Hot! Louisiana Hayride Dress


The Facts
Fabric: Striped seersucker estate sale - 4 yards for about $.30 [1]
Pattern: Simplicity 3338 – $5.95 from Etsy
Notions: Vintage pearl buttons – $0.005
Year: c. early 1960s
Time to complete: About 12 hours
First worn: March 2010
Wear again? Yes, especially in Spring.

Total Cost: $6.30

[1] I have a hard time figuring out the cost of supplies from that Novato estate sale. I bought about 625 items including buttons, zippers, fabrics and patterns for $20 so I'm just averaging out the cost.

I've written about my love for That's Entertainment before. In the time since, I've managed to get my two year-old hooked on the movie as well. Her favorite scenes are "pretty dresses" scenes — the Good News dance number, the Esther Williams swimming scenes and, most importantly, the Louisiana Hayride number from The Band Wagon. She loves Louisiana Hayride so much that I usually have to play the song at least five times a day while she dances in one of her puffiest dresses. She calls it "eesiana hayride," but that's okay.

This pattern reminds me of one of the Louisiana Hayride dresses, though my version is a bit modified to be a little more wearable. 

The fabric — which I can't figure out exactly what it is — is amazing. It has stripes but also a little texture made from the tiniest little pleats. If you look at the detail photo below, maybe you can help me identify it. Updated: Thanks Kabira for pointing out that it's seersucker.


I spent an insane amount of time on this dress working on the embroidered flowers and the hand-sewn rick rack edging. I machined embroidered the flowers with a design from here. Although it all basically worked out well, having to match stripes while embroidering is a real pain.

Bluedress Even though I chose to make the sleeveless version of this dress, you'll notice that the cap sleeves in the original dress aren't there. That's because while I was embroidering, I caught some of the sleeve in the machine. So I made it work and the sleeves came off.

When my daughter saw me wearing this dress, she said "That's a pretty dress, mama." That's definitely my measure of an overwhelming success.


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. That really is a pretty dress! Well done :-)

  2. Oh, I really like this one.

  3. Love love love blue, and that really is great material in a nice shade of blue. I am intrigued by the hand-stitched rick-rack because in the picture it just looks like it was sewn into the seam, then flipped out (if that makes sense), but I guess that must not be what you did. I have oodles of rick-rack that I got for free so am always interested in how it’s used.

  4. This dress is gorgeous! I love the blue stripes and the fabulous embroidery!

  5. LOVE this dress – it’s beautiful and looks really comfortable to wear, too! Curious if you sew much for your daughter? If so, would you pretty please do a roundup of some things you’ve sewn for her and what patterns you like at some point? I’ve been sewing less than a year and am intimidated to sew clothes for myself, but sew plenty for my 22 month old daughter, who also loves skirts and dresses and wants to wear them when I do.
    I am in awe of your creations for yourself and would love to see what you make for her! Thanks for being such an inspiration!

  6. This dress is fantastic! The best yet, I reckon :)

  7. Simply lovely girl! I adore the rick rack in the seams and the way you accesorized with black shoes and the white belt. The accessories keep it from being to “syrupy sweet”-they make the look classy and up to date.

  8. LOVE the dress! Fabulous fabric and the embroidery is SO delicious!

  9. That’s such a beautiful dress, I love the color of the material and the 50s style! Great job!

  10. What a beautiful dress! Great job

  11. Oh man, this may be my favorite project yet. I love the rick-rack trim (or shark teeth as I like to call it).

  12. Really cute dress. Could the fabric be some sort of seersucker? it comes in more than just the narrow striped and solid versions.

  13. Seersucker! I believe you’re right. Thanks!

  14. Super cute! I love the embroidery detail and the seersucker stripe. Great job! Can’t wait to see what you make next…

  15. No, it’s sewn on the back of the fabric. There isn’t facing to catch the rick rack. Instead, the placket is folded over. I prefer this much more to separate facing pieces. Even if it was the other way, I’d still hand sew it this way to make it more precise.

  16. Thanks! Yes, I sew for my daughter but not that much — more costumes and special dresses. As she gets older and wants more mama-made dresses this will change. I’m actually making her a dress for St. Patrick’s Day since she will be going to some St. Patrick’s Day festivities.

  17. This turned out so pretty! I like that you went with white buttons after all – it really lets the embroidery stand out.

  18. Oh my Gosh! I thought I had already picked my sewing goddess but then I found your blog! I absolutely luvluvluv all your dresses. And the fact that you have accomplished this using estate sale purchases is realy making me envious. This dress is really special with all the wonderful details. Ok, I am feeling inspired!

  19. I think this has to be my favorite. So cute! I’ve got some seesucker waiting for a dress like that.

  20. I love the dress! What a wonderful goal, to have an all-handmade wardrobe!
    I get a little kick out of wearing something I’ve made every day :]

  21. Congratulations Mena! The dress is absolutely beautiful! I think that this one and the Holiday dress are my favorites!

  22. I agree. This is so pretty.
    I have a question (please know that I have never sewn clothing in my life).
    I’d love to make dresses like this for myself (from a pattern). But I am very tall. Is it easy to add length to the patterns to make sure the hem would be to my liking.

  23. Oh I just adore this one!! Love the pattern, love the fabric, love the color…Love it All!!