Half of a Patio Dress

Do you ever get a really crazy idea? About a week before I left for vacation, a friend gave me some old curtains left in their new house by the previous owners. They were a bright sunny yellow and I just knew it would be perfect for a 1950s patio dress. And I decided that I just had to have it done before vacation so I could wear it on vacation.

Now, the basic pattern for the skirt is pretty easy-it’s just three long rectangles gathered together with an elastic waist band. But vintage patio dresses take heaps of trim!

Aside from hours sewing on ric rac and other trims, my sewing machine decided it needed to break down. Thank goodness all it needed was a new bobbin shuttle but I lost a few days of sewing time waiting for it to arrive.

So, in the end I was only able to get the skirt portion finished, but I do have a vintage blouse pattern cut out to match. Luckily, I had a Mexican peasant top that worked well too!

I ended up wearing this outfit to a bird sanctuary and one of the ladies working there said it reminded her of the outfits she wore growing up in Mexico which just made my day! More photos (and photos of birds!) over on the blog.

• Meet the Author • Starspangledheart


I'm a 20 something Chemistry professor who loves the fashions of the 30s, 40s and 50s. I'm also completely obsessed with Downton Abbey. Aside from sewing, I also love to knit, scrapbook and read.


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4 comments… add one

  • Cute! And I can’t wait to see the top!

    Reply
  • How fun! I haven’t heard these skirts called patio skirts before. I’ll have to remember this next time I get overwhelmed with my trims and ric rac piles.

    Reply
  • You did a beautiful job on the skirt! My mom grew up in Tucson in the fifties, and what we call “squaw” dresses were the rage. I am lucky enough to have a few vintage ones. Both tops have a metal zip on the side, going from hem to pit. Isn’t that interesting? Post the top when you finish!

    Reply
  • I like the sunny yellow color you chose for the tiered skirt – nice with the blouse shown. And I’m also looking forward to seeing the blouse you will make. I made a yellow calico set like this in the early ’80s, with just a simple scoop-neck-camisole top that I cut long enough to run an elastic casing around the waist and have an inch-and-a-half wide gathered “peplum”, which just covered the waistline elastic on the skirt. I wore huarache sandals with it. What a nice vacation outfit you made!!

    Reply

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