Hot! The Stylish Punk Dress | Veronica Darling


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The Facts

Fabric: Thrifted Tablecloth, heavy cotton, $4
Pattern: Yoshiko Tsukiori's Stylish Dress Book, style M
Year: 2008
Notions: none, just thread
Time to complete: 2 hours
First worn: August 2011
Wear again? Yes, I love it

Total Cost: $4

My week has been exciting, busy and gorgeous: it was my BIRTHDAY! And, my lovely brother and sister in law surprised me Yoshiko Tsukiori's 'Stylish Dress Book: Wear With Freedom', so I had to try out one of the dresses straight away! I've never really tried modern patterns before in my sewing, so this year at Sew Weekly has opened up so many firsts for me! Sarai's Colette Patterns have been an inspiration (so many different sewing techniques, making sewing quicker and easier for me) and these designs by Yoshiko are just as simple with some interesting illustrations to help you along the way.

A few weeks ago I'd selected the punk-esque orange and black plaid (a tablecloth – again!) for this week's theme, but wasn't sure of what style silhoutte it would suit. It's fairly heavy cotton or linen, really stiff and I bought it kinda recently at the op shop, thinking how punk by 1990s it looks. I did think it looks quite grungy because of the black, and would look great with a pair of Doc Marten boots!

In this Japanese pattern book, there are 26 'outfits' but as there's plenty of crossover in pattern pieces you could mix and match heaps more. I chose style 'M' because of the sleeves, plus because it used a scallop edging, which I thought I could use (AKA cheat) the already established hem of the tablecloth.


I only concentrated on making the white border of the skirt match up (which was the edging for the tablecloth), and can't believe my luck with the rest of it! I adore the different shapes plaid fabric can create! It makes me wanna sew more with lines!


The only trick to the pattern book, is that you have to trace the patterns to the fabric as they come on proper paper and not tissue. My last attempt at a pattern book (that wasn't tissued) was a little weird and let's just say 'experimental' as I kinda drew but then mostly cut where I thought the pattern pieces should curve. This time I tried much harder by using CHALK to sketch the pattern pieces (with my french curve as well!) whilst I held them down with my button jars. So I know this isn't the best way, but it was the quickest, and by far the best fit of my two methods. Oh boy, it wasn't pretty, but luckily I'd only cut the back bodice piece and then remembered I hadn't accounted for seam allowances! SHOCK! It all matched up kinda ok though, I made the front bodice armholes a little deeper to match the back bodice pieces once the side seams were all sewn up. 

But it was so quick to sew up once it was all cut out, and as I'd mentioned the instructions were really straightforward, but I don't think I could have followed them when I was first starting out… so I'd say it's an intermediate level of sewing. I really love the carefree styles from the book, and am looking forward to making a few more of them!

And now, some skipping:





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. What a superfun dress! Perfect for a birthday week. I’m sure it would look suitably punk with dr. Martins, but those glasses really add something to the look as well.

  2. You are funny. I love the bias bodice. Nice one.

  3. You are the most adorable thing ever. My favourite Sew Weekly gal! <3 I always look forward to your posts.

  4. margueritedesigns

    Love the last photograph – so fun and carefree!

  5. I am seriously in love with this dress! It and you look amazing!

  6. Oh this is so much fun and just down right adorable! Well done happiness!

  7. Really pretty and the matching was well done.. Looks all ready for pumpkins and fall. Happy sewing

  8. What a dramatic plaid! This looks so great on you! Yay for tablecloth couture!!

  9. Happy belated birthday! The dress is fantastic and you look great in it.
    I live near a very large Japanese bookstore that has a sewing section and I’ve always wanted to try one of the pattern books. Except for technique books like Pattern Magic, I’ve held back from buying because I’m just a hair outside the sizing. I’ll be learning to grade patterns soon so these books will have to wait until then.

  10. This in one fabulous dress indeed! Wonderful fabric – the few extra white stripes gives it the right amount of oomph, and cutting the body pieces on the biais – not to mention matching them up so beautifully – makes it playful. You certainly gave some life & spice to the “plain old plaid”!

  11. Happy birthday! Love the dress – so fun and cute!

  12. i love that there are only white stripes in some spots. fantastic!

  13. This is one of my most favorite dresses I have seen you make! I love it!

  14. Yay HAPPY belated BIRTHDAY! What a rad gift, your dress is all kinds of awesome, I think I may have to invest in this book, I think Adey has mentioned it too. I love the placement of the white checkers too. She’s a winner xx Kudos to husbies photography skills too.

  15. Happy belated bday Veronica! This is SO adorable! Japanese patterns are so fun and I am glad you have started on them! Yay!