The Mystery of the Themed Fabric

Nancy Drew Fabric

India sent me this fabric, and asked me what I thought could be made out of it … my initial response is that you could make a really big mistake out of this fabric!

But then I got to thinking, and realized that it would probably make a pretty good button-front shirtdress, especially if you pleated the skirt so that you got nice, even Nancy-stripes out of the checkerboard design. (Just about any novelty fabric will work in a shirtdress, because the form is so simple.) Also, I'm fairly sure that you could get Nancy Drew-themed buttons, although a cursory Google does not bear this out; you could also use the Nancy-face squares (or, more interestingly, the dialogue squares) to make big covered buttons.

You could also make a big circle skirt and make bias binding to trim a matching pink cardigan. Embroidering a big "ND" on the chest would be a nice touch.

I could also see this as a sheath dress, although you'd have to line it.

What would you do? Make sure to put pockets in it — Nancy Drew strikes me as the kind of heroine who always has a pocket. And a bobby pin in her hair in case she needs to pick a lock.

I have nearly talked myself into buying five yards of this damn stuff, and I'm not even a big Nancy Drew fan! If you want some, click on the image link. It's $10.99/yard, and there's only the pink and brown colorway — blue and brown is sold out. If you end up making any style of dress with this, please send me a picture!

0 thoughts on “The Mystery of the Themed Fabric

  1. Can you see how it all comes together now, the twin-sets and now this fabric for making the skirt you suggested? LOL!I hope there is only 1 piece of this fabric left on the planet! Cushions maybe?


  2. ok, here’s my take. Make the dress in one of those midriff patterns you so love, only make the midriff a solid color to match the print, pleat out the skirt according to the print, and trim off collar, sleeves, or whatever in piping to match the midriff.You’d also need a purse made out of this fabric. Might be overkill for this outfit, but it’d be great for all sorts of other outfits that need a lift. Plus, it takes less fabric. Leaving more money to buy other fabric, of course.


  3. Oh, the blue/brown colorway complicates things terribly. I love that combination, too, and it seems so much more serious, so much more Nancy.Of course, to me, the perfect Nancy combo would be a kind of cold green and brown. I think the set of books I tore through the summer that I was ten had greeny-yellow backs.I don’t think I could wear a shirtwaist of this, but maybe the circle skirt will do.Thanks, Erin!


  4. Oh, wow! lol I wonder if Nancy would approve. I’d have to say a pleated shirtdress, if such a thing is possible. Or the Retro Butterick 4790 ('retro'&page=1) – maybe like the black one, with Nancy as the ‘black’ wraparound part, wrapping around a nice chocolate fabric or perhaps a golden colour like her hair. Oooo.Or – not a dress, but…! – one of those fabric wall panels a la Bella Dia. With a pocket to hold, say, binding or ric-rac or a copy of “The Secret of Shadow Ranch”.I used to love Nancy Drew, too. My friends and I would play Nancy Drew all the time. My (male) cousin has been every bad guy in the book. lol


  5. buy it . . . buy it . . . buy it . . . buy it . . . buy it . . . buy it . . . buy it . . . buy it . . . buy it . . . buy it . . . buy it . . . buy it . . . buy it . . . buy it . . . buy it . . .


  6. You’ve got to love this for the cute, novelty factor. I don’t even sew, and I’d love a piece just to look at it!I’d wear it if it were a button up shirt, if only to confirm my geeky status! 🙂


  7. I’m not sure it counts as a dress, but you’d absolutely have to make a jumper out of it. With a square neck, princess seams and an A-line skirt, for that ND sensible-but-still-feminine style. And of course large patch pockets in the front for carrying her notebook, pen, flashlight and bobby pins. To be worn with a pink blouse with a Peter Pan collar. This is soo not my style, but I can envisage it so clearly I’m tempted to make it.


  8. Not something to wear…throw pillows maybe? Ditto on the tote. Nancy was always described as a sharp dresser, so I don’t think she would approve of wearing a print like this.


  9. Here because Mandy led me here..I’m loving your site, and had to comment on the Nancy fabric. Were I to purchase some of this fabu fabric, I’d probably turn it into a tote, or cover my dayplanner with it, or make myself a fabulous apron…


  10. Hmm, I like it.But I’d like it even more if it were Hardy Boys material, not Nancy Drew, since Hardy Boys is so much cooler than ND.


  11. Hmm, I like it.But I’d like it even more if it were Hardy Boys material, not Nancy Drew, since Hardy Boys is so much cooler than ND.


  12. Did you ever make anything with your fabric? I’d love to buy a yard if you still have any left, since I can’t find some anywhere! Thanks!!shawneeh at


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