1960s wrap dress

Well, to be precise, it’s a three armhole wrap dress made from a 1960s pattern that I bought at Circa Vintage – Butterick 4699.

3 armhole dress


The pattern that I bought was quite small so I had to grade it up. I made a muslin (gasp!) from an old bedsheet to check my sizing, and although it looked really ugly on Doris the dummy (she looked like she was in a hospital gown), I decided to go with it.

I made it to wear over my bathers/swimsuit when visiting the pool in Singapore. I used some 100% cotton knit which I bought on sale at Knitwit, which likes to be creased, so this makes it the perfect travelling fabric as far as I am concerned. However, I decided to wear it out and about because it was so comfortable.DSC00233

My only comment about this dress is that it has 6 metres of binding for the dress edges and armholes. That is a lot of binding! I just cut a couple of strips on the grain and sewed it on, but next time I will be cutting it on the bias to make it more of a feature (yes, I have more of this fabric in other colourways and will make more of these dresses). I also made this one about two inches too long and had to use the belt to hitch it up a bit. I am too short to have dresses sitting below the knee.


I decided to wear it to visit Gardens by the Bay in Singapore. What a place! It was really humid and the dress was the perfect thing to wear.

Here I am at the top of the skywalk. We took the stairs and I was busy freaking out, threatening divorce if Mark made me walk across the bridge – although I must say I look relatively cheerful but I was feeling the fear. He kept reminding me that I had done worse, and I have, but I don’t like being up high when I’m not in control.


Here I am having made it across the bridge – it was the thought of wasting the $5 admission price that made me do it! I decided to do the walk without looking down. Or up. Or sideways.


Pretty spectacular hey? The three towers with the “ship” on the top in the background is the Marina Bay Sands Hotel. This is a landmark which seemed to follow us everywhere. It is an amazing feat of engineering.

Mark felt that he hadn’t seen enough of the view because he’d been busy looking after me so ventured back over the bridge – here are some photos of him disappearing into the distance. Brace yourselves, there are bulk photos coming!




Down on terra firma, here is the view looking up at the skywalk – it’s high and longer than I would wish!


How magnificent are the flower towers? They support the bridge with little wires – seriously, the bridge is just suspended and has a bit of movement.

There are acres and acres of gardens, and there is a flower dome that was just too busy for us to visit, so we will head back before we leave Singapore. This was the last day of the flower festival so everyone was there buying their orchids, and queuing at the restaurants. There must have been thousands of people in this park, but it’s such a massive place that we didn’t really see many en masse, except in the queues and on the shuttle buses, which kept appearing out of nowhere to run us down.

Most of this park is free to visit, and we wandered around looking at the dragonflies in the lake – can you spot a big one? It’s in an earlier photo if you missed it.


We then went through the hotel, which is also spectacular. I didn’t take a photograph but it has a canal running through the middle, with punts on it and lots of high end shops. I didn’t really fit in wearing my swimsuit cover up and dodgy hat, but what the hell.



In these photos Mark is wearing new trousers made for the trip from a linen remnant he bought in Colombo, Sri Lanka. They cost a grand total of $6! The shirt is one I made a while ago and blogged hereDSC00244

In summary: the dress is vintage Butterick 4699 made from a striped cotton knit from Knitwit, worn with black leather Torretti sandals I’ve had forever and my Helen Kaminski battered hat.  The leather bow belt is one I’ve had for a while and which I thought lifted the dress from daggy to slightly less daggy (for those of you not from Australia wondering what daggy means – you don’t really want to know, but I suspect you’re all rushing off to Google, so here’s the link you need) Mark’s striped linen shirt is KwikSew 3422 and his trousers are KwikSew 3663.



13 thoughts on “1960s wrap dress

  1. Well, all I can say about the dress is you have some imagination. I would never have touched this pattern, it looks vile, but your make is great. The fabric suits it so well. Views are amazing too. What a spectacular sight.

    1. Haha Jenny. When I made the muslin I wondered what I was thinking, it truly looked like one of those gowns you wear during an operation. But nothing ventured, and it does look a bit vile without the belt 🙂

  2. What Jenny said. I have seen this pattern and have never once considered making it, but I really like the look with the belt. This is going on the sewing list for next summer, it is so cute!

    You are very brave for walking out on the bridge and looking calm while doing it. Lovely photos, thank you for sharing.

  3. The dress is very pretty and looks great on you! I really love the fabric you chose for it. The photos are spectacular too. Thank you for sharing them.

  4. Well Never mind 1960’s throwback I think you are right up to date with your dress according to Burda. They have just sent me the link to this pattern. Sorry but I can’t do the link but if you search you will find this.

    Double Sleeve DressDouble Sleeve Dress 06/2014 #108

  5. I love your write up. Being Aussie, I know what daggy is. It doesn’t look bad with a belt but could you have the overlap flap to the back not front? Is it comfy?

    1. It’s better with a belt and I can have the overlap at the back but it doesn’t improve it much. I’ve put it down as a fail!

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