#SundressSew15 · McCall's 5881 · Sewing · Vintage

Your destination has been reached #SundressSew15

Did I do it?  Of course I did it.  I mean, I set myself an extraordinarily generous timescale.  Seventeen sleeps, hah!  It was finished with, well, about a day to spare.


McCall’s 5881 in ‘Lilo Swimmers’ from Stone Fabrics, currently in their summer sale.


McCall’s 5881, which I am astonished to find having just this very moment checked the envelope, is dated 1992.  From the pattern illustrations I would have put this firmly into an exuberant section of the 80s rather than what I remember as the rather austere early 90s.  Although, my summer of ’92 included a fantastically sunny Glastonbury, the end of Polytechnic education and jobs in the apple picking and tree counting industries.

This would be a great dress in which to pick apples.  Plenty of reach room and that collar would provide much needed back of the neck sun protection.  Plus, I popped in some in-seam pockets.  Perfect for scrumping which I never ever did.


If you have this pattern in your stash somewhere and feel the need to channel the spirit of the exuberant/austere late 80s/early 90s, beware!  Not for nothing are these called tent dresses.  Give me a pole and some pegs and we could have slept under this in ’92.  That’s with some slimming from me through the shoulders and armholes.  Plus a teensy raising of the neckline.  Don’t want flash your tan line and your tide marks at your fellow festival goers!

1992.  You know I’m sure that was the year that Newman and Baddiel appeared on the Comedy Stage.

“Do you see that brightly coloured confection in the next field?”

“The Circus Tent?”

“Yes, the Circus Tent.  You do see it?  It’s large enough to accommodate six stilt walkers and the entire Bristol School of Samba.”

“Oh, really?”

“Yes.  Its aroma is somewhat unpleasant due to its proximity to the compost toilets and its fabric is gaudy and ill-fitting.”


“That’s you that is.  That’s you in your best dress that is.”

Apologies to both Newman and Baddiel.  And, anyone under 30.

Happy Sundress Sewing!


22 thoughts on “Your destination has been reached #SundressSew15

  1. The swimwear/beach print on that fabric is simply beautiful! I love how you coordinated the buttons and thread. Its gorgeous 🙂 I hope you thoroughly enjoy your new creation!

  2. Well done on finishing this dress, Penny! It looks lovely and I hope you enjoy wearing it-have a good summer! Best wishes, Samina

  3. A sundress to do twirls in with pockets and cool collar…doesn’t get any better than that…oh wait…colorful buttons and fun fabric motifs…you got it all rolled into one!!!! Great job, Penny!

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