I know, it’s been rather quiet on the sewing front around here lately! I’ve been spending more time working and as my closet gets more complete (and since right now I’m actually lacking a physical closet to store my clothing) I find that I have less desire to sew.

This spring, though, I found myself with a few spare hours to put together, a strong desire to just make something, and some really delightful science-themed novelty print fabric.

Science themed novelty print retro dress handmade from Advance 7757 in the style of a Swirl dress. Orange, lime green, and teal pop against the navy background.

I’d been hoping to make another one of these faux-Swirl dresses since I wear my first one quite a bit. I was initially hoping to find some sort of breakfast or coffee themed novelty print since the dress basically serves as a glorified bathrobe many mornings, but it seemed like the best pattern that I had on hand for this silly science fabric, so the choice was made.

A bright novelty print really pops at a distance

Now I know I said I made this early this spring… well, when I bought the fabric I knew I wanted a coordinating solid color to make the belt, and for whatever reason I didn’t just buy the quarter yard of solid cotton then while I was thinking about it… no, I finished the whole dang dress and let it languish for a good couple months before I got around to going back to the fabric store!

Close up of the large square pockets of Advance 7757 in science novelty print edged with orange rick-rack

Last time I made this, I left off the pockets. I knew I wanted pockets this time, and after a bit of dithering over whether to come up with a different pocket pattern or just go with the flow I decided to just use the giant comical kangaroo pockets that the pattern called for. I think the pockets make the pattern look a little more apron-y, and since they’re designed to puff out a little I decided it was best to go ahead and edge them in a couple rows of rick-rack so people would know they were intentional. On the plus side, this means that I can carry pretty much everything I need in my pockets and I don’t need to carry a purse!

Science themed novelty print retro dress handmade from Advance 7757 in the style of a Swirl dress. Orange, lime green, and teal pop against the navy background.

It’s an incredibly satisfying pattern to make, the whole thing comes together really quickly due to the simple construction: it’s really just two fronts and two backs, darted and seamed, with a few nicely shaped facings! This does make it a bit of a fabric hog on a pattern with a nap (like this one) and I may have cheated the grainlines just a smidge to get it to all fit.

Bright orange rick-rack makes an eye-catching trim on a vintage-inspired novelty print dress

There are also ample opportunities for embellishing, so I decided to go with orange rick-rack to edge the collar. I was thinking of using more colors, but in the end simplicity won out.

Science themed novelty print retro dress handmade from Advance 7757 in the style of a Swirl dress. Orange, lime green, and teal pop against the navy background.

Button and tie back closure on Advance 7757, a retro Swirl dress knock-off pattern

Bright orange hair flower and chartreuse green earrings bring out bold colors in a retro science novelty print dress

I’m really glad I took another stab at this dress pattern, and I just love the science print fabric. I think I’ll be wearing this a lot over the summer and into the fall with cardigans. I still want my kitchen-themed day dress, but this will do for now!

Science themed novelty print retro dress handmade from Advance 7757 in the style of a Swirl dress. Orange, lime green, and teal pop against the navy background.

  • Flower hair clip: Made by me
  • Chartreuse moonglow lucite clip earrings: Thrifted
  • Bakelite bangles: Thrifted various places
  • Science novelty print Swirl-style dress: Advance 7757
  • Blue strappy plastic sandals: Crocs