Three cheers for the red, white, and blue!

July 3rd. I’ve been invited to join some friends on the 4th for a very casual evening at their house. I recently swapped my “Sailor Betty” dress so I needed to figure out what to wear! My closet may be vast, but wasn’t spitting out anything red/white/blue and casual. Somehow, a red velvet party dress didn’t seem appropriate, you know?

My regular readers may recall that back in April, I had purchased some red-white-blue striped vintage fabric that was begging to be made into a summer dress. I bought some patterns, wrote a post, and then proceeded to do nothing about it. Now, on the evening of the 3rd, I remembered the yardage of striped fabric! It was getting late, but could I whip up a dress in the morning? I went through my patterns and decided on Butterick 5214, a reissue of a 1947 pattern for a halter dress, belt, and fitted jacket. The dress pattern itself is simple, but this would be my first attempt at making chevrons from striped fabric. Had I bitten off more than I could chew? I read all of the reviews at PatternReview and knew from the outset that I’d need to add length to the skirt. I could handle that. I just hoped that the fabric store would be open on the 4th so that I could buy the correct length zipper!

Come morning,  I started cutting out the pattern and my fabric. I was trying to be extra careful with my cuts, so the stripes would line up perfectly. It took a while, but I finally admitted that the old fabric just wasn’t printed evenly! I had to keep refolding it to get each piece cut as closely as possible. But when I actually started sewing, things were looking pretty good! I wish I’d taken a little more time with the skirt front (center seam), but I’m generally pleased overall. The fabric store was indeed open so I didn’t have to shorten a zipper from my stash, and I finished off the halter straps with a vintage button from my mother’s (and once her mother’s) button box.

Voilà, completed dress by 3pm (with a few interruptions for Twitter and

It’s a bit gappy on top and I’ll make a couple of vertical darts to take up the slack before I tack down the bottom of the bodice lining, but it was close enough to wear for an evening with friends. I didn’t have time to make the matching jacket or belt. Yet! For the time being, I paired it with a wide belt which really didn’t “work” with the look, but I had to fetch my Flag Bag and head out!

photo by @jgamet

photo by @jgamet

Detail photos of side darts and button:



Filed under fashion, friends, holidays, sewing, vintage

7 responses to “Three cheers for the red, white, and blue!

  1. So cute! Yay for speed sewing! :)

  2. Vivienne

    So cute! Jealous of your skills!

    • Vivienne – Hey, YOU can twirl tassles. I’d say it’s a tie.
      Jessica – Yay indeed! Let’s see how long it takes me to get around to putting in those vertical darts, though. :)

  3. This is really cute. I love how the stripes work with the neckline.

  4. Speed sewing is the way forward!
    A great project. :o)

  5. Pam

    This looks great! I just made this same pattern and also had gapping in the bodice. I took in a pleat on each side where the strap comes down, but the next time I make it I will definitely take in a bigger seam down the front.

    Love the stripes!

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