Shibori wrap dress…Simplicity 5404

I cannot believe its nearly May already (note – I started writing this post 3 days ago but then went to paint a room…..), the days here have been beautifully bright, and horribly cold, and somehow, I decided to shelve some slow-starting blouse projects and make a summer dress!

I dyed this fabric last year.  The vat of indigo dye seemed to go on dying forever, and I was running around getting any spare bits of white fabric and trying random ties at the end of the dye-spree, and this length of jersey was one.  I bought it a long time back and its that really thin curly jersey, so it was destined to languish for a while, and even after dying, I wasn’t really relishing cutting out on it.  I had tied random knots in it to tie-dye, so the dye marks go in varying directions.


This 70s pattern did have the cutest look, and what had I to lose?  I wasn’t sure where selvedges were and was really going to have to be careful to get everything cut, so I cut the skirt pieces first on either down grain or across, while trying to the the random dye streaks going in the same direction.  the 2 bodice pieces needed to be cut 4 times and again, squeezed it it, the tie belt was shortened, and one had to be made from 3 bits, but I managed to get it all in. (sign of relief)

Sewing it was okay – I really wasn’t looking forward to it as it was inclined to curl a bit and the worst curls was the belt as that had the straight lines, so I had to put iron on vilene strips along the edge to give me some control, I had such low expectations for the fabric, that all outcomes would be good eitherway.

The dress goes together easily, halter pieces sewn, the halter is lined in same fabric so edges enclosed.  I followed the instruction, and with hindsight probably should have used some twill tape or iron-on vilene for the halter as I am unsure if this will stretch more in time (I may yet top stitch it) – although the pattern didn’t state it.  Also, I had allowed a small bit extra at the waist (my waist is now 29 not 26) but ended up taking the bodice in after first fitting.

The dress is pretty much together, and I am pleased with the pattern.  The unfinished hem ends at knee, so it will get a tiny hem, and the halter back is too low for bra which is fine for this one, but if I was to make this again, I would put a bit more height in it.  Its lovely one, but lord only knows when the weather will be right, my optimism is intact for it, as I am thinking of dying a pair of old flip flops if I can get a denim leather dye!



I have to hand finish the hem, and the skirt fronts, and adjust the halter join,  which was to be done this weekend – in-between coats of paint, but I was pretty defeated by the first primer coat (who knew that a beetroot red lay underneath that wood-chip wallpaper) – but I have plenty of time next week for it – and not quite beach weather here yet.

Other than that, my ideas of what to make are bigger than I have time for so I am drawing them all out in a notebook and seeing which ideas make it to the top.  I swore once that I would never wear culottes again, and yet its looking like I will be making a pair soon, and now am further encouraged by a comment from Aimee from the ‘Wrong Doll’ who thinks they flatter the pearer shape…. so………… never say never

11 thoughts on “Shibori wrap dress…Simplicity 5404

      • Linda Wilson says:

        Don’t you just have that list to make in your head, then confuse yourself which you want to make next??? I do that all the time! I’m trying to decide what’s going to be my next make and need to finish a belt, but don’t have a buckle yet.
        You could add your dress to the Vintage Pledge site, they have a pinterest board!

        Liked by 1 person

  1. theupsew says:

    Yup! I tend to draw out my planned makes and pin them to the wall, which allows me a redraw – which is realistically the next plan is to draw out the new list! I should look up that pledge board – the next few blouses are vintage patterns, but the big thing I am looking forward to is we have planned a skill share w/shop on fabric printing (so really a day long 8smather’)and I (again) have planned some makes on that. Good luck on finding the buckle, and looking forward to your next make – your last post with the ribbing re-use has me checking out all vests here.


  2. wrong doll says:

    Your industrious and thrifty approach to using fabric never fails to amaze me – so much creativity and skill in one make. And you’ve managed to sew in between decorating which is no mean feat – I get completely absorbed in either thing and wouldn’t be able to tear myself away. However, I’m working on that need to rush to the finish line – if it’s my hobby for life, I might as well sit back a little more and enjoy the process. Wish I could join your skill share! And thanks for the mention – I’m shamelessly encouraging you to do the spade work on the culottes so I can reap the wisdom and follow suit!

    Liked by 1 person

    • theupsew says:

      Ha – I am really looking forward to making the culottes as planning them in my head is the most fun, and I am toying around with big pockets from a 40s skirt, which is why I will spend a portion of tomorrow notebooking to see what I am making and where is it going… these are not definitive but it help me stay a bit focussed and finish rather than going off on tangents. I am still just using up fabric from ‘stash’ and charity shop buys from last year (and I truly dont buy much) so its all there just waiting to be sewn…I may put some pics of plans together in a post soon….. loved your instagram posts – will try and look up the other fashion revolution ones over the week

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Zoe says:

    What a fantastic dress! I wish you many many sunny days to wear it in. I know exactly what you mean about wayyyy more ideas for garments to sew than time to sew them in! Great idea to note them down and see which bubble up to the top. All the best xxx

    Liked by 1 person

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