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.

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  • Reply
    May 19, 2010 at 6:20 am

    love the idea of using the vintage sheets.

  • Reply
    May 19, 2010 at 6:58 am

    that's a super cute dress!!

  • Reply
    May 19, 2010 at 7:00 am

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

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    May 19, 2010 at 8:09 am

    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.

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    May 19, 2010 at 9:55 am

    So cute! I love it.

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    May 19, 2010 at 9:56 am

    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.

  • Reply
    May 19, 2010 at 10:08 am

    Great idea!!! Love the dress 🙂

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    May 19, 2010 at 10:22 am

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

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    May 19, 2010 at 10:31 am

    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

  • Reply
    May 19, 2010 at 10:55 am

    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.

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    May 19, 2010 at 12:32 pm

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

  • Reply
    May 19, 2010 at 12:53 pm

    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.

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    Jo's Place
    May 19, 2010 at 1:21 pm

    So pretty 🙂

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    May 19, 2010 at 1:49 pm

    Very clever.

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    May 19, 2010 at 2:20 pm

    This is one of the nicest I&#39;ve seen! Nice.

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    May 19, 2010 at 3:08 pm

    I need to come over and learn shirring! I tried once and it didn&#39;t go well. Your&#39;s looks great!

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    May 19, 2010 at 8:45 pm

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

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    May 20, 2010 at 12:05 am

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

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    Crunchy Sews
    May 20, 2010 at 8:06 am

    It looks sweet on her.

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    Nanette Merrill and daughters
    May 20, 2010 at 10:01 am

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

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    Stacy (S.E.W.Butterfly)
    May 20, 2010 at 12:46 pm

    so lovely…and, thrifty! wonderful job!

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    May 20, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    you are clever.

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    May 20, 2010 at 1:58 pm

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

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    May 22, 2010 at 8:51 pm

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

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    May 24, 2010 at 10:48 am

    i love the sheets with that additional little color accent on the bottom hem or the lace trim! cute, cute cute!<br /><br />http://patchworkposse.com

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    May 28, 2010 at 4:54 pm

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

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    May 30, 2010 at 6:35 pm

    Adorable, you make magic!

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    June 1, 2010 at 6:03 pm

    SO cute. I&#39;ve enjoyed working with Elastic thread, I&#39;ll have to try this one soon! Adorable!

  • Reply
    December 1, 2010 at 2:28 am

    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

  • Reply
    May 7, 2011 at 9:46 am

    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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