Vintage Style Shirtwaist Dresses


In recent times I have fallen in love with the shirtwaist. It started out with the shirtwaist blouse but has morphed to include the shirtwaist dress. My plan is to make a slew of them as day dresses to work around our homestead and wear to do whatever I want. I will be looking up information and patterns about the shirtwaist dress for reference and sharing what I find.
I am excited to see the versatility of the shirtwaist. Shirtwaist Dress History Personal tastes are not stifled in this style of dress. Necklines, sleeve look, and even the hemline offers a variety of choices. I seem to favor scallops, a mid-calf skirt, short sleeves with a contrasting cuff, front pockets and a belt. Shirtwaists that become us large, thick ladies are ones I have my eye out for.  Check out the shirtwaist eye candy:

Absolutely love the piping detail!

dr2380v1 50s vintage atomic print full dress

Advance 9605 flapped pocket shirtwaist
Advance 9605
Advance 3001 shirtwaist
Advance 3001


Advance 5141
Advance 5141

simplicity 2481

Novelty Print Shirtwaist

light blue shirtwaist


As a thick lady no discussion on shirtwaist dress wearing would be complete without consulting my vintage wearing thick sister New Vintage Lady. She comments how the princess seam is just not for us thick gals. I had never thought about it, but thanks for the 411 girl. She also said, ” . .. . even if its made in your size does not mean you should wear it.” Amen to that, sister. I believe she explained it best when she wrote, “I championed the shirt waist, why, because its the most versatile, not just for a larger figure, but in general, one shirtwaist can go miles.” I, for one, am looking forward to taking the shirtwaist to task and taking it for miles long trips in the days to come.

Here is another resource I found Shirtwaist Dress History Part 1

If another shirtwaist fan somehow finds my little place on the net please reach out, share, write a comment below. Or, how about guest posting on this site. Let’s discuss the shirtwaist.





Sobriety from electronic sewing since 2012


6 thoughts on “Vintage Style Shirtwaist Dresses

    1. Hello Jilly,

      Noooo, don’t give up at all. Seeing as they are two pieces: bodice and skirt I am thinking that may make it a bit easier to fit . . . No? Yes?




  1. Thanks for this post. I love the shirtwaist dress too. One of these days I am going to find my go-to shirtwaist pattern. But, I respectfully disagree about the princess seams. Love ’em and have been thick all my life.


    1. Hi JuliN,

      You know, I should have asked New Vintage Lady why she feels that way? Insight might be interesting. Meanwhile, I just completed a dress (kinda 50’s ish) and it has princess seams and I did my first FBA, yay! h; I’ve decided I will be cute in it. Giggles.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting.




  2. Pingback: Marian Martin Shirtwaists – Sew Lyrically Vintage

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