Condo Blues: 1950’s Wrap Sundress

Sunday, July 5, 2020

1950’s Wrap Sundress

A good long while ago, I fell in love with the 1950’s vintage wrap sundress sewing pattern Simplicity 8085 (you can read about it in detail here.) I bought a super cute cotton cherry print fabric with the intent to make a dress for myself. (Disclosure: I am including affiliate links in this post for your convince.)

 Two years later I still  had a sweet vintage sewing  pattern reprint and super cute cotton cherry print fabric  in its shopping bag in my sewing room.  *sigh*

I need a dress for a wedding reception (hopefully? maybe? We’ll see how group events play out when the time comes) later this summer for a wedding my husband and I attended on Zoom. That’s all the incentive I need to finally sew my 1950’s wrap sundress. I made a few tweaks to the pattern because as my husband observed long ago, I always hack a sewing pattern in one way or another. 

how to sew a 1950's wrap sundress

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How to Sew a 1950’s Inspired Wrap Sundress

I’m not sure why I put off sewing Simplicity 8085 for so long because it is a very easy pattern  and didn’t take very long to make. Better yet,  I didn’t have to mess with making buttonholes (my nemesis) because it calls for snaps. Lining up and sewing where the snaps should go on the skirt was a little tricky sew mostly because I marked the snaps on the wrong side of the fabric – oops! I fixed it by putting the dress on adjustable sewing dress form similar to this one (best. purchase. ever!) and sewing the snaps on while it was on my dressmaker’s dummy.

 red and pink retro vintage pin up sun dress


I added a snap where the dress crosses at the center back and I’m glad I did because it gaps and often doesn’t lay closed like the photo on the pattern as you are wearing it. Mostly because it is a little roomy in the top due to wearing a modern bra instead of the 1950’s bullet style this dress pattern was originally created to be worn over. Taking in the darts a bit more would also solve this problem but adding the snap was an even simpler fix that didn’t involve removing the skirt to tailor the darts.

The other tweak I made was to the belt. I couldn’t find a vintage belt buckle in the right size and color for the dress and as I was messing around, I liked the plain red band at the waist better than the thought of a buckle belt. I used the last two snaps (I used this size of sewing snap) I had in the package to fasten the belt and decorated it with a leaf shaped button I’ve been dying to use for a project in forever.

simplicity sewing pattern 8085 review
Work that skirt!

But the best part of this sweet vintage sundress is styling. My sundress can easily go from super casual BBQ party to an evening out.  I fulfilled a childhood wish and bought this exact 1950’s red ruffled petticoat to make a poufy skirt and paired it with the perfect accessory - my grandmother’s jewelry. The Victory rolls and snood (you can find similar hair snoods here)  are more 1940’s than 1950’s but it’s the best way to make my hair look presentable when I’m growing it out and can’t visit a salon (which is probably why Victory Rolls were so popular in the 1940’s to be honest.)

Rather buy than DIY? Check out the following options - and more! - below!

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Jean | said...

Love it! Made me think of when I was in middle school and starting to get interested in sewing. My mother was not a seamstress, but she had a sewing machine. She found a pattern that was beyond mere "simplicity"--you just cut out the single piece of fabric (that's right, no seams!) and then finished the edges, including the three (yes, three!) armholes with bias binding (or whatever it's called). It was a wraparound you put on with two armholes on one arm, which one depended on whether you preferred the wrap in the front or the back. Isn't that a hoot!

Lisa Lynn said...

This is super cute! Thanks for sharing on Farm Fresh Tuesdays!

April J Harris said...

Love this dress - it's so flattering, and such a classic cut. Vintage fashion is always in style, and you've done a beautiful job. I especially like the petticoat! Thank you for sharing at the Hearth and Soul Link Party, Beth. I'm featuring this post at the party this week. Hope to 'see' you there! Have a safe, healthy and fun week!

Oombawka Design said...

Hi Lisa, Love, love, love this dress! I adore vintage and wish I could sew myself. I've never mastered that skill (other than square items that is!). Thank you for visiting and linking up at our Weekly Link Party last week. You are being featured this week at Wednesday Link Party 356. Here's the direct post link for tomorrow's feature in case you would like to share it with friends on social media: Thank you again for visiting and I hope you link up again with your next creation too! Best wishes, Rhondda

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