Hot! The “Making A Memory” Outfit

The Facts
Fabric: 2.5 yards wool blend from Jo-Anns ~$16, black lining remnant $1, facing fabric pieced from stash $0
Pattern: Butterick 5032 and a modified Stretch & Sew 300
Year: 1952 reissue, and 1974
Notions: 16″ zipper $2, 2 1/2 yards black cord trim $5, bias tape for sleeve seams $2, 6 buttons $2
Time to complete: ~35 hours (1 1/2 seasons of West Wing)
First worn: Just for pics
Wear again? Heck yes!!
Total price: ~$28
At first I felt a little guilty for picking this outfit to make because The Parent Trap (1961) wasn’t up for any of the “top 5” Oscar categories, and it also didn’t win (for sound and film editing)! But then I realized how long it took me to finish this and I stopped feeling guilty, because omg I wanted this thing to be finished!!

Image sources here, here, and here.
My outfit is an attempt to recreate the one Hayley Mills (as Susan pretending to be Sharon) wears on a picnic with her mother, played by Maureen O’Hara. I’ve always loved the clothes Mills wore playing both twins, and I’m quite fond of a few of the dresses O’Hara wore – including the “frumpy” color-blocked one in the kitchen at the end, she’s just perfection.

The Parent Trap remains one of my favorite films of all time. I freaking love everything about it. Everything. I’d make you a list, but it would amount to everything. I even enjoy the made-for-TV sequels! The 1998 remake was just unnecessary so let’s not talk about it.

I think my version turned out ok. I wish I could have found a closer match to the original fabric, but I was limited for time so I took what I could get quickly. I made an effort to match the plaid on the seams but with the darts and pleats the matching at the waist isn’t the strongest it could be. Good thing the outfit calls for a belt! Matching at the side seams isn’t all that great either but it’s close and I think stripe-matching is like a game of horseshoes – it counts! If you are way off it’s very noticeable, but the closer you are the better. I’ll make this pattern again but in a solid for sure. It was too big for me even after making initial adjustments so I had to take out the zipper I had already put in, and take it in from there – note to self: always try-on before putting in closures! Also, it would help if all pattern makers gave you the ease measurements on the envelope. I never notice them on the pattern pieces until it’s too late.

I used my trusty S&S 300 to draft the jacket. The bodice pieces are lined but the sleeves are not, so they got a “Hong Kong” seam finish. I did try to round the front corners but after lining I realized I could have made it more drastic. I’m still very pleased with how it turned out.



Liz has been sewing since April 2011 but has been crafty all her life. Her full-time job is as a museum curator at a smallish institution, where her DIY skills often come in handy. Liz likes to sew while watching TV, which she uses to measure the amount of time it takes to finish.


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  1. Wow you did a great job, and this looks fantastic on you.

  2. Plaidtastic! I’m so intimidated by matching plaids…you did a wonderful job! I don’t think I’ve seen the original Parent Trap movie – just all of the weak, modern remakes. Thanks for the glowing recommendation.

  3. Just great, lovely inspiration and a gorgeous outfit too

  4. Looks awesome! Totally worth the 35+ hours. :)

    • Thank you! I don’t actually know what took me so long. The pattern was new to me, and the pleats were WEIRD, but ultimately I was just being fiddly and slow.

  5. Whoa. That’s amazing!

  6. I love your dress! With and without the jacket! It looks so great. And you did a great job recreating the look from the Parent Trap. The plaid really is very close.

    • Thanks! I guess I can’t get over that there’s blue in my plaid. I would have gone with a solid grey or hounds-tooth maybe, but I already have dresses in those patterns and I wanted to mix it up.

  7. I love it! Your dress very closely resembles the inspiration, I will have to look into the other cute costumes from this movie now!

  8. Love the dress — it’s beautiful!

    Did you know that “The Parent Trap” is based on a novel by Erich Kästner? I believe it’s called “Lisa and Lottie” in English. My favourite film version is the first German adaptation of 1950, in which Erich Kästner himself takes on the role of the narrator. :)

  9. Awesome sauce! I knew it was based on something – I think I always thought it was a play for some reason. I didn’t know there was an earlier film, I’ll have to find it! :D

  10. You’ve made a beautiful outfit, well worth the time spent.
    I adore that old movie and too have read the book that Sandy mentions. There were some great outfits in the movie .

  11. Hi Liz, I love this outfit,it looks fantastic on you and I think the fabric cool palette is right on. The photos really tell the story.

  12. It’s so great to see you channeling Hayley! Out of all the movies I’ve ever watched, I’m sure I’ve seen that one the most. Your check dress is spot on! I have that pattern too, but I haven’t made it yet. Your dress is an inspiration. I love your photos too! Keep up the good work.

    • Thanks, Barbara! It’s a toss-up between Parent Trap and Mary Poppins as to which I’ve seen the most in my lifetime.
      You should definitely give this pattern a go. I won’t say it was a breeze because I was very confused by the front pleats. But the complication of the pleats are sort of what makes it a unique pattern. I think the majority of my “time to complete” was actually fiddling with the jacket and matching the plaid, so probably next time will be much quicker.

  13. Well done! I need to see that movie again.

  14. Gorgeous outfit! I love the inspiration as well. :-)

  15. Spot on! More like plaid on ;) Oh boy, I’ve installed countless zippers, only to find the entire thing needs taking in. At least you learned after one!

  16. This was definitely one of my favorite movies too, in fact I think I might just watch it now as I finish sewing my dress…

  17. and I freakin love your interpretation of The Parent Trap, how brilliant are you? AWESOME stuff!

  18. LOVE your inspiration and the outfit is so very Sharon!!! Well done!