Published on September 4th, 2012 | by Julie Finn1
Craft Project Show-and-Tell: Matching Dresses from One Vintage Snow White Flat Bed Sheet
For our upcoming trip to Walt Disney World, I sewed my two daughters matching dresses from one vintage Snow White-themed flat bed sheet.
I’ve actually had this Snow White sheet in my fabric stash for a couple of years. I purchased it from a Goodwill Outlet Store for dirt cheap, even though I don’t typically make character-themed crafts, just because the sheet was clearly so awesome. How lucky, then, that the princesses invited us to have breakfast with them one morning during our trip to Walt Disney World! Matching dresses made from the Snow White sheet will be just the thing to let the girls have something special and princessy to wear without actually wearing a princess dress.
It can be hard to tell what material vintage fabric is made of, since so much fabric from the 1970s and early 1980s included polyester, which I would use for home dec sewing, but NOT on my children’s bodies. The Snow White sheet was soft, however, which is a good tip-off that it’s made from natural fibers (my kids wouldn’t wear it if it was scratchy, anyway); another good tip-off was the fact that the sheet required ironing.
Since I was crunched for time, I chose a vintage dress pattern with simple lines, Simplicity for Kids 7167. To make it even easier, I sewed both dresses in my younger daughter’s size–the jumper style of dress can be worn long after it’s outgrown by pairing it with leggings or shorts.
I have long advocated sewing with vintage flat sheets because of the great yardage that they contain. The sheet was a non-standard size somewhere between a twin and a full (non-standard sheet sizing is the reason why people sometimes have trouble with my flat sheet to fitted sheet tutorial, so you should always measure your sheet, even if the label is still attached), and it still contained just enough yardage to sew two size 6 jumpers with lined bodices. If my pattern had not been directional, I’d have easily had the yardage to make these jumpers completely reversible; as it is, I’m not concerned that the skirts are unlined–they may be slightly translucent after a ride on Kali River Rapids, but they’ll certainly stay light and cool in the hot Florida sun.
I used vintage buttons that the kids chose out of my button stash for the buttoned shoulder straps; I actually really enjoy using mismatched vintage buttons on clothing, but my kiddos are pretty conventional and both chose identical pairs of identical buttons–and they STILL managed to fight over the finished dresses (hence the photo shoot fit)!
The only real modification that I made to the dresses was to add ribbon ties from my stash. I did read the measurements on the pattern envelope, so I knew that the waists would be a little roomy on my girls, but I really underestimated HOW roomy. Ribbon ties, sewn to the side seams and designed to tie at the back, were just the thing to snug up the waist and make the garment look more polished. When we’re home again, I’ll likely replace these ribbon ties with bias ribbon made from a complementary fabric in my stash.
There’s a bit of Snow White sheet left after this project, and after our vacation I plan to use it for matching headbands or wristlets for the girls to go with their outfits, or for matching dresses for their Waldorf dolls.