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Thursday, January 28, 2016

· 1950s Novelty-Print Scissors Dress ·

I was approached by Deirdre of The Vintage Pattern Lending Library to work on a collaboration with her pattern company, and I was SO delighted to have the opportunity!

The VPLL is a lesser-known source for vintage patterns, which I think is such a shame!  I've been a fan of VPLL for years and have made 4 garments (Penny Rose, Stripes & Buttons, 1930s Summer, 1930s Coat) featured on the blog from her patterns, as well as a few more that my mom and I made long before my online presence. ;-)  I was so excited for the excuse to pick out one of my very favorite patterns that I just hadn't gotten around to yet: this 1950s dress!

VPLL patterns are copied from originals dating from the 1860s to the 1950s, which means most patterns are only offered in one size.  The patterns themselves are printed onto sturdy paper and come with the original instructions.  Deirdre is wonderful to work with, and so friendly!

If you've followed me long, you know that 1950s dress and novelty prints will ALWAYS call my name.
And I won't ever resist.

I picked up this fabric at JoAnns over a year ago, and it was a great candidate for this pattern!  The fabric had just enough of a dominant pattern that I could have fun with careful cutting, yet was forgiving enough that I didn't have to sweat it. ;-)

As always, a side zipper, applied by hand.  I love this method!
(and as always, it looks like it's a bit too long-waisted in the back.  oh well, easy fix. ;-))

Aaaand.... the selling factor for this pattern!  Such a fun neckline!!

The back bodice extends into the cap sleeves, which are then gathered into the front.  The front is finished off separately (along the ric-rac trimmed seam) and then topstitched onto the sleeves about an inch from the edge.  Different!  Fun! :-)

Side pocket, again- as always.  After you've tasted the convenience, there's just no going back!

After much agonizing, I decided to go with white accents on the dress.  I really wanted to go with yellow, but the dress is close enough to both buttery and mustardy tones that I wanted it to be flexible enough to be paired with necklaces/hats/sweaters in either shade.  So naturally that's why I wore white in these pictures. ;-P

Which leads me to the next step- I'm obviously in dire need of some fun, quirky sewing-themed jewelry.  So this is where you, dear readers, come in!  Do you have any ideas? :-)  I think this dress is worthy of an entirely new photoshoot when I have some fun accessories to complete the theme!

Make sure to check out VPLL's wide selection of antique and vintage designs!

· Photo thanks, as always to Kathryn! ·


  1. You're officially the cutest ever. This dress is so adorable!! The print is so cute and perfect for a seamstress! ;) That neckline is very fun and flattering.
    Lovely job! It's fun to see a new dress post again! :)

  2. Such an adorable dress! That neckline is quite fun, and I love how you switched the direction of the fabric print for the belt.

    I would advise you on accessories, except for the fact that I have a hard time in that department myself. :P


    the Middle Sister and Singer

  3. This is an amzing dress. I love the neckline.

  4. I love your dress! From a bit of a distance, the fabric just looks like a fun modern print. It's not until you get closer that you realize there are scissors all over it! I really love the style of neckline. It makes me want to use the 1940's pattern that I have that has a similar neckline.

  5. Your dress is amazing - and it took me a few minutes wondering why it was called a scissors dress until all became clear!

  6. Well, quirky sewing-themed jewelry isn't hard to find in itself, it's all in the specifications. What are your parameters? Vintage? Beads? Short length (around 15"?) Anyway, I'd try eBay. Or LOTS of antique malls. LOTS and LOTS. (I'll go with you!)
    And the dress is adorable. It pairs with the white quite delicately.
    Perhaps it'd go with a gray sweater, too. ;)

  7. Ok, this dress is just too fun! I love the really have to study it to see what it is and that always makes me smile. Like a hidden treasure to discover! And I am always enamored with your use of ric-rac...just too sweet!

  8. Gorgeous dress and such a fun print! It really is a perfect print to go along with that neckline! As for quirky jewelry have you looked into Erstwilder brooches? They have a huge collection of quirky and even have some earrings and necklaces. Rosita Bonita is another brand that does quirky but in a completely different way. Unfortunately though neither of those brands are very cheap and you will probably have to expect to pay a pretty penny of anything by them. :(

  9. I got as a gift from a friend a larger locket with an enamel scissors detail. I think she bought them at like Kohls or something, years ago sadly. But I keep it on a ribbon tied in a bow with a pin back on it (rather than on the necklace it came with). Perhaps something cute and kitschy like that?

  10. I don't say this lightly - this is, by far, one of my favourite novelty print dresses ever, from any era. What a creative, joyful dress and endlessly fitting subject matter for a seamstress to have a garment made out.

    ♥ Jessica

  11. I think we are all in love with this dress! I am excited to check out a new vintage pattern source. Since some of us wear a measuring tape hanging around our neck when we are cutting or fitting, I think it would be cute to incorporate a measuring tape themed accessory. :)



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