Monday, August 6, 2012

The Swing Dance Dress

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How to make a vintage dress

Alright, doesn't this dress just make you want to go swing dancing?! I love it. For starters, the fabric is so gorgeous. It is from my sponsor Skye Reve Fabrics and it is just as soft as it is beautiful. The particular fabric I used is by Patty Sloniger and can be found here, When I spotted it, it was like the Pier 1 commercial where the items talk to you. In this situation, the materiel clearly said, "Wouldn't I make a beautiful summer dress for you to go dancing in?" And so it began...

I used 2 yards of fabric to make this dress. I started out by cutting two pieces of material that were 33 inches by 23 inches. I hemmed the bottom of each piece and then placed the two pieces front to front and sewed up the sides. Now I had my "skirt" portion of the dress.

To make the top I cut out two identical pieces that would serve as the front and back. I also cut out four identical "sleeves". I pinned two sleeve sections to the front and two to the back piece and then sewed. When that was done I pinned the front and back pieces front to front and sewed and now I had my top.

 This is a picture of the sleeve pinned to the front of the shirt

 This photo shows the front of the shirt with the sleeves sewn on. I then made the back of the shirt look exactly the same and then sewed the two pieces together, front to front.

Since I hate using zippers or buttons I was determined to create this dress without needed either. Because of this I ended up needing to cut a slit down the front of my top so that it would go over my shoulders. Below you can see the finished top, after I cut the slit and after I completed the binding around the edges.

 Once you've completed the binding, all you need to do is attach the skirt portion. The skirt is obviously much wider than the top and so you will need to make multiple pleats. Because I didn't do a zipper I left some extra room in the center of the skirt so that I could pull it over my shoulders. Once it was on I hid this extra material with the belt I made. I couldn't be happier with the way the dress turned out and the best part is that I can use the pattern for the top for so many other things. (Jackets, shirts, more dresses etc...)

sewing project dress

Lilly really wanted to be in a picture too!

Let me know what you think, would you change anything?


  1. Cute dress! Definitely good for dancing. I think if you have extra material you should make Lilly a dress from the same material.

  2. Pretty and great fabric choice!

  3. Super pretty! And yes, it would be PERFECT for swing dancing! I haven't done any swing since college, but boy did I love it! :-) And it was always so much fun with a swishy dress. (I always had to wear short though too, because I was crazy about the flips and handstands.)

  4. Choosing a best dancing dress is definitely good for dancing. Thanks for sharing such beautiful dancing dress with us. Keep sharing...
    Dance Dress Shop