Vintage Simplicity 8171: Sweet As Cherry Pie

Cherry Dress Front


I was thinking of giving this post the title “What the Vintage Fairy Puked Up”. It doesn’t sound nearly as appetizing as cherry pie, but considering how much of this dress fits the mainstream ideas of what a vintage dress should look like, it would be a pretty good description. It only lacks a crinoline.

Swingset again

The fabric is a “quilting cotton” and if you squint a little, you can see the polka dots mixed into the print with the cherries. The jumbo rick-rack and the peter-pan collar just add to my being open to ridicule from anyone who actually knows anything about vintage clothing.

Cherry Dress Back

I used a vintage pattern, Simplicity 8171, that Vintage Pattern Wiki dates to 1969. My pattern has no date on it, but it definitely looks 1960’s. I picked it up for less than a dollar while on my Astoria trip. It’s a size 4 and I added 10 inches to the skirt length at Guinevere’s request. She prefers to be able to bend over modestly in her dresses, and as her mother, I definitely support the idea that modesty is beautiful.

Peeking out

It isn’t that I don’t like this dress. It’s pretty cute on her, but through the whole time I was making it I was bothered by something. Maybe it’s a little generic, maybe it’s the stiffness of the fabric, or maybe it’s those stereotypical vintage elements. I guess I just didn’t feel all that inspired by this project. This was a case of Guinevere needing some new dresses and asking me (pretty please) to use this particular fabric to make her a dress. Why did I buy quilting cotton and put it in my stash to make a dress for Guinevere at some later date? I don’t remember, but since it has no drape, the options for use are limited. The gathered skirt is basically the only option when sewing with quilting cotton.

Dress on swingset


Despite the initial lackluster-ness of this project, I like the finished product.

And why am I exhausted and getting no sewing done this week? See that thing Guinevere is sitting on? That’s the kids’ new play structure. In these pictures, it’s only partially finished. We’ve since finished it up, and just need to put down some cedar chips around it for cushioning. It took hours and hours over multiple days to get it put together; at least I remembered the sunscreen (SPF 50 in multiple layers, only barely sunburned over the weekend and already my skin has faded back to it’s usual pallor.)

I do still have a good bit of the fabric left, but not sure what to do with it yet. PJ’s? Playsuit? Since I took a nice chunk out of it, I’m still counting it as a stash-busting project (and if I finish up the rest of it by the end of the year, I won’t count it again). Stash-busting stats: 17/25



8 responses to “Vintage Simplicity 8171: Sweet As Cherry Pie”

  1. prttynpnk Avatar

    Well, does she like it? Do we have a happy girl? I think it’s pretty sweet, actually.

    1. Cari Homemaker Avatar

      She’s happy with it. I guess at some point I’ll have to get used to the idea that she might like certain things I’m not too excited about…hopefully when we reach that point, she’ll also want to start sewing her own stuff.

      1. prttynpnk Avatar

        I getcha- its hard to sew what you arent thrilled by!

  2. Peter Avatar

    It’s charming — and she looks adorable in it!

  3. moushka26 Avatar

    Lovely dress for your DD. If you have fabric left, how about making her a matching sun hat and gathered purse? I love hats made out of quilting cotton for the summer and they are always useful. You do very nice work.

    1. Cari Homemaker Avatar

      Thank you, and I love the idea of accessories. A pink cherry hat would be just about right.

  4. Lynn Avatar

    It’s beautiful and I love that you are making pretty, girly things for your little girl. Someday she will roll her eyes at such cuteness.

  5. justine Avatar

    I think it’s really pretty!

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