Sunday, 23 August 2015

Upcycled Vintage 50s Border Print Dress

When is a sheet not a sheet?  When it has been upcycled into a 50s style border print dress.

This "No Iron Muslin Tastemaker made in USA for JP Stevens & Co Inc" sheet was so pretty that it has been sitting in the craft cupboard for a couple of years awaiting transformation.  It has a lovely border print of swirling flowers in aqua, green, blue & mauve so was always destined to be a 50s style frock.  

I am drafting lots of my own patterns these days using instructions from booklets in my vintage sewing library.  I was influenced by some 1950s "And So to Sew" booklets produced by the Needlework Development Scheme in Glasgow and used these as inspiration for the dress.  The skirt was simply the width of the border section of the sheet cut to length.  I have noticed that in lots of the 50s dresses coming into the charity shop the pockets are placed almost on the sides of the skirt (some are even placed diagonally, will try that next time) so I made sure to put the pockets near to the side seams of the dress. 

Buttonholes on the Pfaff are simply magic and it was a good excuse to use some of my vintage buttons (many found by my Dad the Buttoneer!) - these pretty aqua buttons have a frosted appearance.

I haven't done any dressmaking for a long time, mainly concentrating on my needlecrafts (handbags, upcycled tops & skirts etc), but now I am the proud owner of my lovely Pfaff sewing machine & Juki overlocker I decided to attempt a dress.  The combination of the two machines really works for me, even though I am still getting my head round constructing garments using an overlocker (serger).  


  1. The dress is gorgeous
    Julie xxxx

  2. Thanks Julie, I was really pleased how this worked out & am going to use the pattern to upcycle more textiles x

  3. I wish I could find NDS booklet 26A online! Very cool; thanks.


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