Hot! Ghost Dress

Ghost DressWhen picking a dress for the weekly creation I set a requirement that I will actually wear it some day that week. If I don’t think I’ll ever wear it, it doesn’t really enter my wardrobe rotation. Here’s a dress that’s in that limbo — a dress my husband lovingly calls “The Ghost Dress.” He’s not a fan of long sleeves and seeing this dress on the dress form sort of freaked him out. While I think this dress would be fine for some sort of deco event, it’s just a little too out there for work. I sort of feel like a mother in the Our Gang movies.

This was a fascinating dress to put together since it was from a different source than usual — The Vintage Pattern Lending Library. It’s part of a seven-in-one ensemble from 1930. It’s a reproduction so the pieces are all crisp and lovely. 

The instructions for this dress are minimal. In fact, they’re only about a paragraph of text. I joked to my friend that the instructions basically say “make this dress.” The amazing thing is that the pattern and construction are intuitive enough that the paragraph is really all that you need (assuming you’re fairly experienced). Nine months ago I wouldn’t have been able to make this dress. Now, however, I constructed it without a single problem and it fits marvelously. If you’re comfortable with instructions like “construct the sleeve,” then this should be easy enough to do.

Seveninone Fabric: Vintage reproduction fabric $1 (total for 3 yards) from an estate sale,  bow & belt from fabric from JoAnn’s ~$2
Pattern: Seven-in-one ensemble from VPLL $20.50
Notions: Vintage zipper, 1 vintage belt buckle ~$2
Time to complete: About 10 hours.
Year: c. 1930
First worn: Not yet.
Total Cost:  About $25.50


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. I like the dress… the sleeves maybe not… look a little matronly… why dont you make it short sleeved… the dress is beautiful. and looks great with your hair… I say cut the sleeves and WEAR IT!!!

  2. I like it! A lot more than some of the other dresses…And I love the tstrap shoes!

  3. Wear the dress!!! I don’t think it looks too matronly at all… it is darling:) Of course, I have a soft spot for 30’s styles. Wear it, or I will!!! he he

  4. Ghost dress is cute! You’ll find somewhere to wear it.

  5. I think it would be super cute if the hem was a little shorter, that might lighten the mood of the dress.

  6. I agree with mollymolly…shorten it a few inches! Plus a cute headband might lighten it up.

  7. Funny how different people see different things. I think you look GREAT in this dress! It is super flattering on you. I wouldn’t change a thing!

  8. I’ve only just started to stop by, and really love the bolder colours here. (I’m a sucker for red)
    Nice work and I’ll be continuing to follow and adore your work! I do *love* the little wrap up at the end (Fabric, Notions, First worn etc) Love that!

  9. I think the dress is rather cute, but can understand how it would sort of look a bit “blah”. I second the suggestions to either shorten the hem or sleeves a bit; that may just do the trick to make this a bit more exciting and wearable!!! :)
    ♥ Casey
    blog |

  10. I agree with the other posters who are saying shorten it. It’s an adorable dress and if you bring the hem above the knees, it’ll be super cute and sassy!

  11. I agree about shortening. If you don’t want to go too short, bring it up to the place just above the full part of your calf where it starts to narrow again. This is a flattering look for most people.
    Also, the sleeves. I think you would like it more if the sleeves were slightly above the crook of the elbow or (or one or 2 inches higher) and then just plain narrow hem. There is enough fullness in the sleeve to give you a slightly floaty sleeve which would go with the cheerfulness you have brought to it with the red accents. I think if you put a very small bit of red trim on the sleeve hem when you shorten them it would pull the whole look together really well.
    the colours do suit you, so it would be a pity to leave it in the cupboard!
    Sandy in the UK
    PS I teach City and Guilds fashion/dressmaking. I think your challenge is great. I am going to tell my students about it and have them check in now and again!

  12. Admittedly, the style is different than most dresses of today. One doesn’t see many long-sleeves dresses. But I think that’s the great part! Perhaps pair it with more modern accessories (a thick leather belt, hoop earrings, round toe-pumps?) to keep the look out of pure-retro territory?
    If that dress were in my closet, I would rock it. Seriously.