Hot! The “I Want to Go to Bed” Dress

The Facts
Go-to-bed-promo Fabric: Vintage linen – $0.30 for 3 yards from the best Estate Sale ever
Pattern: Simplicity 2101
Year: Simplicity 3836 c. 1960 
Notions: vintage zipper – $.005 
Time to complete: 3 hours, 45 minutes
First worn: August 2010
Wear again? Yes.

Total Cost: ~$0.30

Simplicity 3836 makes a return visit — this time in vintage linen. Because of all my Gatsby sewing, I had been putting off my weekly creation night after night. So, on Tuesday night, I found myself looking through my patterns for my Wednesday dress. I remembered how easy this pattern was to complete — only four main pieces (plus facing and belt) and started cutting at 9pm. The fabric is a heavy linen from the Novato estate sale (let's all bow our heads to that estate sale) that I had never paid much attention to due to its weight. Once I had unfolded and started cutting, I realized it was perfect for this dress.

The last time I made this dress, I lucked out on the stretchiness of the fabric and didn't have to insert the zipper. I assumed that there was enough stretch with this dress and cut the back bodice on the fold as well. While I was right that I could get the dress on without inserting a zipper, it was not without a lot of contortions and a lot of sweat. Even though I was tired, I decided to cut the back bodice and back skirt and go the zipper route. And because I'm so scared of zippers, I took my time and actually did a decent job!

I love the sash on this dress — the photo doesn't do it justice.

I finished this dress in 3 hours and 45 minutes. I know the exact time because I actually looked at the clock when I was done. I owe the speed to my new serger. It's so wonderful to be able to finish the edges with such ease! We've had a bumpy relationship in the weeks since I got it, but I think I'm finally taking control of thing.

My only regret is that I didn't make it about an inch shorter. That's easy enough to remedy, though.



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. What a great dress! I do like the length though.

  2. that dress looks fabulous on you and the pattern is terrific!

  3. love it! looks great on you. that pattern is not available on the internet, can you believe it!

  4. What a gorgeous dress – it fits so well!
    And a complete bargain too!

  5. I love it, the fabric is gorgeous and this dress looks great on you!

  6. I love it! And I really like the length as-is!

  7. Love the dress–it really suits you! I have a Serger that I’m afraid of too. I’ve had it out of the box once, and my cat messed up the threading. Rethreading it was so daunting that I just put it away until I felt brave enough to tackle it. Seeing what you did in 3 hours, though, is a huge inspiration to get it out and master it!

  8. The dress is fantastic! Very flattering!

  9. Incredible fabric! Incredible pattern! Incredibley flattering dress!

  10. The dress is very pretty! The blue and brown are very flattering colors on you, and the pattern is so interesting. I like it very much. Can’t believe you sewed this in under four hours! I aspire to having that kind of speed :)

  11. I really like it! Its from 1964, the year I was born. The colors and the style of the dress really are flattering on you. I do so enjoy looking foward to finding a new post from you, and seeing what the dress of the week is :) Have a great day! Amy

  12. Gorgeous, one of my favourites, I think!

  13. Beautiful dress – that fabric looks great on you….plus you can’t beat the price-tag!!!

  14. Absolutely beautiful! You totally continue to inspire -and don’t sergers just rock? I love mine too!

  15. That fabric is amazing! And you sew so fast, it always impresses me. And I have a serger, too, that I use a lot…

  16. Firstly: I am constantly amazed at all your projects that are made for so little! ;) Your blog has definitely reinspired me to make sure I thoroughly check thrift stores/estate sales for textiles this year. ;)
    I LOVE the fabric print with this pattern–so gorgeous!!! Definitely a winner–and it looks amazing on you!
    ♥ Casey
    blog |

  17. Inspiring all around! And you look fabulous.

  18. I don’t know what I love more the dress on you or the print on you! What a steal, and the dress looks amazing.
    I look forward to reading your blog every week.

  19. LOVE it – you look great!

  20. Really lovely dress. I think it’s my favorite in your line-up.

  21. I didn’t like it in the thumb nail picture. Seeing it on you totally changed my mind. How cute! but for sure because it is so cute and you are so young and cute it should be a bit shorter. The length looks a bit matronly on you as is.

  22. It is fantastico! Seriously.
    And you gotta love a good estate sale find. You are such a trouper for rocking it out in such a short period of time!

  23. Very pretty – that fabric looks gorgeous on you!

  24. OK–this is just divine. You have such a great eye for matching fabrics to patterns and the results are so scrumptious to say the least!
    Would you ever plan on making the coat as well?