The “You Can Do It!” Dress
Total Cost for all three dresses: ~$1
What better way to illustrate the them "you can do it" than with this simple blue and white dress. The story behind this dress begins in Las Vegas when my friend, Libett, and I visited a Bettie Paige store in some insanely large mall.
Libett had never been to the store (I had visited the Haight stree location) and was interested to see how the dresses compared to the ones she had seen online. I, as an annoying sewing friend, kept on remarking about the quality of each dress: "Look how cheap the fabric is!" "There is no lining!" "Everything is just serged!" But, of course, the most-repeated line: "Don't buy that, Libett! You can just make it yourself!."
That's not to say the outfits at Bettie Page aren't cute — they are just basic reproductions of 1940s, 50s and 60s period clothing. One dress that Libett tried on was particularly cute — the Shipmate Navy Circle Dress (they only have the light blue version online). Here's Libett modeling it in the dressing room (Libett, you look cute — don't kill me for posting this photo).
The dress, on sale, is $96.
Anyway, a couple months later, while thrifting, I found a navy and white striped pillowcase. Combine that with some blue cotton I already had purchased for about $.50, I had all the fabric I needed to reproduce the Bettie Page dress for about $1. The pattern is an old favorite — McCall 6511 — which I documented over here. I believe I actually improved the dress because I actually made a belt (complete with grommets) instead of just running a cord around the waist.
All in all, not bad for $1.