I’m so excited this dress is finished–even though the sunshine never did show up yesterday (thank you, Photoshop, for at least making it look a little bit less gloomy!). I had been thinking about writing a tutorial for how to easily alter a fitted bodice pattern and make it into a late 50s inspired sundress, and finally got around to make it. But as I was sewing my version up–in pink gingham–I realized it had a bit of an early Barbie flair to it! Way back when I was obsessed with vintage Barbies, although the closest I ever came to owning a genuine vintage doll (I was just a young teen, and my Barbie-buying money was my weekly allowance) was a $3 vintage Francie I found in the thrift store that was missing a hand. (She just wore gloves when I displayed her.) But because of the cheery pink gingham and late 50s silhouette, I’ve dubbed this my “Barbie dress”.
But that aside, I couldn’t resist playing up the doll-influence with this dress, and SH was kind enough to oblige me in doing a little photoshoot. The sundress is one of my favorite sort of designs: a fitted and flattering bodice, full skirt and pockets. The bound neckline and armholes (that tie at the shoulders) adds a bit of flair to the otherwise simple design. It echoes the sort of easy-going summer looks that were popular right at the end of the 50s and into the early 60s. I kind of want to live in this dress right now!
I’ll be publishing a two-part how to next week (I was going to post it this week, but the week has gotten away from me!), so stay tuned! Yes; I’m going to show you how to create a similar sundress using just a basic dress pattern with a fitted bodice. So gather up your pattern drafting tools and some summery fabric! I’m really, really excited about sharing this with you!
more photos here if you care to take a peek!
Pattern: 1950s dress with fitted bodice in my stash.
Fabric: cotton blend pink gingham; the bodice is underlined in cotton broadcloth.
Pattern Adjustments: I chose a very simple fitted bodice for the purpose of altering it to fit my design vision. The skirt was completely discarded. I’ll go more into this in my tutorial posts.
Techniques: Underlining the bodice, handpicked zipper, pattern drafting/alteration.