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Thursday, April 14, 2016

· Venturing into the late 1930s ·


Oh goodness.  I hate coming up with post titles.  How can such a simple thing be so difficult?  Consequently... here we are with yet another un-inspired title.  Let's just say that it's a good thing I have photos- no one would click on my posts without other inducements.  Maybe I should take a page out of BuzzFeed's book.

On the other hand, this dress was such a delightful project to work on!  Sewing garments is so much simpler than inventing post titles.

This dress is the result of my collaboration with Penny Rose Fabrics and you can read my guest post with my inspiration for this dress on their blog today!


I've liked the looks of Simplicity 8050 since it was first released, and this seemed like a great opportunity to use it!  I raised the neckline a fair bit and ended up shortening the sleeves by about 2" so they'd be a more flattering length- I liked them on the cover, but either my arm length or my fabric rendered them rather awkward looking....

Also, since this is a late 1930s dress, shoulder pads were a must!  My little sloping shoulders definitely need a bit of help to look proportional. ;-)  It's kind of funny what a difference just a bit will do to the overall look, though! (yay for not looking dumpy anymore!)

A huge thank you goes to my mom for her help in fitting this!  I truly avoid set-in sleeves because of fitting issues, but she helped me through the rough bits!  I took a hint from this video and raised the bottom of the bodice armhole by 5/8" and bottom of the sleeve armhole by 1" to add range of motion.  It worked well and I'll definitely keep using that method. :-)



"Woohoo! Let's pick an extremely acute angle to accent with ric-rac! That would be brilliant and so fun!"

Sometimes I truly do wonder if I am conspiring for my own ruin when I come up with grand ideas.  It's a good thing I love a challenge! (and it's a good thing it worked so well. that's all that really matters. ;-))


I used a lapped seam method to attach the princess seam/waistline seam since the acute angle rendered that a highly-historically-probable method of construction.  Aaaand, since there was ric-rac application involved as well, I jumped on the chance. ;-)  Sure-fire way to make sure the trim ends up exactly where I want it?  Sign me up!


Seamed stockings!!  Squee!  I know- I'm long overdue for getting these.... but now I no longer need to be ashamed of the backs of my legs in pre-1940s attire. ;-)

As an aside, there's a great article on seamed stockings on Tuppence Ha'penny's blog here.


I went through the process of writing about how I'm a bit conflicted with how off-center this method made my buttons and how I wasn't sure how to fix it.... but then apparently that's just what I needed to process the fact that I need to redo those loops to be the more "C" shaped loops.  I think.  That would end up bringing in the buttons closer to the true center.

Anyone have any advice?  I'm thinking the only issue I might run into would be gaping between the buttons- but would that really be a problem if it isn't already?


These buttons were a wonderfully timely find at an estate sale just a few days before I needed them!  We, ahem, may not *technically* need more buttons, but when there are matching vintage sets, how can you walk away?  There were 10 total in this set so I felt a little bad using only 8 of them, but I'm sure I'll find a use for the others. :-)


This purse is part of our growing hoard of vintage purses. ;-)  This would be one thing we've found in spades on our estate saling adventures!  This is a black "corde" style, frequently seen throughout the mid-20th century.


This is what I affectionately refer to as my Quirky Nurse hat.  It's just so ridiculously 30s!  I picked it up at an antique mall last spring- it was a very serendipitous trip that resulted in 2 1940s hats and this 1930s hat!  I rarely, rarely find hats earlier than the 1950s but somehow happened upon 3 hats at once!  Hooray!!


These gloves.  I just love them so much.

I used to think I had very average hands but I have more trouble finding gloves than I ever expected (apparently I have long fingers? who knew?), so my collection of gloves that are "passable" is rather smaller than I'd like.  My collection of gloves that are "comfortable" is only 1-2 pairs.  These are a nigh-perfect fit, and I couldn't be more thrilled that they just so happen to be the kid leather, amazing cutouts, gauntlet length pair. :-)

· Photos- the inimitable and amenable Kathryn! ·

27 comments:

  1. Lily, you are nothing short of amazing. This is hands down, my all-time favorite garment of yours!!! The color is SO PERFECT on you, and the pattern, ricrac, buttons and everything are SO PERFECT for that style. I seriously adore this dress!!
    And, it really goes without saying, but your hat is to die for. And your gloves. And your shoes. And your purse....and the list goes on.
    Absolutely gorgeous, elegant, beautiful outfit, Lily!!! Thank you for the amazing inspiration and eye candy!!!!! :D

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    1. Awww, thanks so much Esther!! :-)

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  2. Ooh, I love it! I have Simplicity 8050, and I want to do something with it, only I think I will stick with a solid burgundy with white collar.

    Sarah
    sewcharacteristicallyyou.weebly.com

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    1. Sarah, sounds smashing! This pattern would be great in a solid so that the fun seaming gets the attention it deserves! Prints are my weakness, but then I'm left thinking up creative solutions to make the details of my garment show up better! ;-)

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  3. Your outfit is simply superb! I don't have many pink/red outfits and you are inspiring me to do something about it.

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    1. I hope you do! Pink and red are some of my favorites! :-) (ok, I like just about every color... ;-))

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  4. Perfect as always! I can't get over the this fabric, it is so perfect for doing and so cheery:) I love all the details of this dress, especially the collar. Also, this hat is FABULOUS:)
    -Madison
    www.minniemuseblog.con

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    1. Madison, awww, thanks so much! :-)

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  5. This is lovely! If you wanted to use up the last 2 buttons you could put them on the outside of your sleeve hems/cuffs

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  6. This is a lovely dress! Love the fabric! And your gloves are perfection!

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  7. Love the dress (and the entire ensemble for that matter.) Where did you get those great shoes??

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    1. The shoes are Miss L Fire brand- one of my favorite vintage repro companies! You can find them at various online retailers (or if you happen to live in London or LA!).

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  8. Dear Lily, I just love love all of your beautiful dresses! Not to mention your accessories also.
    I was wondering , if you dress like this on a daily basis aka daily shopping , chores, etc...
    do people stare at you or comment? Do you feel uncomfortable ? Iam a dress/skirt gal and I don't blend in with the rest of society (if you know what I mean) when I'am out and about.
    Thanks ! I would love your input on this. Love your blog and always look foward to your posts!
    Irene

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    1. Irene, yes, I do wear vintage styles like this all the time. :-) And yes, I don't fit in in the slightest. ;-) I do save fancy shoes, gloves, and statement hats like this for Sundays or special occasions, but otherwise you'll see me wearing this stuff no matter what I'm doing. Most all of my interaction with strangers is very positive which helps a lot in feeling confident and unmindful of the stares. :-)

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  9. This is a beautiful spring outfit- and those gloves are perfection!
    www.theartyologist.com

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  10. Amazing love this dress, your attention to detail wonderful 👗👠👜

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  11. Wonderful dress!

    I'd leave the buttons as is. I totally thought "that's a really interesting design feature" - it totally looks intentional.

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  12. You look absolutely marvelous! There are so many gorgeous little details in this outfit, the dress turned out so wonderful. I love those buttons!

    Deco Darling

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  13. Incredibly pretty outfit. That hat is a jaw dropping stunner, much like your elegant frock itself. I'm lapping up these images and saving them as inspiration for those rare times when I too dip into 1930s fashions.

    Many hugs,
    ♥ Jessica

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  14. Your dress is stunning, adore the hat, gloves, shoes and accessories. Such a beautifully pulled together seamlessly gorgeous look. Well done on the dress. Cheers, Michele

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  15. Gorgeous outfit! And I really love that hat!

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  16. I bought a dress from your etsy store once and it is so well made! I would love to see some blog posts about sewing techniques in the future. I sew my own clothes also as well as buy vintage. Also, did it take a long time for you to gain the confidence to wear vintage? I still find myself a bit timid. Thank you.

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    1. Kendra, so glad you like the etsy dress! I love it when my customers are also blog readers!! :-)

      As for wearing vintage- I just kind of jumped in whole hog without letting myself look back which helped a lot, I think. Also, my mom and sister love dressing vintage too so I know the constant camaraderie helped a lot, especially in the beginning! :-)

      I'll keep the post idea in mind! Tutorial sorts of posts are a lot harder for me to get motivated to do, but I'll think about it. :-)

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  17. Your dress turned out stunningly! The fabric is very pretty and I love the addition of the red hat. It makes the whole outfit pop :)

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  18. Thank you all so much for your delightfully sweet comments! They brought a smile to my day when this was first posted and now again that I'm finally responding to them! You're all such wonderful readers! :-)

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  19. You look gorgeous in this peny rose fabric ,love all the details of this outfit.

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