Charm Patterns by Gertie - Lamour Dress


This glamorous halter dress was named for Dorothy Lamour, who starred in many films with tropical flair. Hawaiian dresses and playsuits were coveted tourist souvenirs in the ’40s and ’50s, and today they are highly collectible vintage treasures. Now you can make your own, using some of the best sewing techniques for a beautifully fitted and structured garment. The fully lined dress has underlining and boning in the bodice, princess seams, a center front bust pleat detail, convertible halter straps, and a three-quarter circle skirt with side seam pockets. Tips, tricks, and free videos at will guide you along the way.

Fabric Notes

Main Fabric: Light to medium weight wovens: cottons like poplin, sateen, and lawn; silks with body like dupioni and shantung; sheers like flocked tulle, lace, and eyelet.

Lining: Light to medium weight cottons and lining fabrics. You will be sewing boning channeling to the lining, so it should be sturdy enough to stand up to the weight of the steel boning.

Underlining: Use a sturdy muslin (calico) for opaque dress fabrics. For sheers, pick an underlining that will be both sturdy and attractive (since it will be visible from the outside of your dress). Good choices include cotton broadcloth, sturdy silks like shantung or faille, and sturdy lining fabrics. It is also possible to use a less sturdy underlining for a sheer dress fabric if you add a muslin layer as a second underlining and baste all three layers together in step 2.


  • dress and lining fabric (see yardage chart)
  • muslin (or other fabric) for bodice underlining
  • thread to match fabric
  • 3 yards (2.7 m) of ¼-inchwide (6 mm) spiral steel boning
  • metal cutters
  • pliers
  • boning tips or Teflon tape to finish cut ends of boning
  • 3 yards (2.7 m) of ½-inch wide (1.3 cm) boning channeling or bias tape
  • 18-inch zipper
  • about ¼ yard (0.2 m) fusible interfacing or roll of 1¼-inch-wide (3 cm) fusible stay tape to stabilize zipper opening
  • optional: grosgrain or petersham ribbon for waist stay (cotton or rayon is preferable)
  • optional: hooks and eyes for waist stay

Please see Finished Measurement Chart on instruction sheet.

Charm Patterns are the creation of International Sewing Starlet, Gertie (Gretchen Hirsch). She's a passionate home seamstress, a sought-after sewing teacher, and the creator of one of the web’s most popular sewing blogs: Gertie’s New Blog for Better Sewing.

For more on Gertie and her Charm Patterns see:

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