Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Vintage Sheet Dress

I've been collecting vintage sheets for a little while now.  I went through them recently and realized, it was time to actually DO something with them. Last summer I planned to make skirts and dresses and quilts. Instead, we moved. SO HAPPY not to be doing that again this summer. So this year, I sew!
 
The new dress came from this sheet, which I really love.  It's funny because I found a flat sheet and a fitted sheet in this pattern and different times and locations. (Isn't it funny how often you find repeats of patterns when looking for vintage sheets? If you've been collecting a while, you know what I mean. Not as much variety 20+ years ago. Which is not necessarily bad. Okay, I'm waffling. . .) 

Anyway, I loved that bright pink edge. Then I had the brilliant idea to make that the bottom edge of the dress. No hemming required! I know, I'm a genius. (That, plus I'm lazy. I love shortcuts!)
 
I used this much of the sheet (I think it was probably a Queen size originally.) I measured and cut the finished length. For the width, I doubled the finish measurement. I hemmed the top edge and sewed one seam up the back. All I had left was the shirring (gathering the bodice).
 
I've wanted to try shirring every since I watched Heather Ross make it look so easy on Martha. (You can watch the video at this link too!)  Sandi Henderson also has a great tutorial.  The secret is elastic sewing thread. It's pretty snazzy. I found it at a chain sewing store.
 
And here are the end results.  It takes a little bit of time to sew all those seams, but I basically finished this dress in one evening. My daughter wore it to church on Sunday and played in it all day. Perfect for a warm, sunny spring day.  The fabric is so soft and durable - I also love the thought that because it's a blend, I won't need to iron it. I will probably make more. Especially considering the fact that the whole dress (elastic thread included) cost less than $6. Nice.

30 comments:

Tara said...

love the idea of using the vintage sheets.

angela said...

that's a super cute dress!!

Brenda said...

I love it! What a great idea. i am just starting to collect. i have a few pillowcases.

Mauri said...

Beautiful dress! When do I get to go thrifting with you? We really need to get together once school is out and life slows down a little bit.

RaisinCookies said...

So cute! I love it.

Jeannette said...

Ah, you are a regulare Scarlet O'Hara ( remember in Gone with the Wind she makes herself a new gown from the draperies.)
Your sheering the top made it special.

estroJen said...

Great idea!!! Love the dress :)

Peggy said...

What a cute little dress, you would never know that it was made from a sheet. Love it!!!

ktquilts said...

Beautiful!!!! I haven't tackled the elastic thread yet...a little intimidated!! Might try it to make an old sheet look like that!!

Blessings,

KT

Leslie said...

sandi hendersons tute makes it looks so easy...is it really? i am a little afraid of the elastic but the result is so great. i love the dress you made...it looks so comfie.

A. said...

Yeah!! Love the smocking, love the hem. I think if that dress were mine, I would promptly go take a nap. Mmmm naaaaap....

Nedra said...

I'm sure your daughter will treasure this dress as she grows up. Makes me wish I'd saved some of those old sheets that went to DI.

Jo's Place said...

So pretty :)

Patty said...

Very clever.

Alisa said...

This is one of the nicest I've seen! Nice.

girlsmama said...

I need to come over and learn shirring! I tried once and it didn't go well. Your's looks great!

ohiostar5 said...

Too, too cute. I think I used to have those sheets. BettyLou

Angie said...

Awesome! The dress turned out beautifully! I am a bit scared of shirring. I just need to give it a go and try!

Crunchy Sews said...

It looks sweet on her.

Nanette Merrill and daughters said...

Oh wow. It is darling. What a great method. So cute.

Stacy (S.E.W.Butterfly) said...

so lovely...and, thrifty! wonderful job!

madebymum said...

you are clever.

NanaKaren said...

What an adorable dress! The vintage sheet is perfect for this pattern.

Chris said...

love the vintage sheet used like this. Nice work on this dress.

Whosies said...

i love the sheets with that additional little color accent on the bottom hem or the lace trim! cute, cute cute!

http://patchworkposse.com

Katy said...

Absolutely adorable! Now I need to go out and find some elastic thread!

Michelle said...

Adorable, you make magic!

Ashlee said...

SO cute. I've enjoyed working with Elastic thread, I'll have to try this one soon! Adorable!

roseylittlethings said...

Would love to feature your tutorial on the vintage sheet blog. please let me know if that would be all right. http://vintagesheets.blogspot.com

Genie said...

You warm my heart! Great ideas so well executed. Thrifting recycling reusing is the best life. Such a lucky lucky family to have you and THANKS so much for sharing with us all. Your inspirations will keep multiplying as we all pass them forward!