I completely scrapped my sewing plans for day twelve to make a houndstooth dress. I saw one online that morning and I remembered my mother-in-law gave me one of her dresses to make over several years ago. It’s a heavy-weight mini-houndstooth fabric.

I have never completed a dress in a day before, but I was making a pretty uncomplicated dress, so I thought I would go for it. Plus, I planned on using the intact hem to cut my sewing time.

It turned out the hem  on my mother-in-law’s dress was not sewn straight, so I ended up cutting the fabric to straighten it, using the houndstooth pattern as a guide, and hemming the dress.

I made sure to match the pattern on the front and back skirt and bodice pieces. It really makes the finished dress look better when your lines line up.

I worked on this dress during naptime, after naptime while the oldest were at the archery range, Ivory was taking a long nap, and Wren and Elsa watched a movie. Then I worked on it some more after they were in bed.

Technically, it’s not completely done, because I discovered I didn’t have any black buttons to go with it. I’ll be ordering some on Black Friday from Wawak.

Houndstooth Dress





dress pattern (I used one I already had that came free in a sewing magazine years ago).


sewing machine


This dress took me about 6 hours.


$0 so far, since I repurposed it from a hand-me-down. The buttons will be $0.43, so the total cost of the dress is $0.43.

I’m considering making a red belt to go with it from material from my grandmother and some D-rings that I cut off another item, so that wouldn’t add any cost to the dress if I do that.

Did you make any gifts today? What did you make?
Previous posts in this series this year:

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  1. Love the dress Brandy. A red belt would look great and make it even more special, as would a Peter Pan collar. I don’t think that I’ve commented before but I really enjoy reading your blog. Happy Thanksgiving for tomorrow.

  2. I think red would really add to the dress. My daughter made 2 red houndstooth wallets this weekend, She was also very carful to line things up, so many people don’t take time for detail like that as you found out with the original dress..

  3. I love this dress and your style. Depending on the age/size of your child, I have successfully used the shoulder straps from discarded purses to make belts. They are already seamed along the sides and often lined. Just a thought. I admire your frugal nature.

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