Vintage-Inspired Orange Dress

I really, really love this dress. And it doesn’t fit me.

I’m so freaking mad. I cut the bodice out of Simplicity 1873 (after altering the waistline, neckline, and adding placement lines for the bodice) size 10. Technically, I’m a size 12, but I’ve found that patterns generally run large and it said it had 3″ give.

It lied.

What should have fit my 28″ waist easily, ended up as a 26″ waist with both back darts taken out. I really have no idea who the pattern is supposed to fit, because it fit me in the bust and shoulders just fine (and I’d like to think I’m fairly proportional).

So my options are to either lose 2″ in the waist (haha, nope), sell it to one of my skinny friends, or sell it on Etsy. Because I like food and one of my friends would look awesome in this dress, I’m going to compromise: put it on my new Etsy shop and tell my friend to buy it.

vintage-inspired orange dress

Okay. Info time:


  • Orange Fabric: faux suede from Joann Fabrics
  • Lace: also from Joann Fabrics, but it’s actually two pieces sewn together (more on that later)
  • Buttons: La Mode style 5104, Joann Fabrics
  • Lining: peach polyester I already had, no idea where it’s from
  • Zipper: 22″ Tangerine Zipper, Joann Fabrics


  1. I made the darts in the front and back (the back ones were later removed because of fitting issues) and added the lace detailing. The lace is the edge from lace trim aligned to look like one piece and then stitched down. This part went remarkably well — the darts in the front fit me perfectly and the lace cooperated.

    vintage-inspired orange dress
    the lace detailing
  2. I drafted a quick circle skirt pattern and cut it out with the front panel on the fold so there wouldn’t be an ugly seam down the front. I sewed it together without any problems.
  3. Lining time, same as #1, but without the details. Then I sewed the bodice to the lining around the neckline and armhole edges, turned and pressed it (with a brief cursing break when I turned it without clipping the seams), and sewed the sides together. This is when I tried it on and realized that it was never going to fit me. Cue the “oh crap” moment.
  4. [insert various curse words and failed solutions here as you see fit]
  5. Cue me giving up and sewing it to fit a smaller person. After the skirt was sewn to the bodice, it was time for the zipper. This part was actually fun because it was my first ever invisible zipper and it went incredibly successfully. It was also the first thing I did Sunday morning, so it was a nice start to the day.

    the zipper
    the zipper
  6. I hand-sewed the lining to the zipper.

Now all I have left to do is finish sewing the lining to the bodice at the waist and hemming it (both hand-sewing, both boring). My goal is to finish it before midnight tonight (before the first day of school). We’ll see how that goes.

I’m going to get better pictures of it in the future, hopefully with skinny-friend in it. For now, here you go 😀

Thanks for reading! What do you think?

–Samantha 😀



7 thoughts on “Vintage-Inspired Orange Dress

  1. This is a really sweet dress! I feel your pain that you can’t wear it, but hopefully it will go to a nice home and get the wear it deserves! That suede must feel lovely. I love the lace and buttons at the front, it finishes the dress off beautifully 🙂


    1. Yeah. It was a really horribly moment when I had the bodice all sewn and tried it on and … those two inches were not going to magically appear. Luckily, it has found a home with one of my friends who will probably wear it more than I would. It takes a bit of the sting off 😀


What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s