Vintage Border Dress

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A while back, I came upon a photo of a dress I absolutely loved.

The dress had an amazing vintage feel, and I was simply loving the toile border print across the bottom of the dress.  So, I set about trying to figure out how to make this dress for myself.

I never did find a toile border print, but I did find a fun border print that I loved – Effervescence by Amelia Caruso for Robert Kaufman Fabrics.

So, I had a great fabric, but I still needed a pattern.  I could try to make one, but I’m just not that brave yet, so instead I stopped by the sites of the big 4 pattern makers, hoping to find something in their vintage or retro section that would be close.  Can you believe that I found the actual pattern?  It’s a vintage Vogue pattern (number V8789 if you’d like to make one for yourself).

I did a combination of these sample dress designs, pairing the border print on the skirt with the v-neck bodice.

finished vintage border dress

I made a few other simple modifications to the pattern.  I shortened the hemline about 10 inches, and made the skirt pleated instead of drindle style – which helped the skirt to lay flatter across my (very wide) hips.  I also cut down on the amount of fabric for the skirt going from 4 yards to a little less than 3.

vintage border dress hemline

vintage border dress pleat detail

I also chose to do a rolled hem on the arms instead of a facing. I will eventually finish these seams further using a bias tape method.

vintage border dress arm detail

Just a note, that since it’s a vintage pattern, the sizes run ridiculously small.  I normally sew myself a 4 or 6 in new patterns, but in this one I was a size 12 (I could have maybe made a 10, but was worried about the fit through the hips).  So just be mentally prepared to sew a larger size, and possibly to do a little pattern grading if you’re on the larger side.

vintage border dress tag detail

One more addition to this dress was a tag in the back.  I’m hoping it will make it easy to pull the dress out of the closet and throw it on, even with the v-neck on the front and back of the dress.

vintage border dress

vintage border dress

Now, for a nice non-rainy day so I can take some well lit photos of the dress.

Sharing this project over on:
Made by You Monday at Skip to my Lou
Make It Wear It Thursday at The Train to Crazy


  1. Susan on March 25, 2013 at 8:14 am

    I love it! What is funny is that I have that toile dress picture too, wondering if I should try to make something like it :). Nice work, great fabric, and awesome shoes!

    • Andrea on March 25, 2013 at 10:30 am

      You should definitely make one. It was really simple to put together, and I know it would look great on you.

  2. Ann Hyneman on March 25, 2013 at 4:13 pm

    Beautiful material and beautiful dress!!! So much talent! Love the pleats!!

    • Andrea on March 27, 2013 at 8:33 am

      Thanks mom (but I think you might be a little biased)!

  3. Rachel on March 25, 2013 at 8:58 pm

    Awesome fabric! How exciting you found the pattern, great sew up!

    • Andrea on March 27, 2013 at 8:32 am

      Thanks so much Rachel. I had a lot of fun looking at all the border prints.

  4. Catherine on June 1, 2015 at 7:57 pm

    Wow, just wow. Love it; your dress looks amazing. Do you remember which colorway it was?
    I have to try using this.

    • Andrea on June 2, 2015 at 8:48 am

      I believe I did mine in spice, but I have seen all of the colorways in person at my local fabric shop and they are all gorgeous.

  5. Catherine on June 2, 2015 at 5:58 pm

    Wow! Honestly, the more I look at it, the more I like it. It is magical, utterly charming.

  6. Catherine on June 26, 2015 at 6:10 pm

    Found a copy of Vogue 8789, too!

    • Andrea on June 26, 2015 at 7:39 pm

      That’s awesome! I had to order mine from the Vogue website. They have a nice set of vintage patterns there.

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