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The Summer Picnic Dress

Added Dec 19, 2011

by JulietSews

Palmerston North...






This was a dress inspired by the fabric, which reminds me of a checked picnic blanket.

I created it by copying the pattern from two existing garments – the bodice from a dress and the skirt from a 6 panelled a-line work skirt that has a beautiful drape, both sewn for me by my Mum before I was interested in sewing. I drafted the pattern myself by pinning and tracing each piece of the garment one at a time onto newspaper (boyfriend’s a journo so I have a mass of the stuff around the house), then sewed up a really rough muslin to make sure the whole thing worked. Amazingly, it did!

The dress is fully lined and cut on the bias. I didn’t add any closures as the bias provides some stretch, but a bit of wiggling is required to get it on. I sewed the skirt with French seams (first time, I’m an addict now!), and blind hemmed the skirt too, as well as top stitching the bodice top and straps.

I love the 50’s feel of this dress, makes me wish I could travel back in time and go to a milk bar wearing it. Seeing as that’s not possible, a picnic will do instead.

Blogged about here

Material Notes

100% Cotton, with stretch between the grain.



Related Techniques


Summer, Spring
Garment Type
Preppy, Romantic, Vintage

3 Comments Sign in to add a post

  • Me_large

    Jan 5, 2012, 10.30 PMby CationDesigns

    Great job drafting! That is quite impressive, especially with things being cut on the bias.

    Not related to the dress at all, but I love how it almost looks like you’re holding that Happy New Year sign!

    1 Reply
    • Dsc02539_large

      Jan 5, 2012, 10.42 PMby JulietSews

      Thank you! I had no idea what I was really doing, I just went gung-ho and gave it a go. My Mum (who is a patternmaker, so I know the process) was pleased with the drafting and horrified that I did it on the bias!

      We saw the sign before we took the photos, but its appearance was total coincidence!

  • Missing

    Jan 5, 2012, 07.50 PMby MsLane

    Pretty dress!

  • 018_2__large

    Jan 5, 2012, 11.28 AMby Romanssi

    looks good on you :)

    • This is a question
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