That 60s Dress With The Metal Zip {Vintage McCalls 9083}


Have I told you before that my mum is a legend? My mum is a legend. Last week I received a very excited phone call from her because she found a few things at an op shop that she knew I’d love. Two of them were these barkcloth (I think) table cloths. Both in excellent nick and around 1m x 1m. One looked like it had never been used, one slightly used. Not a huge difference in colour between them both though.


My ma knows me well, so of course they became mine. I had planned on making a full gathered skirt with them, but decided to see if I could stretch it to a dress instead. It was time to make something a bit different. I dug through that lovely vintage stash that was given to me a while back and came up with McCalls 9083, a dress pattern from 1967.


I did make some pretty significant changes to the pattern. First and foremost, my bust is nowhere in the vicinity of 34 inches, so some grading up had to happen. Then a 2 inch full bust adjustment on top of that. I am so glad I did too, because it fits like a glove. FBAs are magic, 10/10 do recommend. I use this tutorial to do mine. I lowered the neckline slightly too, because that sucker is high.


I slashed and spread the skirt, eliminating the darts and making it more A line in shape. It’s a bit of a weird feeling for me because I am so used to wearing very full skirts. I feel a little bit naked, which is ridiculous.


I decided on patch pockets because I had a feeling side seam pockets might stick out a bit on this style of skirt.


I had planned to use an invisible zip, but it turned out I didn’t have one long enough in my stash. Then I remembered I had a pretty long thrifted metal one hiding somewhere, so I dug it out. I think the metal is way cooler and gives all that floral a little bit of an edge.


The bodice is lined in black lawn and yeah, I probably should have used black thread but I wasn’t sure whether to match the lining or the zip. So the zip it was.

Peace, love and tablecloth dresses.

7 thoughts on “That 60s Dress With The Metal Zip {Vintage McCalls 9083}

  1. Oh! That fabric! So cheerful and happy. I feel warm and delighted just looking at it. Your mum is ACE.

    I feel the same about full skirts – it’s been hot so I’ve been wearing my Dorothy Lara dresses which have gathered, comparatively slim skirts, that hit just on the knee. I’m used to fuller and longer and I feel very weird in them! But a few hours into the day I get used to it.

    Man. I just love that whole dress though. And FBAs for life!

    Also I’ve been meaning to ask, when I first found your blog I went through the archives like a creep (I promise I’m not a creep!) and you had mentioned maybe doing a photographing yourself tips post. If that was something you had the time and inclination to do I would love to read it. Your photos are just so wonderful, and i have so much trouble finding backgrounds that aren’t boring or terrible, or even just… getting the stupid camera to focus on my face reliably. I have an ok DSLR, it’s me and my skill level that’s the problem! I’m working on it… but I’m hungry for tips from the experts!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! And yes, I’ve been meaning to do the photo thing for ages. Just need to get my act together. Your photos are good! Exposed properly and in focus 🙂 I will get onto it though. A job for next year.


      1. Thank you for the validation! I always feel they are so boring and don’t show the details of my makes well but probably I am also more critical of them than I need to be. ❤


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