Hot! The “Bright Lights, Big City” Dress

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The Facts

image from Fabric: Silver, geometric taffeta (?), thrifted – $0.50
Patterns: Simplicity 4687 - $.50
Year: c. early 60s
Notions: none
Time to complete: 1 hour
First worn: March 2011
Wear again? Maybe.
Total Cost: ~$1

So I actually made two dresses this week based on the "local color" theme. This was my first dress — the dress I made when I didn't think I'd have enough time to sew and photograph a dress representing San Francisco's farmers markets.

This dress takes its inspiration from New York City — where I just happened to be for most of last week for work. The dress, inspired by NYC's skyscrapers is shimmery with silver, black and grey geometric patterns. The dress was made especially since I would be attending the Say 100 launch party


I knew I could finish this dress quickly since it was just two pieces with darts and facings. I didn't think it would only take an hour. However, its fast construction actually caused a bit of trouble for me the night of this party. I hadn't serged the seams and one part of the side seam was just sewn too close to the edge. I knew this was a problem, but since I was in such a hurry to finish, I forgot to go back over the stitching. Well, as you can imagine, a bit of the side opened up the night of the party (actually while in a hotel bar waiting for a friend to come downstairs and meet me). Thankfully, the hotel had a sewing kit and I was able to (in the restroom) temporarily close up the side.

Let this be a lesson to all of us! Do not rush!

Despite this mishap, I still liked wearing the dress and how it shimmers in the right light.

I do have to give a shout out to my buddy, Matt Jacobs, for being patient with me and taking my photos. Thanks, Matt! Here we are together in the official shots from the evening.

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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. LOVE the dress! Looks like it was a fabulous party! How fun!! I need to seriously get some ‘easy’ patterns :-) And I know what you mean about not rushing…but it looks fabulous on you! Congrats to say media as well!

  2. This dress looks great! I love how shiny it is. Also, your story of stitching up the dress in the restroom reminds me of the scene from 27 Dresses when the bride’s gown needs to be fixed just before the ceremony…

  3. Great pic! And a great dress!

  4. two pieces plus darts and facings? I too need to find some simple yet fabulous patterns. What a great dress.

  5. Totally great fabric! Love those photos!

  6. Thanks, Debi! A 60s sheath dress is usually really easy. In all this was six darts in front, four in back and then facing. It doesn’t get much easier.

  7. Thanks, r8chel! Yeah, I panicked for a second but then realized that a thread and needle could save the day. Thankfully the hotel still stocked them!

  8. Thank you Sippey! I’m glad we could hang!

  9. Thanks, Jen! 1960s sheaths are the way to go. So very easy. And I even managed to sew up the back of the dress and not need a zipper.

  10. Thanks, Veronica! IT was pretty fun fabric — much different than what I usually make.

  11. I love the fabric of this dress …. and the dress! Perfect for a night on the town in NYC. Simple is SO often the best.