1970s Hawaiian Sundress

May – July 2014

Vintage Simplicity #7520, circa 1976. In an Elsie Das repro cotton poplin.
This Hawaiian print has been sitting in my stash for years. It’s color and vintage style caught my eye – there were exactly 4 yards left in the half-off cottons. It turns out the fabric is an Elsie Das repro print. It’s shown in a different color on p. 57 of The Aloha Shirt.

Cutting for balance in design
Simplicity pattern #7520

Others more dedicated to vintage fashion might have held out for the perfect period pattern. But I came across this 1976 Simplicity at a thrift store and it seemed like an excellent match. The dress was incredibly easy to sew and I love that the simple cut showcases the fabric. There are seams at center front and center back. I painstakingly measured the offset on the repeating motifs of every other row. Then the pieces were carefully cut to maintain a balance in the design. Admittedly, the dress is not particularly flattering and I never go sleeveless in real life. But with a flower in my hair I feel very pool party-enabled.