The “Peggy Plaid” dress

The Facts
: Black/white gingham, white cotton/poly for lining
Pattern: Part of Simplicity 3673, bodice from Polka dot dress, self drafted sleeves & collar
Notions: Interfacing, zipper, 12 buttons, all from stash
Year: Early 1960’s
Time to complete
: 4 1/2 hours
First worn: November 2012
Wear again? Yes

Total Cost: $15.12

Clearly I didn’t have enough fun with the black and white challenge last week!  And yes, I almost made this dress instead of everything else BUT I looked down the list of challenges and since the 60’s aren’t a particular favorite of mine, and I’ve been wanting to make this dress since the Mad Men challenge earlier this year, this became my outfit for this week. In case you need a refresher, here is my inspiration:

And here is my version:

I’m pretty happy with it : )

I started with the top I fixed/drafted for the polka dot dress. I knew the darts were in the right place and the seam was UNDER the girls. I cut the skirt of Simplicity 3673 but added that front panel, a completely separate panel from the skirt underneath. I wanted the buttons to be holding down a real panel and didn’t feel like trying to do a half under-panel. Plus, the fabric is very light-weight, it is just a cotton/poly gingham.

Each piece is flat lined and I was tempted to then fully line the bodice but honestly the whole Thanksgiving week was so full that I couldn’t bring myself to cut out one. more. piece.

I know from looking at the original sleeves were cut as part of the bodice, that’s how you get that nifty patterning there on the arm. I didn’t feel like re-creating that since that style top isn’t that comfy on me. I did a straight sleeve and tried to get clever with the cutting but didn’t think this out very well : ) I bought 3 yards of gingham and by the time I got around to cutting the sleeves I was using scraps. I did the best I could with what I had on SUNDAY morning and frankly, it’s just fine.

Sometimes I try to be too clever for my own good, over-think things and I had too many other things to do. Done is beautiful : )

The most prominent feature of this dress is that line of buttons down the front with the bow at the bottom.

I sewed the buttons on while watching “Moonrise Kingdom”. Cool movie, and I totally understand Lee’s Suzy post now : )

The one thing I missed was the bow at the TOP of the buttons. Ah well, I barely had enough fabric to make the one bow, I’ll add another when I remember to pick up some more fabric. I DID manage to match the plaid at all relevant seams and made sure the stripes all matched up down the center front.

Since Peggy’s pose was a little awkward I did a couple of “me” poses:

All in all I’m pretty happy with the dress, it fits better than I thought it might Sunday morning (remember – never try on your outfit over other clothes or make a hasty judgement before you’ve done hair and make-up!). My friend Heidi helped with photos once again and even had better pearl earrings for me.

The pearl necklace she lent me was a family piece that we designed her ENTIRE wedding dress around, from the color of the fabric (that was custom dyed to match the pearls) to the cut of the bodice. When it came time to get her dressed we couldn’t find the pearls ANYWHERE, even though every bag was emptied and searched multiple times we never found them. She ended up wearing a silver leaf necklace that complimented the trim I stitched to her corset top and was stunning. The next day she found them in a pocket in her back pack that at least three of us had searched! I was honored to have been able to feature them today : )

All in all a happy experiment. I think I’ll be wearing it to work soon!



Loran is a Bay Area designer, stitcher and suburban farm girl. Having done theater for years she's finally taking on her most demanding client (herself!) and fashioning a wardrobe from her huge stock of vintage patterns and fabrics, all while writing her daily tablesetting blog. Let's see if she can keep up with both : )


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  1. So cute! This has been such a popular dress to remake, and I definitely like your version best! Your sleeves are so much better than the ones on the original dress. You make a gorgeous Peggy!

  2. I love it! You and Peggy could be twins! However, I like your version better. Set in sleeves and matching the stripes down the center of each sleeve, plus adding a real panel in the front make it even better. Your attention to detail and the awesome look-alike pose in the hallway are so fun to look at.

  3. Loooove it! This looks absolutely amazing on you. Well done matching all that plaid. Must have been quite a chore!

  4. This turned out so great! I love the sleeves, the way the bias meets like that at the top seam looks cool, like you did it on purpose not out of necessity. I wanted to make this dress for the Mad Men challenge but I didn’t have enough of the gingham. I’m glad I didn’t attempt it– all the details and plaid matching and fitting in a week would have done me in. Maybe next year. . .