Revisiting The Catalina 40’s Dress


Do you ever look in your closet and wonder why you haven’t worn a particular dress you’ve made? I had some time between editing for Lekala, and doing alterations, to try on a few of those dresses that just stay in the closet, but never are worn. They stay because there is something about them that I love, it’s either the fabric, the style, or both. In this case, it was both. What I didn’t like so much was the fit. That’s why, it hasn’t been worn. When I tried it on, the front of the under-arm sagged out a bit, and didn’t fit closely against the body.  The back stretched across the grain, and slipped down exposing the strapless bra. I knew just what I had to do to fix it.


I flipped out the facing, which luckily I had not under-stitched, and sewed stay-tape (a woven tape 1 cm wide) to the seams. As I sewed, I gently pushed the fabric ever so slightly toward the needle under the stay-tape. Not enough to pinch the fabric, but just enough to take out any possible ease. I under-stitched, and topstitched all the seams, 1/4 inch from the edge at a 3.5 wide stitch. This did the trick! I wore this dress to a birthday party, and received many compliments. It’s a keeper!

The Facts:
patternFabric: Red and white print cotton from Beverlys
Pattern: Retro Butterick  B5214
Year: 1947
Notions: invisible zipper
Time to complete: One hour to cut and a day to make it
First worn: June 25, 2012 on Catalina Island, again in 2014!
Wear again? Yes!
Total price: $15.00

july-catalinaI made this dress in 2012 as a weekly contributor to The Sew Weekly. You can still read the entire post and see more pictures over here.


I’m planning a few giveaways when I reach 350 followers or when I write my 400th post, which ever comes first, so stay tuned!

Thanks for looking and happy sewing.


About SeamQueen

Seamstress, Sewist, Artist, Fashionista, Quilter, Upcycler, Textile Obsessed!
This entry was posted in Blogging, DIY, Lekala, Sewing, Travel, Upcycle and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Revisiting The Catalina 40’s Dress

  1. Ebi Poweigha says:

    Ah-maaaa-zing dress! You look awesome! And is that a new haircut? Very nice. 🙂


  2. Great dress, styling and fabric. Very classy, the prefect outfit for a resort holiday 😉


  3. Sandra says:

    You look lovely in your “new” dress!


  4. I’m so glad you fixed the issues because this dress is super cute!! Beautiful color and great style 🙂


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