Hot! Pretty in Pink with Plaid


Fabric: Vintage woven plaid on 36″ wide from thrift!
Pattern: Vogue 8511
Year: contemporary
Notions: thread, zipper, lining
Time to complete: about a day
First worn: To school 8/30/2012
Wear again? Yes! Yes! Yes!
Total price: Less than $5.00

Challenge: Back to School with Plaid


An amazing find! I love when I come across true, vintage fabric at the thrift. I just had to make something up right away with it. I chose Vogue 8511, and before I started cutting, I laid out all the pieces. Unfortunately, because of the pleating in the front, the fabric wasn’t quite wide enough. I had to take out some of the width of the middle pleat to make it fit. I love the fit of the princess seams on the bodice and how the sleeves do not sit exactly on the shoulder, but extend a bit.

I serged, then turned the hem only a quarter of an inch and machine stitched it. Otherwise, because of the rounded cut of the front, it would have looked funny with a wider hem, all pinched and tucked. I lined the bodice, then set in the sleeves. Finally, I serged all of the seams and put in an invisible zipper. This pattern is “very easy” just like it claims. I’m very happy with it and plan to use the pattern again in the near future.

I wore my new dress to school of course, and was barraged with questions from the middle-schoolers, who seem fascinated that someone could actually make clothes. They probably have never even seen a sewing machine! I am flattered and enjoy their wonderment when I explain that I make an outfit a week, and blog about it on the Sew Weekly. My elective class happily took some pics of me posing in front of the classroom.

The rest of the pictures were taken by my husband in his class after school. We both are super busy with new tech tools, and new curriculum. Despite the tremendous amount of work we have to do, we both enjoy teaching very much. Thanks for looking and have a great week!



Barbara is a resident of Northern California. She loves to sew and has pledged not to buy retail clothes for the year of 2012. That means she has to make her own, or buy it at a thrift store. I hope she doesn't spend too much on fabric. When she shops for fabric her eyes light up as she imagines the possibilities! She's like a kid in a candy store.


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  1. What a great dress! It seems to fit you just right too. I love the plaid and you scored it at the thrift store? Awesome! I really liked your classroom shots, especially the one with the boys legs up on the desk in front. Too funny :D

  2. far and away my favorite of the plaid entries (though there are some beauties)! amazing job and find!

  3. This is my kind of dress!

  4. I really like this pattern. I’ll have to write this one down! The plaid is perfect for it-very pretty!

  5. This is cuh-YOOT! And you look lovely in it.

  6. This is so cute! I tried this pattern once with a big fail, but after seeing your dress I might try it again. I need to buy a new copy of the pattern though. When I made it, the bodice turned out 2 inches longer on one side than the other. I couldn’t work it out, and when I called my mum she measured the pattern and one side was longer than the other for some reason. Maybe faulty. I also think I used the wrong material, I used a satin backed crepe, and even after lots of alterations to sort out the bodice lengths, it doesn’t sit right. I shall try again though- your dress is gorgeous!

  7. Gorgeous! So fresh and clean. And I just love that you got your students to take pictures, and introduced them to your world. I’m not brave enough to try that with mine!

    • I held off all last year, but then decided that I wanted to share my accomplishments with them. Maybe even inspire some students to start sewing, thrifting, or refashioning, instead of just buying something new.

  8. This dress is DIVINE. Seriously, I’m loving it, and how you’ve styled it.

  9. Gorgeous! the fit is great, the style and colour really suit you – perfect!

  10. Pretty and professional – and a bargain to boot. Lovely dress.

  11. This dress looks really lovely on you.

  12. This is super cute! I adore it!! Great job, you must be so pleased with the outcome. I love the pattern you used as well. Would it be easy for a beginner sewer?

  13. amazing job and so absolutely perfect on you! I am having a laugh over those middleschoolers.

  14. Love it Barbara, the dress and the post and if I were you I would be making one in every shade imaginable this dress is incredibly flattering and the colour is gorgeous.

    The piccy with the projection of SW is brill LOVE IT!

  15. I agree with everyone’s comments! I would wear this dress!

  16. Sweet sweet dress! Looks really gorgeous on you, ma’am!

  17. this is positively delightful!!

  18. I think is my favourite of all the plaid challenge week makes…that fabric is so pretty and the dress looks superbly made and professional. I love those slightly off the shoulder sleeves on you too. I bet your kids were so proud.

  19. I love this dress.. The pink plaid is so pretty.. Love that your students see what sewing is all about.. [It is turning into a loss art, would love to save it].

  20. Fantastic dress! I might use this pattern with some blue/green plaid I received from Scotland! Thanks for the inspiration.