I have been fascinated by these dress pattern, looks so so cute, and only one pattern piece – so little sewing, and in the 60s quite a few pattern companies did different variations of this dress. I drafted a pattern that I thought would work, while based on a Butterick illustration here, I put the shaping darts high (at armhole) and made a one piece pattern, The nice thing about this pattern is you can make something from a length of of fabric you are precious about and still make something again from it later as the dress has only armhole cuts (I get preoccupied with a stash of fabric becoming too big and redundant!).
The dress is straightforward to sew, the darts are sewn, then the shoulder seams. I hemmed the sides and hem, and then used bias binding to finish the armholes and neck.
I had picked up tablecloth in a charity shop, and while the embroidery on it was lovely, the faded background was uneven, so I dyed it after making the dress. The embroidery took the dye as well (I thought it might but would have been equally happy if it didn’t). Great dress for the beach as a cover up, and if you wear a slip underneath it would work fine as a dress, or made shorter it makes a cute tunic.
Comments online re 3 armhole dress suggest a similar design was in use in hospitals for patients? sounds better than the back-tie tunic that used be given out.
If you wish for a copy of my drafted pattern for this, it can be downloaded from google drive in the pattern links tab at the top of this page.