The other day I found this material at the Thriftown for 99 cents.  It was 3 yards long but only 35″ wide, so I surmised this cotton fabric was from the 1970s when that width fabric was still more common.  I didn’t want to buy material but for 99 cents how could I not?  I’m only human!

In order to marry the 70s fabric to something I’d actually wear I perused my collection of vintage sewing patterns.  I decided upon the sleeveless version of Simplicity 8201 described thusly “dress with back zipper and lowered round neckline has skirt gathered to bodice at empire waistline”.  I had enough material to make short sleeves, but this dress just wanted to be sleeveless.  The 8201 pattern hails from 1969 so it was a good time match too.

I didn’t make too many changes to such a simple dress but I did add a bit of room to the bodice since the pattern is a size too small for my tatas.  I just winged it and all turned out fine with a bit of adjustment.  I guess I didn’t need to add much to the top since I took most of it out again in the side seams.

I also didn’t make the facings, but rather lined the dress instead.  Now I don’t need to hunt up a slip if I want to wear my dress.  The zipper is an invisible one, which isn’t period but much nicer to my way of thinking.  I shortened the skirt about 2″ so it hits at the top of my kneecap.

Pretty easy project and the most expensive part of this was the zipper at $3.50.  Material was 99 cents and the pattern 50 cents.  Labor – well, we won’t include that here.

I know it’s raining and chilly today (which explains the hot mess of my hair – I got rained upon and the flat iron goodness disappeared), but I did already wear this dress out and about with a little cardigan, tights and scarf.  Plenty warm enough with all that gear on.  Though now I see I should have stayed out in the rain a bit longer to get my hair big like the lovely ladies on the pattern envelope.  Groovy man.

Where to look…


8 responses

  1. I love it when you can make new clothes — labor ruled out of the picture — for less than ten dollars. It gives me a little red hen sense of satisfaction.

    Don’t talk about prancing about in your little sleeveless dress and cardigan — as I shiver in my two pairs of socks and two sweaters I can’t help but resent you.

  2. Where to look!? Hilarious. Also that dress is great and I wish I were better at expressing my admiration of your sewing skillz and the way you match fabric to pattern.

  3. For just pennies you’ve got a wonderful dress. You have a talent for putting together great outfits from very inexpensive fabrics.

  4. Dress looks fantastic – love the fabric, colours, pattern (had one or two almost identical style at the time). Always loved that style. Haven’t sewn in years – hated my Singer with its defects – killed my interest in sewing unfortunately. We keep getting Nor’ Easters so will have to wait a little while before summer clothes can be worn 😦 Enjoy!

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