Hot! The “Bandana Turned Out Well” Dress

The Facts

Fabric: Vintage cotton from Alameda, $10
Pattern: Simplicity 5460, $1
Year: 1964
Notions: Some bias tape
Time to complete: 3 hours
First worn: February 2012
Wear again? A reluctant yes.

Total Cost: ~$11

Ok, let’s get it out of the way. Yes, I’m wearing the dress backwards. On purpose.

And if I turned around, you’d see the little darts forming their own mini breasts. I could fix that, but I’m not because I think I’m okay with just wearing the dress the right way. But why am I wearing it backwards in the first place? Well, even after twenty-one years of having a period, each and every month I forget that when I’m about to get it, I go absolutely batty. Depressed, angry, totally self-critical — the works. So when I put this dress on to take pictures, I was just beyond distraught: I just didn’t like what the high neckline was doing to my already bloated frame. So I turned it around and took my pictures and was happy enough.

I ended up wearing the dress out last night — the right way — and it looked fine. I didn’t take a photo, but you probably have a good idea was a 1960s wrap dress looks like.

Wrap dresses. Oh, I really need to stop that. First, they take up more material than they should. I actually ran out of fabric for this one and had to piece the skirt together. Second, I can’t wear one without feeling like my great-grandmother, “Grandma Grabowski” who was known for her wobbly underarms. Third, I don’t know. But there has to be a third point somewhere.

Instead of spending loads of time on my dress this week, I actually did something far more productive — I finally made my living room and dining rooms into places I love to be! After seven years of living in the house, it still felt like a mismatch of furniture pieces we acquired based on necessity and not our tastes. So last weekend at Alameda, I bought the cutest 1960s sofa, end tables and lamp! I’ll post photos once I’m finished decorating.




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. Oh Mena, you crack me up, that’s halarious. I think the dress looks fun and put a smile on your face. Hoping you have a wonderful Valentine’s Day!

  2. Oh, Mena, I love this! It’s too cute. Great fabric, cheerful, fun, bright and sweet. Happy Valentine’s Day!

  3. I love the neckline! I looked at the neckline and then at the pattern and was confused a mini-second. I love it this way. Super cute :)

  4. This is too funny. The pattern seems odd to me, to wrap behind you, but I guess it would solve the issues I usually have with gaping across the chest. Still, beautiful as always.

  5. I love the way the dress looks in reverse! The print is gorgeous! Glad to see you all smiles and can’t wait to see more on the new furniture.

  6. That’s so funny. I looked at the picture on the pattern and then back at your photo and thought “wow! I can’t wait till I’m a good enough seamstress to adapt a pattern that much”. It’s so good to know you’re finding some time to make the house your own…can’t wait to see the photos! And you look so fab in red.

  7. Love your dress and your room – look forward to seeing the finished result!

  8. Mena, it’s so lovely! I adore the fabric, and I actually really love that you are wearing it backwards – it looks fabulous! Can’t wait to see pictures of your finished rooms!

  9. Red is always a charming colour on you Mena!

    Can’t wait to see how you styled your rooms! xoxo

  10. Wow what a stunner you are! The red print is gorg, and the dress looks great. I love your home too. Noticed the sofa and end table with the two levels right away – so perfect, and the donkey planter – love love love xx

  11. Oh, don’t we all have and hate “those” days. You look gorgeous. As I was looking at these pictures, I was thinking about how adorable your living room is! I can’t wait to see your finished decor photos.

  12. Pretty dress! I am having one of those days today which has stopped me from sewing I feel so rubbish! Roll on tomorrow and a good nights sleep. I love the bandana print and it looks great on you backwards!

  13. Love the furniture, love the dress!

  14. Awwwww I can totally relate! In fact since I almost missed the Sew Weekly deadline again last night I’m going to try to reshoot the photos for my project today.

  15. A lurker coming out to say: So cute! Backwards or forwards, I’m sure. I empathize with the once a month craziness.
    Also, my best buddy likes to call the wobbly underarm phenom “bingo wings”. You know, picture an old lady hollering BINGO! and waving her arm up in th air.
    I am so inspired by your stuff, Mena! I’m finally getting up the nerve to try to sew real stuff for me to wear. Keep up the good work :)

  16. Gorgeous! Backwards or not, the dress is stunning! (Can’t wait to see your new decorating too!)

  17. Fantastic idea! I’ve been fixing to try wearing a dress backwards. Looking forward to your furniture post!

  18. Love the print and I’m a fan of ‘your dress, you can wear it however!’ especially that time of the month!! and HOORAY for Mid Century Modern!! Have fun decorating and cant wait to see the new space.

  19. what a versatile dress – can be worn either way (small mini-darts notwithstanding). But who doesn’t love a wrap dress in spite of their fabric hogging ways. Lovely dress and I do like what I can see of your lounge room already.

  20. Backwards or not I simply adore it and it looks smashing on you! x

  21. This dress is completely cute!

  22. Beautiful Mena! I was thrown by the pattern cover too! had no idea it was backwards. I love the fabric. This colourway is fabulous on you.

  23. Great story, Mena. I can relate to having fashion mood swings during that time of the month. Love what I can see of the new furniture so far and the dress is adorable!

  24. You look gorgeous! I’m glad the Alameda Fair was good to you. I was sad to have missed it, but a friend’s birthday brunch took precedent. Are the couch, lamp, and step-down side tables in the background your new items? If so, I can see why you’re so happy. They’re wonderful. I have one of my grandmother’s old step-down side tables, which I love.

  25. I love you, Mena! You are just fantastic! I can’t wait to see the 60’s furniture! And man, that fabric is perfect for the dress!

  26. I love this on backwards! Super cute! Can’t wait to see all the new furniture. Mmmm 60s!

  27. i’m all in on wearing shite backwards! you crack me up.

    um, your living room is looking pretty gorgeous too. is that “new” stuff?

  28. You are so gorgeous, Mena!

  29. Oh, man do I feel your pain. You and your dress are gorgeous, though! I have a 40s repro wrap dress that I haven’t sewn up simply because of the insane yardage. Can I move in? Hello mid-century love.

  30. This is gorgeous! You look so beautiful! I LOVE the fabric, and it looks great backwards (um, seems like a sign that your dress is AWESOME if it looks good forwards and backwards!)!

  31. Oh wow that was me this week LOL it happens to the best of us. Your dress is fantastic as always. That fabric is divine. Frontwards, backwards? Anything goes here.