The “Dress of Many Colors” Dress
Fabric: A bunch of fat quarters and some scrap fabric, $16
Pattern: McCall’s 5829 $1
Year: c. 1961
Notions: zipper, eyelet lace (dyed)
Time to complete: ~5 hours
First worn: May 2012
Wear again? Yes.
Total Cost: ~$17
Whenever I think of Dolly Parton’s song, Coat of Many Colors, I can’t help but to think that there’s some old guy out there in Tennessee that’s big claim to fame is “when I was a kid, I made fun of Dolly Parton’s coat.” Well, I’m taking the spirit of that coat and bringing it to a dress.
I was all ready to sit this week’s challenge out. Mostly because I had been traveling to Omaha where I gave a talk (more about that soon). But this morning, I decided that I would make the easiest thing possible using an unfinished project that has been sitting in my UFO pile.
My original inspiration for the UFO was this fantastic patchwork dress from the pages of the Sears catalog. I had a near complete dress (minus a zipper and a hem) but I never liked how it looked. The skirt was too short for the bodice’s proportions and the dark blue I used for the bodice was just too much of a contrast. So, this morning, I took the bodice piece off and ungathered the skirt until I was left with a fairly long piece of patchwork fabric.
From this fabric, I made a new bodice and a new skirt. I used a bathing suit bodice from 1961 because it was the easiest top pattern I could find in the mess of my sewing room. The skirt was simply a gathered rectangle that I attached directly to the bodice.
I hemmed the neckline and hemline and inserted some dyed red eyelet lace that has also been sitting in my stash, unloved.
Before I can wear this dress again, I’m going to have to reinsert the zipper since it’s a bit too loose. Other than that, I’m kind of surprised how so many patterns/fabrics actually work together.
The necklace I’m wearing was a Mother’s Day gift from my daughter . It’s a 1940s plastic and paste beads necklace that, oddly, looks a bit edible.