Hi everyone! Today’s post is going to be about a fabulous dress pattern I had the pleasure of sewing up for the first time ever. It is the Lulu Dress by Sew Over It. This dress is a take on the classic shift, with sleeves and a gathered, keyhole neckline that closes with a button. It is so adorably cute and sophisticated at the same time! And, done with the right print, can be delightfully “modern vintage.”
I had briefly mentioned this before in previous posts, but if there is anything I would like you to know about me, it is that I adore anything Vintage. I especially adore Vintage Fashion. No matter the era, there is always something to love about the fads and trends of the past. Throughout my sewing journey, I thought it would be fun for myself to set a goal of making at least one (ALL!) of my favorite fashion pieces from each decade.
So for today’s Blast From the Past, I’m gonna take you all the way back in time to the Swinging Sixties!
As far as fashion goes, the 60s had some pretty awesome trends that I really love: bell bottoms, babydoll dresses, plaid mini-skirts, colored tights, platform sandals, go-go boots, etc. But the one popular clothing item women of the 60s often wore, and that I absolutely can’t get enough of today, is the ever-so-chic, ever-so-classic SHIFT DRESS.
What makes a shift dress so great is that not only is it such a simple and classic look, but the silhouette of this dress is very versatile, meaning that it can accommodate many different body types because of its flattering, slightly A-line/boxy shape. For me, I am, albeit, slightly “boxy” myself, so this kind of dress suits me. Also, the fact that they are meant to be worn short bodes really well with my, well, shortness! ☺️ In today’s time, the shift still remains a top choice among dresses for women.
Oh, how I covet that Boden dress!! I searched and searched for it, but it’s out of stock and unavailable everywhere I looked!! I want it!!😭😭😭
Sorry. I’m done now.
While searching for the perfect shift dress to make, I had lots of patterns to choose from, but what drew me to the Lulu were the cute little details in the neckline that gave it a little bit of modernity, but also a little whimsy too. The slight gathering on the front instead of using darts is a nice little touch to give the dress some form in the chest area. I also love the different sleeve options. For my dress I chose the short sleeves as opposed to my usual favorite, the 3/4 sleeve.
Now that I had the perfect dress pattern, I needed the perfect fabric to make it with. The pattern trend in the 60s ranged anywhere from bold, bright, psychedelic, geometric shapes to Mod stripes, checks, and plaids to hippie-whimsical, all-over floral patterns. I tend to naturally gravitate toward floral patterns, so I set out to find one that wasn’t too costume-y or overly bold and intense in style and color. Ideally, I was looking for a floral print in muted browns, yellows, and oranges, but when I saw this green Robert Kaufman print I was completely won over!
I got this fabric in a cotton lawn from Hart’s Designer Fabric. I like that the colors are muted: not too bright or garish. The all-over flower print (the Daisies, especially) is so reminiscent of the 60s, but it’s not so out-there to make it seem like I’m wearing a costume. The lawn is perfect for this dress too because it is so comfortably soft and breathable. Just right for summer! Even though it wasn’t overly sheer or see-through, I did end up interlining the front and back of the dress with cotton batiste, just to give it a little more structure, heaviness, and shape. I just realized that this particular fabric would make for some really nice sheets and pillowcases…hmmm? Next project, maybe?
As for the finished product: Ohhh, she turned out so beautifully!
I am loving the finished look of this dress! I made the right decision to interline the main pieces with the batiste because it made the colors in the dress stand out more. It’s hard to tell, but I chose not to line the raglan sleeves (something I kinda wish I did in hindsight), but no matter, the dress still looks good without it. But seriously though. Sleeves are not my favorite part to do when it comes to sewing clothing. I still find it confusing and nerve-wracking every time I have to do it! Does it just get easier with time? I would think constant practice would make it so, but I wonder if even experienced sewists still struggle with sleeves…
I’m really loving the neckline details of this dress. I tried the look with the button undone, and it still looked lovely, although I didn’t take a picture of it, I don’t know why. Isn’t the floral print so pretty, tho?? The hubs said I reminded him of a 60’s housewife, which was exactly what I was going for, thankyouverymuch!
After making the dress, I realized I needed to pair it with some really great shoes. I started panicking a little because at first, I couldn’t find the perfect shoes that had the right 60’s vibe in my closet. But then I remembered that I absolutely DID have the perfect pair of shoes in my closet–my Cider Brogues from B.A.I.T. Footwear.
Oops! Excuse the slight blurriness in the first pic. Bad editing on my part, but it’s the only pic I had that included my shoes. The last time I wore these shoes was with a 50’s fit-and-flair dress, and since then, they have been hiding in a corner of my closet until today. These girly-brogues are perfectly 60’s inspired and oh-so-cute with this dress, I think. Of course, you could also pair this with some really groovy, white go-go boots if you really want to “time-travel” back to the 60’s.
This dress was honestly so fun to make! I really took my time with this one, because I love the fabric so much and I didn’t want to make any mistakes. I don’t remember exactly how much yardage I ended up using, but this dress requires a little over two yards to complete. I always end up using less though, because my height just requires less fabric, haha! Cotton lawn is pretty easy to work with. It’s not so “fidgety,” and the interlining helped make it even easier, although I did switch out my standard needle for a finer one because it’s so lightweight. When attaching the batiste interlining to the main fabric pieces, I baste stitched it to the fabric first with a darker thread so it stayed put, and then just followed the pattern directions normally. In the end, it was easy to see and rip out the basting stitches since I used a different color. I also shortened my stitch length because I noticed the lawn tended to pucker a bit in places when sewing. I french-seamed the sides of the dress, which is an ideal finish for lawn, but I admit I got a little impatient with the sleeves and ended up finishing the rest of them with just an overlock stitch. It worked fine for me. I finished the end sleeves and bottom edge with a simple, 1/4″ narrow hem. I actually had to learn how to make a thread loop for the button on the neckline. It’s very simple to make, but not as simple as I thought it would be. Professor Pincushion has a whole tutorial for making one here. One of the best parts about it: No required zipper! This is a total pull-on/pull-off dress. Easy and effortless, and I saved myself some sewing time! Score!
With the sleeves being my only challenge, I would agree that this is rightly placed in the “Easy” category. I didn’t have any trouble putting this beauty together. Would I make this again? Totally!!
How would I rate the Lulu Dress by Sew Over It: 🧵🧵🧵🧵🧵!
Ohh, before I leave, there is one other thing I wanted to mention about my love for anything Vintage: I also love “vintage” music! I grew up appreciating all the Oldies because my parents were always playing it at home or in the car. As I continued to grow up, the music just happened to stay with me, and nowadays, oldies are pretty much all I like to listen to…I’m partial to the sixties and seventies, but for real…50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s…all vintage era music is the BEST!
When it comes to sewing, I often like to set the mood with music because it helps get me into the swing of things, and also just helps me to relax. So, for fun, I’m gonna leave you my random 60s music playlist, in case you need some groovy tunes to get you in the mood to sew up something far-out and totally boss! 😉 Sew long, sweeties!