Hot! The “Blue Heron” Dress | Debi Fry



The Facts

Fabric: 2.5 metres flower print cotton £10 from JoAnn’s (I got this at the Oregon Coast when I visited my family last summer)
Pattern: McCall 3544 from Top Tottie Vintage (a fab UK etsy seller)
Year: c.  1939
Notions: zipper–FREE from the World Travelling Lace notions exchange as part of the Sew Weekly Sewing Circle

Time to complete: 7 hours

Wear again? Yes, though I still want to add a matching belt.

Total Cost: ~£10

I love hats! I especially adore 1930’s and 1940’s hats.  So you can imagine my excitement when I found a late 30’s hat at a vintage store for a decent price ($20).  I got this amazing hat at Urban Eccentric Vintage in my old hometown.  This store may sound familiar as it’s the store that Vintage Vixen works at (unfortunately, she wasn’t there when I visited!)  But isn’t it the most adorable hat ever?


I bought the fabric specifically to match this hat (even took the hat with me to the fabric store).  I used McCall 3544 from 1939 as the pattern:

Picture 25 I love this pattern but was unsure as to how it would look on my body type!  There’s lots of gathers.  The neck is gathered in the back which creates almost pleat like gathering on the bodice front.  The bodice front is also gathered at the waist for a neat effect. I also really like the sleeves, which use gathers on the sleevecap to create a puffed up look:

I was super excited to get to use one of the lovely notions that Amanda sent me as part of the World Travelling Lace notions exchange.  As you may know, there is a really great community interactive website as part of the Sew Weekly called the Sewing Circle.   You may have also seen the feature called ‘The Common Thread Project‘ that Mena has started with several amazing seamstresses where they all get 5 yards of lace and do something creative with it.  Well, a few of us thought it was such a great idea that we decided to do our own swap!!  The lovely Kat of Macskakat organised it all and we each got a name of another Sewing Circle member to send a care package of notions.  My lovely package came all the way from Amanda in Australia!  This is all the lovely things I got (plus a few bonus vintage goodies):

Picture 32 See the zipper in the photo above?  It’s in this dress!!!  I was super excited that it was the PERFECT colour!  YAY! Thanks again Amanda!! 

Here’s another shot of the dress:


You may be wondering why it’s called the ‘Blue Heron’ dress?  Well, when David and I were out taking photos, we saw a beautiful Blue Heron:

DSC01606 Can you see him in the background?  Here’s another photo.  I can’t believe we saw one! They are so beautiful!


Hope you all had a lovely Easter!


Debi from My Happy Sewing Place

Debi Fry LOVES vintage patterns. She started sewing in 2009 and has been going since. In 2011, she participated in the Sew Weekly challenge and looks forward to the new challenges that lie in store!


Comments are closed.

  1. Oh! This dress looks lovely on you! I love the bodice and it’s just right – not too gathered : ) The Heron was a bonus – I’ve seen one up close once. They’re so tall!
    Really love this dress. I think it’s my favorite of yours so far!

  2. This hat is positively rakish – but the dress is sweet. Love the shortened sleeves. Wonderful to see the travelling notions in actual use.

  3. Debi you look fabulous! The hat and dress work so nicely together and I like the color match from hat to pattern print in dress fabric, so smart! The gathering, pleating and drape give such a nice sophisticate look. Love nature and so nice Mr. Heron joined in the photoshoot. The setting is lovely as always! Well done!

  4. This outfit is FANTASTIC! The hat and dress go so well together, and it all looks amazing on you. There is something special about this dress, what with the travelling zipper and a blue heron sighting …. special indeed! Thanks, as always, for the great inspiration.

  5. Gorgeous! I think the gathering adds a little something to the dress, especially around the neckline, I love it when your a bit dubious about something to begin with and then it turns out to be the best bit.

  6. margueritedesigns

    It’s all lovely – you to a tee!

  7. Beautiful! It looks stunning on you. :-)
    I love it that you’ve used a zip from the travelling lace! I’m totally digging the idea of us all using notions from each others stashes in our creations, it makes me smile lots. ;-)

  8. That is such a special dress! Love how you´ve matched the color of the gorgeous hat with the print of the fabric. Just beautiful! I must write down that pattern number immediately. So lovely!

  9. It’s so pretty! It goes so well with the hat :)
    Ashley x

  10. That’s a pretty special hat Debi & and looks so good with your dress. Great choice. What a bonus that the travelling zipper was the right colour. What are the odds! and then the blue herron! signs from the sewing gods! lol.

  11. Lovely dress. I think the fabric is perfect for the hat. and i love the gorgeous scenery in your pictures.

  12. Beautiful dress :) I love herons- they are so funny when they fly! One likes to hang out with a beaver at my local bookstore’s shopping centre :)

  13. Holy blue heron! ;) This dress is fabulous and, oh my!, I LOVE the hat!! You’ve done such a beautiful job and look so elegant, Debi! :)

  14. Debi,
    I just cant tell you how beautiful that hat is..and with the dress,It just all works perfectly.. The pattern is wonderful on you.Great choice..
    Sounds like everything came together so perfectly..Don’t you just love it, when that happens?

  15. You are so fabulous! I love the dress – the style and fabric suit you so well! And that hat is DIVINE! Please send my way if you ever get tired of it :) Your creations are always so lovely and this one is no exception. Love the title as well – blue herons are rare, so surely it is a sign of good luck!

  16. Simply put, you look terrific in this dress – it really suits you. I was so surprised to recognize the fabric you used. I work in an office near a JoAnn’s super store in California – you can imagine where you find me on most lunch breaks. :-)I loved this fabric and there was a companion pattern to this that had some small birds on it which I bought to make a lovely table covering. Really neat to see it as a dress. Can’t forget the hat – great fit!

  17. Thanks so much! Your comment totally made my day :)

  18. I know! Isn’t the hat fantastic? I love how versatile it is!

  19. Thanks so much Cathe! It was amazing that we saw Mr. Heron….that capped off a great day!

  20. I agree Debbie–this dress is almost lucky or something!

  21. Thanks Kirsty! I was definitely dubious about all of the gathering but like how it turned out in the end!

  22. Thanks doll :) I love it!

  23. I know!!!! The color matched perfectly!!!!

  24. Thanks Solvi! I enjoyed making it!

  25. Thanks Ashley! I definitely wanted a print that had the main hat color but I didn’t want to do head to toe burnt orange…:)

  26. DEFINITELY signs from the sewing gods :)

  27. That’s funny that one hangs out with a beaver! How cute…this guy was very, very still…

  28. Holy blue heron batman…LOL. Thanks Sarah!

  29. I definitely do!! Thanks always brighten my day!

  30. Thanks Meg! I think I am going to coin this my lucky dress!

  31. Hi Karen–what an AMAZING job!! And that’s so great that you recognise the fabric…I got it last summer. I think I vaguely remember the companion fabric but I fell in love with this one the moment I saw it!

  32. oh the dress is PERFECT. material, gathers, print, everything!
    i must needs save my comments for the fabulous hat for your blog….

  33. You Rock! Just saw your awesome slam down blog post…hehehehe

  34. The gathers are perfect on you! Overall a perfect example of ‘wearing history’ as well Debi! Nicely done!

  35. I like the hat, so cute. The dress is really pretty, the fabric and the style. Wow! is all I can cay about the bird.

  36. Love the hat with the dress, the combo is stunning! I think 30s/40s style is really growing on me, it could be my fave era afterall!

  37. Hey! I just made a Crepe out of that fabric! The print looks much nicer on you!!

  38. What an amazing dress! It inspired me to go hunting for some 1930s patterns (you inspired my delving into 1940s patterns, now taking it back a further decade!). That is also one incredible hat! I can’t believe you were able to use that zipper (and so quickly)! When I put it in I thought the colour would be limiting but as it was one of the oldest zips I had, in it went! Glad it has gone to use rather than spending an eternity in my stash :)Oops, overuse of the exclamation mark…. sorry!

  39. Thanks Veronica! Here’s a cheers to almost 4 months :)

  40. I know! Can you believe it about the bird? I was so happy to see it!

  41. Me too!! Though I still need to do up a few more 50’s outfits and I’d love to explore the 20’s more properly as well! You look fantastic in 40’s–just thinking back to your lovely early 40’s red dress from Valentine’s Day! The style really suits you!

  42. That’s so awesome! I love this fabric and I bet it looks amazing in a crepe dress! What color did you do the sash?

  43. Thanks Amanda! You should definitely try out some 30’s patterns….they are addictive! I was over the moon when I saw that the zipper matched EXACTLY! You must have read my mind (or we’re on the same wavelength or something) because there are several things you sent that are the PERFECT colour for projects I have on the sewing table! Love that!! And thank you again for your generosity–it’s so much fun to get a sewing care package!!

  44. What a fabulous hat! Those straw ones don’t usually last through the years. And the dress! So pretty and easter-y.

  45. Thanks Lisette! I was also surprised to find this beauty in the vintage store. It looks very unassuming when it’s not being worn!!

  46. I used that fabric to make a stocking for my mom this Christmas!

  47. orange! the color combo worked out great

  48. This fabric would be perfect for a stocking! It’s so pretty!!! I really loved working with it!

  49. ha! beangirl brought it on herself, but i do love a good slamdown!

  50. Beautiful! This dress is stunning and I LOVE this hat – you are the vintage queen!

  51. I’m super jealous of that simply amazing hat! And of the pattern too – it’s one I’ve been looking for!
    xx Charlotte
    Tuppence Ha’penny Vintage

  52. Thanks Sarah…I love it! Looks like you had a fantastic easter too!

  53. Thanks Charlotte! I absolutely loved your sew weekly dress!

  54. I bet that was amazing…it’s such a great fabric to pair with orange/burnt orange because it’s very subtle but distinct in the fabric!!

  55. hehehehehe…I want you to be my neighbour..then we could just stop by each other’s flats for wine/drinks!!

  56. Debi you’re so clever and I just love your photos, what a perfect hat to match your perfect dress.

  57. Thanks Kazz! I am quite excited about the dress :)