Hot! Sears Sucker: Patchwork Dress Inspiration

I’ve been kind of obsessed with this patchwork dress ever since I saw it in the Sears Catalog archive a couple weeks ago. Everything is so fabulous about it: the fabrics used for the patchwork, the red cummerbund, the sleeves, the neckline. I absolutely adore it. 

The dress seems easy enough to recreate, though I think the fabric is the real charm. It appears that there are either ten or eleven different fabrics used for the skirt. The hard part, I think would be gathering enough complimentary fabrics that work so well. But it’s a challenge I definitely want to take!

I love this dress!


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. That would be a great challenge for a week. Seeing what everyone could come up with would be interesting.
    Anyway…The dress is lovely.

  2. Ooh, that’s fun! I’ve made gored skirts out of different-colored and -patterned panels before, but I was never satisfied with how they came out. Something about the structure of a gored skirt didn’t jive with the random. A gathered skirt would be a fun way to revisit this– I love how the illustration makes it look like one big gathered panel of a fantastically strange print.

  3. The gathering of the complimentary fabrics would be the easy part. As long as you don’t mind using quilting cotton, just search any quilt fabric store or website for “jelly rolls”. They are rolls 2 1/2″ X 40″ strips of complimentary fabrics all from the same fabric line. Most jelly rolls include about 40 strips.
    I have tons of jelly rolls sitting around waiting to be used. I think I have been inspired.

  4. This is similar to an idea I have for the Colette Crepe dress! A colorful skirt, a different color sash and a solid for the bodice :) That would be neat if you could recreate the patchwork skirt!

  5. So beautiful! What a great way to use up large scraps of fabric for a truly one-of-a-kind piece.

  6. What a beautiful dress! Jessica from Ayenforcraft has a patchwork skirt that looks similar and has been in my inspiration folder since I found her blog:

  7. Cute.. I love the outfit.. This would be a great weekly challenge.. Judy

  8. Great skirt! You should definitely make it!!

  9. It’s gorgeous Mena, I can’t wait to see your interpretation of it! I think I may attempt something similar using 5 different fabrics and alternating them.
    Thanks for the inspiration!

  10. margueritedesigns

    Maybe some sort of fabric swap could be organised to add a bit of a surprise element to something like this!

  11. when I hear the word patchwork dress I immediately think of a walking beadspread, but I quite like the one above.

  12. Wow, that is not something I would have expected from 1955 but I’m loving it. It could be a great way to use up bits of vintage fabric that you just don’t have enough of to make a full garment. Definitely filing this idea away for future reference. Thanks for sharing!

  13. Thanks for the mention Alessa – I was just thinking that I’d made a similar skirt, but that this post gives me new ideas for how I could style it! [And maybe, erg, make it business casual appropriate? I swear I need to find a way to work it into my work wardrobe, I love it too much to reserve it for weekends only!]

  14. This would make a fantastic theme for a week – patchwork clothing!