Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Making a Kimono Sleeve Dress from the Woman's Institute

This morning I was gently riffling through my Woman's Institute book collection and inside a copy of Dress Construction and Finishing I found the coolest little booklet!

It was meant to come along with actual fabric dress pieces sent to the student to sew, and then return for examination! Can you just image getting a dress in the mail, already cut, just waiting to be sewn together? How fun!

For those of you unfamiliar with it, the Woman's Institute was a dressmaking and millinery instruction school that operated mainly by correspondence.

You can read all about their courses and book in a few different publications including Dressmaking Made Easy, Home Study Courses, and What the Woman's Institute Means to Me.

For your enjoyment, here is the lesson booklet in its entirety.

You can make a dress similar to this by using a straight-line one-piece dress pattern.


  1. Thankyou, very interesting. I have a pattern making book from the 1930s that was my grandmothers. It is good at the drafting but describes little of the preferred stitching methods of the day. This puts them both together.

  2. In the fifties we had something called Pattern on Fabric, here in Denmark. From a well know ladies magazine you could order your PonF in several colours and sizes. I so wish they would make this again. Have a lovely weekend. :)