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Vintage B6282: How to Sew a 1940s Navy Dress!

Vintage B6282, 1940s retro navy dress | Vintage on Tap

Vintage B6282 has the 1940s written all over it.

A-line skirt? Check.

Shirtwaist? Check.

Shoulder pads? Check.

The utilitarian design in this Butterick sewing pattern gives it that extra-special 1940s Homefront look.


Flags of the World Challenge, 1940s Vintage B6282 | Vintage on Tap

I sewed this particular dress for the Flags of the World Challenge!

Cohosted by a group of lovely ladies, the challenge encouraged everyone to draw inspiration from their home countries and make garments for the week of 4th of July!


Definitely check out their YouTube vlogs about their pieces: all of them came out lovely and it was super exciting to see their work!


Retro sewing, Butterick 1940s vintage | Vintage on Tap

Vintage sewing, retro Butterick 6282 navy dress | Vintage on Tap

Tackling vintage B6282 was a fun challenge.

As I talk about in my fitting video for Butterick 6282, this retro sewing pattern had a total of twenty pattern pieces. 

Yes. Twenty.

The amount of detail in this pattern is staggering, but to be honest, had it used any less, it wouldn’t have been as successful as a Navy-inspired piece.


Button detail, Britex Fabrics vintage buttons | Vintage on Tap

How to sew retro dresses, vintage 1940s Butterick 6282 | Vintage on Tap

To really recreate the Navy feel, I top stitched absolutely everything.

I picked a gold/yellow/tan thread to pop out against the navy chambray I picked up from Britex Fabrics– though I probably could have also gone with a dark blue or even white thread.

After all was said and done, the top stitching made every detail really pop and you can almost feel the 1940s in this piece!


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Shoulder detail, Butterick 6282 | Vintage on Tap

Pocket details, Butterick 6282, Retro sewing detail | Vintage on Tap

I used a blue chambray from Britex Fabrics to give it that military look.

The Navy chambray has feel and drape that have a bit of stiff-ness, which hung beautifully since it’s originally marketed as shirting fabric. This was especially true when it formed beautifully to the structure of the shoulder pads!

There’s a crispness in the movement, and for vintage B6282, I didn’t want to have a particularly “soft” look.

Still, though, if you wanted to make this pattern in a gentler fabric, I would probably go with a poplin or rayon blend, which would make the garment more flow-y and less, “I’m here to welcome the boys home!” which was the look I was going for!


Vintage B6282, 1940s retro navy dress | Vintage on Tap

Back view, Butterick 6282 from the 1940s, retro sewing | Vintage on Tap

Would I make vintage B6282 again? Yes!

I was actually commenting to Jose while filming the How To Sew video (linked above) that I wanted to make a short sleeve version of this dress as well.

The only tedious aspect of it (besides the cutting) was the monotony of some of the design elements. This pattern has seven button holes, seven buttons, four snaps, and a ton of topstitching. And that can get exhausting when you just want to wear your creation.


How to Sew Vintage 1940s Navy Dress, Butterick B6282 | Vintage on Tap

Have you made a WWII-era inspired garment before? What’s your favorite part of 1940s styles?

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Vintage on Tap started in 2013

Since then, it has become not only a photo blog, but also a popular YouTube channel and Instagram Feed.

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