Hot! The Whispers in the Dark Dress

Pattern: Du Barry Perfect Pattern 5245 view 1 and Simplicity 4319 for the collar

Year: 1941 and 1953

Fabric: 3yds printed poly chiffon $13

Notions: thread and 2 vintage buttons from stash

Time to Make: 6hrs? I’ve been going really slow lately

First Worn: Friday to show the ladies in class and for a friend’s graduation party

Wear Again: yes-today

This will be a quick one. It’s early morning on Father’s Day and I want to make sure this is done so I can spoil my husband as much as he will let me. My project for this week is a no-brainer. Something long and comfortable that transitions well from day to evening. I don’t like packing for trips. I am a head to toe kind of girl and it would be too expensive to take everything I need for every outfit so I end up going to the other extreme. I take 1 pair of jeans and about 3 t-shirts. I nice blouse, basic black cardigan,1 blazer, and 1 scarf. Two dresses, a pair of sandals, a pair of heels and my go to studded slipons.

I used the blouse pattern for the 1940’s challenge for the top of the dress but instead of the peter pan collar I used the collar from the Prints challenge. For the detail along the edges of the arm opening I used the frayed selvage. I gathered it a bit then just sewed it right on leaving the other edge raw as well. I also lowered the keyhole opening by 3 or 4 inches.

For the bottom of the dress I just measured the length I wanted, cut it, then sewed that piece and the remaining piece together so I wouldn’t have to worry about lining. Gathered them at the waist and sewed it to the bodice. I used a 1 inch seam allowance then marked on the front of the dress where the openings would be for the drawstring and made two small buttonholes and cut them open. Then I pressed the seam up and sewed along the edge to create the channel that the drawstring would go through. Then I hemmed the bottom and added my buttons.

I was a bit tired for these pictures so they’re not my favorite. I’m glad my husband was along for the encouragement. I just love that guy!

I snatched the title from a Mumford and Sons song.







Gina Clark is a girl from Texas living in the Midwest. She has been sewing most of her life but swears every few months that she is giving it up for good.


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  1. Stunning Gina, I love the fridged armhole treatments and the detail of the button on the color, really beautiful. I wear that in a hot minute!

    • Thank you Krista. I could see you in something like this. It took me awhile to pick out the buttons. I didn’t want to go to the fabric store because there was an art festival going on around it and I knew I’d never find a place to park. I found these in my stash.

  2. I love the way you’ve done the armholes too. Will have to pinch that idea!

  3. Beautiful as ever. Did you fray the arm openings, or did you bind them and add the frayed selvedge after? I can’t make it out and want to flatter by imitating!

    • Hi Vicki! I just sewed those suckers right on. Now that I’ve worn it several times and have pulled many bunches of fine threads off my arms I’m going to recommend binding the arm opening first. I was feeling a little lazy and since I like things a little undone it works for me.

  4. So simple and so elegant : ) Not to mention beautifully styled even thought you were tired. I hope you had a great day with your hubby!

    • Thanks Loran! It did take some effort to style which is quite sad considering that’s part of the fun. That’s my “let’s just get the hair out of the way” haistyle. Hopefully we won’t see too much of that on Sew Weekly.

      • You know I meant hairstyle but just in case there is such a word as “haistyle” and it means something scandalous or crazy I’ll correct myself.

  5. Gorgeous! I love how you’ve used the selvedge – such a brilliant idea!

    • Thanks Kat! That fabric needs little work. It’s so pretty on it’s own. I was able to appreciate it more once I saw it on the pictures.

  6. You look gorgeous Gina, I love this. Beautiful Freak was a wonderful kickstart to you and your mixing prints. I think they look great on you. I love the length and the selvedge idea. Great stuff. Love your photos too. Hope you had a wonderful fathers day with your hubby.

    • Thanks Kazz. I think Beautiful Freak gave me an opportunity to focus on mixing prints. It’s not how I usually think about a project so I agree. Focusing on that one part of a larger picture has really opened me up and made the larger picture much more interesting. It’s really made getting dressed more fun and has made dressing others more fun as well.

  7. Gorgeous edging- this is so timeless- well done!

    • Thanks! I read your Burda post-very funny! I’ve got some issues with Burda patterns as well. Nice to know I;m not the only one!

  8. Beautiful.. and how nice that you spoiled your Hubby on Fathers Day.. Hope he had a good day.. Happy sewing.

  9. Gina, your dress is beautiful. I love the print and the buttons, and the style you chose. You look great and comfortable, despite being tired.

  10. Loveliness, Gina. The mods you made -frayed sleeves, lowered keyhole, etc. are so unique and so YOU! You always manage to sneak something interesting into your garments…no matter how quickly they’re constructed. Oh and the travel packing pieces you described are just right for indecesive packers like us. I used to travel with a suitcase big enough to hide a human body…just so I could fit as many outfit possibilities as I could in it. Now, like you…I become a minimalist when I travel ;-).

  11. Great look, Gina, a perfect all-in-one easy-to-wear pick-me-up dress with flair. As I usually don’t have the appropriate energy for styling and posing, I’m sympathetic. Your photos look awesome anyways.

  12. Love the fraying of the sleeves, it makes this beautiful dress (and that fabulous collar) even more perfect. I’m a great fan of fraying but never seem to find that happy medium between too little and too much….seeing your dress I think I might need to find ways to get more practice.

  13. Very pretty. I like your creative changes to the pattern and the fabric is lovely!

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