Hello! I'm Suzannah, a serious DIYer and mom of two little ones. Follow along with my DIY fixer upper house renovations, sewing and crafty projects, real food recipes, and de-stressing goals.
I believe you can love your home just the way it is, AND have the power to design and make big changes to make it better.
I'm also the author of DIY Wardrobe Makeovers!

Vintage pattern, vintage fabric, vintage ric rac dress

I talked the other day about vintage patterns--here's a success story about one!

I love this vintage Simplicity pattern, 6899, and have wanted to make it for a while.  I couldn't decide about the sleeves... the ruffle is SO not me, but I wasn't sure I wanted short puff sleeves, either, and I knew I didn't want long sleeves for a short dress.  The short length makes it look less 70's and more contemporary/wearable.

You can see in this pic the vintage 1960's black print I used, and what cut vintage pattern pieces look like... it seems odd to me that patterns were sold with only one size in the envelope, but when you see it like this it makes it look so much easier to cut out that way.  As long as you don't change size!
I also used some tiny vintage ricrac, in red, along the neckline.  I sewed it on before I sewed the fashion fabric to the lining so it is very smooth.

Here it is...

The pointed shape at the bust is cute and not something you see on a ton of modern patterns!

As I finished this dress, I saw on the cover of a month-old Lucky magazine (which I still haven't read... oops! I am so behind on my pile of magazines!), Zooey Deschanel in a Marc Jacobs dress with a similar basic shape!  And the little black/red print on a white background, unlike my simple white/red/tan print on a black background.  Of course hers is much shorter... not sure that's as practical as mine ;). Super cute, though, and with the ruffles on the upper bodice!  In that lovely semi-sheer fabric.

Anyway.  I'm glad I made this pattern up since I am thinking of using it for one, maybe two, of my bridesmaid dresses this summer.  We're emulating the bodices of some J.Crew dresses that are kinda similar.  Anyway... here it is!  Now I'm just ready for some warmer, sunnier days!

Vintage fabric made into a vintage pattern with vintage trim!  But fun to wear for 2011.


  1. So pretty, and the ric rac detail is just enough. Trim is so hard to do right (at least for me) and this looks great.

  2. looks lovely, it's nice that you've kept it all vintage too :)


  3. I love it! I made a very similar dress last summer using a re-print butterick pattern (5209) from the 1947. Mine has kind of a cap sleeve on it but I love the sleeveless look of yours!

  4. Oh my goodness! I have this dress!! The long version, with ruffle sleeves (which I've never been too fond of, either). My grandmother made it when this pattern was new, in a gorgeous dark green polka dot fabric. I've never seen the actual pattern before, so this was a real treat. Now that I've seen it short and without the ruffle sleeves, I might go ahead and alter it. Thank you!

  5. Good call on not including the ruffles on the shoulder... I think without them the dress looks modern and totally up to date. From a distance the fabric looks like a black and white polka dot.

  6. I love it! The short ruffly sleeves could work for the dress in a solid color but would have probably been too much for the print. Warmer weather is coming (at least it's coming for one day here).

  7. I like your version much better than the Marc Jacobs version...not all women can pull off extra ruffles like Zoey can, and seriously, that length is not very practical. Great bridesmaid dress idea...

  8. So pretty and very versatile, love the ric-rac detail :)

  9. Gorgeous! You are so talented! I hope I can sew something that complicated one day. :)

  10. Very cute! I think it would make a beautiful bridesmaids dress. I'm excited to see what you come up with!

  11. Thanks, everyone!! I guess it is good to keep things vintage when you can.

    @TheYellowRose, that is so cool! I guess it was a popular pattern back in its day!



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