Pink has been a reoccurring color in my life lately, which is a bit odd, considering it is not my favorite color in the world. Chocolate brown, coral, plum and green in every shade I love—pink, not so much. Favorite colors aside and continuing on with the pink theme, this week we’re taking a closer look at a dress Betty wears during dinner at home in episodes 2 (Ladies Room) and 7 (Red in the Face).
This would be a pretty easy dress to re-create and if you already have a stash of vintage patterns, chances are you have something similar to this or a pattern that could be easily altered. But more on that later. First up, fabric! I personally would make this up in a green stripe, but if you have your heart set on pink, here a just a few choices I found (mostly natural fibers, because I hate polyester):
Okay, so you’ve picked out your fabric and bought matching buttons & thread and even found some vintage faux pearl earrings because you are going to do this the right way. Now you need a pattern! These are two possibilities I like a lot:
In both patterns, the girl in plaid smack dab in the middle is the look we are going for. I really like these pattern as is—but with a little tweaking it’ll work for our version of Betty’s dress.
We’re going to swap the pleated & gathered skirt for a full circle skirt with the seams in the front and back. Do not be scared. This is really, really, super simple and anyone can do it. You may even have a pattern piece from a different pattern you could use for this. If not, don’t worry, because it is really easy to make your own. I’ve gone through the steps on flickr, but I hope to make this into a PDF file sometime soon so it will be easier for you to follow at home. The first thing you need to do figure out the finished waist measurement on the dress, which is usually printed in the instructions, or on a pattern piece. From there, use the following formula, chart and tutorial to draft your pattern:
Both of these patterns I’ve shown you have the right collar for our look, but what if it didn’t? What if you bought the pattern at a thrift store because it was a quarter and then you discovered you were missing the collar pieces (can you tell this has happened to me on more than one occasion)? Have no fear, Christine is here with another tutorial! It may look a bit intimidating, but it’s mostly tracing, which we all learned in kindergarten, so I think you can handle it.
There you go, two tutorials in one day! If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email me and I’ll do my best to help you out. And please let me know if I missed a step or if something is unclear—I will admit that I was running back and forth from my sewing room to the living room watching the inauguration parade & other festivities…so I was a bit distracted…but happily so.