Hot! The “Something Blue” Dress


My sewing room is so full of UFOs, the government is going to classify it soon.  Sigh.  I was originally going to make this for ‘Down Under’, but I wasn’t feeling inspired!

The Facts

Fabric: Blue floral cotton print from stash (4 yds.)
Pattern:  Simplicity 4343 (vintage)
Year:  early 1960s
Notions:  Invisible zipper, Hook & eye (all from stash), Double fold bias tape (3 packages!  $3)
Time to complete:  3 hours
First worn:  February 2012
Wear again:  Maybe

Total price:  $3

There are things I love about this piece, and things I hate.  First off, I’m in love with the Mad Men costuming and 50s/60s aesthetic.  This dress was the first one I made from that era, from a box of vintage 1960s patterns I bought on eBay.  I chose it because it was ‘Simple to Make’, and I really think it was; I’m starting to feel like I’m advancing in sewing skill with every project I attempt.

Like my last project, there were a few firsts with this dress:  bias tape and sleeves!  I think I’m in love with bias tape; it adds such a great decorative accent to your piece and fabric.  It also finishes my edges so well.  I should have used thread to match the tape, but I didn’t want to go buy anything; I purposely chose a lot of cheap, scrap fabric for this, since it was my first foray into using vintage patterns.  As for the sleeves, they were much easier than I imagined.  I won’t be afraid of them from now on!

I do think that I need to work on fit.  I REALLY want a dress form, because I can already see how it would help, especially the way that I visualize and alter things.  I also need a petticoat to go under these super-full skirts… these skirts need the extra ‘oomph’ or they look like I am drowning.  This one isn’t the prettiest, but it was a fun way to spend Super Bowl Sunday.  I’m not sure if I will wear it again, because I think the full skirts looks poofy and big around my midsection.  But I did like that my vintage patterns are close to my size!

I’m still a beginner (this is the 5th dress I’ve made) but it’s getting easier.  I don’t need a manual to thread my machine, I’m no longer afraid of patterns when there are more than a couple of pieces, and I have grown to love my iron.  I even made my laptop give up its table so the serger could have a permanent place; I think I’m becoming a ‘real’ sewaholic!



Aubrey started sewing in December 2010, and shortly after purchased her first sewing machine! Still a beginner, she is ready to learn more with every challenge. Aubrey is an Iraq veteran and fashion-loving blogger who loves to cook; she's also a chatterbox who can't wait to dive headfirst into the Sew Weekly community.


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  1. That dress is incredibly cute! You did a great job from choosing the fabric to adding the bias tape. You look adorable in your vintage dress. Keep up the good sewing!

  2. Hi Aubrey, the vintage dress looks really cool. I was thinking of sewing my own petticoat and found this link. Passing it on in case you want to sew one for the dress.

  3. For a professed beginner, this dress is wonderful! I just started sewing too and have only had the nerve to make skirts. Hopefully soon I will actually cut out one of the many patterns I bought!

  4. I hope you will wear it again, and lots. It looks really cute on you, it really does!

  5. This looks a lot like my first dress, which was from a 1960 pattern :) I think you did even better than I did, because mine had kimono sleeves.

  6. Great story about your sewing journey. I love how you’re so honest and fair with and to yourself about the experience making this dress. Reminds me to do the same. Nicely done.

  7. You’re right about the bias tape: it adds a great punctuation to the dress. I think that without it, the dress would be missing the accent that pulls it together. I know what you mean about having a hard time with fitting on yourself; I got a dress form for Christmas and it already helps me with alterations of ready-made clothes I buy. Put it on your birthday or Santa list!

  8. Thanks for all the comments! I always try to be honest to myself about the good and the bad. I know I’m my own worst critic, but I’m all about learning! Maybe by the end of 2012 I won’t call myself a Beginner anymore, perhaps an Amateur? :)