sewing || technicolor 50s sundress

Have you ever had that one fabric that always made you smile when you looked at it? This cotton print is a more recent addition to my stash, but something that made me so happy I just had to bump it to the top of my to-sew list!

pattern: vintage McCalls // fabric: Ikea Onskedrom

This beautiful McCalls pattern was the basis for the dress. I love the high neckline and dramatic v in the back--but it's been designed so it's not so low as to bare undergarments (I love how 50s patterns thought of these things!). This pattern seems like something Grace Kelly would have worn, and is pretty much my dream summer sundress!

I added pockets to the pleated skirt (two more variations from the original), because pockets are indispensable, right? I always find myself wishing I had pockets in the dresses and skirts that don't, and so often those pocket-less garments aren't worn as often. Practicality seems to win out these days!  I also ditched the skirt portion of this pattern--it was lavishly full (four panels!), and too impractical for either everyday wear or the heavier fabric I chose.  

For the dress, I used about 3 meters of this Ikea print. It's a heavier weight cotton that has fabulous body. I knew it would work well for this design since the bodice demanded some structure. I actually just had enough because I mis-cut the first bodice! Sometimes I feel like I've been off the "sewing wagon" for too long and make silly little mistakes (like forgetting I didn't need to grade up the tracing I made a month ago!). In reality, I think it's a little of that and a bit of being distracted while I'm sewing (and projects taking so long!). My hat goes off to mamas who manage to get so much sewing done! This is my second project this year--and we're halfway through the year. Yikes!

I wore this to a car show recently, and managed to get a shot with this
gorgeous, coordinating 1950s Chevy! My dream car!
So many patterns I want to sew next! But Miss A. needs a couple new things, and I think first up I'm going to tackle this pattern I've wanted to make since she was a newborn. She chose some mermaid fabric from my stash to use for the dress; though I think she's more excited about the seahorses in the print than the mermaids!


  1. Oh Casey, you always make the nicest stuff! Love this dress. This kind of style always suits you so well. I know what you mean about mamas not having much time. I want to get back to sewing, gave in to homeschooling demands, which has been good. Miss seeing your blog, I hope you are doing well in Germany, it's really a beautiful place.

  2. That looks like a Chevy grandparents' car which I only saw through pictures. Darling dress, spot on retro right down to the print.

  3. Your outfits are always so stylish! That's such a fun print and makes a splendid posing in front an awesome car dress!

  4. Such a lovely dress. I need to go to Ikea....

  5. Lovely dress! And it's good to see you're back on the blog!

  6. So nice to see a post from you Casey! This dress is beautiful, and very Grace Kelly indeed! :)
    That pattern you chose for your daughter is adorable. I remember my mom letting me pick fabric for the dresses she would make me! It's so fun to remember her sewing for me. :)
    I hope you are having a wonderful week!

  7. That is one lovely dress Casey! I'm going to hit up Ikea now, haha!

    And the dress for your girl is going to be sooo cute!!

    Carla, TinyAngryCrafts


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