Hot! The “Second Date Picnic” Dress

When my grandmother passed away, my family displayed this picture of her and my grandfather at the funeral. It was taken on their second date — a double-date Appalachian picnic with my great aunt and her husband. Pretty cuddly for the second date, right?

This picture makes me think of warm Kentucky weather. My grandmother’s dress looks airy and comfortable, perfect for a mountaintop picnic. I wanted to recreate that light, warm-weather feeling with my dress.

My grandmother was a great seamstress, so sewing anything at all is a tribute to her. To make it even more special, I debuted the dress at the Brooklyn Bell House‘s annual Kentucky Derby party.

I don’t resemble my grandmother — as the sole redhead, I don’t really look like anyone in my family — but I will think of her every time I wear this.

The Facts

Fabric: Shirting from Mood Fabrics

Pattern: Colette Patterns Crepe. Slowly working my way through all the Colette Patterns I’ve collected.

Year: Current

Notions: None! This little baby has zero closures since it’s a wrap dress.

Time to complete: About 5 hours

First worn: To a Kentucky Derby party. Perfect!

Wear again? Yes, after some alterations.

Lesson learned: I tend to always make the bust too large because I don’t want to call attention to that area, but after looking at the photos, the top looks too baggy and actually calls even more attention there. A fitted bust looks neater. I mean, there’s no hiding these things, right?

Total price: $40, using a Groupon at Mood, plus $18 for the pattern (which I plan on using again)



Ashley (The Feisty Redhead) is a web editor at Martha by day and a wild-eyed crafter by night. She admits to choosing crafts over peanut butter -- a huge deal for her.


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  1. What a lovely photo of your grandparents! That’s a great color on you, too. And your wreath is just adorable. :)

  2. Ooooh, such a pretty version. It looks beautiful on you with your lovely hair. I’m loving this spring’s plethora of dotted swiss. Bringing back dotted swiss is LONG overdue. Love the flower ring, too. Such a beautiful tribute to these two lovers.

  3. I love the inspiration photo and story! The fabric you chose is gorgeous. Great job!

  4. Very pretty and a lovely tribute to your grandmother.

  5. Hi Ashley, The dress looks great and even better when you make the slight alterations. As a fellow curvy girl, I have learned through the sew weekly challenges that fit is better for us and actually is more slimming.

  6. What a great photo and a lovely dress! I agree, the color suits you beautifully. Had to laugh at the background, so very Brooklyn.

  7. Cute! And what an adorable story! I love the photo. Your grandmother looks so prim, and your grandfather so pleased. His pose says “I found something good and I’m not letting go of it!”