Simplicity 2886: Sewing With Bedsheets

I was inspired by Sew Weekly’s Make This Look Series. A cute dress from a shop is chosen and a pattern is picked out that might resemble the dress. I wanted to make an empire waisted sixties style like the cute polka dot dress above, but with an old bedsheet .

Here is my almost finished version of Simplicity 2886 . I still have to add a horsehair braid trim at the hemline to make the hem flare more stiffly. But first, I need your help. Should I leave the waistband plain  or add the white flowers? This dress is going to be worn by a teenager. I don’t think this pattern looks much like the polka dot dress from Boden. I would have to lower the neckline and change the skirt to a flared a- line without pleats.

This dress was made from an old sheet I bought at the thrift shop. I soak old sheets in Oxi Clean to remove any old stains or odors. Yuck!
I cut some bias strips from green poplin ironed them in half, and ruffled them to create this pocket ruffle which was sewn down to the pocket before the pocket facing was added. 
I sewed a hand picked lapped matal zipper. I have a collection of old metal zippers and I love them. They give a vintage style project a really authentic feel.
This dress was underlined with white cotton. I will put the horsehair trim inside the hem allowance. In couture sewing, dresses are often underlined because it gives them nice body. You can sew your hems and facings down on the underlining fabric part only, so you don’t have any thread marks on the outside of your garment.
So please help me, with the flowers or without?


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  1. DebbieF says

    This dress is beautiful..I prefer it without the white flowers…it just looks so vintage!

  2. Anonymous says

    I love the dress. It’s beautiful, but definitely more so without the flowers. They are a bit too much.

  3. Louise says

    No flowers, the splash of green complements the dress fabric beautifully whereas the flowers looks like you are trying to cover something up. I finished a dress today with my first use of underlining and I really like the result. I will blog it soon but need some photos tomorrow in daylight.

  4. super_sweet1997 says

    Definitely better without the flowers. The dress is vintage goodness. Love it.

  5. K2 says

    Without the flowers. The flowers are pretty, just not at the waist. You can always put a pin back on one and use it as a brooch. Or a hair clip.

  6. Ewa says

    Yep, go with the green belt and the dress will look amazing. Generally fluffy things around the waist is a bad idea I think cause it might make the wearer look… chunky. I would either have no flowers at all or maybe add one to each shoulder, just a bit down towards the front, say mid-collarbone, to accentuate the neckline! 🙂

  7. Sharon says

    Chiming to agree that the waistband looks better in green, especially as the pocket ruffle echos the green (really cute pockets!). 2 or 3 flowers together on a shoulder would look charming for a teenager–so youthful.

    I love using old sheets–wonderful weight cottons!

  8. Rebecca says

    This is such a cute dress! I prefer it without the white flowers however. Sewing with thrifted sheets is so much fun. You get so much fabric for a few dollars. I have a question. Does the pattern call for the underlining or did you add it? :]

  9. Jane says

    Lovely dress Justine. I have to agree that I like it without the flowers at the waist.

  10. sertyan says

    This is really beautiful, and the white roses do not belong there! I would love to see you wear it.

  11. Olga says

    I kinda like the flowers…It makes it more dressy…love the green you added!

  12. Sew Country Chick says

    Thanks everyone for the advice! Looking at the picture now again I agree that the roses are better off the waist as well. Thanks so much for the advice, and yes I think fluffy things around the waist are probably a bad idea!

  13. Mongs says

    So beautiful! You are so clever, to turn thrifted bed sheets into something so lovely!


  14. Janlynn says

    Absolutely beautiful sewing and construction. You did a really fine job.

    I like the dress without the flowers.

  15. Anonymous says

    Beautiful inside and out, love the pocket ruffles, another vote for NO flowers.

  16. Vicki says

    I love it all, with and with out. The fabric choice is beautiful, and what a great idea to use sheets! I made this dress last year and had to do major adjustments, but now have a dress that fits beautifully. I even got away without the zipper.
    Again, the dress is outstanding!

  17. Anna. Kathryn Vaughn says

    Beautiful dress. I wanted to make it when I saw is on Sew Weekly as well. Definitely leave off the flowers.

  18. crochets4preemies says

    You did a beautiful job and the dress looks so vintage yet in style. The flowers take away from the dress in my opinion. The green belt gives wonderful contrast. Thanks for a great blog with facinating thrifty ideas! Would you do a series about making plus size clothing from thrift store treasures? I’ve never seen a blog that addresses larger sized women’s clothing. Tops and pants in plus sizes would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so very much!