Sewing Sunday – Fifties Franken Frock

7 Jul

Morning! Hope you are all having a wonderful weekend.  Just a quickie from me today, another of my little sewing projects.


This summer dress is made from a beautiful vintage fabric I bought in a second-hand shop in Hastings Old Town over a year ago, when we were house hunting in the UK. The shop sells bric a brac, crockery, books etc and I just happened to ask if there was any fabric tucked away. Luckily for me the owner told me that a man had come in that morning with a suitcase full of fabrics he had found when clearing out his late mother’s effects. He believed the fabric had been purchased in the 1950s and then never used. What a find, I snapped it all up.

I was happy to think that I could turn this beautiful, summery fabric into a Happy Dress, I hope the original purchaser would have approved.


The dress is a bit of a Frankenstein, in that it has been made up from parts of different patterns. The top of my Vogue Going to the Wedding Dress and the skirt (with some added pleats) and pockets of my recently made Tiramisu.

I know I will enjoy wearing this dress the whole summer through.


44 Responses to “Sewing Sunday – Fifties Franken Frock”

  1. Danny & Sue July 7, 2013 at 10:48 #

    Beautifull, what a talented lady xxx S & D

  2. Mad Dog July 7, 2013 at 11:32 #

    Nice work – I’m off to the Soho Village Fête this afternoon – it’s going to be a scorcher 😉

    • Chica Andaluza July 7, 2013 at 11:38 #

      I hear everyone is having bbqs – you need a Spanish Straw Fiesta hat to keep you cool! Have fun 🙂

  3. thecompletecookbook July 7, 2013 at 12:07 #

    Oh how wonderful to have found all that fabric. I love your dress! Isn’t it great to know just a wee bit of the fabrics history and I am positive the previous owner would definitely approve.
    Have a beautiful week ahead.
    🙂 Mandy xo

    • Chica Andaluza July 7, 2013 at 12:48 #

      It was indeed a lovely surprise to open up the case and find lengths of lovely fabric, and I’m loving this retro look and swirly skirts!

  4. mrszeg July 7, 2013 at 13:31 #

    I am sure the woman who originally purchased the fabric would approve, it is lovely. Even more so because of the fabric’s history.

  5. themateriallady July 7, 2013 at 15:21 #

    Your ‘franken frock’ is perfect for sunny weather. I am sure the original owner would be very happy to see her fabrics used so well.
    P.S. Even Bewdley is sunny at the moment 🙂

    • Chica Andaluza July 7, 2013 at 17:39 #

      England seems to be bathed in sunshine – how wonderful!

  6. Christine July 7, 2013 at 15:59 #

    What a beautiful dress! I love the style and the fabric along with its history makes it even better.

  7. Our Growing Paynes July 7, 2013 at 16:06 #

    Very cute. 🙂

  8. narf77 July 7, 2013 at 19:56 #

    Everything a dress should be…enough room so that a real woman can fit into it, enough cleavage, enough leg, I can see you ala Brigette Bardot style barefoot with flowers in your hair dancing through the Spanish grass in summer…the dress is weaving it’s magic (either that or winter has set into my brain 😉 )

    • Chica Andaluza July 7, 2013 at 23:38 #

      You SO get me….I don’t really “do” shoes at home and I think I should have been born back in the days when women had curves! Tonight though I have flour and not flowers in my hair as have just had a massive ravioli making session with a pal (and the pups)!

      • narf77 July 8, 2013 at 01:34 #

        Sounds like great fun :). Steve and I had a massive gnocchi festival one night. We started out at 4pm “plenty of time!” and ended up starving and pissed out of our brains at 10pm (wine was plentiful, gnocchi was decidedly thin on the ground!) singing loudly to old Clash and Bowie songs on Youtube STILL waiting for the bloody gnocchi to be ready to eat. By the time we ate it, it was delicious but our intestinal tract (and brains by that stage) were too pickled to appreciate them. We haven’t revisited gnocchi since 😉

      • Chica Andaluza July 8, 2013 at 08:29 #

        Sounds bit like last night, except we had nibbles to keep us going, so we were merry but still “functioning”!

      • narf77 July 8, 2013 at 18:47 #

        🙂 nothing like a good “Knees up” to keep the blood flowing 😉

  9. Cerie July 7, 2013 at 22:39 #

    So cute – I want to find a suitcase like that! The fabric looks like a Liberty print! Great job!

    • Chica Andaluza July 7, 2013 at 23:40 #

      I thought it looked like a Liberty print too but couldn’t find anything stamped on the selvedge to identify it 😦 Thanks for popping by and commenting!

  10. cathyandchucky July 8, 2013 at 01:40 #

    Beautiful dress. Love the fabric. I would get fabric and stash it in my cupboard for various quilting experiments and still have a lot of it. They call them “Fat Squares”. I love the different patterns and when I get time to get back into my quilting, I shall show off the creations too.

    • Chica Andaluza July 8, 2013 at 08:30 #

      Looking forward to seeing what you make – I made one quilt years ago by hand, and will eventually tackle another one!

  11. Eha July 8, 2013 at 04:54 #

    A ‘happy dress’ with a history for the summer sunshine and warmth: lucky you being able to sew – I can knit, I can latchook rugs , but . . . so look and envy 🙂 !

    • Chica Andaluza July 8, 2013 at 08:31 #

      I just taught myself as I got fed up of buying badly fitting clothes or only finding granny clothes to fit me!

  12. Tandy July 8, 2013 at 06:01 #

    You are so talented! It is a pretty frock 🙂

    • Chica Andaluza July 8, 2013 at 08:32 #

      Well…if you look closely at some of the finishing off…but hopefully no one will be peeking under my skirt anyway!

  13. ChgoJohn July 8, 2013 at 08:03 #

    Frankenstein never looked so good. You did a fine job here, Tanya. How about modeling if for us? 🙂

  14. TBM July 8, 2013 at 09:00 #

    I can picture you outside sipping a glass of wine and looking lovely.

    • Chica Andaluza July 8, 2013 at 13:46 #

      Ah thank you – and as for the wine….you know me too well!

      • TBM July 9, 2013 at 10:22 #

        Great minds think alike

  15. cecilia July 8, 2013 at 16:14 #

    I adore those wee summer dresses in light cottons.. they are impossible to find here. The Matriarch has a brand new sewing machine that has been sitting in its box for years now and I really should get it out and teach my self to sew. It is the only way to dress myself in clothes I actually want to wear! The fabric you found is perfect for this style, did you buy the whole suitcase full? I find fabrics so hard to pass up.. Have a lovely day c

    • Chica Andaluza July 8, 2013 at 16:31 #

      Oh you should definitely get that machine out – although when you’d find the time to sew I can’t imagine! Yes, I bought all the fabrics and made one dress last year, I still have two or three other lengths of fabric to play with!

  16. Bluejellybeans July 9, 2013 at 01:01 #

    Qué bonito es Tanya! Voy a tener que plantearme hacerte unos cuantos encarguitos 😉

  17. PendleStitches July 9, 2013 at 18:29 #

    Just “a little sewing project”?!?!?!?!?! You do yourself an injustice. This is just lovely, and I’m a little bit envious of your fabric haul, but it couldn’t go to a more wonderful home.

    • Chica Andaluza July 10, 2013 at 15:36 #

      Ah, thanks! Am just deciding on the next “little project” 🙂

  18. Caroline July 10, 2013 at 20:58 #

    Wow, super cute, I’m impressed!!

  19. Karen July 18, 2013 at 12:20 #

    I’ve spent the morning catching up with all your posts. Just wanted to say that I love your summer dress from the vintage fabric. I always smile when I see the tile in the background. I had the very same tiles in our courtyard when we lived in Florida.

    • Chica Andaluza July 18, 2013 at 13:17 #

      we love those tiles – might have to take a few to England to tile round the garden sink!

  20. The Chair's Antique January 28, 2016 at 21:38 #

    so cute,……good job

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