Picnic Dress

fashion designing, free sewing instructions


Fabric Already Owned $0

Trim Already Owned $0

No Lining $0

Pattern Pcs Owned $0

Picnic Dress Total $0

Red Button $1

Total Cost $1


The Picnic Dress was inspired by the red and white gingham fabric I found in my stash of fabric. It happened to be the only fabric I had with even close to 5 yards, but still it wasn't enough, since the width was only 24 inches vs the 60 inch width of the sheets I used on the sheet dress.

Remember this was happening in the middle of the recession, so I was trying very hard not to buy new fabric. The skirt part of the dress was where the bulk of the fabric is used in this Vogue pattern, so I decided to change the Vogue skirt pieces to a skirt pattern that would require much less volume.

Changing the Pattern Top & Skirt

free sewing instructions

I also wanted to try something easier and different on top. I had tried bra hooks on the sheet dress, and snaps on the Red Hat blouse, but I wanted to go even easier. I know elastic! How about a peasant top? I had made plenty of them as a teen. So I found an old pattern with a peasant top pattern, and put that in place of the upper part of the Vogue upper pattern pieces. I used the bodice (middle) from the Vogue pattern, and the skirt section of the dress was from another pattern. In the end, there was only one section l used from the Vogue pattern.

Sewing it Together

free sewing instructions free sewing instructions free sewing instructions

So I prepared the fabric (wash, dried, ironed) , laid it out, pinned, marked, clipped, and cut. It got a little tricky working the patterns together, since each section was from a different pattern. The upper, middle bodice and skirt all from different patterns. It went together without too much trouble, but a little patience and finessing worked it out.

End Result

This fabric was light cotton, with no lining, so it ended up being very light weight, and didn't hang well. I made it in quickly (maybe a few hours), and wore it to an Italian dinner. I had to wear a slip because I didn't line it, and the dress kept riding up because it didn't have any weight, therefore showing the slip. I think I will line the dress and make a couple of adjustments at the hip to hopefully improve the way it hangs.At the very least this would be comfortable to wear at home on a hot summer day.

What did I learn?

Line the dress or use heavier fabric, and mixing patterns pieces worked out pretty well. I think I'll do at least one more picnic dress and maybe even a whole line of picnic dresses. I really love the peasant top with a full skirt like the sheet dress, so i'd like to do it again. Of course the rick rack trim and some cool retro buttons.

Back to Free Sewing Projects
Back to Home Page
Back to Top - Picnic Dress Story