Sarah’s Dress: Sustainable Sewing is the New Black

Also known as the “Shop-Your-Stash-and-Tap-Your-Ingenuity” Dress.

(All images by Brian Campbell Photography)

Su-u-unny day……

Are you annoyed yet with all the “sustainable sewing” stuff coming your way? Be prepared for more; because, remember that it is my 2020 Sewing Vision. Are you even more annoyed with shirts and shirtdress references on this blog? That too will be seen more here, since I am constantly thinking about more iterations of the shirtdress.  I’m sorry for the annoyance, but I hope you’ll keep reading my words.

This dress proves:

  • that there’s good stuff hiding in your fabric stash. It needn’t be expensive fabric; this dress is made with cotton seer-sucker which I had picked up at a fabric swap; my contribution to the swap was silk chiffon and a piece of wool, which had not seen the light of day in years. Lo and behold, the seersucker I swapped it for was used up within a year. Don’t worry, I have plenty of wool and silk chiffon to last me the rest of my life.


  • that there is a solution to every material and notions shortage. Hint: it’s not running to the store.  Where is the solution, then?
    • Elimination of certain features. In this case sleeves, belt, upper pockets, armhole facing. Who needs upper pockets??
    • Pre-folded bias tape used for armhole finishing (honest, there weren’t enough scraps left over to make matching armhole facings).
    • Mismatched buttons — which somehow pulled everything together.
    • Raised hemline.
artfully mismatched buttons…..
  • that the end result of a sewn project can give off a different vibe than what’s shown on the envelope. This dress is made with McCalls Pattern 7470 (below left) ; we started with View C but had to move away from the preferred tailored, business-like view to accommodate the fabric available – like we do; and used this summery cotton instead of the recommended corduroy.  So, the dress became a casually chic thing to walk around barefoot, or hang out at the beach.


After throwing on turquiose and silver earrings from the Cowgirl Museum shop, Sarah Mirza is pulling off the laid back southern California vibe to perfection, with or without the belt.   Mwaaah.

Excuse me while I dive into the fabric stash again  — be prepared for ages old materials showing up on this blog.  I’m still eyeing some goodies at my favorite local fabric retailer, though.



12 thoughts on “Sarah’s Dress: Sustainable Sewing is the New Black

  1. Love this Samina! Sarah looks lovely! My how time has flown by and our daughters are now young women! This is a great use of “THE STASH” ….I’m doing the same thing….finding pieces from so long ago that are going to be resurrected into something new for Elisabeth. I like the mismatched buttons too – creates a modern vibe.


    1. Hey, Charlene! I’m always thrilled to hear from my old buddy. Bring out those old pieces! We may have bought some of them together on our jaunts to the sewing store. Lots of love to Elisabeth.


  2. Love this dress! I just found your blog and and am enjoying reading thru your posts 🙂 I am also trying to sew down my stash. I moved 2 years ago and am shocked at the quantity of fabrics I have 😬 lol! Looking forward to following your inspiration.


    1. Dinah, I’m so thrilled that you found my blog! Let’s see how far down we manage to diminish the stash; as I said, though, I’m still in the market for good fabric which fills my sewing needs :). Thanks for the reading through the posts; I hope you continue to enjoy them.


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