Home Inspiration Dorothy Sews A Beautiful Dress!

Dorothy Sews A Beautiful Dress!

by Beth Cooper

Sewist’s Name: Dorothy Martin from Rockville, Maryland

Type of Project: Garment

Pattern: Simplicity 8978

Featured Date: 10-04-23

Sewing and Needlework are my passions. My dad taught me to sew on a treadle machine when I was seven years old. He was going in the US Navy and needed his collars “turned”. In those years, to be frugal, collars and bands were constructed so that they could be turned and used on both sides. Then he warned me not to break the needles, (he had two) b/c they were difficult to buy during WWII !

That stitching only encouraged me to sew more in the ensuing years, through 22 different residences in seven states. My husband was a Navy Submariner so I also stitched in a Quonset hut to be near him (with my machine). I have stitched for family, friends, parish, neonatal units, Girl and Boy Scouts of America, and the Navy Relief Society, and have taught Basic Sewing through Men’s Tailoring in Adult Education, Department Stores, and 4-H Centers. My husband and our four children always encouraged me, wore my projects, and didn’t even mind if the pockets were basted shut until they were entered in the fair. I am now 86 years young and spread the joyful word about sewing whenever possible.

The included photograph is of a girl’s dress size 6 in five different cotton fabrics (yellow solid, yellow with tiny white stars, cream with yellow flowers, white marbled batik, and green solid for piping) all remaining from my quilting stash. Pattern is Simplicity 8978 with minor modifications. The peplum is lined to give life to it. The full circle skirt, long sleeves, and waist feature piping made of light weight acrylic yarn filler and cotton fabric bias. The ‘cording’ on the bodice insert is a polyester braid from my stash. Back zipper is invisible with care to be sure the waist lines met at center back. This is a gift for the daughter of one of my former sewing students whom I taught when she was a teen and now has four daughters. It earned the First Place award Blue and then Champion of Sewing at the Montgomery County Fair.

Thank you for this opportunity to encourage stitchers.

(Note: I have been a fan of Nancys Notions since Nancy prepared her catalog on her ironing board.)


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1 month ago

Such a pretty dress. Thank you for sharing.

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