Vintage shirtwaist dress patterns (and their relatives)

Around for 100 years -- and still going -- the classic shirtwaist dress is well represented in vintage sewing pattern fashions.

Advance 3001 dress pattern from 1942

1940s classic

shirtwaist dress and shirtdress jazzed up with unusual pockets; well-illustrated with vertically striped fabric. Advance 3001

Simplicity 1633 dress pattern from 1945

1940s cap sleeve

shirtwaist dress with shaped neckline or trim collar and sleeve cuffs. Simplicity 1633

Simplicity 4091 dress pattern from 1952

1950s shirtwaist dress

has optional pintucks topped by a shaped collar. Simplicity 4091

Simplicity 1526 dress pattern from 1945

1940s pleated dress pattern

gets a twist with sections of shirring on the bodice. Simplicity 1526

Strictly speaking, a shirtwaist dress is one with a bodice that resembles a man's shirt: front buttons, a pointed or notched collar, and slim sleeves. Back yokes are common. Dress skirt styles vary according to era.

Advance 7931 dress pattern from 1956

1950s Eddy George pattern

brings the designer touch with shaped waist, back gathers and tab accents. Advance 7931

Advance 7984 dress pattern from 1956

1950s flared style

features yoke and sleeves cut as one -- a perfect foil for contrast fabric. Advance 7984

Hollywood 1618 dress pattern from 1945<

1940s shirtwaist dress

softened with flutter sleeves and a bow. Hollywood 1618

Advance 3610 dress pattern from 1943

1940s dress pattern

features a squared neckline and shoulder tucks. Advance 3610

A close relative (and often an option shown in shirtwaist dress patterns) is the shirtdress. As the name suggests, this style also resembles a man's shirt, but buttons to the hem.

This page also covers patterns for modified versions of these two styles: those with buttoned bodices or fronts, but with softer bodice styling and/or sleeve and collar variations.

New York Gold Seal 444 dress pattern from 195x

1950s or today

- a true classic. The pin tucked bib and inverted pleat skirt elevate this one well above the crowd. New York Gold Seal 444

Looking for detailed information about the classic 1950s shirtwaist dress styles? You may enjoy the Icon: Tracing the path of the 1950s Shirtwaist Dress written by fashion historian Heather Vaughan and posted online at the Clothesline journal.

Advance 6150 dress pattern from 1952

1950s pleated dress pattern

with an oversized collar notched on each side. Advance 6150

McCall's 3726 dress pattern from 1956

1950s dual skirt pattern

has kimono sleeves and optional tab accents by the buttons. McCall's 3726

And even more vintage shirtwaist dress patterns...

Simplicity 1549 dress pattern from 1946

1940s scalloped edge

shirtwaist dress pattern Simplicity 1549

Simplicity 2142 dress pattern from 1957

1950s pleated skirt

shirtwaist dress pattern Simplicity 2142

Simplicity 2221 dress pattern from 1957

1950s low collar

shirtwaist dress pattern Simplicity 2221

Simplicity 1427 dress pattern from 1955

1950s v-neck

shirtwaist dress pattern Simplicity 1427

Sue Burnett 8226 dress pattern from 194x

1940s contrast yoke

shirtwaist dress pattern Sue Burnett 8226

Butterick f6600 dress pattern from 194x

1940s patch pocket

shirtwaist dress pattern Butterick F6600

Simplicity 1042 dress pattern from 1944

1940s scoop neck

shirtwaist dress pattern Simplicity 1042

Advance 9605 dress pattern from 194x

1940s flap pocket

shirtwaist dress pattern Advance 9605