1960s · Dresses · Sew Weekly · Simplicity Patterns

Completed: Simplicity 5889 Dress (1965)

Photo by author.

I can’t believe this dress was 8 years in the making. I have some old WIPs, but except for my 10+ year old half-made cape, this might take the cake. I originally started it for a Sew Weekly challenge where the theme was “Mad Men.” I was going for a Betty look because the fabric is pink, but I think the collar puts it firmly in Peggy-land.

Time Frame: March 2012-May 2020
Simplicity 5889 (1965)
Kettle-dyed, lightweight fabric, unknown fiber content. $4, thrifted from Savers. It had a gross mothball smell for a long time.
Buttons, snap, and hem lace from stash.
16 1/2, B37


  • I added a snap at the top corner of the button placket to keep it tucked under the collar.
  • The collar is supposed to be tacked on so it can be removed for easy cleaning, or if you want to swap between a collar and collarless look. I tried this, but it didn’t sit nicely, and I knew I wasn’t going to remove it, so I ended up just opening the neckline and inserting it permanently.


  • When I re-set the collar, I meant to take it up slightly in the shoulders, because it is slightly too long, but I forgot.
  • I need to add another snap where the button placket gaps (see first photo).
  • I originally opted for an above-the-knee hem, but I think I’m going to change it to match the illustration and be just below the knee. It looks too blocky head on in its proportions otherwise.
  • I might put some light horsehair in the hem to get it to bell out a little better. The pattern comes with a straight or an a-line skirt, and this is the a-line version.
  • If I make it again, I would add pockets, fit it a little better, and maybe switch the armscye facings to bindings. They fit better than many other facings in vintage patterns, but I prefer the lack of bulkiness with a binding.
Photo by author.

In the end, I have mixed feelings about this dress. I like the fit of the back but not the front. The color is not one I usually wear, and I feel like it doesn’t look as good on me as other colors. It does bring a little variety to my wardrobe in that all my other dresses have full skirts, but I feel like it isn’t as flattering as the fuller skirts are. It also is nice to have a different collar style on a shirtdress, but the proportions take some getting used to. I’d like the try the version with the tie collar and sleeves, as I find a rounded neckline more flattering.

One thought on “Completed: Simplicity 5889 Dress (1965)

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