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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

· Fairly Fluffy Fifties ·

Wow.  This title is lame.  Titles are always difficult for me.... and, well, what can I say.  I have reached the bottom of the bucket.
Embrace the lame titles!! ;-)

This outfit is one of those fun happen-stances: the supplies were entirely free!  Ok, I think I bought the zippers...  But otherwise, it was free!

I got the lovely semi-sheer border print from the same older lady who had the brown polka dot I made into my first 1940s dress.  The blouse fabric came to me shortly after- I found it in the "free room" at church, and it was a pillowcase.  I couldn't believe how well it coordinated!  Using a pillowcase doesn't allow for many design options, but I was able to squeeze this blouse on!  I pieced the lower portion, but no one sees that part anyway since it's always tucked in. :-)

I deliberated over the fabrics for a few years before making them into a blouse and skirt.  I didn't want to make them into a dress because I thought it would be weird to have 2 different fabrics.  Well, everyone compliments me on my "dress" now.... so I guess it's not too weird. ;-)  I do intend to wear them separately as well, and the final push to make it came this spring when I was bemoaning my lot.

"Woe is me.  I have no fabric to make into a lovely spring skirt.  Absolutely none, I tell you!"
*And*, I had just made a resolution to severely cut down on new fabric purchases so my hands were tied! (a resolution which I might add.... is going to be hard to maintain after my spending habits this summer. oh well... it was a nice thought.)

Well.... yeah.  My stash is large.  And would you look at that! I had a wonderful spring skirt's worth of fabric just waiting.  All that melodrama for nothing. ;-)

I got this silly little necklace over 10 years ago at Claire's.  I say silly because at the time, I had no inkling that I would get so much use out of it.  I agonize over every single purchase I make or gift I receive, and at the time I didn't even have anything that it went with!  I've come very close to donating it to Goodwill on numerous occasions, but it seems like every year or 2, some new outfit comes up that matches it perfectly!

This green ribbon was originally for accessorizing our historical clothing, but hey! it matched! :-)  I've experimented with a few different accessorizing color schemes lately, and I'm shocked by how much we have that works well!  Yay! Options!

I found these gloves at an estate sale recently, and I loooooove them.  I've been looking for pearl-beaded gloves for a while, and at estate sale prices.... it's meant to be. :-)  They also fit my hands remarkably well!  Actually, the fingers are even (shocker!!) on the long side, so I'd like to alter them at some point.  But you know what? somehow altering gloves never ends up on my to-do list. :-P

Anyone else need motivation to do a little upkeep with their glove collection?  I keep thinking I should set aside a week or so to take care of the little odds and ends that could use attention.

I was gifted a marvelously large supply of vintage ric-rac last fall (thanks again Emily!  I LOVE that stuff!!!), and I had plenty of pointy white ric-rac to embellish to my heart's content!  Lovely!

I'm in need of some light-colored shoes, don't you agree?  In the meantime, these classic mary janes keep me happy year-round!

This hat was from the first estate sale we went to this year, and I love how it pairs so perfectly with this outfit!  It's very much a "hair down" sort of hat though, so I have to plan accordingly. :-)

I was rather pleased with this pocket- it's set into the same seam as the invisible zipper. :-)

Well, now you can see how I'm coping with my hair endeavors this summer!  Last September, I got my hair cut with the intention of wearing it down.  It had been a very long time since I'd worn it down, and I was hesitant about such a big commitment!

Well, I was pretty pleased with the result (a 1940s "middy plus"), and got it trimmed a few months later to straighten it rather than the U shape it was previously.  I was more happy with the second iteration and I haven't trimmed it since.  It's now quite long as you can see!

I get warm rather easily in the summer; heat and hair are the 2 factors that make me stressed and irritable the fastest.  Sooo, in the interest of the well-being of humanity, I thought growing out my hair enough to wear it up would make everyone happier. ;-)  Also, my hair is much more cooperative with the curling game when it's dry out and.... I live in Humidity Central.  Getting my hair to curl well would require a perm and I wasn't ready to make the plunge if I might end up wearing it up all summer anyway.  So!  Maybe next year I'll be brave enough to try a summer hair experiment. :-)

This skirt also marks a momentous moment in my sewing journey- I have (almost) reconciled myself to the blind-hemming stitch on the machine!  Yes, I know that would usually be considered a step backwards- after all, it's not really the nicest way to finish off a garment!

About 10 years ago, I got fed up with fighting with that stitch.  It always shows!  And I hate the way it looks.  It would stress me out to sew a hem with it, so I gave myself permission to never use it again.  I reasoned that I actually wasn't spending much more time sewing hems by hand, and it was much more relaxing!  I also top-stitched hems if that was appropriate for the era and aesthetic.  When it came to this skirt though, I decided that a blind-hem stitch would actually look the best.  On lightweight fabrics like this, I can frequently get too tight of tension while hand-sewing it, so there was potential of it being noticeable.  Top-stitching would break up the lovely border print.  And... well, it was a wide skirt.  And I wanted to wear it the next day.  So quick machine sewing it was!  I'm rather pleased with how it turned out. :-)  Yes, the stitches are visible if you look for them, but they hide so well in the print!  I'm probably close to being World's Most Particular Hem Examiner (at least for my own work), so if I'm happy, I think no one else will mind. ;-)

And really, it was sooooo fast..... I'm still a far cry from being a convert, but I will actually give this stitch the dignity of consideration from now on. ;-)

Hey look!  It's another fauxlero bodice! ;-)  Yes, I'm rather addicted to this pattern (self-drafted) lately...  I'm much more happy with how my "50 States" dress turned out, so I might end up tweaking this one a bit.  Does anyone else make endless changes to their garments?  It seems like I can never make myself stop the endless tweaking!  Or... maybe I'm just obsessive.

Yeah.  There's that.

This skirt is a simple dirndl (rectangle) in order to utilize the border-print best.  I always love a good opportunity for pleats!  I decided to make double box-pleats all the way around the skirt for this.

Wow, I am feeling SO wordy today.  If you managed to slog through all of that, congratulations!  If not.... I don't think I would have, either. ;-)

· Photos by the, as ever, fabulous Kathryn (thanks!!) ·


  1. I slogged through that in no time at all, and had fun doing so!! :)
    I LOVE your springy, summery, happy floral outfit. It's just plain gorgeous.'s not plain. It's just gorgeous. And "fairly fluffy" is the perfect title.
    Your faux-lero bodices are really getting to me! I have some big brown and white polka dot material that's just begging to be made into one. Any tips on how to??
    Your hair. Is beautiful. And your hat. And your gloves. And your purse. And....everything.
    I really did think this was a dress! How amazing to get a blouse out of a pillowcase! Now I'm inspired.
    Lovely, lovely, lovely!!

    1. Thanks, Esther!

      As for making your own fauxlero.... good question. ;-) I started out with Simplicity 2442 and just kind of altered from there.... I used my bodice pattern that I knew fit as a base for the "bodice" portion and used the Simplicity pattern as a base for the "bolero" portion. My biggest fit tip would be that this ends up fitting closer than a normal dress because of the bolero seam. I've found that you'll need to use either gathers (like I have) or darts from the seam line to get the bodice to fit nicely- even if you don't normally need them in a basic dress! The other suggestion would be to just find a 1950s fauxlero pattern. ;-) There are so many out there, and they are *SO* cute that I feel a little silly for making the same one 3 times when I could be branching out into the other ones!

    2. Thanks for the info!! I'll have to be daring and try it! It really is the cutest design...ever, and so perfect for the 50s-ish novelty prints! :)
      Thanks, Lily!!

  2. Simply lovely, Lily! I adore the lightness of this ensemble, so perfect for summer!

    And you hair... oh your hair! It's SO pretty! You look like you stepped right out of a 1950s photograph! I always admire the ladies who are able to curl and style their hair to vintage perfection! *sigh*


    1. Thanks, Charlotte! I get rather self-conscious and difficult to please when my hair is at this length, so I treasure the compliment. :-)

  3. I can't even believe these are two different fabrics! They look so perfect was meant to be. This dress is perfectly charming (it makes me think of a tea party). And oh, that gorgeous green oh my!!!! Fabulous as always dear:)

  4. Gorgeous dress and outfit! Alex

  5. Lovely make AGAIN! I'm very impressed with the invisible zipper and pocket combo. I'm sure that was like fabric origami trying to figure out how to layer the pieces to turn right side out with everything in the right spot!

    1. Thanks Emileigh! And YES, fabric origami is a good way to describe it! Especially considering I was also dealing with attaching a lining at the zipper but having it free just below.... yeah. I can't believe a seam ripper didn't make an appearance!

  6. This ensemble is so pretty Lily. At first I thought it was a dress, but when you began talking about a blouse and skirt, I was like, "What?! It's a blouse and skirt? It looks like a dress!" :D So, well done on confusing us all with your expert work, and serendipitous matching fabric. ;)


    the Middle Sister and Singer

  7. These prints do match remarkably well! Both are really pretty pieces and can be paired with so many other options for more great outfits. I think the top would be lovely with so many different colored skirts, and the skirt would be so pretty with a pastel blue sweater for spring!

    1. Thank you, Bianca! Ooooh, I love the idea of that sweater! Actually... I have a vintage pale blue sweater just waiting for the right outing.... hmmm....

  8. Very pretty outfit and the hat and gloves are beautiful.

    1. Thank you, Kate-Em! I don't get many chances to wear gloves, but they're such a fun accessory!

  9. I think that your post title is darling. I've been finding myself really pulled towards song titles and lyrics this year on that front myself.

    You look so splendidly gorgeous! I love the volume of this dress and how light and dreamy it is. One could easily be married, if so desired, in this ensemble. Pale hues are just breathtaking on you, dear gal!

    ♥ Jessica

    1. Aww, thanks for the vote of confidence on the title, Jessica!

  10. I can't believe your outfit is not a dress! I really wouldn't have been able to tell had you not pointed it out Lily, and I think that's so cool. I adore the matching blouse/skirt look myself. I think it's so versatile and useful to be able to use the separate pieces. And the boarder print on your skirt is so luscious. A darling outfit indeed! ❤

    bonita of Lavender & Twill

  11. Gorgeous dress and I love all your finishing touches! Those gloves especially are amazing! <3

  12. Oh that outfit is beautiful, you look stunning. I love the hat!



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