Making 1940s Wrap Tops

I love sewing but I haven’t really had much time recently to make things for myself so I decided to try and put a little bit of time aside in the evenings to make a few simple things. I posted a few Instagram pics of things but thought I would be better putting everything together in a blog post for anyone wanting to try the looks out.

I already had a good simple, vintage style skirt pattern I had made up a while ago, so I started by making a few of those to get me going. You can see the results below.

I was pretty pleased with the results of these and as a tall girl (nearly 6ft) I was able to make them a nice flattering length! So next I needed some things to wear with them and I was very happy to stumble across this 1940s wrap top tutorial on Pinterest

It looked simple and quick enough for me and I really liked the shape of the final blouse. So on a recent trip to Brighton I picked up so great cotton (in the Fabricland I used to buy all my student fabric supplies from) and started planning out my first top.

The first top was going to be in very bright Ric Rac patterned fabric and I was worried the striped pattern would make it difficult to sew but I took my time and it turned out really well! I did have to fold the fabric up a little bit at the bottom when I tired it on but as I wanted the extra fabric to give it a loose feel I decided to leave it and not take it up. I had so much fabric left from the 2 metres I bought that I even made a matching turban (my love of the vintage turban look is still going strong) from the scraps for the full Carmen Miranda look! I was so pleased with the final fit of the top and overall look that I wore it out for dinner and cocktails at the weekend with a friend.

I got a lot of compliments on this look, so after that success I was on a roll and after a dash to the local fabric shop I made a few more tops! The next one I made was in a pretty, silky fabric that was perfect as 1940s evening wear. I was a bit concerned it would be a nightmare to sew but with patience and careful pressing and pinning it was another success. I did alter this one a little by folding over the side panels and adding a few stitched near the bust to make a closer fit and stop any gaps, as I wanted this one to be more fitted.

For my third top I went back to cotton and altered the pattern again. This time instead of an equal square shape I tapered the pattern and cut in at the top of the square to create a less ‘cape’ like look. I then added ric rac to the neck to give a bit more 1940s fun detail. The fabric has tiny flowers on it so although it is pretty, it looked a bit plain without the ric rac.I n the pic below I’m wearing a felt rose brooch I made which I think goes with it really well.

I have 3 more tops to go and I’ve got more alterations planned, including trying a square neckline out. I’ll be posting some pics over on my Instagram when they are done, so follow me @sarahsdoowopdos for more sewing and of course vintage hairstyling pics!

4 thoughts on “Making 1940s Wrap Tops

    • Hi Beth, thank you. The pattern for the skirts was one I made up I’m afraid. It was adapted from one of my circle skirts and I changed it to be a little less fabric. I think Butterick have some good vintage ones though for skirts.

  1. Gorgeous makes! I’m jealous of your vastly expanded wardrobe. I need to copy you and make a bunch of skirts and a bunch of tops all at once! I’ve tried this wrap top before and it didn’t work out for me, I’m glad it worked for you. Seems alterations are a must with it, so maybe I’ll pick it up again!

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