Hot! The “I Need a Break” Dress

Break-dress After all the drama that was the “You Say Potato” Dress, I still didn’t have anything to wear to work this week. So, last night at 8:30, I headed to my pattern library with clear requirements in mind:

  • No sleeves
  • Least amount of pattern pieces possible
  • No weird collars
  • Basically, the easiest thing I could make.

Well, those requirements were all met in Simplicity 4429, which apparently, if you judge from its availability online, was pretty popular in its day. Start to finish it took about three hours to complete. It would have taken less time if I didn’t decide to work with a plaid. A plaid! What’s wrong with me? Oh, and two of the neck facing pieces were missing from the envelope so I had to create them from scratch.

Fabric: Fabric is a woven plaid from Alameda Antique Fair, $8 (total for 3 yards)
Pattern: Simplicity 4429
Notions: None
Time to complete: About 3 hours.
Year: c. 1962
First worn: January 2010
Wear again? Sure. 

Oddly, I went to one potato sack to another, but this dress is meant to be paired with a belt, so the fit of this dress is acceptable. Take the belt off and it’s shapeless. Still, for three hours I am happy with the results and have happily paired it with a blazer I had in my closet.


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.


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  1. This is darling! You have inspired me to start trying vintage patterns. I’ve bought a few over the years, but have been too intimidated to do more than just look at them.
    Thanks so much for sharing your work! I look forward to Thursday mornings knowing your latest Wednesday dress is waiting to show itself off!
    Keep up the good work!

  2. Love all the projects you’ve undertaken so far!
    Since i’m a fanatical attender of the Alameda Antique Faire, could i ask for some pointers on how you look for, find, and choose fabric there?

  3. I get there pretty early (usually around 7:00) and just dig around. There isn’t really a vendor that specializes in fabric for apparel — most seem to focus on linens. The fabric for this dress isn’t necessarily vintage (it could very well be modern) but I don’t mind. I’m looking for fabric that suits my needs and is inexpensive. This one piece happened to come from a vendor that seems to just put all his junk on a table and forces people to dig through boxes. It’s all about persevering through sometimes disappointing results.

  4. I really like this dress, especially with the red dress. I just recently found your blog, and I am in awe of the task— a dress a week! So exciting!

  5. Whoops! I mean especially with the red BELT!

  6. the plaid may have been tough, but I love how it looks! such a great pattern

  7. It’s gorgeous! Just the pattern I need to find after all of the chaos with my most recent dress.
    I can’t wait to see what’s next!
    ps…love the belt!

  8. Thanks!

  9. I really love this dress! There is something rather nice about pairing a excessively simple design with a graphic plaid (even though I know what you mean by “what was I thinking?” with the plaid! lol). Bravo for a quick project!
    ♥ Casey
    blog |

  10. Hey, I own this pattern too! I haven’t tried to make it though because the armholes seemed so tight when I pattern-fitted it. Did you have any problems with them?