50s Day Dress

I’ve been tracking my progress developing some Tried and True patterns at my blog, and wanted to stop in here and show off my awesome dress :)

DSCN4230

Its a modern pattern (a seriously reworked Butterick 4386) and Alexander Henry Fabric, but in a classic 1950s-60s “housewife” day dress shape, which I love. My hope is to find a pattern in this shape to perfect (next up, Butterick 2444) and then focus on fabric and embellishment to make several easy dresses.

To increase the vintage look, I’d need to get a crinoline!! Any suggestions for good ones that aren’t too costumey/poofy?

I did my first handpicked zipper, taking the advice of Gertie. I’m pretty proud of it!

More about it here.

Y’all offer fabulous advice –any thoughts?

• Meet the Author • missalliemass


Ex-archaeologist. Lazy seamstress (getting better). Aspiring librarian. Lover of fifties and sixties style.


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11 comments… add one

  • Your dress is awesome indeed!
    I’d suggest you to make your own crinoline! You can make it as pouffy as you like and in the desired lenght. I always make my own. It takes meters and meters of tulle and a day of cutting the horrible moving and twisting thing but it’s worth it!

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  • I’ve got a lovely petticoat from Doris Designs http://www.dorisdesigns.co.uk/, made from chiffon so not scratchy like the net ones and gives a nice shape, and loads of colours/lengths to choose from!

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  • That is just lovely!!!! I’d agree with previous commenters. Crinolines are pretty easy to make. Nice job!

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  • What pretty fabric! You could perhaps just make a simple petticoat using the skirt pattern from of a couple layers of gathered net or a organza type fabric on a waist band or narrow yoke. Fluffy that way without going all out.

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  • If you just want a bit of ‘poof’ and not a skirt that can stand on it’s own, it’s perfectly acceptable (and authentic) to wear several ‘skinny’ petticoats/slips to get the amount of fluff you want. I tend to wear 2 smaller ones instead of 1 big one; I just want my skirts to stand out a bit and ‘sway’ when I walk. :^) And yes, making your own isn’t particularly difficult.

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  • Very, very cute!!!!

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  • Cute dress! =)

    My favorite petticoat is the ’50s style found here (it’s also a brand made in the USA) at Petticoat Junction. The site also carries lots of other styles as well as that one – so take your pick! And the prices are great.

    I also bought myself a Large kid’s version of the ’50s style for a shorter more modern length petticoat. I can wear it alone with shorter hems or under the adult petticoat for extra poof.

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  • I love dresses made from toile fabric! Yours is gorgeous!

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  • That dress is perfection! And I’d recommend a Malco Modes crinoline – or a chiffon petticoat if you want something a bit softer. I’d totally get it in a fun bright color and let it peek out from the hem of your dress – would be such a fun contrast with the black & white (and I seriously LOVE Alexander Henry fabric, you have no idea).

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  • You’ve achieved an amazing fit with this dress! I like how you got the main scene in the toile front and center on the bodice, too :)

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  • I love the fabric!! and it looks comfy!

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