Hot! UFO – The Brown and Blue Betty Dress

When I signed up for The Sew Weekly, I said that I needed this blog to motivate me to actually finish projects. I have a tendency to get so close, and then stop. Apparently the UFO challenge was just what I needed, because I had not one but TWO dresses that needed a zipper and a hem. That’s it!

I dove into the UFO project with my most recent creation. I started the Brown and Blue Betty Dress in September 2011.  It came together very quickly using the same pattern as my wedding dress. How’s that for frugality? Because it was a vintage dress pattern, I’d traced the pieces instead of cutting them. I picked up this fabric planning on making one last dress, then returning the pattern to Etsy for another seamstress to enjoy. I love the mixture of brown and blue, and think that the dress still maintains its vintage appeal.

All this dress lacked was a zipper and hem. I’ve never been entirely confident with zippers, but my work on the Master Mixologist dress for the “Made This Look” challenge boosted my sewing self-esteem. It took me less than an hour to finish the dress. I’m now a bit ashamed that it sat on my dummy for 5 months. The fit is not 100% perfect, since I’ve lost a little weight. All that effort to size the vintage pattern up, and now it’s a bit loose in the chest. Sigh.

Since things were going so well, I turned my attention to another UFO dress. To my utter horror, I realized that I started this dress in approximately 2008. Like the Brown and Blue Betty dress, all it needed was a zipper and a hem. In no time flat, I was sure I was going to have another dress finished.

Alas, it was not meant to be. I made numerous adjustments when I first fit the dress, but I have since lost a bit of weight. The dress is gigantically baggy in the back, but I’m trying to look at this as a fantastic opportunity to learn how to make a shirred dress. Hopefully I will find reason to finish it soon!

The Facts – The Brown and Blue Betty Dress
Fabric: Brown and blue half-finished dress, from my stash of half-finished dresses.
Pattern: Simplicity 3045
Year: 1959
Notions: Zipper, from my stash of zippers purchased for half-finished dresses.
Time to complete: Since I started it in 2008, I guess it took more than 3 years to complete.
First worn: Photos on Feb 4
Wear again? Yes, yes! I love this pattern, and am happy to have an everyday dress now.
Total price: Free. It doesn’t count if you go shopping in your stash of half-finished projects.




It's hard for a girl to stay stylish in fashion-starved Alaska. Mary does her best with one fabric store in town, but the next one is 350 miles away.


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  1. I googled the pattern and it is lovely, a great choice for a wedding dress as well as your pretty blue and brown dress.

    Your ‘stash of half-finished dresses’? That made me laugh!

  2. It’s lovely! I really like the fabric and pattern choice.

  3. Beautiful! The neckline looks so nice on you. Love the colors in the fabric too.

  4. Great neckline and I love the blue/brown combo.

  5. Very pretty and it’s so great that you were able to finish this off so fast – and get inspiration for another UFO.

  6. Lovely dress. Completely sympathetic to zipper phobia. I still hand pick mine vs. doing it on the machine.

  7. Beautiful dress, I love the fabric and the vintage style.