Hot! Holiday Party Dress

Yes, this is a holiday party dress. Why? Because our company throws our holiday party in January, not December, and I'll be wearing this on creation on Friday.

Fabric: Main fabric is a black cotton blend with stitched white flowers from Stone Mountain & Daughter $15, sash made from red linen fabric found at garage sale for about $1, lining is black lining from stash.
Pattern: McCall's 5177
Notions: One 12" zipper (from the stash of zippers bought at this garage sale.)
Time to complete: About 8 hours.
Year: c. 1959
First worn: January 2010
Wear again? Definitely. I can put a more casual belt on for a less formal look.

I acquired this pattern at the December Alameda Antique Fair. For about $20, I purchased eleven 1950s patterns — a great deal. Made even better were the fifteen or so 50s era patterns the seller gave me for free because they didn't have envelopes! Coincidently, Erin featured this pattern on A Dress A Day a couple weeks ago.

5177It was a wonderful pattern to work with — the bodice, from the instructions, seemed intimidating to construct at first. However, once I got my mind around what was going on, it was a total snap. The only thing that made this dress a pain was the size — a 34 bust. I'm not capable of resizing a pattern yet so I simply adjust the seam allowance based on my shape. That led to less material to work with and general frustration on my part. If this was my size — a 36/38 bust — it would have been super easy.


Mena Trott

Mena Trott started The Sew Weekly to document her attempt to sew all of her own clothes in 2010. Since then, she's made over 125 outfits and has way more clothes than she needs.


Comments are closed.

  1. Beautiful, Mena. And it looks like it would suit you perfectly. You know what I’d love to see added to these entries? Hours spent.
    And, because I am nosy, I’d love to know what notions were required and what you had on hand already. (Basically if you are able to incorporate things you bought for no reason.)

  2. Your wish is my command. I updated the facts section with notions, fabric details and time spent. In a nutshell, all my notions seem to be garage sale/estate sale/flea market finds that I have stocked up on.

  3. Oh this is lovely. WANT IT.

  4. I love the fabric (even though its business prevents me from seeing all the darts and tucks n’ whatnot).

  5. Sorry to add a second comment, but I definitely second the notion of seeing how many hours.

  6. WOW! This is stunning! Well done madam, well done! Love the fabric choice. Can’t wait to see what comes next.

  7. Gorgeous! And I’m looking forward to seeing “hours spent” as well. It sounds like you have full-time employment and to be planning and creating these dresses each week as well, I bow down.

  8. I just stumbled across you’re blog and am SO impressed! This dress is so beautiful! I am just beginning my own vintage sewing project – trying to sew a complete vintage wardrobe in a year… So I will definately be following you!

  9. I happened upon your blog about a week or 2 ago and just wanted you to know I’ve been inspired to use my OWN sewng machine for me instead of someone else! after all, momma needs new clothes too!! Quick question though… no pants/slacks?!

  10. Thank you! I love the construction details and time spent.

  11. Wow. I found out about your blog from Beccy at . I’m really interested in following your progress and maybe inspired to take on some projects myself. One question and two comments: When you list the price of the fabric is that total or per yard? (great fabrics btw) and I also love the information you give as well as the story and I also like when you show a picture of you wearing the outfit. It just makes the whole thing complete in my opinion. I’ll add you to my blog roll.