Hot! The “All Singing, All Dancing” Dress

The Facts
Fabric: 1960’s Thrifted Lurex Brocade $15
Pattern: Butterick B5748
Year: 1960
Notions: Zip, lining
Time to complete: 8 hours over months
First worn: for the photos
Wear again? Yes, is anyone having a party?
Total Cost: ~$30

The Sew Weekly and its women have entered my subconscious. I awoke dreaming about “Sew Weekly – The Musical!” on morning this week. There was Mena, front and centre flanked by Najah and others – singing about what we do, everybody was wearing fabulous frocks (my brain had even composed its first song – alas lost to my memory now!). The story followed Mena’s life, her starting the Sew Weekly, her personal life (only what she has divulged to us) and the wonderful connections around the world that this “Virtual Sewing Circle” have created. Well I’d buy a ticket to that wouldn’t you??! Especially if we had Kazz with Lenny Kravitz and Tempest with David Bowie in it!! Dibs on Morrissey for me! I think it would end in a big fat wedding. I do love a wedding (no pressure!).

So here’s my last contribution for the year. It was one of the two concepts I had for the Las Vegas Challenge (please can we do that again Mena?!), then it was going to be for the 1960’s Challenge, then it was going to be for the Redo Challenge, but I was so pleased to get it done after many months of neglecting it to bring it to you for the Happy Holidays Challenge.

It went together much more easily than I thought it would – the pattern is a dream, the fabric was pretty good, even the lining wasn’t too difficult. I ran out of the purple lining for the skirt so I inserted an old nylon half slip. What I can’t believe after a year of sewing – is that I still think I am a size 18 – but I am only a 16 so I cut it out too big (or it grew) and it’s really too wide across the shoulders and too big in the bodice. Also the hem dropped considerable at the centre front – whoops. However, it’s not awful and I could stand it for a few hours at a special event. I was happy that the bows came up nicely and that it has a very early sixties look but still with a very fifties silhouette.

My garden is seriously neglected, my mending pile is huge, my recipe repertoire is abysmal, my vintage jewellery collection is exploding – my shoe collection has tripled in size (these last two I don’t mind so much). I have had problems with my back so with all the driving I do for work, sitting to sew, blog, read – is uncomfortable. I need to join the gym I think!

I do hope to keep sewing along next year but it will be less frequently – it’s a big commitment I think everyone will agree! But what a ride!

Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays to everyone – Peace and Goodwill to all people, thoughts and prayer are with the families and friends of the Sandy Hook Elementary School pupils.

More details on my blog



Trish lives in Sydney and has way more thrifted patterns and fabric than her fair share. She studied fashion design in her former life and sews while trying to not to burn the dinner.


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  1. Oh my gosh, Trish! Gor-geous!!! And I second the need for Sew Weekly: The Musical! Congratulations on getting through the year, it’s been a pleasure reading about/drooling over your creations. I’ll be keeping up with your blog, and when/if we make it back to Sydney I expect to meet you for a sewing adventure!

  2. You don’t know how many times I’ve considered using this pattern this year. It’s great to hear how easy it makes up because I’m totally inspired to give it a go after seeing how nicely it turned out for you. The fabric that you chose is so elegant and festive. It’s perfect for this holiday challenge.

    Your “The Sew Weekly” the musical really made me smile. I can see it all now, what a cast of characters it would have too. It would be so fun to see! I’ve enjoyed myself so much this year. It just proved that we can do anything we put our minds to. It’s been an incredible journey, hasn’t it?

    Happy new year to you and yours,

  3. This is beautiful, and the fabric is perfect for the period. The fit looks quite good in the photos, but isn’t that always the way with us: we are far more critical about our projects than anyone else would ever be!

  4. Stunning dress! I love the combination of the fabric and the pattern, and the result is stunning on you. :-) (Next time you come over this way, I’ll have to throw a party just to give you an excuse to wear that dress again – it deserves to have lots of outings!)

    Also, is that a new haircut? Looks great. :-)

  5. Trish, darling, stop eating pickles before bedtime ;) That brocade is gorgeous and the colours really suit you. Without a doubt I’m going to have to find that pattern and try it out myself. Thank you so much for being part of the Sew Weekly this year, I love the wonderful retro inspirations you’ve provide, it’s been a wonderful extra little bit of variety to the whole SW pot. I hope you have a fantastic 2013, and love seeing what you’re up to on your blog, especially your vintage finds.