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The "Obedient Seamstress" Dress

Added Mar 15, 2011

by sewweekly

San Francisco, C...






Fabric: Floral cotton, thrifted ~$.25

Patterns: Simplicity 7806 ~$.05
Year: c. 1976
Notions: Vintage zipper – $.05
Time to complete: 7 hours
First worn: February 2011
Wear again? Yes

Total Cost: ~$0.35

I seriously love the color red! I consider it to be a neutral that works with almost pairing. It is surprising then that I have so few pieces of red fabric in my stash. In all, I may have five pieces of predominately red fabric. Actually, after this dress, four pieces. How precious my red fabric may be, I’m glad to have used it for this dress.

Even though I told myself that I wanted to make separates for all of this month’s weekly creations, I couldn’t resist making a dress for Valentine’s Day. My compromise is that it’s a fairly casual dress, a dress that I’m sure to wear quite often. I did stay true to my challenge of a forties-free February (I just named it that), and chose a pattern from 1976 that I’ve had in my stash forever.

Working with Simplicity 7806 was a breeze! I thought I’d have troubles with the back since I hadn’t ever done an open back like this before. To prevent any sewing drama and headaches, I took a novel approach to the construction: I followed Simplicity’s instructions to the letter. When it called to hand stitch, I hand stitched! When it called for a stay stich, I stay stitched! When it called for clipping curves, I clipped curves! You get the point. Even though following the instruction so precisely slowed me down, I did manage to sew this dress with fairly little assistance from my seam ripper.

I love this fabric. While I felt it was more suited for a 1950s-style dress, I didn’t have that much yardage. And even though the pattern in from 1976, I think the fabric works pretty hard to make the dress look timeless.

The best thing about this dress? It cost about $.35 to make!

Read more about this on my blog




Spring, Summer, Fall
Garment Type
Casual, Classic, Romantic, Vintage

20 Comments Sign in to add a post

  • Mypicture_large

    Apr 12, 2011, 11.32 PMby SewnLovely

    Remarkable, I want to be like you! lol

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    Mar 19, 2011, 09.20 AMby urbandon

    Great dress and a bargain too. Love to seeing your cost breakdown.

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    Mar 16, 2011, 07.59 PMby Raelizdesigns

    Love this, and the thriftiness! I have a collection of vintage patterns purchased for 10 cents, lol.

    Photo is gorgeous too!

    1 Reply
    • 15259758_1179644112118858_2787024049663667188_o_large

      Apr 19, 2011, 10.34 PMby Amor Allure

      where did u buy them

  • Missing

    Mar 16, 2011, 03.57 PMby ThatsSewMimi

    What a fabulous dress – and in my favourite colour as well! I’m new to Burda and somehow clicked a rating of 1 and now cannot correct it – this one’s a 5.

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    Mar 16, 2011, 03.10 PMby tashmopolitan

    Amazing! Great styling!

  • Sart_large

    Mar 16, 2011, 02.02 PMby tamezdc

    Gorgeous summer dress!

  • Priscilla_03_large

    Mar 16, 2011, 11.31 AMby be-bops1

    LOVE your thriftiness! awesome dress!

  • Missing

    Mar 15, 2011, 09.19 PMby hlm0401

    The dress is perfect and you look so happy in it. Great pics, great dress, great deal!

  • Pixie_redux2_large

    Mar 15, 2011, 07.48 PMby dilshadburman

    Amazing amazing amazing!! It is gorgeous! The pictures are gorgeous! You made a priceless piece for LESS THAN A DOLLAR! Wow!!!

  • N568761553_1173308_1385_large

    Mar 15, 2011, 06.32 PMby estelleperdita

    I agree that your choice of fabric combined with the cut of the dress give it a timeless quality – I love the fact that serendipity bought the different elements of the dress together too – Perfect!
  • 587d0c998f4f3780fd6d76fd74d26756_large

    Mar 15, 2011, 06.22 PMby charlotteauzou

    Lovely back and great bargain :)

  • Form1_large

    Mar 15, 2011, 05.50 PMby twolter

    Lovely dress!

  • Missing

    Mar 15, 2011, 05.13 PMby lester

    So nice. Amazing job.

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    Mar 15, 2011, 03.33 PMby xanray

    Love it. The fabric is adorable and the open back is pretty.

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    Mar 15, 2011, 10.31 AMby psychorat

    Gorgeous! I love the pattern and the fabric. It looks great on you.

  • Missing

    Mar 15, 2011, 10.00 AMby u120418

    I buy almost all of my fabric and sewing notions from op-shops (thrift stores), but I am shocked at how much cheaper these type of stores must be, I see it all over the net. For example, in Australia at an op-shop you would expect to pay 20cents to $1 for a zip, 50 cents to $2 for patterns and depending on the size of the piece $5-$20 for fabric. So I think I am pretty lucky when I make an outfit for less than $15!! And I also think red is a neutral, hence my mantra “red goes with everything” or more specifically, “red shoes go with everything”.

    2 Replies
    • Img_7503b_large

      Mar 15, 2011, 04.38 PMby iroiro

      I agree! Here in the UK, you can expect to pay nothing less than £4 for a piece of material, right up to £10 in a second-hand store.
      Would love to visit on of these thrift shops!

    • 3864138084_1fb5db6c00_large

      Mar 16, 2011, 07.55 AMby Ruffles Gazebo

      oh yes oh yes i agree with this! silly australia….and vinnies is always the most expensive!

  • Fb2227aaf242c0d041dbcd583baae4e4ccfba73d_large

    Mar 15, 2011, 08.16 AMby loulourosa

    Verry nice summer dress!

  • P1010103_large

    Mar 15, 2011, 07.44 AMby carolinescrafts

    beautiful dress, it really suits you.

  • Missing

    Mar 15, 2011, 07.41 AMby redslippers


  • Avatar-cupcake_large

    Mar 15, 2011, 07.27 AMby frkbustad

    Gorgeous dress! The fabric is amazing, and I too consider red a neutral.

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