A vintage style bedsheet dress!

I love sewing with vintage bedsheets but it seems it’s getting harder to find pretty ones (I guess lots of people have the same idea)! So when a friend dropped two bags full of vintage sheets onto my front porch a month ago I was very excited- some of them were full sets! Which gives you lots of fabric to work with.

I get very indecisive when it comes to planning my projects, so I just washed the sheets and piled them up while my brain whirred with ideas. I could not nail anything down until one day this photo popped up on my Instagram feed from vintage dress seller Sweetbeefinds:

Look how gorgeous!

I have two vintage sheet sets with stripes so I just needed to decide which to go with.

And which pattern to choose?

I love both of these patterns but prefer the lower neckline of simplicity 3471. However, it’s one size larger than I usually wear so I knew I would have to make changes. Usually I make a muslin, but I did not feel like fussing with it because all I’ve been sewing is masks lately and I was ready for a new dress!

3471 with this pretty cornflower colored bedsheet it is!

: The vintage instructions tell you to sew the facing to the bodice completely, and then go back and put the strap on top of everything which makes it have a hanging strap on the inside of your dress. I decided to do it more like Butterick 6453 and insert the strap before I sewed the facing. Which makes it a bit more difficult, but I used the instructions from Butterick 6453 to help me remember how to do it.

A pattern I’ve used multiple times and while it’s very similar, I did not want a princess bodice to break up the stripes in the fabric.
Inserting the straps before sewing it all together. You have to leave the back straps open so you can go back and try on, and adjust the straps for fit.

:Now, I did not use the skirt from the vintage pattern. That skirt is just a plain large rectangle that is gathered at the waist. Instead, because I had plenty of fabric to work with, I opted for the skirt from the Liz pattern from charm patterns. It is a gathered quarter circle skirt. And there’s not as much gathering, so you don’t have as much bulk at the waist but you have lots of fullness in the skirt.

And of course the most important- POCKETS!!

Lucky for me the new issue of Threads magazine had a very lengthy article on gathering, and while it’s always a pain, having those tips made is easier and gave me pretty and even gathers.

That’s a lot of work right there.

Because the skirt has such a big wide sweep, the hemming of course took forever and I thought it would never end but here she is!

You can’t tell (and probably no one would ever be able to tell but me) but I still need to adjust this bodice a lot. I want to do a proper muslin because I see myself making many more of these!
A nice full skirt!

Up next: a crossword puzzle vintage top!

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