Hot! The “Vintage Anthro” Dress | Sarah Gabbart

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The Facts 

Fabric: White tank top ($5-ish Target – from wardrobe) and Liberty of London fabric (1.5 yards at $33 a yard – from stash; this print – mine was navy, but the website doesn't list it!)
Pattern: Tutorial from Presser Foot
Year: c. 2010
Notions: 12" of lace and waistband elastic – from stash
Time to complete: 2
First worn: May 2011
Wear again? Yes!

Total Cost: ~$50

Like most other women I know, Anthropologie is my favorite store. They have such thoughtfully arranged, beautiful things to tempt me into opening my wallet. Also like many ladies I know, they're not always in my budget. $200 for a summer dress? Sorry Anthro – I can't make it work right now. But I will take like 10 packs of that adorable stationery – kthanxbai

So while looking over one of my favorite blogs recently I stumbled across a super awesome tutorial about making a vintage-inspired Anthro dress using a tank top, lace, waistband elastic and some floral fabric. Seeing as I have all of these things just hanging around I couldn't pass up the opportunity to make an adorable summer dress for a fraction of the cost. And it was easy to boot – swish!

Detail - lace The Liberty fabric was waiting in my stash for such a project and the tank top, which was stained at the bottom from some ill-fated meal in which I ate something that included mustard, was rescued from the "rag pile" – a pile of too-worn-for-Goodwill items my husband uses in the garage. Together with lace and waistband elastic from my stash (vintage – purchased in a lot from Etsy years ago) these items made one heck of a dress: one that's comfy, strechy and brunch appropriate! 

What really had me interested in this dress in the first place was the simple but elegant embellishment of lace on the bodice. It was very, very easy to do and the effect is really cool against the more casual ribbed fabric. The rest of the dress's construction was just as easy – the skirt is two rectangles together, stitched to the elastic while stretching it to form gathers. This is the shortest amount of time it has taken me to make a dress – ever!

Next girl's day brunch I'm wearing this!

Full body


Sarah Gabbart


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  1. i feel so honored that you made my dress and that you said our blog was one of your favorites. Your dress looks awesome! Thanks so much for the shout out.

  2. This dress is great. It’s just the thing to get me out of my sewing funk. :D

  3. i want i want!!! do you mind terribly if i shamelessly copy you? kthxbye!!!

  4. It’s like you’ve embellished the skirt with a lace top. This is a great little dress. Looks super comfy and really presentable for something tha came out of the ‘rag pile’.

  5. So cute and summery!!! Beautiful and all this talk of brunch makes me hungry.

  6. Oh I love this, super clever of you!

  7. Adorable! A dress every gal needs in the wardrobe! Think I will make one myself kekeke!

  8. judy roberson

    So Pretty. I thought it was a skirt and top at first..clever idea…

  9. It looks so comfy and cute!

  10. Wow! Major score with this creation, Sarah! And thanks for the link to Presser Foot’s blog (a new blog to read!). I love this look and you could even play with different tank colors too.

  11. I love this! So simple and cute. It’s on my list!

  12. I am seeing it in ever ycolor. Thanks for linking the blog too so I can make it as well.

  13. Love it! This is a very similar style to a refashinoned dress by Grosgrain here:
    and one I made copying her idea, here:
    I really like the addition of the lace on the tee!

  14. Oooh! Love your version and the Grosgrain inspiration – beautiful!

  15. Thank you Stacie! I think one in every color would definitely be in order!

  16. Thanks lady! Love that blog – always full of inspiring projects!

  17. Thanks Whistlepea (love your name – it’s adorable!)

  18. Thanks Adey! Can’t wait to see your version – it’s going to be awesome!

  19. Thank you Jessie! And OMG – I know! I see the word brunch and my mouth waters …. mmmm brunch…

  20. Thank you Jen! I’m so glad it could be put into an outfit – it was so mustarded down the front that I thought it was a lost cause!

  21. Girl – go ahead! Mine is a shameless copy of a copy of a probably copy of a vintage dress (whoa! Its like Inception for dresses – Dressception!) Can’t wait to see what you make!

  22. Thanks lady! I hear you on the sewing funk – this one roused me from the one I was in!

  23. EEEP! I LOVE your blog Kelli – it’s so well written and full of inspiring ideas! Thank you for making such wonderful tutorials – I am so happy with this dress and it would have never been made without the step-by-step construction you provided!

  24. Ohh! I would wear this!!!

  25. You look marvelous!

  26. I love it! I love anthro too, just not the prices. I may have to make one for myself.

  27. “Inspiration Anthro” is the best idea ever! I can’t wait to make these treasures, and make up my own!! Thanks Kelli, and to Sarah for bringing her blog to the attention of Sew Weekly readers!

  28. Thanks for the tutorial link babes, I’m so going to check it out! Looks so simple, but so unique!
    I love that it’s so warm looking for you now! xoxo

  29. Love this! What a fantastic idea…and thanks for the links! Super neat!!

  30. I’m amazed by this dress! So gorgeous and thrifty (saved from the rag pile, now amazing dress? Yay!) But not more Liberty of London fabric, please! You’re weakening my defenses!
    PS. I must be super daggy in Australia never having heard of Anthropologie but I agree – gorgeous stuff but hardly every day affordable!