Diane von Furstenberg t-shirt dress


As part of my vintage pledge I decided to make this 1970s DVF t-shirt dress.


I wasn’t totally enamoured with this pattern, wondering whether it wasn’t a tad frumpy, and to cement this view I decided to make it out of this fabric, bought at Knitwit for $3 metre.


I have to say that this fabric is pretty darned ugly. I bought it to use as stretchy muslin fabric, but as I never make muslins it was just hanging around in the stash. Enter my good friend Dylon the dye. I kept reading on the packet that cotton fabric could be done in the front loading washing machine, and I decided to give this a go. First I established that this was a natural fabric using the burn test. Yes, it was – I only discovered later that it is, in fact, viscose. No matter. I threw the dye into the drum of the machine, followed by the salt, followed by the fabric. Off it went on the delicate cycle as I had conniptions over the colour. It was very dark. There is no controlling the colour once it’s in the machine. I decided not to stress, it could go back to being muslin fabric. Next I had to do a normal wash with detergent and then dry it in the shade. I have to say that I am thrilled with the colour. The gaudiness has been toned right down and the fabric is really soft and swishy. Here I am concentrating very hard on doing a swish. Luckily you can’t see me nearly fall over at the end.


As to the DVF dress, well, I love it. It really is just a simple t-shirt with a full skirt, but its secret seems to be in the shaping on the front and back seams as well as the sides. I didn’t make any changes to it (I forgot to do a sway back adjustment) but did add pockets after I had sewn it up because my hands kept looking for them.


Here I am getting distracted by stray threads left in the seams.DSC01364

The obligatory back view


Basically this is a really easy to make, easy to wear dress. I am going to have a browse in my stash to see if I have other appropriate fabric from which to make another one. It does use a bit of fabric because the skirt is quite wide. I did reduce the length of the skirt which reduced the fabric required, but next time I will take off another three inches. I will also raise the pockets a bit – without the belt I find my arms aren’t long enough to reach them!


The details: Pattern is Vogue 1547, a Diane von Furstenberg 1970s knit dress. Fabric was bought on sale from Knitwit and dyed indigo blue. Shoes are XSA from Dimantina, Subiaco, necklace is ceramic and bought in Wellington, NZ.


16 thoughts on “Diane von Furstenberg t-shirt dress

    1. Thank you. They look a bit frumpy but she does really know how to design clothes and they come out quite stylish and still fashionable (I hope!). I think my dress looks better in real life than in the photos and I know I will just throw it on all the time for summer.

  1. Your dress looks fabulous and the colour is hugely improved. The pattern reminds me of the ‘Lady Skater Dress’. Hmmm, could the LSD be a copy of the DVF? Scandalous!

  2. love. this. dress. I have a knit dress that is similar that I bought from Chadwick’s catalog way way back that is still my go-to unwrinkleable (?) summer dress. It is very similar to this, so I am going to hunt down this pattern. Thank you for posting it and also thank you for this blog that shows clothing for women who aren’t cute 20-somethings… 🙂

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