon and the rest of the wrap portion came out of the rust colored fabric that I had gotten as well.


When I’m sewing there’s a period that I refer to as the “ugly phase”. Usually this is when I’m unhappy with how a project is going and it usually hits in the 80-90% finished phase. This particular dress spent a LOT of time in the ugly phase. So much so that I actually put it down for about a month. Once I’d had a sufficient break, I returned to it and decided that the rust portion was really not working. It had far too stiff a drape and it looked almost 1980’s with the way the wrap stuck off of my shoulders.

So I scrapped the wrap completely and made some sleeves and a belt out of the scraps I had. I also added some cute little pom poms to the front out of the remaining material. Now I love it!


I got the idea for the changes by browsing some vintage 30’s dresses on etsy. I found one that I felt I could replicate with the fabric I had left. (I believe it also had chiffon rosettes on the front)

I’m very happy with how this dress turned out and I have a lot of motivation to find myself a hat that I can wear with this ensemble!

I may also put together a tutorial for styling long hair into a 1930’s style. I struggled to find one for myself so I had to improvise!

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