Saturday, June 09, 2012

Memorial Day Weekend Dress

Okay, so the "name" of this dress is not entirely accurate. I didn't wear this dress Memorial Day Weekend, and I didn't even finish this dress Memorial Day Weekend. However, I got the fabric I used for this dress last year during Memorial Day weekend and completed the majority of its construction this Memorial Day weekend.

My birthday spoils from last year

So there you go.

General details about it's construction:

Source: Vintage Sewing Wiki
Pattern: Simplicity 7011, circa 1975, purchased on Etsy

Fabric: Synthetic border print, which I then hacked apart and reconstructed to make use of the different prints on it. I could have probably just used two different fabrics all together.

Changes made: The pattern is really simple: four pieces to cut for the dress, and then little tabs and facing to cut. I ended up cutting the dress pieces into different sections to help me place the border prints at the places I wanted. I also added a strange little pleat to the front pieces to add extra belly fabric. It wasn't the prettiest alteration, but the gathers/elastic end up hiding it well enough. Not to mention the print. I skipped the tabs, because they felt a little like overkill with this print.

I used flat-felled seams with the border print transplants.
If you look right under the beads, you'll see where I had added the extra pleat, too.

I also added the border print portion to the hem as a separate piece. It cut down on the need to hand-sew, and tied up the dress pretty well. In retrospect, I'm not sure it mattered too greatly either way. It's a little longer than I had planned, but it's a little neater on the bottom, overall. (Just ignore my horrid finishing stitches and poor matchup of seams. Leave it to Buddy to take detail pics of the parts I'm least happy with.)

Overall Impression: The fabric is very light and totally appropriate for a summery dress, so I am happy to have finally put it to good use. The construction of the dress is interesting--shaping relies mainly on the use of elastic at the shoulders and bodice. I would totally make this dress again, a little shorter and with some simpler print just because I think it would have such a vastly different effect. And if you take out all the frankensteining I did with the fabric, the construction would be even simpler. I would even venture to say I'd finish the sleeves with bias binding because it would work well for seam finishes and a nice detail on the outside. I just need to buy LOTS of bias binding for that.

Excuse the wrinkles (skin and dress) from the long drive in the car.
This dress fits the vintage, alterations, and dress categories for the Sew, Baby! challenge, too, I think. :D

And as full acknowledgement, I really am working on some sewing here and there. And I still need to post on Me-Made-May conclusions. Sorry! You'll see more soon, I hope! Third trimester starts Sunday, so I am now realizing how little I've accomplished and how much I have to do to prepare for major life change!


  1. Gorgeous dress! I love this! It's so bright and fun!

  2. Just saw your dress on We sew retro, it's stunning ! I love how you played with the differents prints on the fabric ! I made this dress in a knit fabric and now that I see your version, I want to try it in a woven fabric.

  3. Yes this dress is so pretyy and colorful! I love the back V.

  4. Very nice! Love those colours and the patterns. Your bump is looking lovely too! :-)

  5. Lovely! The back is awesome and your fabric choice perfect.