Hot! The “Second Life Sack” Dress

The Facts

Fabric: Blue scraps found in my stash; Main fabric from Alameda Antique Fair
Pattern: Simplicity 2126 (original) revised bodice: Advance 6371
Notions: none
Year: c. 1945
Time to complete: About 2 hours
First worn: February 2012
Wear again? Yes, finally.

Total Cost: Originally $11

I’ve made quite a few dresses that I’ve worn only once. In fact, a great deal of my 2010 wardrobe is stashed away in my sewing room, waiting for some drastic alterations. A combination of fit, style and construction makes these garments unwearable, in my mind. The “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” Dress from February of 2010 was just one of those dresses that hadn’t seen the light of day for almost two years. In re-reading my post from 2010, I seemed to like it far more than I remembered. I could have sworn I thought it was a frumpy mess at the time! I certainly never wore it again, so that says something.

Before I went to work on this dress, I took one last photo of it in its original state. From the expression on my face, it’s pretty obvious that I feel super sexy wearing this sack.  The print is matronly and I can’t stand the contrast of the sleeves with that neckline. Blegh.

So what was my plan?

Because of the raglan sleeves, I had almost no fabric to work with for the bodice. I had tried a couple of sundress tops and even those required more fabric than I could piece together. So, in a nod to my original dress, I decided to use blue contrast fabric and patch the bodice together. Advance 6371 was the perfect top for that. The skirt would stay as it was because I had actually done a hand-sewn hem. Oh, the old days of trying.

While you can’t tell in the photos (I didn’t take a photo of the back), the back bodice has the feedsack print as contrast, as well. If I was to make up this pattern again, I would have the entire back in one print or color. The reason? It makes my behind look even bigger than it is. Narrow back and then, bam!

But even with the backside issues, I love how this dress turned out and I will definitely wear it again. It is FAR more flattering than the original and is quite comfortable.

This week’s photo shoot was far from inspired. It was FREEZING and windy when I took the photos so I just wanted to be done with them. I think I took a total of 20 (versus my usual 200).



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. Gorgeous as usual! You do look much happier in these pics :D

  2. That’s a great save. I remember that original dress from 2010. I think like it, but I like the new version even more.

  3. This refashion looks fantastic. I love it more the second time around.

  4. So lovely! And I love how you have accessorized it with those amazing shoes and that cute headband. And the belt! Awesome.

  5. Wow, I LOVE the transformation!

  6. This is so inspirational! I have fabric in a print which is pretty similar that I wash sure was doomed to sit in my stash forever because I always feared it would look too matronly on me. But now I have at least two ideas of how to break up the print figurefriendly. Thx. :D

  7. The Advance pattern is so cute, I haven’t seen that style before! Love what you’ve done, and I actually thought with the original dress (and those raglan sleeves) there’d be no saving it! I’d have caved and made just a skirt!

  8. Clever refashion. When you see the dark blue it reinforces how the red just wasn’t as right, although I reckon the red belt is still ideal.

  9. I love the new version! So very cute. I’m really liking that purse too. ;)

  10. Cute dress and excellent save! I’m heartened to hear that you have a bunch of me-made stuff in the refashion queue. At some point in the week I got depressed because I realized most of the garments I made last year either need further attention or can’t be saved. Oh well. Onward!

  11. Great refashion. You really are a visionary, and a skillful designer. I probably would have cut it up for dust rags or something.

  12. Mena, I think the reFashion is a great success. Love the red headband, did you make that?

  13. Super cute! I actually like the contrast/raglan sleeves, but you’re right it’s the neckline that is a problem. I love vintage styles, but I’ve found I often have to lower necklines or I end up looking like my (mythical) Great Aunt Mabel.

  14. Great refashion, it definitely looks more flattering than the original! Congrats!

  15. Great refashion. So much more flattering than the first attempt.

  16. The new pieced bodice has definitely improved it. Very cute!

  17. The new version is adorable! Great way to save an unworn self-stitched item!

  18. I love the new version with the contrast blue! It definitely adds a bit of pizzazz and pop to the outfit. It works perfectly with all of the red accessories!

  19. Wow! This is an entirely new dress, so much more flattering! I love that red is still involved, but definitely looks better as an accessorized punch.

  20. Fab refashion Mena, do you think you can squeeze another refashion from this refashion for next year? hehe, it wouldn’t surprise me. Fantastic!