Hot! The “UFO to the Rescue” Dress


image from

image from The Facts 

Fabric:  Upcycled fabric from vintage dress, $15
Patterns: Simplicity 4474
Year: c. early 1960s
Notions: Vintage zipper, $0.05
Time to complete: less than 10 hours
First worn: May 2011
Wear again? Yes.

Total Cost: ~$15

Regarding my Seven in Seven Challenge, here's a little secret about marathon sewing: it is all sorts of exhausting. After five days of dress sewing, I realized that I still needed to start my weekly creation. I considered creating a 7in7 dress that fit the weekly creation as well, but then I thought that would have been a cop out. I needed to make something, even if it would bring my total to 8 dresses in 7 days.

It was then I remembered that I had a UFO (unfinished object) that would fit the bill of this week's theme! This blue and white floral dress has been in my "to finish" pile since around January. It needed to be hemmed, straps needed to be added and the side seams needed to be taken in a bit. Oh, thank goodness for small miracles. 

image from The fabric itself came from a vintage dress that I bought for $15 at the Vintage Fashion Expo in 2009. That's the dress in the picture to the left (along with my mom and my 40 extra pounds) There was a tremendous amount of rippage in the bodice, as well as huge spots of thread-bare fabric. I had mended it enough to wear to my daughter's 2nd birthday party but not soon after the bodice suffered another major tear. It was then that I realized that the dress needed to be completely scrapped for it to be saved.

So, I cut the skirt apart from the bodice (I tossed the bodice away) and was left with a good amount of yardage. There was nothing left of the dress when I was finished — it was simply fabric to work with. In January, I had just sewn Simplicity 4474 for my holiday party dress and had loved the pattern so much that I had to make it out of an everyday fabric. 

I finished all but the hem and straps and then, for some reason, put it aside indefinitely. That I had it almost completed made me quite happy on Saturday evening. 

As for the photo shoot, the pictures aren't the most inspired. I'm exhausted, and frankly, a bit tired of taking pictures  of myself(finally!). So, you all get to see a new dress this week, but not too much of a photo shoot.

image from

image from


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. Aww its lovely! I love the pattern and the shape of the bodice is so simple and pretty. You are doing wonderfully this week, but next week you can relax!

  2. so pretty! Love the belt too :-)

  3. A much more flattering style for the beautiful fabric. Well done you for squeezing in an eighth dress.

  4. When I saw the headline in my reader I just thought to myself “Oh, no, she didn’t…”
    But you did! You’re absolutely insane (in the best of ways)! You’re doing eight dresses this week, and I’m just hoping to squeeze in one (and preferably a slip too).

  5. I’m so amazed that you have sewn 8 dresses in the past week. I would never be able to do that! This dress looks lovely, and nothing wrong with the shoot. You look pretty as always.

  6. The refashion looks beautiful! Hang in there, you’re almost done!

  7. Wow, so lovely! You are amazing!

  8. I love this dress. The fabric and pattern are great. Way to pull through!

  9. I love it! yay for a ufo save. That must have been a very full skirt to be able to get another bodice out of it! great thinking!

  10. Wow that is just beautiful!

  11. I love the belt also…where would I get one like that? That red belt certainly flatters you. It must be a great accessory in your wardrobe!

  12. of course you didn’t cop out, crazy lady.
    i love this dress, and i have this exact belt in hot pink! (MB, i got mine at ross dress for less, oh yeah baby). that blue is so wonderful on you… are you running out of pace in your closet ?

  13. I am in awe of you. I thought I sewed fast but you take it to a whole new level, AND everything you sew is beautiful, especially this dress :)

  14. It looks great – such a pretty print, and amazing you were able to get a whole new bodice out of a vintage dress. This has been such a fun week – at least for us – voting for fabrics and watching new beautiful dresses pop up everyday.

  15. judy roberson

    Mena, just beautiful..Well done.. I was really shocked, as I was not expecting an 8th dress impressive..[Loved the picture of you and your mom..she is very pretty]and YEA,YEA!!! for the lost 40 pounds.

  16. It is a cute dress and you look cute in it. You also look tired. Don’t tire yourself out too much you have 7 months of weeks to go girl!

  17. I think it’s very funny that you would have considered it a cop out to fit one of the 7in7 dresses into today’s theme. You’re crazy – but I love watching/reading about your projects!

  18. I love that fabric. It’s so fresh and springy, and definitely lends itself to a nice little strappy sundress.

  19. I just knew you were going to make a dress today that didn’t fit in with your 7 for 7 challenge! But good idea going with a UFO, it makes it all a little less crazy ;) It’s a really pretty dress, and the red belt is a great add!

  20. Love it Mena! YAY for nearly completed projects!! You have blown my mind this week! What inspirations :)

  21. Lovely! That fabric is to die for and the hat – OMG!

  22. 8 dresses dear 8 dresses! That’s just incredible and this one is just so pretty!

  23. I ADORE this one. Want want want. Also: you have mad dress-churning-out skills. I’m lucky if I finish one every few months.

  24. I adore everything about this dress! The pattern is lovely and the fabric is just gorgeous. And of course you set the dress off perfectly with the hat and the contrast belt.
    I already loved your christmas party dress (what inspired use of a vintage tablecloth) and now this one too :-)

  25. How do you do that? Seriously… I’m also with Oona, Where do you fit them all! I’ve packed up most of my clothes ready for moving except me mades and essentials and I still don’t have any space! I think 8 more dresses would send me over the edge!
    They are all fab well done! Time for a rest now I would think! x

  26. Where did you get the hat? Did you make it? I love it!

  27. Well done Mena! What an amazing week!

  28. I love the dress and I am ever so much in love with the hat too! Where ever did you find it????