Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Vintage Sewing Project ❘❘ 1950s Gingham Sundress

Summertime is just about here (and sometimes the weather feels like it too), which means that I want to wear vintage styled sundresses. I've been planning on making a red gingham sundress for awhile now, but I never took the time to make it. Mostly because I've been busy with other things, and when I did have time to sew I had sewing jobs to do. Which is good. Anyhow, we will be leaving on vacation this weekend and I wanted a cute, vintage-inspired sundress to wear on the trip. It seems that I get most sewing jobs done quicker when I want to wear it on a upcoming trip. Hmm....I need to change that. Of course, I say that every time and I never change my ways. *grin*    

For my sundress I knew I want a full skirt, a strapless styled bodice, the straps I wanted to be on the thicker side (wasn't sure of the style), and I want some cute embellishments too on the dress. Now, I traditionally don't really embellish my sewing projects, mostly because when ever I do so it looks....well....homemade (not really the look I'm going for).

The above collage is of the sundresses (vintage & modern) that I found inspiring when coming up with my sundress design. The bottom middle dress turned out to be main inspiration for the dress, which if I remember correctly, is a vintage dress from the 1950s.
Anyhow, the pattern for my dress was loosely based on the Summer Shade jumper pattern that Marie-Madeline Studio used to sell. I used the jumper bodice pattern pieces as my base, just made some changes for it to fit like a strapless dress, like: making the sides more fitted, raising the neckline, and reshaping the jumper back. The skirt and straps are just rectangles pleated to fit. Oh, and instead of using a facing for the bodice, I just lined the whole bodice front & back with leftover gingham fabric. 
Supplies Used
The Summer Shade Jumper Pattern was the base for the bodice. 
Straps are just two rectangles pleated lightly to fit. 
Skirt is just three panels that are 28" long.
Eyelet Lace Trim from L.A.
Invisible Zipper

I love my new sundress! It kinda looks like something you might find at ModCloth. Which is a good thing. You knows, I might make another sundress just like this one sometime again this summer. 'Cause it is just too cute!


  1. Love, love, LOVE!!! Okay, this is my next sewing project.
    The dress looks so lovely on you, Ash! :D

  2. I LOVE this dress! I want to learn how to sew so bad....Modcloth is one of the only shops that sells vintage clothes I actually like-although I'd like the dresses to be a little longer a lot of the time-but they are so expensive and I hate buying such expensive clothes without being able to try it on!

  3. I love that pattern from Marie-Madeline Studio! We use it all the time! I love how you altered it, I was just looking at vintage images and saw that style of sleeves. I think it's so cute!

    Bree ~ (A Modest Fashion Blog and Shop!)

  4. I absolutely LOVE this dress! You may have answered this sometime else, but how did you learn to sow? Did you teach yourself? I'm also a huge fan of mod cloth!!

  5. Oh, it's beautiful! If I could sew, I would definitely want to make it.

  6. Oh my goodness! That dress is SO cute! You did a fantastic job!!! Makes me want to try one too!

  7. Your dress is fabulous!! I have been wanting to get some red gingham fabric to make a dress for myself, also. I made a cherry print dress and a lime green version of the cherry dress using a great Simplicity pattern I bought and want to use the same pattern for my gingham dress. You'd probably love this pattern too!! Heres a link to my blog, 'Takin' It One Stitch At A Time', and the post about my dresses and pattern:

  8. I love it, Ashley! Those sleeves are perfect for summer. I'm going to have to make a dress like this soon....

  9. Adorable!! Simply adorable! Oooo, I just wanna come over a steal it for my wardrobe ;} Maybe instead I'll just make me one.... ;) :D


    1. P.S- I have the same problem with sewing + traveling/events to wear something new to. I need a deadline, I guess ;P
      I know what you mean with the trim... I love for my sewing projects to look like they were professionally made ;) You did a fabulous job in making your dress look so!

      Have a lovely trip :D


  10. OH ASHLEY!!! I love it!!! It turned out way too cute! And I love the inspiration collage. Now I just need to get around to making myself a sundress... which fabric should I choose...hmmm? ;P
    Hope you have a great trip!

    The Middle Sister and Singer

  11. I am late in this but I read this post when you made it and am finally writing about how pretty this dress is! I love gingham SO much and think the length and design is beautiful!!!!


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