According to the April 1940 McCall Advance Paris Style booklet:
"There are three things here of utmost fashion importance--the hood, shown on a dress for the first time, the big pockets, which you see everywhere, and (view B) the return of the fly closing. Not only is this princess dress smart in light-weight wool with its hood lined with printed crepe, but it's being made all of print, too. The hooded printed dress is something as new and as fresh as tomorrow morning. No. 3678 Sizes 12-20. 50 cents"I do wonder if this was the first hooded dress pattern to appear? It definitely started as a trend in 1940. I haven't yet run across any 1939 or earlier hooded dress patterns....
McCall 3678 is also the lead illustration in the April McCall's Magazine:
The April magazine has this to say about McCall 3678:
"One Important Thing about spring dresses is--hoods. Look at the princess dress on this page, No. 3678. We show this dress in summery white to make sure that everyone understands that hoods have nothing to do with winter. Hoods are not to keep the ears warm, not even to shade the eyes, not to preserve the finger-wave, but just for style. They are now a big spring and summer fashion!"This really makes me want to make a white summery version of the hooded dress!
To say that I adore this pattern would be an understatement! It's perfect in every way. The princess seams make the dress fit beautifully but also make it incredibly easy to grade up (which I did for this pattern).
Another reason I love the pattern is it is brilliantly drafted. Look at how it drapes! The soft back folds are amazing and I love how the front hangs as well. I also LOVE pleated sleeve caps. Ahhhh...all my favourite things in one pattern!
I made the dress up in a stretch gabardine fabric that is the perfect weight for most of our Scottish weather!
The hood is really easy to construct and line (it's the only part of the dress that is lined). I used a union jack lining fabric to give a bit of a fun surprise to the lining and pocket flap.
This dress often gets mistaken as a coat--which took me by surprise once at airport security when they asked me to take my coat off. Ooops. I did explain it was a dress and the security person look really embarrassed (phew)! This could, however, be made into a coat very easily. I do love the button down version but also want to try the fly closing version (view B).
Ok, you might see me making more iterations of this dress. I do love it so! And all the polka dotted versions in the illustrations are so adorable....maybe another dress for summer?
Did you know hooded dresses were all the rage in 1940? I think it's a trend we should bring back....it's incredibly useful (even if it is only for style) :-)