Vintage Sewing Inspiration #1: 1940s New York Street Style

by - 4/06/2016

When I came across these images on Tumblr a few days ago, I couldn't resist putting together a blog post based on them. From doing a little research I managed to find out the images were photographed by Alfred Eisenstaedt for a series called 'Beautiful girls in New York' for Life magazine, all about street style circa 1944.

My personal style is much more late 50s/early 60s, but I totally fell for these classic 1940s looks. Is there anything more perfect for Summer than a floaty floral tea dress?

Well now you can get this perfect Summer style for yourself! I've put together some gorgeous fabrics, all from my new favourite online haberdashery Minerva Crafts (not a sponsored post).

I only saw this series of images a couple of days ago, and the first thing I noticed was the fabulous gingham number (top middle). I love the resemblance it has to my very own Burda Style 7179 vintage style shirt dress from my first pattern review blog post! Which you can see HERE.

Also how cool is the lady on the far right?

I love the adorable tea dress and hat styling on the first two ladies, a real classic 1940s look! And the simple pin stripe fabric on the right is next on my supply list.

Do you prefer the 1940s florals or the simple stripes and gingham?

These first two styles look like two piece blouse and skirt outfits. I've never tried sewing a blouse before and these two have really inspired me. And not forgetting the lady on the end with another fabulous tea dress! With so many retro florals to choose from, how will you decide?

I'm in love with the bold floral fabric on the left. I think it would make such a perfect tea dress or shirt dress style. In fact it would make a gorgeous anything! *adds to basket*

Get this gorgeous vintage look for yourself with these 1940s style sewing patterns:

I hope you've enjoyed the first of my 'Vintage Sewing Inspiration' blog posts, I can assure you, there will be many more! Let me know if you've tried any of the above patterns.

Thanks for reading, pinups.

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  1. What a fun post! I like how all of these 40s dresses can still be worn today. Maybe not so much with the shoulder padding, but in general the silhouette is still relevant today.

    When I first started sewing vintage I thought I was more into the mid 50s, New Look silhouette, but I find that the more I sew, the more I'm drawn to the natural, flow-y dresses of the late 40s. I don't know, something about it!

    1. I agree! There's some really lovely styles, and I can't resist a tea dress. So wearable.