Hot! The “Island Flower” Dress

The Facts

Fabric: about 2.5 metres of some island-style floral print that was lurking in my stash
Pattern: Style 1077
Year: 1976
Notions: some scraps of interfacing for the collar
Time to complete: 4 hours
First worn: around my ‘hood for these photos, on a lovely autumn day
Wear again? yep
Total cost: free!

I have no idea where this fabric came from. It’s been lurking in a corner of my stash for years now – I don’t know how it got there, or even how long it’s been there. I’ve never even been sure what to do with it – island style prints aren’t really my thing.

But for this week, it turns out they are!

Where I live is rather multi-cultural. In particular, there’s a large number of Pacific Islanders living around here – the neighbours behind us are from Niue and the Philippines, and across the road are families from the Cook Islands and Samoa. The greengrocers around the corner sells taro, green bananas and coconut, and the shop next door to it always has a rack of island print shirts out the front. There are multilingual churches and childcare centres for various Pacific Island groups. I love it. And that’s where I took my inspiration for this weeks challenge, with this island style floral print jumping out of my stash at me, eager to be made up.

Admittedly, I’m not usually one for these sort of floral prints, but I held my breath, took a chance, and you know what? I actually quite like the result. Sure, it took me wearing it around for a couple of hours to get used to it, but now I like it.

I used this dress pattern, Style 1077, about a week ago for the first time, to make my Autumn Skies dress. Turns out this style works really well for early-second-trimester wardrobes, so I promptly turned around and made it again for this week. I suspect it’ll be on high rotation in my wardrobe for the next month, until my bump grows out of it. (At which point it’ll get put aside for next summer.)



Kat stumbled upon The Sew Weekly at the end of 2010. Inspired by Mena's creations and dedication to sewing each week, Kat stitched along with all the weekly themes for 2011. Through The Sew Weekly and the girls who contribute to it, she deepened her passion for vintage styles and started amassing a large collection of vintage patterns. Now she needs an excuse to try using them all.


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  1. Love the inspiration behind your dress Kat, great cut. I love seeing your growing belly too. I hope you sew a maternity wardrobe along with each theme that would be fantastic!

    • Thanks Kazz! :-) The plan is to sew along with each challenge (or at least the ones that work with a maternity outfit. Still haven’t figured out how to do a maternity circle skirt that won’t make me look like I’m wearing a tent….)

  2. Very nicely done! I agree about these types of prints. I’m always attracted to them but I never know if I’d actually wear whatever I’d make. But you’ve totally pulled it off! Seems like it would be a great dress for summer.

    • Thank you! I find it funny how scared of this fabric I was. Turns out all it needed was a bit of bravery and the right pattern….

  3. I love that strong colour on you, and the pattern.

  4. Well Talofa Miss Wellington. Personally – I love Island prints, Tapa Cloth, Tanoas, Shell Beads – the works! I really miss the Pacific Islander influence – you just don’t see it in Sydney as much here (not in my neck of the woods). I remember when that Church in two of the photos was built. Your dress is fabulous and will be great for next summer or your next Tiki party x Lets have another tropical/tiki challenge! Woo hoo!

  5. You look amazing Kat and the photos are great, love the mix of influences. Great job!

  6. Fun dress and great inspiration for it!

  7. I love your bump! You can barely tell you are pregnant until you turn to the side and show it. How cute are you!