Twin Spruce Dress: Simplicity 3965

I’m really, really happy with this one! All of the hard work and extra care I took while making this dress has paid off – it fits wonderfully, it’s soft and comfortable to wear, and it’s beautifully made! (If I do say so myself.)

Here’s the finished dress – what do you think?

I’ve named it the “Twin Spruce Dress” after the Etsy shop where I bought the vintage rayon fabric! She’s on a dairy farm in Wisconsin. Now I’ve never been to Wisconsin, but it feels very cool and down-to-earth knowing this fabric was stashed on a farm (maybe in a barn!) and made its way across the continent to me to become a pretty little dress. Reducing and recycling at its best!

I love that this dress is underlined! All thanks to Couture Sewing Techniques. I didn’t refer to the book while doing it, but it stuck in the back of my mind as something you could do, to change the feel of fabric and keep it away from the skin. This is soft, delicate vintage rayon so to preserve the fabric’s beauty, I underlined with muslin.

Here’s a recap of the previous posts on this dress – click any of the links to read more:

I love this dress, it’s a great pattern to make over and over. I could see it in so many pretty prints, or florals, or even a plaid! I’d put the bodice on the bias and cut the skirt on the straight grain. This would make a great Little Black Dress too! I feel pretty and swishy and fun in this one. It’s a win!

More pictures on my Flickr account here!

PS. Some of you asked about the zipper insertion yesterday, so when I make this dress again I’ll take more detailed photos and do a little write-up! (Which I’m planning to do very soon.)

On that note, is there anything else you wish I’d shown in more detail, construction-wise? Let me know in the comments! (Or just tell me what you think of the dress, that works too!)

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64 Responses to Twin Spruce Dress: Simplicity 3965

  1. TMachan October 21, 2010 at 6:34 am #

    That. Is. So. Perfect!

  2. Eline October 21, 2010 at 7:24 am #

    very beautiful! Would love to see it again in plaid :-)

  3. Eilane October 21, 2010 at 8:07 am #

    Her dress was wonderful, would expect no less of a piece made with care and dedication.

    Eilan – Brazil

  4. Tanit-Isis October 21, 2010 at 8:08 am #

    It’s darling! I love the neckline, both front and back :)

    I underlined a rayon crepe kind of fabric for a dress last summer, and it turned it from a fabric I largely hated to a dress I adore—awesome!

  5. The Cupcake Goddess October 21, 2010 at 8:14 am #

    Oh its so cute and so fun! I love the fabric! Just darling and such a great contrast to you. You have fitted this number incredibly well. I have to say that I’ve seen similar styles and the top always ends up looking baggy on most folks and this fits you PERFECTLY! It’s just lovely! And thanks for posting all the way throughout the project. Makes it more fun and more interesting to see the finished product.

  6. Cecili October 21, 2010 at 8:40 am #

    Your dress is wonderful, the fabric is a beauty and was just the right choice for the design! I love it!

  7. Gordita October 21, 2010 at 9:16 am #

    This is such a gorgeous dress. Great job.

  8. Rebecca October 21, 2010 at 9:39 am #

    I love the dress. It is perfect! Great job!

  9. Alana October 21, 2010 at 9:48 am #

    So beautiful! It just seems to hang so well! Fitted where it should be but with awesome body in the skirt. Super inspiring, Tasia!

  10. Funnygrrl October 21, 2010 at 10:59 am #

    Beautiful job! I love the back. Also nice to take the steps to preserve the fabric.
    Would love to see it in plaid!

  11. Stefanie October 21, 2010 at 11:44 am #

    The dress is gorgeous and I really love your shoes! Where did you get them?

  12. Mav October 21, 2010 at 2:09 pm #

    Very nice and you’re very pretty. :)

  13. Nancy October 21, 2010 at 5:17 pm #

    Just found you through Sew Retro. Wow that is a very pretty dress! I am curious about the underlining- I haven’t tried that yet. Do you have pictures? I’ll go check out your Flikr page and see. Thanks for sharing!

  14. Corinne October 21, 2010 at 6:13 pm #

    Stunning! The underlining gives the structure that emphasizes the good fit. Congrats and thanks again.

  15. KJ@letsgoflyakite October 21, 2010 at 7:01 pm #

    Absolutely gorgeous, love the shoes too!! work it!

  16. woolcat October 21, 2010 at 7:04 pm #


  17. ~Sherry~ October 21, 2010 at 7:10 pm #

    It looks gorgeous Tasia! And the bodice fit beautifully – love the plunging back!

  18. Jasonda October 21, 2010 at 7:17 pm #

    Beautiful! That fabric is gorgeous. Glad you had one last sunny day to take pics!

  19. lap October 21, 2010 at 7:40 pm #

    Wow, this is a flawless frock! I adore the fit, and I love the verve with which you wear it. It’s probably the utter confidence you gained having taken so much extra care with the fit! I adored your posts on the entire process,especially your decision to underline. I would love to see this pattern replicated in plaid, but remember if you cut the top on the bias that the fit might change slightly due to bias stretch!

  20. Katharine October 21, 2010 at 7:49 pm #

    The dress is gorgeous, really stunning… but I’m really wondering about the shoes, too! They’re fantastic and go perfectly! What brand are they/where did you find them?

  21. A Sewn Wardrobe October 21, 2010 at 7:54 pm #

    I knew this was going to be pretty, but it’s even more lovely than I envisioned. It fits you like a dream. It *looks* well constructed. Awesome job!

  22. Ella October 21, 2010 at 8:25 pm #

    I want to know where your shoes are from- they are super cute! The dress is too, of course.

  23. Gail October 21, 2010 at 8:33 pm #

    Yes, I agree its a winner. It would also look great in navy blue with a white trim. there is something very crisp and summery about the design.

  24. Kat October 21, 2010 at 8:38 pm #

    That looks fantastic!

  25. CK October 21, 2010 at 8:46 pm #

    I LOVE that dress, it is so cute! The belt and shoes complete the look perfectly, great job!

  26. Irene October 21, 2010 at 9:56 pm #

    Looks lovely! This could be a very versatile pattern.

  27. Tasia October 21, 2010 at 9:58 pm #

    You guys are awesome – I love how many of you were into the shoes! They’re from Nine West, I bought them last winter on Boxing Day (the day after Christmas when all the shoes are on sale!) Speaking of sale, they were excellently priced too, if I remember correctly they were $40 down from $150? Something good, anyways! The ankle strap makes them reasonably comfortable, for 5″ heels anyways…

    And now I REALLY want to make this dress in a plaid next! @lap: Excellent point about the bias changing the fit slightly. I’d cut it and baste it together to check the fit first but it would be super cute!

    @Nancy: Hi Nancy! I wrote a post on the underlining, check it out here: You can see the insides of the dress there.

    Thanks everyone for the wonderful comments and compliments!

  28. Rachel October 21, 2010 at 10:34 pm #

    Gorgeous! I particularly like the neckline at the back. Stunning.

  29. Susan - Knitters-Delight October 22, 2010 at 12:15 am #

    The fact that I had to scroll down FOREVER to get to the comment section shows how much of a WOW this dress truly is and what a statement it really makes! Bravo.

  30. Sue October 22, 2010 at 12:16 am #

    Tasia, It’s goreous. Well worth all your efforts in fitting and using couture techniques to make it.

  31. Renay October 22, 2010 at 1:24 am #

    Wow so simple and stylish!!!
    Love the print and the fit is amazing :-) nice one!!!

  32. Alexandra Mason October 22, 2010 at 3:13 am #

    So gorgeous!!

  33. Claire (aka Seemane) October 22, 2010 at 3:32 am #

    Tasia your dress is stunning! Great job, all that hard work has certainly been worth it. You’ve now got my fingers itching to make a similar style dress :)

  34. Katie October 22, 2010 at 3:48 am #

    Pretty!!! Looking forward to reading your zipper instructions :)

  35. Uta October 22, 2010 at 4:44 am #

    Your dress is gorgeous, and the cut and fit are perfect on you! You’re right, this would make a great TNT pattern. I appreciate your walking us through every step – very inspiring!

  36. Jeni October 22, 2010 at 5:42 am #

    Beautiful fabric, dress, construction – everything! Love the belt and shoes with it as well. Just perfect!

  37. julie October 22, 2010 at 7:09 am #

    It’s amazing — the fit is perfect! It looks like you had beautiful Vancouver day with actual sunshine to model it!

  38. Angie October 22, 2010 at 7:34 am #

    Super, super cute!! My aunt is your Twin Spruce fabric provider, and she is an awesome lady. You have put together a beautiful dress. I collect vintage clothing that I wear very often–dresses are my favorite, and I LOVE this one!!

    Take care…….angie

  39. Miet October 22, 2010 at 8:12 am #

    Very pretty!

  40. Catherine October 22, 2010 at 8:27 am #

    Absolutely stunning!!! And ideal for a 200 follower giveaway (provided we are the same size of course!) ! Tee hee! x

  41. Catherine October 22, 2010 at 8:31 am #

    Oh and thank you so much for the clear pictures and instructions – I have saved them for when I am a little more experienced at sewing.

  42. Clare October 22, 2010 at 9:15 am #

    this is exquisite and beautifully made!

  43. Haylee October 22, 2010 at 11:51 am #

    Absolutely ADORE it. The shoes are amazing too.

  44. Lilian October 22, 2010 at 12:20 pm #

    And there it is! the dress we’ve all been waiting for. It’s gorgeous. I like the way the skirt is standing out in the third picture.
    I’m glad I found your blog recently. You make lovely things and write great posts about it. Looking forward to your zipper-tutorial.

  45. Ali October 22, 2010 at 12:30 pm #

    Totally gorgeous! What a dress, so versatile.

  46. Debi October 23, 2010 at 3:56 am #

    LOVE it! It is so perfect! You can really tell that you put extra effort and used couture sewing techniques! And the fabric is just beautiful!!

  47. Misty October 23, 2010 at 7:58 am #

    What a beautiful, swishy, fun dress! I’m so envious!

  48. Amber October 23, 2010 at 9:15 pm #

    This is so beautiful! All of your hard work more than paid off!

  49. Wanett October 24, 2010 at 7:17 pm #

    This is so lovely!! I want that pattern!

  50. quietandsmalladventures October 24, 2010 at 8:14 pm #

    oooh gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous! i was a bit skeptical about the print before it was finished, but now i’m in awe. i love the back, the twirly skirt and i adore the grey heels you paired it with :)

  51. Darci October 25, 2010 at 1:57 pm #

    It’s a perfect dress for twirling! Brava!

  52. lizajane October 25, 2010 at 4:36 pm #

    Really beautiful! All the work you put in to it was worth it.

  53. Nancy October 26, 2010 at 7:08 am #

    I don’t know how I missed this post, but I’m glad I went back and found it! This came out so wonderfully. A+++++

  54. Alessa October 30, 2010 at 12:42 pm #

    Wow, it’s beautiful! Love the fabric, and the swishy skirt, and that beautiful back…! I’m so jealous!

  55. frk.bustad October 31, 2010 at 5:24 am #

    What a beauty! Love the fabric with this pattern – and this pattern really looks useful for many occasions!

  56. Stephanie October 31, 2010 at 2:43 pm #

    I really really love this one too! The fabric is amazing and it fits you great. I love the thin black belt too. Great job lady!

  57. miss 1940 March 23, 2011 at 7:05 am #

    This dress has a lovely shape to it

  58. Helene | 25reasons June 19, 2011 at 2:47 am #

    Love it! It’s so pretty, and my idea of the perfect summer dress. Well done!

  59. rachel sew-n-sew November 8, 2011 at 1:06 pm #

    Gorgeous, gorgeous dress. I’ve just gone back and read through your tutorial for underlining a bodice and can’t wait to try that technique out – thanks for sharing!

  60. Jen May 3, 2014 at 3:28 am #

    I came across this page and fell in love with your dress. I didn’t realize it was a vintage pattern at first and now I am driving myself nuts trying to locate a copy somewhere. While searching, I came across that you are releasing a book and I was wondering if the pattern will be available in your book? I don’t know if older patterns that are long out of print become public domain or anything?

    • Tasia May 6, 2014 at 2:02 pm #

      It’s such a hard pattern to find, I am asked frequently where to get it! My book isn’t a project book, so it doesn’t include patterns. There are likely many similar although not exactly the same dress patterns for sale through etsy, try searching ‘full skirt vintage dress’ and see if you can find something close!

      • Jen May 11, 2014 at 3:00 am #

        Thanks! I’m going to keep searching. It is nice to see someone who has used the pattern and how lovely it looks in person! I find so many patterns with just illustrations on them don’t wind up looking exactly like I think they will. : ( I just really love the boat neck on this and the back! I keep finding patterns that look similar, but just not ones that I like the shape of as much as this one!

  61. Lyric July 10, 2015 at 11:07 am #

    This is very cute on you, Tasia. Giggles, it just occurred to me to ask you. How many dresses to you own? Have you ever counted?



    • Tasia July 13, 2015 at 8:54 am #

      Thanks! It’s faded and worn out now but it was a favourite for a long time.

      Not that many, surprisingly! Things wear out, bodies change, so many of the earlier projects I posted on the blog no longer fit and have been passed on to a new home.