Hot! The “Keep on the Sunny Side” Dress


The Facts

Fabric: Vintage cotton, $25 from Vintage Fashion Expo
Pattern: Butterick 3704, $5
Year: c. late 1940s
Notions: zipper
Time to complete: 10+ hours
First worn: August 2012
Wear again? Maybe after a couple washings

Total Cost: ~$30



First things first: I’m still alive. While it seemed like I was destined to miss two challenges in a row (life getting in the way and all), a little UFO made it possible to slip into this week’s musical challenge. In the back of my mind, I knew I wanted to do a little something inspired by The Carter Family. My original inspiration came the way of the original members — a 1930s dress that would possibly double for my Gatsby dress this year (I’m behind on that too!). When that didn’t materialize and this green floral print UFO did, I decided to go a little later and do the next generation of The Carters for this week’s theme. In particular these two photographs:

While the UFO fit the challenge well, the reason why it was a UFO remained: the fabric is just too stiff to fall nicely for this dress. Because of this, it’s just not that flattering and I look far thicker than I actually am. And, the pleats are just not flattering. It’s a terrible disappointment because I had such high hopes for both that fabric and the pattern (when I started it ages ago)

But in the spirit of The Sew Weekly and posting things that don’t turn out well, I just had to get something up this week. Even if it’s on a Saturday!

To more success next week!

Oh. A little detail about the guitar (which happens to be as old as my sewing pattern). It’s a 1948 Gibson L-7.


Mena Trott

Mena Trott started The Sew Weekly to document her attempt to sew all of her own clothes in 2010. Since then, she's made over 125 outfits and has way more clothes than she needs.


Comments are closed.

  1. Hello stranger! Looking fabulous! Never heard of these ladies but I remember the song from O Brother Where Art Thou – one of my favourite soundtracks ever. Then I went looking and found out who June Carter’s mother was!! Got myself quite an education – what fun!

    I think the dress is sweet and glad you pulled it over the line – something I am struggling with currently!

  2. Yay! You’re back! Love the dress, love the inspiration. If it is unflattering on you it isn’t showing in the photos. And with that cheery yellow flower print it does the yellow challenge as well.

  3. Great to see your smiling face, fab dress Mena even if you only wear it sitting down hehe and yes I agree with Leimomi, you’ve conquered the yellow challenge and the music challenge. No sweat.

  4. Glad an UFO put you back in. Love your dress and guitar. I’m a big fan of bluegrass and retro country. All around awesome!

  5. I don’t think you look big in that. Maybe just some trick with the poses and photography :) Gad to see you this week-

  6. Your dress reminds me of 3 sisters who owned a little sandwich/ice cream shop in our town back in the 50’s and 60’s. They always dressed exactly alike and made their own dresses too. I wonder if they were fans of the Carter Sisters.
    I really like the yolk and and the fluttery little sleeves. In the pictures I have a hard time imagining the fabric as too stiff or making you look heavier, but I know that feeling sometimes. Maybe a different type of fabric would make all the difference? Nice to see you posting again.

  7. I really like your fabric choice and think the dress looks great on you! Hopefully with a couple of washings the fibers will break down and will be less stiff. And I have to say your hairstyle is absolutely perfect!

  8. oh ..I love the pattern and the dress really looks pretty on you. Sorry you don’t like it.. Maybe after laundering, it will feel better.That is always so frustrating, isn’t it? Happy sewing.

  9. I am so happy you posted this week!

  10. hi Mena, glad to see you posting and you do look beautiful in the dress. Half to say I loved reading all the different posting. I definitely found a few more groups to listen, thanks.

    It’s is impressive how you manage the site week to week plus take care of the day to day needs of life in general.

  11. As soon as I saw your photo I thought of June Carter. What a dreamboat dress Mena! xoxo

  12. I was excited to see your dress. But I’m a musician so I just about peed myself when I saw the guitar! LOL its gorgeous!! Please tell me someone is using that beauty!