Hot! The Blooming Beret Outfit | Veronica Darling


image from images3.wikia.nocookie.netThe Facts

Fabric:  Crazy Floral crepe/satin/drapey material $.50c ($4 for at least 5 metres from the op shop) & thrifted black polyester lining (20c) and Thrifted Grey Jumper ($3)
Patterns: Simplicity 4491 $1 (from memory) and Vintage Sewing’s free beret pattern
Year: c. 1960’s for the dress
Notions: New black zipper $4 (so pricey!)
Time to complete: 3 hours
First worn: April 2011
Wear again? Yes.

Total Cost: ~$5.70 for dress. Hat – $3

As it’s getting cooler in Melbourne, I initially wanted this week to make a warmer, autumnal outfit with a woolie hat of some sort. As much as I love the vintage look, I don’t wear hats at all! I kinda take one around with me in summer time, to ward off the direct sun, but mostly forget to wear it. And in wintertime I have one slouchy black hat that I wear all the time, for warmth only, but has zero style points.

I couldn’t find a hat at the op shop (football season has started, so there’s plenty of beanies!) and I felt a little stumped for a while. I googled vintage hat tutorials, and flipped through a few ideas until I found this Vintage Sewing info site, and saw how easy a beret was to make! I also found this video page, just to do a double check and then made my own in 15 minutes. It may have even been 10 minutes, as it took 5 minutes to locate this grey jumper I’d bought from the op shop (I was going to refashion it into a cardigan). 10 minutes to make a cute beret! OMG

It’s basically just two circles, one with the middle cut out, like a donut, and a headband (I used the collar pieces of the jumper as the edging was already ribbed and neat). I interfaced the top bit, with some fusible lightweight interfacing, as I didn’t really know how else to stiffen up stretch wool. I’m going to make so many more to match all my winter outfits!

And then for the dress! I thought I’d make a woolie 60s Mod-esque frock to go with the hat, but as the weather turned SO beautiful and sunny, I just couldn’t settle on any winter fabric. I found this burst of blooming floral fabric at the bottom of the stash (to fold and put away) pile and thought I’d do a last hurrah to the sunshine of Melbourne!

The colours are a bit insanely bright, but the black edges of the flowers in the fabric will mean I can wear tights or a black long sleeve tshirt underneath in winter (with the hat of course!). It took ages to decide on a frock pattern though, for I have over 5 metres of this thrifted fabric and I felt paralysed by it’s abundance. Usually my remnants or thrifted peices are *just* enough for a dress, but the gaudi-ness of this print means it wouldn’t work with any over the top collars, or ribbons or frills, in my opinion. So I had to keep the silhouette straightforward.

The easiest and plainest pattern I have is the Simplicity 4491, and I’ve always made really nice dresses with it. This time I copied my adjustments to some spare butcher paper, as I’ve used the pattern so much, the tissue paper is starting to tear. Next time I’ll just use my copied bodice pieces, and no resizing needed! The fit is a little loose compared to another pencil skirted version Imade a few years ago, but better loose than too tight I guess.

I lined the entire thing with some cheapy black polyester stuff so it’ll have a little extra warmth for when it does get colder!

When I see you again, it’ll be May! Hats off to you Mena, and all of you Sew Weekly contributors and creators as we’ve made 4 months worth of garments! Hurrah!


Veronica Darling

Veronica Darling has been sewing well for about 4 years, blogging for 5 years and smiling for over 33 years. In 2011, she joined Mena's Sew Weekly in sewing through the year, and in 2012 will keep challenges slightly smaller in scale.


Comments are closed.

  1. great choice of pattern for wild material. Love the beret too – Will have to try this pattern. (Didn’t like the one I used for last week).

  2. I love your cute hat! I also love that pattern… I have it too but doing an uneven grade on the bust has just about destroyed my sanity. How weird is the sudden sunny weather? But yay for bright floral dresses!

  3. That hat is just so cute, and sounds so easy – think I will have to give it a whirl. Goes great with your dress – you’re not supposed to be having the sunshine down there – we are having Melbourne weather up here in Brissie!

  4. Love that you made your hat! It’s so lovely…and that dress…oh, how I love your dress. The fabric is perfect!! Can you believe it’s been almost 4 months? Wow–time flies when you’re having fun!!

  5. margueritedesigns

    Why can’t I find fabric like that in charity shops??? Well thrifted and looks good on you!

  6. Gorgeous! And wow, I can’t believe it’s been four month of garments already! Awesome. :-)

  7. Beautiful… And you did a great job making your hat..Yea!!! Love your fabric..

  8. I like the title on the pattern envelope “4 seasons after 5 wardrobe” too funny! It’s a fab dress and the hat is a perfect accessory (love your shoes too).

  9. How clever to refashion a jumper into a beret and it looks great on you. The best part is it goes with your shoes too! You made it so simple that I wanna give it a try :)

  10. Wild material is right, Jen! The pattern is my ‘go to’ easy pattern, I hope it’s easy for you too!

  11. Thanks Amanda! Yep, bright dresses for this sunny autumn!

  12. Oh noes! I’ve heard it’s all a bit topsy turvy, Sydney’s all wet too! If it helps, it’s really cold at night time!

  13. It’s gone so quick, how crazy!

  14. Thank you babes! Sometimes there’s just gold there! I do take a stroll by the charity shops at least once or twice a week, just in case!

  15. I love that hat and I think it just might be the hat for me so I will be checking out that site, Thanks. I love the dress and have seen similar fabric and wondered what could be made from it. I love your dress. As always you look great and what you chose is so cute.

  16. It’s gone quickly, hey?! Thanks darling!

  17. Thank you Judy! So easy too!

  18. I’m glad you spotted that one! Pretty funny, but so cost effective!

  19. I was so pleased with the colour match too! Those shoes have been SO amazing, so tall (for petite girls like me) and so comfy!
    The hat is seriously so easy, with or without an overlocker I reckon!

  20. Where did you see the fabric Sue? It doesn’t have any information on the edges (like some do) so I wasn’t sure where it comes from (like what era).
    Certainly give the beret pattern a go, it was pretty straightforward for me, and I just guess what size I needed, so didn’t print off the template/pattern.
    Thanks for your comments all!

  21. Love that this dress will work with tights and a long sleeve top underneath! That’s my standard ‘make it work for winter’ routine! And that beret is fantastic. What a great idea!

  22. Veronica you look so beautiful and I am loving this fabric – what a modern look to a floral print! Also, I would like to tour your shoe closet if I ever get to visit Australia – you have the most amazing shoes!

  23. I’m the same Casey! Everything I make from now on has to have winter wardrobe diversity!
    Black or grey tights would be ok with this one, right? xoxo

  24. Thank you Sarah, you’re such a babe! It’s pretty unusual fabric, so I’m happy it came together in a simple dress.
    I love my shoes too! You’re welcome anytime for a squizz!

  25. I love this and hasn’t Melbourne weather been lovely this past week? perfect dress for that weather I think. Your hat is perfect too and your thrifting skills are enviable. Have a lovely week.

  26. Thanks Kazz! Yep, we’ve had Sydney friends visiting, so it was SO good having sunshine down here, and rain up there! xoxo