Vintage Sewing

Grandma’s Dress: 1950s Recreation

August 5, 2010

I found an old 1950s photograph of my Grandma, and I fell in love with her dress. So I decided to make my own! This is the first full-skirted dress I’ve ever made. It tookme quite a while to find a pattern that matched the style of the dress. I ended up using New Look pattern 6886. I paired the sweetheart neckline with the off-the-shoulder straps, a combination that was not shown on the pattern package. I did have some difficulty getting the straps to lay flat, which is probablywhy that particular combination was not shown. I also used the largest size for the skirt pattern and gathered it at the waist to add extra fullness.

I used the skirt pattern pieces from an authentic 1950s vintage dress pattern as a basis for the petticoat. Everything else from that point on was improvised. I wanted to make sure I could wear the petticoat with different length dresses so I created eight gathered ties to pull up the dress.

It has been so fun to make this dress in memory of my Grandma. I entered the dress in the SewStylish Dress to Impress contest, and it won first prize!
I didn’t realize it at the time, but my Grandma passed away exactly five years ago to the month I made the dress. This one’s for you, Grandma!
I wrote about the dress on my blog, the Unfinished Project Party blog.

  1. What a wonderful tribute to you grandmother. You did a great job copying her beautiful dress. The full skirt dress is very flattering. Congratulations on your win!

  2. The pic of you and your grandma brought tears to my eyes! You are both so beautiful. What a nice tribute to her memory – the dress is amazing. Congrats on winning the contest! 🙂

  3. simply amazing. I love the petticoat. You should be VERY proud of this dress. I love the idea of re-creating your grandmothers dress. Makes me want to go through my grandmothers photos! lovely post.

  4. First of all, your grandma looks gorgeous in her original. You look lovely in your recreation and I bet your grandma would have been proud!

  5. First of all, your hommage was just a lovely idea. I think she'd be so proud! Just like Heidi above, this does make me want to go through my grandma's photos! The dress turned out so great too! I very much love the idea of a gather on the petticoat to adjust the length!

  6. Thanks for the comments! I am so excited to be a part of this community. I love seeing all of your projects. Based on some of your comments, I am toying with the idea of doing a contest… 🙂

  7. WOW!!!!!!!!!! The dress is just beautifull!!! What a pity she didn't have the chance to see it.

    Love the picture of your grandma, and yours is so similar to it too. I'll visit your blog right away!

  8. I love the picture of your Grandma and I'm still blown away by her tiny waist! Your replica is beautiful and you look stunning in it. What a special project!

  9. That is a beautiful project and you certainly did a great job! I am really interested to know how you made the adjustable petticoat; I would really like to make myself something like that.

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