Skip to content

Completed: The Tiki Dress

Tiki Dress, Gertie's New Book for Better Sewing | @vintageontap

Tiki Dress, Gertie's Book for Better Sewing | @vintageontap

Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk | @vintageontap

Tiki Dress, Gertie's New Book for Better Sewing, back view shirring and zipper | @vintageontap

Tiki Dress, Gertie New Book for Better Sewing | @vintageontap

Tiki Dress, Gertie's New Book for Better Sewing | @vintageontap

Tiki Dress, Gertie's New Book for Better Sewing, back view and hair | @vintageontap

Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk ride attraction | @vintageontap

Tiki Dress, Gertie's New Book for Better Sewing, bodice detail | @vintageontap

Tiki Dress, Gertie's New Book for Better Sewing, kickpleat detail | @vintageontap

Tiki Dress, Gertie's New Book for Better Sewing, sweetheart sundress top, Pin up style | @vintageontap

Tiki Dress, Gertie's New Book for Better Sewing | @vintageontap

This tiki dress is the most immediately satisfying make of the year.

The moment it left my sewing machine, I knew it was a winner. This tiki dress was very much an impulsive “MUST MAKE IT NOW” sort of project and I’m glad I took it on because I feel amazing in it. Browsing the different vintage and pinup Facebook groups I’m a part of, seeing everyone talking about the Viva Las Vegas rockabilly weekend, and being sad that I can’t go this year isn’t very productive. So why not whip up a tiki dress for when I do get to go?

The pattern was super cool to work with because I all ready knew it quite well! The pattern is a combination of two different pieces from the Gertie New Book for Better Sewing. The top is the Sweetheart Dress and the skirt is the pencil skirt pattern, redrafted with a slash and spread technique.

Something different that I got to play with in this pattern was the shirring in the back, using elastic thread in my recently tuned up machine. It was fun to see the panel shrink! But So.Many.Rows! For some reason I anticipated working with elastic thread to be more complicated than it really was.

The fabric for this piece was something I picked up from a local fabric shop and absolutely screamed tiki dress. While I absolutely love the print, the fabric itself has a really weird hand that reminds me of a soft oilcloth. When I purchased it, it had a stiffer hand, which I had hoped was only the final finish and would soften during washing. It still softened and is wearable, but I can see this as a special occasion dress due to the weird texture of the fabric.

The video for this dress came out great! Please check it out!


  1. PsychicKathleen PsychicKathleen

    Beautiful! Your pictures are SO perfect for showcasing your lovely new dress :) Congratulations on such a great fabric choice too!

    • I think the loud fabric really made the piece! I’m actually excited to make this again in the future– I think the style really lends itself to a lot of fun tropical prints.

      Thank you for the comment!

  2. Just discovered your beautiful blog!
    The dress is amazing! I love the cut as well as the great pattern.
    You are so talented.


    • Thank you for your comment! I’ve been sewing for almost 15 years, so it’s definitely been an uphill battle to get to this point! So worth it, though!

  3. Well hello there gorgeous. Seriously this dress is amazing on you! I got some similar fabric last year for a tiki dress but never got around to it. This is a great kick up the bum for me to start mine. Loving everything you are making, keeping me so inspired!!! Thank you !

    • Thank you for your great comment! Definitely stitch up a tiki dress so I can admire it, too! You’ve done some amazing work on your blog- I can’t see what your next project is going to be!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Vintage on Tap started in 2013

Since then, it has become not only a photo blog, but also a popular YouTube channel and Instagram Feed.

All content on this blog was created by Bianca Santori and Jose Vivanco, unless otherwise stated. We focus on producing high quality videos, tips, and tutorials to encourage our readers to be confident and happy wearing vintage-inspired garments.

Disclaimer: We take partnerships and affiliates very seriously! We will only promote and support companies and brands we believe will be the most beneficial to our audience and are true to the vision of the blog. Want to work with us? Please reach out via our Contact Form.