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.
shirtwaist dress and shirtdress jazzed up with unusual pockets; well-illustrated with vertically striped fabric. Advance 3001
1940s cap sleeve
shirtwaist dress with shaped neckline or trim collar and sleeve cuffs. Simplicity 1633
1950s shirtwaist dress
has optional pintucks topped by a shaped collar. Simplicity 4091
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.
1950s Eddy George pattern
brings the designer touch with shaped waist, back gathers and tab accents. Advance 7931
1950s flared style
features yoke and sleeves cut as one -- a perfect foil for contrast fabric. Advance 7984
1940s shirtwaist dress
softened with flutter sleeves and a bow. Hollywood 1618
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.
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.
1950s pleated dress pattern
with an oversized collar notched on each side. Advance 6150
1950s dual skirt pattern
has kimono sleeves and optional tab accents by the buttons. McCall's 3726
And even more vintage shirtwaist dress patterns...