Hot! It’s Spring! Sporting Dress

The Facts
Fabric: Stretch Poplin from – 3 yards for $7.47
Pattern: VPPL T7746 – Free (Got it for reviewing another VPPL pattern)
Notions: White buttons – $1.00
Year: c. 1934
Time to complete: About 5 hours
First worn: March 2010
Wear again? Yes, especially in Spring.

Total Cost: $8.47

I have to thank my spinning instructor and stretch poplin for making this dress possible. It’s a 34 bust, 37 hip and though it’s very snug, it fits well enough to wear. This dress would NOT have fit three months ago. I took a gamble in choosing this pattern because I usually sew a 36/38 bust. However, its adorableness made it irresistible. 

It’s another pattern from the Vintage Pattern Lending Library. I received it free because I reviewed this dress over here (the lovingly named Ghost Dress). Like the previous dress, the directions are sparse. However, for anyone who sews, it’s easy enough to put together without really needing any instructions. In fact, there are really only 3 main pieces if you decide to use a store-bought dress. I forgot to put the pocket on, but this can be remedied easily enough.

I made one major modification, however. The instructions called for either folding over the raw edges of the collar, armholes and ties and stitching OR just using bias fabric/tape to seal the edges. If I did either, I think the ties would look unfinished, especially considering that the underside of the fabric is much lighter. 

IMG_2204Instead, I cut out facing pieces of the straps and the neckline/armholes and double faced it all. It was easy enough. I just cut additional pieces to match the ties and raw edges, sewed it on and turned it over.

Although you can’t tell from the photo, the buttons do go all the way down the front. Despite my insanely large button stash, I didn’t have enough vintage buttons — it called for 12. So I had to buy some repurposed white buttons from a local sewing shop. Once the buttons get to my hip area, they’re fighting for dear life to stay on. After I wore it on Sunday, I adjusted the buttons to be a bit closer to the edge and it fits much better.

Even with the facing issue, I would make this dress again in a heartbeat. I just love it. I also love the fact that I’m wearing a dress that was in style 76 years ago! It truly is amazing to think how fashions from the beginning of the last century can still be worn and not look incredibly odd (or at least, I don’t think it looks odd.)

If you’re in search for inexpensive patterns from the 1930s, The Vintage Pattern Lending Library is such an incredibly awesome resource.


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. Don’t you resize your patterns when necessary?

  2. The pattern’s instructions did have a guide to make the hip wider, but I didn’t do it. I figure I should learn how to, but I just haven’t yet.

  3. I totally recommend it, it’ll give you greater access to patterns. :-) Just what you need, right?
    Anyway the dress is beautiful and you are so cute in it! You have the most charming smile.

  4. wow that’s a lovely dress and you look beautiful! I think I need this one in my wardrobe, maybe just on or slightly below the knee. Even if I never get to wear it in our rubbish UK summers!

  5. The dress is lovely and I adore the color and the print!

  6. This dess is just so sweet!
    I also think that making facings make it look moore professional and finnished though biastape can look smart too.
    Do you know, I´d really love to se the pitchure of the patterns you use bigger so I reallly can see the deatiles!

  7. That is an absolutely gorgeous dress :) And you have the most beautiful smile!
    I love seeing all the patterns you make – vintage patterns are just so lovely.

  8. I just found your blog & I applaud u because I endeavored to do the same thing & have yet to do a skirt! Love your dresses!!!

  9. Hi, I highly recommend Nancy Zieman’s book, Fitting Finesse, for resizing patterns. I have some very small vintage patterns which needed an additional 6 to 8 inches and they fit like a dream! I also make clothes for a friend who is a hard fit, she lives in South America and I live in Canada, and her clothes fit perfectly without ever having a fitting.
    Great idea, hope to do the same myself soon!