First Summer Dress – Oscar de la Renta border print

In my book, the best season of all starts today -

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H a p p y   S u m m e r   E v e r y o n e  !
It’s time for warm weather, fresh produce, beach vacations and carefree clothing :)

I’m celebrating with a new dress sewn in Oscar de la Renta’s Turquoise Border Print Cotton Twill from Mood Fabrics. I ordered the fabric last summer which is no longer available, but do check out Moods’ fabulous border prints HERE.

This dress marks my second attempt at sewing a Vintage pattern. Inspired by one of my favorite television shows, That Girl! I ordered this 1966 McCall’s pattern (8948) as a Mother-of-the-Bride dress contender.

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The pattern has now been reduced to Luau status, but that’s OK .

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At last I have found a true shift pattern that is not boxy on me, which I attribute to the nice shaping of the long curved front darts. Originating at the hips and ending at the top of the bodice, they practically disappear into the print.

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Since the fabric is slightly heavy with a little stretch, I safely eliminated the lining. I also laid the pattern pieces out on the cross grain to incorporate the border along the top of the dress.

What about the crisscrossed straps you ask?
I had a vision for the turquoise crisscrossed straps, and cut the fabric so the white geometric border would begin on the inside of the strap (at the front of the dress) and end on the outside of the strap at the back. It was CUTE! Sadly, the fabric buckled between the straps no matter what remedy I attempted.

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One more issue surfaced which knocked the pattern out of MOB contention. The top of the pattern was big requiring larger side seams and resulting in noticeable uneven edges along the upper edge of the bodice. The back was uncomfortably low. I added a 1 ½ inch strip of fabric to the back, but now my perfectly sewn invisible zipper no longer reached the top of the dress.

When Hubby gave the dress a B, I retreated to isolation. Recalling Susan Khalje’s words of wisdom I remembered that a pattern is just the starting point. Then I uncrossed the straps and got creative.
What do you think?

IMG_5706Let the summer begin!

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Comments


  • Lauren
    May 27, 2014

    Beautiful! I love the back detail especially- great save :)

    • Goodbye Valentino
      May 27, 2014

      Thanks, Lauren! The journey back to isolation led me to a better place :)

  • Sallie
    May 27, 2014

    So beautiful! The print is just lovely – and I love your clever save for the back!!

    • Goodbye Valentino
      May 27, 2014

      Many thanks, Sallie! You’ve been doing some phenomenal sewing yourself :)

  • Andrea Birkan
    May 27, 2014

    I love the cute bow detail at the back. “Sew” Sarah!

    • Goodbye Valentino
      May 27, 2014

      LOL! Many thanks Andrea :) When in doubt add a bow or a ruffle!

  • Sewcial Warrior
    May 27, 2014

    Despite the hiccups, a lovely dress. I adore the cute little bow addition, very cute

    • Goodbye Valentino
      May 27, 2014

      Thank you, Sewcial Warrior! The bow saved the entire dress in my opinion :)

  • Cennetta
    May 27, 2014

    Lovely dress, Sarah. You are off to a great start to a beautiful summer wardrobe.

  • Sue
    May 27, 2014

    I love this dress! Especially the bow. It gives the dress a very special touch. If you didn’t mention it, I would have thought that it was part of the initial design :-) . Well done!

    • Goodbye Valentino
      May 27, 2014

      Thank you, Sue! I will always remember Susan Khalje’s words of wisdom – The pattern is just the starting point :)

  • Beata
    May 27, 2014

    Wonderful summer dress! Lovely fabric and cude finishing of the back ziper.
    Yes – let’s summer begin! Unfortunately it is raining here in the Netherlands – but there is a hope :-)

    • Goodbye Valentino
      May 27, 2014

      Thank you Beata! I hope the rain leaves many beautiful flowers and lots of sunshine :)

  • Jeann
    May 27, 2014

    LOVE it!!! The color, the style, the darling detail on the back and it looks awesome on you!

    • Goodbye Valentino
      May 27, 2014

      Many thanks, Jeann! I truly appreciate your nice comment :)

  • Denise Dooley
    May 27, 2014

    Love the bow in the back. It’s a cute summer dress. Maybe the crossed front straps are one of the things that does not work on a petite due to short shoulders.

    • Goodbye Valentino
      May 27, 2014

      Thanks Denise! I’m not sure why the crossed shoulders didn’t work but I hope to figure it out soon :)

  • Ann
    May 27, 2014

    I bought this fabric also, and have been wondering what to do with it. Until I saw your dress, I had thought I needed a skirt pattern with a straight edge, so I could put the solid blue at the bottom. You have inspired me to contemplate a whole new range of possibilities. Your uncrossed straps and bow are adorable, and I suspect they look better than the crossed straps would have, had the fabric cooperated.

    • Goodbye Valentino
      May 27, 2014

      Thank you so much, Ann! I too, thought the border would go along the bottom for several months. Fortunately I saw the light and realized the border could be used in many different ways. The straps really looked cute crisscrossed – it was the bodice that wouldn’t cooperate :( At any rate, I was glad to reach a good solution.

  • Ginger
    May 27, 2014

    This is CUTE! I love it on you! I’m a summer girl, too- it’s just the best season to sew for, isn’t it?

    • Goodbye Valentino
      May 27, 2014

      Hi Ginger! Summer sewing is by far my favorite :) You must try out some of your cute summer clothes in SC soon!

  • Margie McCraw Mahaffey
    May 27, 2014

    Love it – much better than the crossed straps – tell Hubby looks like an A to me!!

    • Goodbye Valentino
      May 27, 2014

      Thank you, Margie! Hubs upgraded the dress to an A+ after I made the adjustments :)

  • Heather Myers
    May 27, 2014

    This looks great! Very feminine but still that classic look. Love the fabric!

    • Goodbye Valentino
      May 27, 2014

      Many thanks, Heather! Another round a bout sewing project, but it all worked out :)

  • Lori
    May 27, 2014

    This blue fabric is gorgeous on you, as is the style of the dress. Great job on the save, the bow in the back is perfect. I am with you, hurray to summer, it is my favorite time of the year.

  • Carolina's Callin'
    May 27, 2014

    Pretty! I like your version better than the pattern – especially the back! Super cute, and a perfect dress for those long, hot days of summer fun. Enjoy!

    • Goodbye Valentino
      May 28, 2014

      Many thanks, Cheryl! The dress looked really cute with the crisscrossed straps if only the fabric in between had not buckled. I may try it one more time :)

  • Elizabeth
    May 27, 2014

    I think it deserves an A+! I love the bow on the back!!!

  • Goodbye Valentino
    May 28, 2014

    LOL! Hubby gave it an A after the adjustments :)

  • Linda L
    May 30, 2014

    Great looking summer dress! I agree this is the best time of the year. I like what you did with the back of the dress! Good save!

  • Goodbye Valentino
    May 31, 2014

    Many thanks, Linda!

  • Peter
    May 31, 2014

    Lovely dress and I think the regular straps with the bow in the back is much more classic looking than those criss-cross straps on the original pattern. It looks terrific on you!

    • Goodbye Valentino
      June 12, 2014

      Many thanks, Peter, though I really loved the crisscrossed stripes ;)

  • Fiona
    June 3, 2014

    Beautiful colour on you! I love the way you’ve used the print and the bow on the back is fab!