Join me in my adventures as I write romance novels and sew vintage and contemporary fashion.

Monday, March 17, 2014

The St. Paddy's Day Dress Part 1

I fell in love with this print when I saw it in the quilting section of a fabric store. It's been a long time since I've made anything out of a good old quilting cotton, so I thought why not? It'll be perfect for St. Patrick's Day. [Side note: Once upon a time, the only fabric I had available to me was quilting cotton, so that's what I made my dresses out of. Many was the time that some well-intentioned soul would seek me out to tell me that my frock matched their pillows, quilt, bedspread, curtains, etc. Because of that, as soon as I had another source of fabric, I abandoned quilting cotton and never looked back...until now.]

For the pattern I chose was Simplicity 3608 from 1951. I'll definitely make this pattern again.

I had to grade it up one size and shorten it 6 inches.

A dress like this calls for a smart belt. Fortunately I had just the belt kit in my stash of stuff.

The dress features an actual kick pleat instead of a slit. Here's the underside (kind of hard to see, but if you look closely you can see the fabric backing for the pleat:

And the right side...
Kick pleat in action...

I had a hard time deciding how to do the shoulder tabs. The pattern shows them sticking up. 

And here they are tacked down:
I tried wearing them sticking up, but they kind of bothered me. Here I am in San Francisco, the day  before St. Patrick's Day with my shoulder tabs sticking up. After we got done taking the photos, I tacked the shoulder tabs down. I prefer them that way.
Another shot of the dress. The sun was so bright everything washed out, but I think you can see the fit.
Before we got done taking photos, I made a friend...

One thing I really loved about this dress and the fabric, is that it didn't wrinkle. I packed the dress in a small suitcase, pulled it out a day later and it looked like I'd taken it off the hanger. If no one tells me that I match their cushions in the next few days, I might just make another sortie into the quilting cotton section of the fabric store.


  1. I agree with you about stitching down the shoulder tabs! This is a lovely dress. I'm from the UK so I'm not entirely sure what quilting cotton is, but I doubt if anyone who tells you that your dress matches their curtains is indeed "well-intentioned".

  2. Hi, Helen! I thought I could do the tabs, but they made me nuts. I like them so much better down. It had occurred to me that telling someone they matched the decor was less than tactful, but I always just smiled.

  3. Cute again! Is the belt covered in the same fabric? Kinda hard to see in the photo, but I guess it is. 25¢! What a bargain. Love the vintage graphics on the package.

  4. Funny that you should mention the belt being hard to see. I address that very topic in Friday's post. I love the price and the graphics on the belt kit, too.