Hot! The “Stegosaurus” Outfit

The Facts
Fabric: Green knit $2.50, green “linen look” $5, yellow knit scraps $0
Pattern: Stretch & Sew 300 and Simplicity 2087
Year: 1974 and 1957
Notions: 7″ zipper $1, 9 green buttons $1, ribbon from stash, hook/eye from stash
Time to complete: ~10 hours (20 episodes of Dance Academy-this Australian show I found on Netflix)
First worn: Just for pics
Wear again? Yes, but not together!
Total price: $9.50

When this challenge first popped up, I almost immediately thought of this outfit. But then I thought to give it a fair shake I should go through the family albums in case I got inspired. I went through only one at random and this happened to be in there. So I decided I must be fated to make green shorts. I was originally going to draft them myself, but then my Pattern Swap partner came through with this awesome vintage pattern and I had to make it up immediately!

The non-matching shades of green between the shorts and shirt is more exaggerated in the now version – but I don’t plan on ever wearing these together ever again! The pic is from 1986, so I’m 3 here. My older brothers too are rocking their dino-tees (although middle brother usually rocked triceratops, must have been in the wash), dad is classically dad, and mom is behind the camera as per usual. We’re in Windsor here, visiting some navy ship.

Anyway, I wasn’t sure I could pull off the “children’s museum” look everyday so the steggy is a pin. But the yellow is still incorporated into the backing of the button placket.

The shorts are a test-run for two things. First, as a base pattern for further shorts making. And second, to see how badly “linen look” fabric wrinkles, and could I use it for the lovely and oft dreamed about, Simplicity 6933, aka my Mad Men dress. Turns out it wrinkles equally as bad, so I don’t think it’s going to happen right now. But I’m really pleased with the fit of the shorts! I wasn’t sure about them when I was sewing them up, but I like the profile.

I should have ironed the hem before taking pics. Oops.



Liz has been sewing since April 2011 but has been crafty all her life. Her full-time job is as a museum curator at a smallish institution, where her DIY skills often come in handy. Liz likes to sew while watching TV, which she uses to measure the amount of time it takes to finish.


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  1. Oh, so cute! Love the inspiration photo, and brilliant how you made a stegasaurus pin. :-)

  2. I love the stegosaurus! and Dance Academy is perfect background noise for sewing.

  3. You were the cutest 80’s toddler, Liz! I would’ve gobbled you up if I was an adult in the 80’s. Well, I was about 11 years old when you were 3. I would’ve read you Cat in the Hat and sang you a song ;-).

    The retro cut and fit of those shorts is perfect. I’ve never really liked contemporary short styles. You’ve convinced me that vintage patterns is where its at for flattering short pants. I like. I do.

    • Thanks, Najah! I’d like to think I would have sat down long enough to listen to you read but probably I would have caused trouble :D

      I’m a big fan of the retro shorts. They have upper thigh coverage down pat!

  4. Oh my goodness! I had the same shirt when I was really little and absolutely loved it (I had a big time dinosaur obsession). I think that I might actually even have it in my stuff from when I was a kid!

    Anyway, I love your top that you made for this challenge and adding the stegosaurus pin to the bottom was a really cute idea! I personally think your whole outfit in the pics is cute – fun bright green and yellow colors! :-)

    • Thanks, Juli! I think these were popular in children’s museums in the 80s. I think we had cups, hats, fridge magnets and backpacks too! No idea if it still exists anywhere.

  5. Great top! I also wound up working to Dance Academy last week, after running out of episodes of McLeod’s Daughters. Something addictive about Australian TV on Netflix…

  6. Hey Liz, how cute are you rockin’ the look with the family. The shorts have a great fit, I came across a wrinkle free linen – which basically is a linen blend and I used it on this challenge, got to say it worked pretty well, I had ironed it in the morning and even after wearing all day, it was pretty wrinkle free.

    • Interesting! I find there’s better color choices in linens and cottons (as opposed to wools). I guess for versatility? I’m trying to think outside the box to get the color I want. Thanks for the heads-up!

  7. Awww. I love it. Going to check out Dance Academy on Netflix this weekend. Sons of Anarchy was my most recent Netflix obsession.

    • Warning: it is a total teen drama fest! I don’t usually like this genre of shows but I think it’s the combination of ballet + Sydney that make me lose my mind!

  8. Very cute! Your sweater is a lovely shade of green and looks so nice. Glad the dino is just a pin though, unless you are a kindergarten teacher. I’m very intrigued by your shorts pattern. I have been paying close attention to my fellow sewers to find the best pattern. I agree with you that your shorts do look flattering from the side, but for next time you might need to shorting the front seam. What do you think?

      • Agreed. Wearing them they feel ok, but I can tell in the photo there’s a little bunch that probably shouldn’t be there. I took in the front seam a little because it was a little “paunchy”, I wonder if I can smooth that out more. I was afraid they were going to ride too high based on the envelope drawing, but that’s not the case!

  9. Your dino cardigan is so fun! What a great childhood recreation in adult form. :)

    • Thanks! I’m wearing the cardi today sans steggy and it feels more “normal”. I’ll have to break him out every now and then just for fun.

  10. Ooh dinosaurs! Must hide these pics from my daughters or I will be emotionally blackmailed into making something similar for them. Love the whole outfit!

  11. WE TOTALLY HAD THOSE DINO SHIRTS! (In Wisconsin) If I was at my parents’ house, I would find the pic and scan it in for you. We had stego for sure, and possibly a T-Rex or ptero too. I know there were two.

  12. Dinosaurs rock. I wish I wore as many dinosaurs now as I did as a kid (or my kids did). I think I need more dinosaurs in my life…..thank you….you’ve given me a mission now. And Stegosauruses are the best….oh hang, no, perhaps I like Triceratops more….oh hang on, Brontosauruses (someone’s going to tell me now that should be Stegosaurii and Brontosaurii aren’t they?)

    ALSO I love a woman who thinks ahead and makes outfits that fit challenges BUT ALSO makes her dinosaurs detachable! :)

    • Lol! I was actually really inspired by the applique projects I’ve seen around here – like your UP skirt (hehehe). I really wanted a green cardi but I just couldn’t commit to a dino full time.

      And I have to vote for more stegosauruses. Steggys were always my favorite.

  13. Adorable!!! Dinosaurs are a win in my book every time :)

  14. Cute!! I’m fairly certain I had that t-shirt too – Stegosaurus(es/i) have always been my favorite!