I never did like the idea of sitting on newspapers. I did it once, and all the headlines came off on my white pants. On the level! It actually happened. Nobody bought a paper that day. They just followed me around over town and read the news on the seat of my pants.

If my first pair of Sew Dolly Clackett dresses were a bright and breezy floral tribute to romance and family, then this dress is the cynical cousin who just can’t seem to find love. If the thought of a stream of June weddings without a steady plus-one to bring along has you repeatedly looking at your cat and shaking your head in disgust, this is the dress for you.

Newsprint Dress 8

I’ve had this quilting cotton in my stash for a few years, just waiting to make up a fluffy dress. It’s one of the most unique prints I’ve ever seen.

Newsprint Dress 1

As you can see, this print is both directional and geometric so the finished garment needed to be designed to accommodate accordingly. I didn’t want to break up the print too much, so I used the By Hand London Anna dress bodice (once again).  I used three widths of fabric for the skirt and pleated it along the print lines, then trimming off the excess at the back, about 4 inches on each side so it would fit the bodice at the waistline. I figured that if I really was using newsprint rather than fabric I would pleat instead of gathering. I tried large box pleats first, but didn’t like them. Modern vintage-look dresses seem to avoid the asymmetry of having the pleats go all the same direction, so pleating it the way I did seems a little extra retro to me.

Newsprint Dress 3

It twirls so nicely.

Newsprint Dress 5

I don’t have a lot to say about dress construction, since it’s so similar to my other Sew Dolly Clackett dress, so I’ll share a story instead. A few years ago I was working for a small local nursing home. We needed to add a nurse to the staff, so a help-wanted ad was put in the newspaper. This was before the recession hit; there weren’t any applicants. I wasn’t in charge of putting the ads in, but the person who was in charge talked it over with a few of us. We brainstormed which led to all kinds of silliness. It was decided that a help wanted ad that read like a used car ad wouldn’t be a good idea. What nurse wants to respond to something that says: “looking for used nurse, high mileage okay, must be extra clean.” A personal ad, though, has potential. You can imagine the look on the Administrator’s face when a month later she got a bill for an ad of which only the first part was listed: “Lonely RN looking for another RN to share…” Someone got hired shortly after the ad ran.

Newsprint Dress 7

I wore this last night for “Cosmic” bowling. It glows quite nicely under a black light. Turns out that bowling while wearing a petticoat is not difficult at all, and it garners plenty of random compliments from strangers.

Stash busting stats: 23/50 projects. 49 yards.


  1. aem2

    Everything about this post is terrific. That dress is lovely, and the pleats are beautifully done.

  2. Loretta Orsborn

    I like this dress, everything about it is unexpected and interesting…..You are pretty amazing! You look like you had fun with this one……Would be good if you are without a book and had to set for a while….:-)

  3. kristonlion

    cool print! you should have taken a black light picture! I bet you looked amazing!

  4. Lynn

    How cute! But now you have to put up with everyone following you around trying to read your dress. 😉

  5. Peter

    Love it! So cute and fun!

  6. Dana

    Looks great! I can’t believe how well the pleating turned out.

  7. emsewcrazy

    I LOVE IT! Fabulous!

  8. prttynpnk

    O love that you threw in a movie quote title for true Clackettiness!

    1. Cari Homemaker

      Ha. Ha. I knew if anyone was going to notice the movie quote/know where it is from, it would be you.

  9. Kimmie K

    I know that story! : )

  10. liza jane

    Awesome! You look fantastic in this dress! And I love the idea of bowling in a petticoat 🙂

  11. sewinggoddess

    Love the print! and what a lovely dress you made out of it:)


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