Hot! The “Hey Lucy!” Shirt Dress | Veronica Darling


image from The Facts 

Fabric: 3 metres Black and White Gingham Cotton, ~$4 metre and Husband's shirt, free
Pattern: Vogue 6438
Year: 1948
Notions: Recycled invisible zipper & buttons
Time to complete: 6 hours
First worn: April 2011
Wear again? Not sure! Maybe after a little more tailoring.

Total Cost: $12




"LUCY, I'M HOME!" There are so many great women characters on TV, that I tossed between Liz Lemon of 30 Rock, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Sookie from Trueblood before settling on Lucy from I Love Lucy & The Lucy Show. After spotting this photo of Lucy & Ethel in the earlier shows, I decided to give the shirt dress another go, just to be a little more like Lucy!

image from
I'm sometimes compared to Lucille Ball as my facial expressions can be a little over the top, and when I get really uber busy I feel so flustered and slapstick like Lucy. She was always making a huge mess of things, but had fun along the way! Lucille Ball was also a truly unique comedy and physical actor and 'I Love Lucy' would be one of the original forms of sitcoms! I see Grace from Wil and Grace as a modern day Lucille Ball, and the show about nothing, Seinfeld, would not be one of the best situation comedies ever without 'I Love Lucy'. Lucille Ball's character is kinda Kramer, Elaine, Jerry & George all rolled into one!


The gingham material is from the stash, but it was new a few years ago, and it matched Lucy's shirt dress so well! This week, I've made the dress in half an hour bursts over several days as it's the Melbourne International Comedy Festival at the moment and I'm really busy with my day job and seeing heaps of comedy shows! I tend to find sewing this way is manageable when you are time poor, sometimes I take a bit longer to finish a garment because I have to sit and think for a few minutes to check where I'm to with it, each time I start sewing. 

This Vogue pattern is pretty straight forward and the best shirt dress I've made, I just didn't think I'd need to resize it so much, as it's a 32 bust. It might be those earlier sizes though, as the bodice is really LONG and still a little big around my back area. The white fabric is a lovely vintage tuxedo type shirt of my Husband's that had some tough stains on the front. I used all the back piece and the front bottoms pieces to make the cuffs and collar! I also recycled the buttons from his shirt too!

I love the pockets, with the gorgeous flaps on them. I should have made white ones though for them to stand out, but alas no more white shirt left!


My Lucy face! "Oh RICKY! Ewwwww!"

As it's comedy time here in Melbourne, I guess it's kinda fitting I've chosen to fool around with the 'I Love Lucy' show! I only had a 15 minute window to take photos, and considering I've never really used the tripod before, I'm also pretty proud these photos turned out so well (and in focus!). Until next week, dear viewers!



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.


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  1. I love Lucy and I really love your dress. You look great in it and did a real good job with the photos.

  2. Lucy was on my list too! love it! You look so great. Looks like alot of work in this dress so well done for getting it done in 30min installments. Fab work on the thrifting. I can’t believe how much fabric little things like collars and cuffs can use up.

  3. You are an organisational inspiration! I’m in awe of how you got everything for work done this week and still found time to make this incredible dress. It’s such a great replica – I love your thriftiness in using your husband’s shirt to make the collar and cuffs. Is this one of the first 40s dresses you’ve made? It’s great!

  4. I love this dress! It ticks lots of boxes for me – black & white gingham, together with shirt dress style, can’t go wrong, and the white trim sets it off fabulously. Love it …. Lucy!

  5. this really works – brilliant to make use of the shirt. Hat and shoes really set it off.

  6. So adorable and the dress was exactly perfect for Lucy!

  7. Love this shirtdress! Such a clever idea to use the collar (did you have to resize it or did it just work as it is?–brilliant way to save time)–I’ll have to hunt down some of David’s shirts…hehehehehe. I love Lucy too. I just recently found a hilarious episode on youtube where Lucy visits Scotland..too funny! Hope the festival is going well and that you’re having a blast!

  8. Great dress.. and so proud you did Lucy.. And the way you uses the hubbys shirt..Great idea.. You look great in the dress .

  9. Too funny, truly the perfect inspiration, you and Lucy do have similarities, funny girls! Love your dress, fabric and your red shoes, the perfect accent!
    Sewing spurts work for me too, hard to get it all done!

  10. That’s awesome! Great job.

  11. This turned out fab, great job!

  12. Darling, as usual! I love your recycled shirt details, petticoat/slip, and hat and hairstyle. Also the Lucy faces. Hope you can tailor it to your liking, but I think it looks great on you.

  13. You. Are. Brilliant. I adore Lucy and this shirt dress is dead on!! This looks great on you, and your facial expressions are perfect! Fabulous work, my dear!

  14. fantastic dress and photoshoot!! I hope you get it tailored to your satisfaction so it can be worn many many times! again, it’s wonderful!

  15. Although I love both Sookie and Buffy, Lucy had the best wardrobe by far. Made even better by your recycling efforts. I love it!

  16. Patricia Austin

    I LOVE IT!!!!!! this is an awesome dress! Great job!

  17. Fabulous dress :) Great job!

  18. I’m actually watching “I Love Lucy” while catching up on blog posts! Your spot-on job has inspired me to use some gingham I’ve had in my stash to do the same. The peekaboo petticoat is a lovely personal touch.

  19. EEKK! I love this dress! Veronica, this is so radical!

  20. Cute, cute, cute!! I love Lucy and your dress!

  21. Thanks Sue! It was hard to take the photos by myself, but now that I’ve got a minute to look at them (and the dress), everything came out great!

  22. Thanks Casey Darling, Lucy can cover so many fashion eras!

  23. Hi Amanda! I made a 40s dress a few years back, a nice green/white floral one: but yes, I’ve not really made any 40s dresses!
    It’s been a massive week for me, but YAY it’s the weekend now! Marathon is over!

  24. I agree, Debbie! Black and white gingham is pretty fantastic! And cotton is just too easy to work with!

  25. Thanks Jen! It’s my friend’s hat that I’ve been meaning to give back to her!

  26. Thanks Rebecca, I’m pretty happy with how well it matches Lucy’s one from the TV show screen shot!

  27. Hi Debi! In my haste to write out my post this week, I perhaps didn’t explain it properly: I cut up my Husbie’s shirt to make the collar and cuffs… I didn’t re-fashion his collar and cuffs (although I did consider it, too big), just used the material from the shirt front and back.
    Last night of the festival tonight, I’ve loved seeing so much comedy! I wonder if you’ll see a lot of comedy in Edinburgh this summer! YAY

  28. Thank you Judy, I’m so pleased you like it!

  29. Thanks Cathe! I will have to get used to spurts, as my day job sometimes takes over my life (it’s fun though!) so being at home with half an hour to spare is all I had this week!

  30. Cheers Amber! I’m so pleased it all turned out ok!

  31. Thank you Lee! I reckon I’ll just make the back and front darts a little thicker (if I can) and then I’ll be happy. I did resize so much of the pattern, you’d think it would have fit better. BUT, I also saw as I packed up the pieces today, I was supposed to put small shoulder pads in… so that might explain a little of the longer torso/shoulder bits.

  32. Hee hee, thanks Meg! I didn’t have time to ‘edit’ or second guess myself this week, so I’m very pleased my silliness is welcome! LOL!

  33. Thanks babes! Buffy has a lot of weird trousers and synthetic tops (late 90s/very early 00’s!) that just have dated so much too! I love her and Sookie too, but I just HAD to get a good shirt dress done, so lucky for Lucy!

  34. Thank you Patricia! So pleased!

  35. YAY! Thanks Alicia, I haven’t watched the show for a while, but will have to hunt some down!
    Have you got a pattern in mind for that gingham?

  36. Oh yeah… that’s one of mine!!

  37. Thanks Rachel! Just saw you’re an amazing knitter via your blog! AWESOME!

  38. OMG, we both made black and white gingham dresses this week! I love the red piping on yours Gina!

  39. Maybe that’s why I thought this pattern was yours, as I didn’t think I owned any 40s patterns! YAY!

  40. Hi Fiona, thank you! I love your Sew Weekly creations! I’m going to have a look over your blog now!

  41. You are so much fun, this dress suits you so much and Lucy is the perfect choice for you and this weeks challenge. Brilliant!!

  42. Thanks Kazz, I bet if I had more time for the photos I’d have tried more funny Lucy faces too!

  43. Oh Veronica! The shirtdress is wonderful and I love the hat & hair too, you look so adorable doing the lucy faces!

  44. Lucy!! You look divine!! I absolutely love this outfit and think you should sport this dress and other shirtwaist-style ones more often. You look adorable and uber feminine :)

  45. Veronica!! This is divine – you look so beautiful and just like Lucy!

  46. What do you mean: Not sure, if you’ll wear it again??!! You look absolutely FABULOUS in that outfit!

  47. Awww thanks Sarah! I really love the the style, it’s been hard finding the right shirt dress to fit my bodytype!

  48. Thank you Ann :)
    I just have to run those darts in on the back, and it might be fine!