the 50s Day Dress, part 2

So in my last post, I mentioned that I had tried out several patterns hoping to perfect one for my tried-and-true 50's day dress. The first was my altered-beyond-recognition Butterick shift. The second, for your perusal today (and I apologize for the lackluster photos), is Simplicity 2444.

This is a big favorite with sewing bloggers, and I've seen many adorable versions. My favorite is Cynthia of Dapper Duds Sweet Bow Dress. It fits her perfectly and the simple shape lets the Marc Jacobs (eep!) fabric really shine. I love this dress, its a little bit twee in a good way--she did say she was inspired by Zooey Dechanel when designing her version, after all.


For my version, I whipped up a little summery peplum top in an almost-seersucker cotton shirting fabric. I just used the bodice of the dress and attached a double ruffle where the skirt would be on the dress itself. I don't anticipate having any issues with the skirt when I finally stitch up a full dress, and I was trying to use up some stash material and fill the "cute tops" hole in my wardrobe. The original idea was to make piping for around the neck and at the waist, but I need to practice a little bit more. I ended up seam-ripping the neck piping out, and instead, bound the arms with self-fabric bias tape on the outside for that little bit of interest.

The bodice is slightly big on me overall-- I think I will make it at least one size smaller. I cut an 8, and the pattern goes down to a 4. Peplum waists work better if the waist actually, you know, fits your waist instead of floating away from it. I was worried about the double bust darts, since they are such a great design feature, but I sometimes have to do SBAs and I didn't really want to fiddle with two darts (I know it shouldn't be harder than one, but... still). It turns out they are fine!

sad droopy untied ties that sadly looked better than the horrendously tied bow
The front and back necklines gape. Unfortunately, I'm not sure what caused this--it is entirely possible that it is from seam-ripping off the facing to get the piping out, stretching the fabric. The back I have to redo--I realized my zipper was too short and tried to improvise by adding a cute bow back tie at the neck, but unfortunately, the heavy bow combined with the keyhole just droops and looks miserable. Once I get a longer zipper, the droopy bow problem will be resolved, and I'll be able to tell if its just the heavy bow or if the back neckline needs some darts.

In conclusion, this top needs some work to be wearable, but I have high hopes for this dress once I find the right size, so a full make of 2444 in a smaller size is on my short list of makes for this spring. I haven't been doing a ton of sewing recently, but I have been doing a lot of scheming and daydreaming :)

miss allie


  1. i think the top looks very cute from the front! i like the double ruffle at the waist is very cute indeed. thank you for sharing the good and the more challenging parts of your sewing adventure.

  2. can t wait to see the finished article, am sure it will be super sweet!



Back to Top