Hot! The “Seniors Rule” Outfit

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The Facts

Fabric: Border print denim, $2
Pattern: Colette Patterns Sorbetto Tank Top, free; skirt: none;
Year: c. 2011
Notions: Vintage buttons, $.50
Time to complete: 4 hours
First worn: July 2011
Wear again? Yes and Yes!

Total Cost: ~$2.50

This week’s outfit is pretty much a carbon copy of last week’s creation. When I had thrifted the fabric back in April, I knew it was destined for a Western challenge. I always assumed it would have ended up as a dress. But, the siren song of separates called to me once more and I made yet another Sorbetto with a self-drafted skirt (this is a bonus Sorbetto).

While the Sorbetto calls for lightweight fabric, this medium-weight denim proved to be the perfect fabric for this ensemble. With the belt, it’s pretty difficult to tell that this isn’t a dress. That’s the best thing about it! I HAVE A TOP AND A SKIRT. Did I tell you how much I love separates?


Not one single hiccup with the construction of the top. The buttons are vintage and made from “vegetable ivory” which is, according to Wikipedia:

Vegetable ivory is a product made from the very hard white endosperm of the seeds of certain palm trees. Vegetable ivory is named for its resemblance to elephant ivory.

Vegetable ivory, after research, is actually pretty cool. I thought it was going to be something lame like “vegan leather” which, as far as I know is a hip name for vinyl. Anyway, I got those buttons at Alameda and was happy to find a use for them.

The most difficult part of the skirt construction was the gathers. Since the fabric was heavy, I needed to use quilting thread to baste the gathering stitch. Thankfully, I made a waistband, attached it and then added a zipper. And that was it. Totally easy and totally doable for the beginning sewer.

Regarding the name — The “Seniors Rule” Outfit: We attended high school in a fairly rural community and quite a few of the students came from farming/agricultural backgrounds. So, of course, while taking these photos, I was possessed by the spirit of the high school senior portraits that frequented our year books. Hay + boots + pickup trucks = awesome senior portraits. 



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.


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  1. LOVE this!!! It’s so nice to have separates!!!
    Reminds me a lot of my high school :)

  2. Cool – Western without being too kitschy. Very pretty as a ‘dress’ but separates rule!

  3. Definitely adorable!
    How can be a girl from the West sooo sweet??????

  4. Bravo!!! I just adore that you’re reincarnating the Sorbetto is so many ways (and now are totally making me want to deviate from my planned sewing this week and whip up a couple new tops… haha!). This outfit is so cute; and great because it is separates. I love my dresses, but have to admit that separates get far more mileage in my wardrobe. ;)

  5. BTW that’s what our senior pics looked like too.

  6. Love this and love the poses! Those boots are completely fabulous :) Excellent fabric choice!

  7. Extremely awesome. I am pretty jealous of all your border print finds!

  8. This is great! I love the western print, especially the border on the skirt. I’m a huge fan of cowboy boots and skirts, too.

  9. Love the outfit! The fabric is great but the boots rule!

  10. You look fantastic, and the hay background is fabulous! Nice job!

  11. Thanks, Debi! I always have to remind myself that you weren’t born in Scotland. For a second, I forgot.

  12. Thanks, Jen! I wanted to keep it wearable so I’m glad you appreciate the non-kitschy vibe.

  13. Thanks, Casey! In total, I’ve already made something like 10 versions (though I foolishly am making myself make a new one for each day of the challenge!) — it’s such a fun little pattern! I’m a mom who doesn’t do much fun stuff during the week, so I do need those boring separates!

  14. The chin resting on the hand is always a senior favorite :)

  15. Thanks, Meg! Those are my Payless boots I bought years ago. I’ve been looking for a good pair of vintage cowboy boots but have had no luck. One of these days…

  16. Thanks, Katie! Border prints are truly my favorites — if only we had the selection that was available in the 1950s and 1960s!

  17. Thanks, Liza Jane! I totally lucked out that I had this fabric in my stash. It really worked out, thankfully!

  18. Thanks, Rae! Those are my Payless Shoes boots that I’ve had for years. It’s funny that I still have a use for them.

  19. Thanks, Jeanine! I had to crop the photo, but the hay was twice as tall as shown!

  20. I love it. That fabric is so western without being cheesy looking. I grew up on a ranch, so I think I can say you captured the vibe !
    I just made the Sorbetto with sleeves. Thanks SO much for the pattern. What seam allowance did you use ?

  21. Separates Rule! i was worried you thought the dress was senior citizen when i saw the title. this combo ROCKS.

  22. AMAZING! You look like a total babe in these photos too as well Mena! The fabric is gorgeous!

  23. The fabric is all kinds of wonderful and really match the challenge. Your photos are always fab love it too bits I do.

  24. I love the spirit of these pictures.Hay bales, cowboy boots, and western dresses rule!

  25. Again, you look utterly adorable!!! Love the neutral dark tones of the material, brown and black are a nice combination. I myself always seem to switch to darker colors in august, black background in prints, dark olive green separates. Though still hot outside, the brights and pastels of early summer seem a bit ‘old’, the darks are a transition into autumn. …. again – just cute as can be, love it!

  26. So lovely! Great take on a western dress!