2016 Summer Frock Parade – Vintage Lavender

This is probably my favourite of all the dresses I made this summer, I just love how it turned out.

This was the happy result of a vintage dress inspiration and the right fabric coming along at the right time.

Here is the original dress that happened along my Pinterest feed and set the ball rolling:

Vintage 1950s Dress / by TuesdayRoseVintage:

It was love at first sight and I decided I *needed* a border print dress. I took to Etsy (I really prefer their platform to eBay’s, I find it much more user-friendly) and scoured the listings for a border print I liked.

And I found this:

Vintage Floral Border Print Cotton Fabric // 3 yards 33 in by 37 inches wide > purple, yellow on white- dress, skirt

I know it’s not exactly the same but it was more than close enough for me! I snapped it up immediately and eagerly awaited its arrival.

I looked through my vintage pattern stash for the same style of bodice as the original dress and decided on this one:


I just modified it slightly to omit the button-front (though I’d like to include it another time I use this pattern, I think it’s super cute!)

And here’s how mine turned out:


A big thank you to Taylor of Dames a la Mode for playing photographer for me for this dress, the last dress post and a few more to come!

The border print was only along one edge so both skirt and bodice were cut along it to get this pattern placement effect.


While the 4 yds of fabric I got (that’s all there was, it’s an actual vintage piece of yardage) may seem like a lot, the bodice took nearly a whole yard of the border print leaving only 3 yards for the skirt. This may still seem like a lot, but I would have loved to be able to put a full 4 yards into the skirt to make it *really* full!


However, I’m really not gonna complain too much!


I decided on an invisible zipper up the back to be as unobtrusive as possible while still providing a back closure (I believe I’ve mentioned how much I dislike both sewing and wearing side dress zippers) – and I happened to have one in my zipper stash (yes, I have a zipper stash, I have stashes for just about everything sewing related – it’s better than drugs, right?).


The pattern doesn’t match at centre back, I didn’t want to waste any of the print, but it’s busy/full enough that it’s not jarring, thank goodness.


When the fabric came I went through my grosgrain ribbon stash (see what I mean?) to see if I had a colour that would both go with the print and resemble the shade of the original dress.



I also found in the bias binding stash (yup, seriously) another not-quite-the-same-as-the-ribbon shade that matched the print well and used it for a flat piping. If you aren’t familiar with it, flat piping is basically like piping without the cord in it. You sew it exactly the same way, just omitting the cord part – another sort of lazy trick. I think the original dress has white, proper piping, but I liked the look of the lavender better for my dress.


And, confession time: I bought these shoes to go with the dress. I hummed and hahed about it for a few weeks because it seemed so silly to buy (not cheap) shoes in an impractical colour/material (lavender suede – I may be able to wear them about twice/year) but they were just so perfect for the dress! And…..don’t hate me, but they’re Ivanka Trump shoes. That was another reason for hesitating but again – just too perfect! I console myself with having eventually gotten them for almost half off so there was significantly less profit made from them. Credit where credit is due, Ivanka Trump has some pretty great taste. Now I need to make more pieces to go with these shoes to help justify them a little more, lol.


According to these photos this dress may not be that absolutely most flattering on me but I don’t care! I think it’s beautiful and I love it! Though maybe I should wear something like a longline bra under it to get a nicer, smoother fit to the bodice.

A couple interior shots:


I did my usual bodice-only lining of cotton voile, in white. The only downside to this dress is no pockets – I didn’t want to cut up the border print any more than I had to so it’s got only one seam at the centre back, finished with white cotton bias binding. The hem is a nice 2+ deep one so that the print begins close to the bottom edge of the finished skirt.


19 thoughts on “2016 Summer Frock Parade – Vintage Lavender

    • Thank you, and yes it certainly was! I can’t count all the hours I’ve spent trolling the internet for just the right fabric for something only to come up empty-handed. Or hummed and hahed over something until it was either gone or I forgot about it. This was an instant bingo!


  1. You got every inch/centimeter out of that yardage, you made it cry a pretty dress! Such fine work (love flat piping, it’s like a tiny step down layer right at the edge, and it does help ‘finish’ the edge on a print)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Okay, this is it!! Do you want/need an apprentice? I just want to move in, sit at your feet, look, learn, and sew for a few months; that’s all, just a few.

    This dress is stunning. I don’t know why you think it not flattering as ever (from what I read in your post); but it IS my dear lovely.

    Border prints have been catching my eye since I set out on vintage style sewing. Finding one that is affordable AND that I like has proven challenging but truth be told I have not tried very hard. THIS fabric is absolutely pretty. I like it.

    Again, I am in awe of the INSIDES of your garments. Bravo! They are are it should be. I will rise to the occasion in this area.

    Thank you again for this share.




    • Haha, thank you so much! And thank you for visiting! I hadn’t really thought that much about border prints lately either until I happened upon my inspiration dress (and then saw the Flamingo print fabric on facebook). But if you just do a simple search on etsy for border print fabric that are lots of lovely options both new and vintage!


  3. Reblogged this on Sew Lyrically Vintage and commented:
    As I haven’t blogged in a while, I just had to share Modern Mantua Maker’s frock. Lovely puts it moldly. I am truly inspired to step up my game as it pertains to the INSIDE of my garments. She rocked this dress and check out her shoes people!


  4. Pingback: A New Old(er) Dress | The Quintessential Clothes Pen

  5. Wow, I absolutely love your border print dress! I say this as a seamstress who has been sewing for over 50 years, and my specialty is vintage dresses from the 50’s. I love the way you figured out how to best use every inch of your fabric and how you finished the neck & sleeves with flat piping. Thanks for showing us the inside, too. The back is as good as the front with that visible zipper and the lavender ribbon belt is brilliant. I think it looks fabulous on you so I hope you wear it often and proudly!


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