Hot! Dress Cool for Traffic School

This is a  combination of new and old fabric from my stash this time. I really do have to focus on using up those bundles of fabric in my stash and not buy any more.

The Facts:

Fabric: “Small white dots on white” cotton from JoAnns and red stripe fabric from upcycled cotton dress
Pattern:  DuBarry Perfect Pattern 5435 (originally 15 cents)
Year: 1942
Notions: thread, two buttons
Time to complete: 8 hours
First worn: April 1, 2012
Wear again? Yes!
Total price: 3.99 for blouse fabric


Last weekend I had the opportunity to go to Jo-Anns and I splurged! You see, Jo-Anns is 60 miles away, so when the opportunity arises, and I am alone, I go a little crazy! After throwing bolts into my cart and before having them cut, I did edit. Luckily, I managed to have some help with that. My youngest met up with me, and I took her more modern perspective on my fabric choices. On my list of needed fabrics was a few yards of something soft and white for a blouse that I wanted to match with a bold red and white skirt from my stash. Previously this was a complete dress, but the top half didn’t work for me so I cut off the skirt and stashed it. I really liked how my Duberry Dress turned out in the Oscar Challenge, so  I used it to design a new top for the skirt fabric. I made a contrasting collar and cuffs from the top part of the old dress and added two red buttons form my button collection.The bottom of the top is gathered slightly in the back and under the bust in the front, and the skirt is also gathered. I sewed these two parts together.

I gave it the Mena test and was able to exclude the side-zipper. The reclaimed white belt does the rest of the cinching in. It’s definitely a summer look, and just right for stopping traffic or better yet, the Fourth of July! That’s a big deal where I live. We have a parade, BBQ, carvival, street dances, rodeos, and more. I’ll fit right in as I wave my little American flag.




Barbara is a resident of Northern California. She loves to sew and has pledged not to buy retail clothes for the year of 2012. That means she has to make her own, or buy it at a thrift store. I hope she doesn't spend too much on fabric. When she shops for fabric her eyes light up as she imagines the possibilities! She's like a kid in a candy store.


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  1. The stripes, omg, the stripes!! Can I describe your dress as “delicious” and it not freak you out? Because it is. Very, very well done!

  2. Barbara, that is very fetching! Cute accessories too. Always love an upcycle – batwings do nothing for my figure either !

  3. You are a picture of Americana in that adorable dress! I think I’ll have something grilled on the Weber with corn on the cob for dinner…see how you’ve inspired me! ;-)

  4. Very patriotic! You can wear it around your ‘Victory Garden’!

  5. I love your upcycling job! Feels like a sunny day-

  6. Woohoo! I’d stop at that stop sign. What a beauty!

  7. Oh, man, my Jo-Ann’s is 60 SECONDS away. Literally. Love the transformation of that dress!

  8. Barbara, I love this dress and how creative you were with the top details. It’s really beautiful and perfect for the forth of July! I got a good chuckle with the heart shape sunglasses, so cute.

  9. I love the white with the red strip bottom. So cute!

  10. Oh, another fabulous handbag to go with that fabulous dress!

  11. I love that you used new and old fabric for this! The dress turned out splendidly – perfect for the 4th of July!

  12. That’s one sharp outfit – the colours are so crisp. Great upcycling too.

  13. Oh gosh I love your dress. The red and white stripes and the cute buttons and the collar detail.. I think I may explode!

  14. Fabulous, and I love the glasses too!

  15. The shape of this dress as fab!

  16. That’s gorgeous! I don’t know why it never occurs to me to make the bodice of a dress in a different fabric from the skirt – it looks so cute! Great matching with the buttons and belt too. :-)

  17. I’m a serious fan of red stripes AND re-makes so I’m loving this : )