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Wednesday, July 8, 2015

· Just My Kind of Patriotic Dress ·

I hope all of my stateside readers had a nice 4th of July weekend!  Our weather was wonderful and for the first time in years, I had an occasion-appropriate dress!  I tend to steer clear of red, white, and blue as I don't like looking so patriotic on a daily basis.  This dress certainly doesn't fit the patriotic color scheme, but thematically it's just about perfect. ;-)

I've always thought this 50 states fabric from Hobby Lobby was fun and quirky, but it wasn't until making another outlandish novelty print dress (the BBQ dress) that I realized how much I really needed this addition to my wardrobe.
Summer just begs for wacky novelty prints, and well.... I'm happy to oblige. ;-)

After making my "fauxlero" (faux bolero) cow dress earlier this year, I was eager to use the pattern (custom-drafted by me) again!  I love the way it turned out, and I think it's a great design for this fabric.  I had so many options for different colored ric-rac that would have been perfect, but Plain Old Black ended up being the best accent.  The large size ended up worked perfectly and showed up best against the busy print; I'm glad I had it on hand, as it's not normally a staple!

This purse is from Tatyana (bonus- it's on sale right now!), and it's a big favorite of mine!  It's hard to beat the price, and so far it's held up really well.  It's more roomy than most "real-vintage" purses I've found, but still looks small. :-)

With a print this busy, I decided to break it up just a bit with decorative pockets.  Like most 1950s dresses, I wanted to echo the design element of the fauxlero bodice so I chose to design my own gently stair-stepped, scalloped pockets.

Of course, the pockets begged to feature specific states.  Only problem was, I was at a loss as to which states to feature!  I've been to too many states to put those on the pockets.  I've been to too few to feature the ones left on the list to see.  There are too many states on my current Bucket List.  There are too many that I've lived in.  There are too many I'm visiting this year.

Eventually I decided to pick the states that correspond to my trips sandwiching the making of this dress.  I went on a trip to Texas in May....

.... and I'm going to Maine this month!  Now, I'll grant you that Texas was much more conducive to highlighting... but I don't mind. ;-)  Now I'll always be able to remember exactly when this dress was made!  Yes, it's entirely un-noticeable to the casual observer, but that just adds to the appeal I think. ;-)

Did any of you make a patriotic outfit this year too?

· Photography by Kathryn ·


  1. How fun! I didn't make a patriotic dress this year but I did wear one that I made last year. I love your non-traditional take on a 4th of July dress. The ric rac is darling! I love this look of ric rac but always seem to forget about it when I'm making my own pieces. Hope you enjoy your trip to Maine! My dad's side of the family is from Maine and it's just fabulous in the summer! And the seafood is sooo delicious.

  2. Such a cleverly patriotic piece! And I'm in love with that print! It reminds me of the illustrations in an old "50 States" book that we have from the 50s or 60s. So cute :)


  3. This dress is lovely Lily! I love how patriotic it is without being "red, white and blue". Simply darling!
    I hope you had a happy 4th!

    the Middle Sister and Singer

  4. What a fun dress - you look lovely in novelty prints!
    I hope you have a great trip to Maine :)

  5. FANTASTIC dress, yet again! I love the fun fabric, and the rick-rack puts it over the top. Not to mention, your clothes always fit so perfectly! Fabulous job!

    1. Aww, thanks Emileigh! It's nice to know that after all the *cough* endless fittings and tweakings I subject myself to that I finally achieve a noticeably nice fit! :-)

  6. Cutest. Dress. EVER.
    This is so gorgeous, Lily!! You're so amazing at taking cute prints and making them into the most perfect, adorable dresses. I love it!!
    The "fauxlero" dress is just beautiful! I hadn't ever heard of that style until your cow dress, but I have to admit I love it. It suits you perfectly! The scalloped pockets add the perfect touch.
    Your hair and hat (and purse!) look lovely as well! I am eternally jealous of how you got your hair into a roll. My hair will. not. do. anything. except be left down, and I'm getting good and sick of it! I'm ready for it to grow out so I can pile it on top of my head and forget about it! ;) I'm pretty sure curls make by blood pressure spike waaaay up. It's way too stressful having to worry about how they look at every moment.
    In any case, your hair is just gorgeous!
    Beautiful dress, Lily!

    1. Thanks, Esther!

      I'm sorry rolling your hair is so difficult! It's the absolute easiest style I've ever done with my hair and it's such a lifesaver... trust me, I can completely relate to BP-raising hair stress. Hair can so quickly be my nemesis which is why I adore this to-go style so much!

  7. Aw that dress is great! I don't even live in America but I want that fabric! Great job x

  8. This fabric is fantastic! It's patriotic in an unexpected way and fun to wear the rest of the year! I love it.

  9. This dress is so beautifully made, and fits so perfectly! Your sewing constantly impresses me, be it retro or historical. For some reason I have never thought of using rick-rack in my vintage sewing, and after seeing these pictures I am itching to make something summery just so I can use it! Beautiful dress and photos!

  10. Beautiful dress, and I believe you could get away with wearing it any time, without anybody batting an eyelid! The colours are so vibrant, so that black ric-rac looks perfect with it. And what a beautiful silhouette it has! Everything is so gorgeous.

    Ooh, I LOVE Maine! I went there on holiday last summer, as well as New Hampshire and Massachusetts, and I hope to go to Vermont some day, too (I'm from 'old' England, so it might be a while before I can go again). New England is a lovely place to visit, and I hope you enjoy Maine!

  11. FABULOUS dress!!! Loving that print and style. So perfect:)

  12. Ooh! This is such a darling dress! The print and vibrancy make the outfit, but you've definitely styled it well!!!

  13. So much fun! love all the details and styling, down to the shape of the belt buckle ;o) The skirt sits so nicely, do you wear a petticoat underneath?

    1. Thanks! Yes, I do wear a petti underneath all of my 50s dresses. My current one is from Hell Bunny, and I've been rather happy with it. :-)

  14. Truly gorgeous outfit! I just love the silhouette of this dress. It's fabulously mid-century and so flattering. Goodness, do you look sensational!!!

    ♥ Jessica

  15. Oh wow! The novelty print was a perfect choice for this dress!! I love the "fauxlero" too!! Enjoy your trip to Maine!! (I used to live there and I miss it!)

  16. SWELL!! Absolutely adorable! What a lovely unique idea it is. =]
    Very beautifully done!

  17. Such an amazing dress Lily; I am going to say that honestly, I hope one day my sewing skills are as good as yours. Like several people have mentioned, your fit is so perfect, and everything just looks so neat and professional! I adore the ric-rac too, it's such a great detail, and the black color really makes it stand out. Lovely! ❤

    bonita of Lavender & Twill

  18. Such a fun vacationy dress! So perfect for summer!!!!

  19. Thank you all so much for your wonderful comments! I know I say this a lot, but that's just because it's true- you are the sweetest!!!! Thank you!! :-)

    I'm glad so many of you can appreciate my love for quirky novelty prints! They're the best! :-)

    I'm ashamedly tardy in responding due to travel, etc, but thanks for all the well-wishes for my Maine trip! I think it's funny how many people have visited or lived there, but after experiencing it for myself, I can completely understand! It was enchanting. :-)



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