Hot! “When I Grow Up I Wanna Pony” Dress


Challenge: Western!

The Facts:

Fabric: Three yards of thrifted fabric, that seems to have been used for a curtain or a bed cover, because it appeared to have been washed a lot. It is soft and maybe even faded from repeated washing.
Pattern: Vogue Vintage 8728
Year: 1946
Notions: thrifted zipper
Time to complete: About 6 hours
First worn: Early October for this photo-shoot
Wear again? Yes, this is one of my favorite dresses this year.
Total price: Less than four dollars.








I highly recommend this pattern to all of you who love that vintage 40’s look. This pattern looks hard, but it is super easy. Only five pieces, no facings, and only two darts. I cut bias-tape from the same fabric for the neck-binding and top stitched it. I also top-stitched the sleeves. The bodice is top-stitched to the gathered skirt. Easy Peasy! I thought the blue chambray background with the big flowers really fit the western theme.

Of course, my cowboy hat, bridle and boots help to turn me into an authentic cowgirl. Each of those pieces has it’s own story. The hat, we unexpectably won at an auction. The bridle, we won with “Frontier Days” rodeo raffle tickets, and the boots were a gift from my daughter.

 I even remade a large full slip into a just-right slip for this dress. However, both fabrics are cotton so there is a little cling.


When my youngest was in middle school, we would make these time-consuming music videos. She would lip-sinc and move around adorably. I would film, and then we would both spend hours editing and then publishing our silly projects. We did five or six over a few years. Some we entered into contests and we would win first place once in awhile. Now it’s a challenge to find them again on the world-wide web. This one was one of our favorites. The song is by Casey Chambers, “”Pony”. The song includes the line I used in the title. Leah was about 13 and all of the footage is local, including the rodeo. Of course I’m biased, but it’s just as cute as can be. View it here. Thanks for looking!

Adios muchachas y que les diviertan mucho con la costura!



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. I LOVE THIS DRESS! I want to take a day off this week and make it to wear to a special day on Saturday! It’s just gorgeous on your!

    • I highly recommend this pattern. I can’t wait to make another one myself. Next time, I will line the midriff section to gift it more stability. Thank you for the compliment.

  2. I love that pattern. Hope I come across it someday. :) This looks wonderful on you! Beautiful colors.

    • I just recently purchased it from the mccalls,buttermilk,vogue site when vogue had a sale. It was only $5.00. I love the colors in the material a lot. Thanks for the compliments.

  3. Ooh, I love this! Every time I see something made from this pattern I tell myself that I need a copy. After seeing yours I am definitely going to get it.

  4. It might still be available on the vogue site. It’s an easy one!

  5. I love your dress and all your cool accessories! I think I have this pattern and now will make it since you so highly reccomend it : )

  6. I never would have thought of this pattern for Western, such a good match you made with that fabric. I have the pattern too– I think we’ll be seeing a wave of these dresses since yours looks so great and you assure us it’s easy!

  7. I can’t wait to see everyone’s version of this dress.

  8. What a lovely dress! Probably the most wearable version I have seen on the interwebs. It looks very comfortable and suitsyou beautifully.

  9. What a lovely dress. You accessorized it really well. What I really wanted to comment on though, I love the video that you guys made. I am sure that was a lot of fun while she was growing up.

  10. Thank you! It was a lot of fun. I still dab in the movie making stuff with my students at school, but nothing so elaborate.

  11. I bought this pattern earlier this summer and haven’t had the time to sew it. This may just be the kick in the rear that I need.

  12. Barbara I think this is my favourite thing you’ve made. The colour the cut, it’s so pretty on you and very flattering too. The best photos.

  13. SO ADORABLE! Love love love! So talented!

  14. Adorable! Perfect match of pattern, fabric, and styling! Your daughter is so cute in her music videos – she looks just like you.

  15. This is such a beautiful dress – the fabric and the shape are perfect on you. You’ve gone and done it again. I want one now!