Marilyn’s Seven Year Itch Dress

This month’s theme was the perfect motivation to make my costume for Halloween, plus I love vintage clothing, especially the 50’s styles. So of course I had to do a Marilyn Monroe dress. I received this book Famous Frocks for Christmas last year and have had plans to make the white Marilyn Monroe halter dress for awhile, so I finally gave it a go!

The Famous Frocks version was more of a fit and flare so some changes needed to be made. First I added 3/4″ wide pleats with 1 1/4″ depth to each pleat to each of the eight panels, yes, EIGHT! Then after cutting them out I pleated them and sewed them together, more on that my my post here. I also added a 1.5″ FBA (full bust adjustment) and 1″ of length to the waistband. Then as an after thought because the belt wasn’t long enough I cut it in half and doubled it’s length. Look at those lovely pressed pleats! I used a polyester charmeuse from Jo-Ann’s fabric which pressed beautifully. Then for the lining of the bodice and waistband I used some leftover Bemberg lining in my stash.

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Overall I am very happy with how this dress has turned out! The pleating took forever, then the hemming wasn’t so fun either, but the time and effort was worth it as it looks amazing! I followed the pattern instructions for everything else except I stitched the ditch of the bottom waistband to attach the interior facing rather than slip stitch it all by hand and put in a 1″ hem.

Then after I had the halter together I realized it needed more support and structure so I hand tacked swim suit cups into it. And in the photo below you can see my lovely waist band facing, :).

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And no post wouldn’t be complete without photos in the full Marilyn Monroe get up!

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I couldn’t get a box fan to work to billow the skirt so I did the next best thing: spinning!

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And a side by side comparison of the original, not too bad! More photos here.

12 thoughts on “Marilyn’s Seven Year Itch Dress

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