Hot! The “Peppermint Stick” Dress

The Facts

  • Fabric: Red Stripe cotton from Gorgeous Fabrics – $8/yard, Red twill from JoAnn Fabrics – $9/yard
  • Pattern: Simplicity 4987
  • Year:  1963
  • Notions: 12-inch invisible zipper, self-made bias tape
  • Time to complete:  4 episodes of Downton Abbey
  • First worn:  Valentine’s Day!
  • Wear again? Yes, definitely.
  • Total price: $20

Happy Valentine’s Day, Sew Weekly!

For this week’s theme, I knew just the dress I wanted to make. I’ve been hoarding vintage patterns for the last year, but haven’t dared give any of them a go. It was time to change that. Simplicity 4987 was one of my first vintage finds, a dress with an adorable collar detail and matching jacket. Paired with some red striped cotton from my stash, it was the perfect Valentine’s dress. With a few modifications, naturally.

Since I am not a sewing masochist, the six-gore skirt had to go. Can you imagine matching up all those stripes on six skirt pieces? That way madness lies, friends. Instead, I added a simple dirndl-style skirt, which made everything infinitely easier. The bodice is mostly simple – the standard vertical and horizontal dart combo – finished with bias tape on the armholes and the collar for the neckline. But that collar is anything but simple, isn’t it? It meets at the middle of the front neckline, with both sections ending in parallelograms, like the ends of a bow. The collar also continues around the scooped back, for a fun detail as I twirl about. For mine, I used a coordinating cotton twill, in the same red as the stripes.

Parallelograms…the quadrilaterals of love. 

Scoop! Alas, I couldn’t get a better picture. Backs remain difficult to photograph.

For my first foray into both stripes and vintage patterns, I’m quite happy with the dress. If I did it again, I would fold my layout on one of the bold red stripes, instead of the exact middle, which fell on smaller pinstripes. It’s not too big of a deal, however. The collar still looks quite nice, despite the stripe placement. Not only is this the perfect Valentine’s dress, but the peppermint stripes lend themselves well to my summer wardrobe. I can’t wait to pair it with a blue cardigan and some white espadrilles, for a look that’s more nautical.




After bemoaning the lack of affordable, pretty dresses in stores, Mary finally took her mother's advice and learned how to sew in the summer of 2010. She is now obsessed with vintage patterns, lovely fabrics, and the quest for - of course - the perfect dress.


Comments are closed.

  1. Mary that is so pretty. What a great pattern and the bow effect is gorgeous!

  2. Cute dress! That collar is adorable and a great accent. :-) Well done on your first vintage style – looking forward to seeing what you make next!

  3. Love it – whatr a success

  4. I really like the red collar detail – lovely.

  5. Love this dress. I’d be happy to see it hanging in my wardrobe!

  6. That collar is so cute! Love it & congrats on your first vintage pattern creation!

  7. So pretty! Love the interesting shaped collar and your cute candy stripe fabric.

  8. I want that scoop back! Love it.

  9. So cute! I was browsing through 60s patterns the other day online, and this is one of the ones that I saved in my “must find” folder. Very nicely executed!

    • Thank you! If you can find this pattern, it’s really worth it. Not only did it turn out well, but the construction was a breeze!

  10. Oh! I just love it – the collar is my absolute favorite part. I think it will look stunning with a blue collar and white espadrilles – nautical and fabulous!

  11. And by blue collar, I mean blue cardigan :)

    • Ha! Meg, you had me wishing I could detach the collar there for a second. But you’re so right – this dress just begs for the nautical, doesn’t it? I can’t wait for summer!

  12. The back is so lovely! Well, the whole dress is! :)

  13. the neckline details are great and so is the rest of the dress

  14. So sweet! Love the pattern and the way you’ve executed it. The collar and scoopback are darling. I think the gored skirt would look awesome too in a non-stripe fabric.

  15. This is the perfect Valentines dress, so playful, oozing with fun. The perfect summer dress. LOVE IT!

  16. This is just beautiful and looks fantastic on you.. I love the stripes. you did a fantastic job on this vintage pattern. And the red collar is it. Happy sewing.