Hot! The “Staples Solution” Dress

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The Facts

Fabric: Rayon knit, thrifted $1
Pattern: Retro Butterick 5603 $.99
Year: c. 1956
Notions: none
Time to complete: 6 hours
First worn: September 2011
Wear again? Yes, with some adjustments 

Total Cost: ~$1.99

 This week's theme, Spanish Harlem, seemed to cause a few forum folks to scratch their heads in minor bewilderment. The theme came about because of last Friday's New York meetup — which was originally planned to be held at a park up in East (aka Spanish) Harlem. The vibe for the picnic? Think West Side Story meets Tito Puente meets Chita Rivera meets red roses. Of course, all the weekly challenges are open to interpretation, so frankly, anything goes.

I'd love to write a post about the marvelous day of eating, shopping, drinking and socializing that we had, but I've come down with quite a cold (I was just starting to feel sick at the meet-up) and I'm a bit too tired to be on the computer for any length of time. Hopefully I'll get another post about all that up later this week. Needless to say, it was a WONDERFUL experience to meet all these sewing phenoms.

But a little about the dress. It's a Butterick re-issue that was fairly easy to put together. I did have some fit issues that surfaced once I was in NY. You see, I had planned to wear a push-up bra that would have given me a little bit more in the breast department. In NY, however, I decided to just wear my everyday bra. With the slightly deflated chest, the bodice was a bit too large. When my search for safety pins or a sewing kit proved futile, I used the next best thing: a stapler. I managed shorten the shoulder pieces by simply stapling a larger seam allowance. Thankfully, the ties on the dress are removable, so they covered all offending staples. Problem (pretty-much) solved. 

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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. Wow. Great dress. Where did you shoot your photo with the yellow peg board. Looks very interesting. Did you get plenty of patterns swamped at the NYC lunch hook up?

  2. I can’t believe I got to see you and this dress in person! It was a fabulous day.

  3. You never know when office supplies will come in handy… ;)
    Love the dress–the print is a perfect pairing for the simple silhouette! I’m really intrigued that you used a knit as well; I’m assuming it was a more stable knit?

  4. You should see the smile that came to my face this morning when I opened up my computer and saw this photo! Great day! @Krista: it was taken at El Centro mexican restaurant at 54th/9th ave.
    @Lisette: I have a few photos with you in them that I’m posting to my blog right now; take a look later!

  5. Beautiful!!! You do “latin” very well!!!!

  6. Love, love, love this dress! And it looks so awesome in person! These photos also make me smile remembering the awesome day!!! xoxoxoox

  7. Wow this dress can be the STAPLE piece in you wardrobe LOL Love it! Quick and smart thinking Mena. Love the dress and particulary the print, hope you’re feeling better soon.

  8. This is just so cute on you I love the dress and the pattern too it’s perfect for this fabric and the red shoes top it all off.

  9. I love the bold fabric. This dress looks so fun to wear!

  10. Ooooh – I’ve been wondering about getting this pattern for a while, think you have inspired me to actually do it!

  11. I loved this pattern when I made it recently. Love the vibrancy of this version. (I may need to add on the bows I left off – I rather like how these look).

  12. Thanks, Krista! The picture was taken at El Centro at 54th/9th. I got a couple of patterns but held out grabbing too many since I didn’t have any to swap myself.

  13. It was great seeing you in person as well! I just wish I had a bit more energy. Next time!

  14. Thanks, Casey! Yeah — there was just a little stretch to it, but the consensus was that it was a knit of some sort.

  15. It was so great to meet you! Like I said above, I wish I had a bit more energy. I’m just getting over the cold that I came down with that day. :(

  16. I’m 1/2 Cuban so it’s in my blood. :) Thanks!

  17. Thanks, Debi! I’m so glad I could catch you in two cities! What great memories we have now.

  18. Thanks, Kazz! Seriously, never underestimate staples. I’ve used them for emergency hems and alterations since I was in high school.

  19. Thanks, Nan! Those shoes got a lot of mileage during our meet-up.

  20. Thanks, Melissa! And it was comfortable, which is pretty important.

  21. It was easy to work with — just be careful with the bodice. It went too deep for my tastes initially.

  22. Thanks, Jen! Those bows saved me as they hid the staples!