This is not your 1959 Hawaiian Muumuu dress! The MuuMuu dress is a loose dress of Hawaiian origin. It’s usually bright colored with Polynesian flower prints. According to Wikipedia MuuMuu means, “cut off” and it originally was shorter and lacked the neckline yoke.

When I started this dress and shared the pattern online my sewing community told me they were really popular when Hawaii became a state in 1958 and then through the 1960s.

I have always wanted one and I had the perfect Alexander Hernry fabric I got from Sew to Speak in Columbus, Ohio.

I used Advance pattern 8651. Dress A was the look I was after although I wanted the inserted pockets from dress B. It is possible and easy to use and combine both parts of the dresses because the pattern pieces are all really the same here.

I decided to add a belt into the side seam lines that can be tied in the front or in the back of the dress for two reasons. One, anytime I wear anything really loose and baggy people ask if I am pregnant and two, I had extra fabric left over I wanted to use.


Every time I put on the dress I feel like it might be backwards. The back and the front are almost identical and I didn’t put a label in the back. Another thing I realized after making the dress was that the pleats in the front and in the back upper neckline (that attach to the yoke) are barely visible because the print is so busy. I could have simply gathered it all and no one would even notice and I could have saved an hour of marking, pinning and basting pleats. Last, my dress came out really short. I solved this problem by making little scuba knit black shorts to wear under the dress.

All and all I love this dress and I wear it often. It is one of the most comfortable things I have ever made and is a go-to, feel good garment in the summer. Whenever I wear it I get tons of comments.

After making this dress I made another one similar, with no pattern.

Behind the scenes~

It’s Tracy’s Sewing Studio’s three year anniversary! I can’t believe it has been three years since we closed Sew Dayton. Sew Dayton was such a wonderful stepping stone to learn all about small business with the help of an entire city. Jesy my business partner at Sew Dayton opened Needle Ink and Thread  and is also doing wonderful teaching the community how to sew.

We have some great memories and I saved every scrap for the books.

Thank you for reading,

Tracy McElfresh

Dream it! Sew it!

Tracy McElfresh
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