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.


  1. says

    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.

  2. says

    Ah, you are a regulare Scarlet O&#39;Hara ( remember in Gone with the Wind she makes herself a new gown from the draperies.)<br />Your sheering the top made it special.

  3. says

    Beautiful!!!! I haven&#39;t tackled the elastic thread yet…a little intimidated!! Might try it to make an old sheet look like that!!<br /><br />Blessings,<br /><br />KT

  4. says

    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.

  5. says

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

  6. says

    I&#39;m sure your daughter will treasure this dress as she grows up. Makes me wish I&#39;d saved some of those old sheets that went to DI.

  7. Genie says

    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!

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