Peacock Print Pleated Dress

I've had this vintage fabric for a few years and now as part of Dress Month(s) have finally made it into a delightful party dress. The fabric is vintage and was a gift from my great aunt. It's a lovely fabric, medium weight with a smooth hand.

I saved this magazine clipping as inspiration for the dress that this fabric was destined to become. Cute, right?

So, after having success with Simplicity 1873 with my Cut Out Back Dress, I was pretty confident that it would work again. Emulating my inspiration photo, I used the sleeves from View A and the neckline from View C.

Lovely scoop neck and darted sleeves

I only had about 3 1/3 yards of fabric, 36 inches wide so instead of cutting the skirt as instructed I made my own pieces. First I cut out the bodice and sleeves. Then I divided the remainder into three equal lengths, the full width of the fabric. (I did first check that the length would be appropriate.)

I stitched the three skirt panels together, leaving about an 8 inch opening at the top of one seam for the zipper (center back). I marked the skirt evenly all around at the center back (opening), center front and sides. Then I made kind of a hodgepodge of pleats going all the way around. If you want to know more about pleats, check out my Easy Pleated Skirt Tutorial.

This pattern is really easy to make and fits nicely. I would highly recommend this pattern. It was fairly easy and very satisfying to make. The one thing I would change, is my construction quality on the invisible zipper. I don't have an invisible zipper front and just did not get close enough to the zipper teeth in a few pieces. I think I'll touch it up with some hand sewing. This dress is so fun and cute. I can't wait to wear it. I just need a party to go to!


  1. It's very pretty! A really special fabric, and a nice design to show it off. Looks like it fits you really well too.

    Would you say the fabric you used is like a quilting weight cotton? There's a gorgeous medium weight cotton - just slightly lighter than quilting weight with a slight silkiness to the touch - and I'm trying to work out whether making it into a dress style like this would be too stiff to wear, particularly around the sleeves. Any thoughts based on your experience with this dress?

  2. this is so sweet and adorable. your did an amazing job. putting this pattern on my to do list now.

  3. Cute party dress! Love the colour.

  4. Thanks everybody! :)

    Tilly, the fabric is probably some sort of synthetic, definitely not a light weight. I think a little heaviness is good for this dress because the skirt pleats hold well and fluff a bit. And the sleeves work well with a little bit of stiffness to give them the rounded shape. I think you should go ahead and try your fabric. Good luck! :)

  5. wow this turned out so great!! love the color and the cut is so classic


  6. OMG you can sew your own lovely dresses - I am Soooooo jealous! this is beeeeautiful, I HAVE to learn to sew ....!

  7. This is so lovely & femme! It's also very flattering on you;)

  8. What a gorgeous dress, I have just cut one out in a retro rose fabric. I hope mine turns out as well as yours did. I plan to make View C with the sleeves from A. Did you have any trouble fitting the sleeves?


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