Sewing Project: Dress from a 50’s Paperback

During my time working at a vocational program for disabled adults, I worked with a group of people who did contract jobs for local businesses. When we didn’t have much other work to do, we recycled the paper from old books that were donated to our program. As a result I had the opportunity to look at a LOT of cool old books every day. 

One day, these amazing 1950s detective novels came through, and I instantly fell in love with the dress this woman on the cover is wearing. Honestly, who wouldn’t? The turquoise color… the white stripes… the matching belt? I knew I had to try to re-create it for myself. Here’s how it turned out:

It’s made of a regular old cotton broadcloth, with white cotton bias tape for the trim. I sort of mixed and matched a couple of different patterns to get the right look. I can’t remember which ones now. I just free-handed the belt, but I think it came out surprisingly well.


The horse decided to come investigate while we were taking the pictures…

 “I don’t have any food for you, now please just get out of my picture!”

Thanks for looking, I hope everyone is having an enjoyable week so far! I have some exciting news: my French-Inspired Dress was chosen as one of BurdaStyle‘s “Best of July” Member Projects! Yay! Click the link to check it out along with a ton of other great projects.