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Thursday, July 7, 2016

· Embracing Stereotypes ·

It feels like it's been ages since I shared a recent project with you all, and I have lots of new posts to share. :-)
It feels good to be back!

Kathryn, Tara, my sister, and I all came up with the idea to do themed visits together years ago.  We first started out with the idea to do Decade themed get-togethers, but as of late, we tend to all stick to the 1950s so a new plan was in order!  Two years ago we did our 1950s Polka Dot day, and we were originally going to do a 1950s Gingham Day last year but... ahem, I dropped the ball on that one.  I am nothing if not incredibly indecisive and I could not, for the life of me, decide on the color and scale of gingham I wanted!

Fast forward an entire year, and I finally caught up with everyone. ;-)

What's that advice that your first choice is always correct and second guesses are a bad idea?  I never really appreciated that admonishment (and honestly, it's often untrue for me), but in this case it was absolutely, perfectly spot-on.  One of the first pins I ever found on Pinterest was the iconic 1950s dress that became the primary inspiration for this dress.  After flip-flopping my way through the entire color wheel, I finally settled upon my original idea- the basic, potenially boring, but also completely versatile Black.

So, here's to shameless copying of original garments, embracing 1950s stereotypes, and not feeling obligated to constantly re-invent the wheel! ;-)

I was so pleased to have such a great opportunity to officially debut my Royal Vintage shoes!  If you haven't heard of RV yet, Lauren (of American Duchess fame) started up a vintage shoe shop almost a year ago and it's such a great source to find lots of 1920s-40s appropriate shoe styles at competitive prices.  She also runs a Rewards program which has already resulted in another pair of shoes for me... but those are for another post! ;-)

These are b.a.i.t. Loraines and while I was initially scared of the 4" heels, they were really just the sort of shoe that I was looking for to fill a gap in my wardrobe!  They have a bit of a platform, so the heel is effectively 3.5".  Still about 1/2" higher than my normal, but I've found these to be comfortable and easy to walk in, regardless. :-)  I also kind of really love being 4" taller than normal. ;-D  This color was precisely the shade of red I was needing- it's a very true tomato red without a hint of blue undertones.  Yay!

*disclaimer- I am a brand ambassador and have an affiliate account with RV, so I have received these shoes at a discount and these are affiliate links but rest assured! that hasn't affected my review ;-)*

The first of two changes I intentionally made from the original dress was to continue the contrasting sash through the back of the skirt as well.  I always think it's sad when the backs of dresses get neglected. :-(

The original dress has a full circle skirt, but I get pretty wary of those with our frequently gusty weather... I felt that the skirt decoration really needed a full circle to do it justice though, so fashion trumps practicality, yet again. ;-)

Time will tell how effective it really is, but I'm hoping that the added weight of the contrasting sash will help manage any breeziness.  I also faced the hem with a 2" bias strip since that's my new favorite method of adding a nice weight/body to circle skirts!  I'm sold so far. ;-)

My tried-and-true on-seam pocket.  Couldn't live without these!

The contrast fabric is woven through buttonholes all around the skirt.  I adore the idea of making colored sashes to change out for a completely new look!  First on my list is coral. :-)

The other way I deviated from the original was to substitute a surplice bodice for the original.  I wasn't completely sold on the original look and since it's been a long time since I've used Vogue 1043 (reprint), I felt that it was high time to use it again!  I used that on 2 of my very first vintage dresses back when I started wearing vintage styles exclusively, so it's got a bit of a sentimental draw. ;-) 

I'm not sure what's come over me lately, but I've been on a MAJOR pattern-matching kick lately.  To the point where I was getting (more than usually) obsessive and needed to take a break so I didn't fry my brain. ;-P

I matched the skirt seams of course, but when it came to the bodice, there was just really no way to intentionally match up anything.  I cut the front bodices on the bias as a design decision, but then it made seamless blending at the shoulder and side seams impossible.  The only place I think I *might* have been able to match things is in the underarm gusset.  It does look a bit "off" right now, but as my brain is currently taking a rest, I'm not about ready to jump into that challenge yet. ;-)

· Photos by the ever-delightful Kathryn!  Thanks dear! ·


  1. You look adorable, Lily!! :) You did a fabulous job on this dress; my mom and I have admired that original one for years, so seeing your replicate it was pure delight!!! I love the bodice you used, and the bow is just so delicious.

    And I think another post is definitely in order once you make that coral sash. ;) Gorgeous job, Lily, and it is great to have you back! :)

  2. That dress is anything but "boring"! It looks amazing! And I also wanted to just say that I have next to no sewing experience, but still read through every paragraph of your posts about seams and biases, they are written so well! I've probably learned a lot. :)

  3. This is absolutely gorgeous, Lily, and I heartily agree with sticking to the black and white gingham. Such a darling ensemble!

  4. This is beautiful... I'd love to see it with a contrast sash... and they don't even need to be gingham!

  5. So happy to have discovered your blog. Great dress

  6. I'm a stay-at-home mom who's usual garb is yoga pants and t-shirts, so I LOVE living vicariously through you!

    Another stunning ensemble and photo shoot!

  7. Wow. Just wow! This is a beautiful reinterpretation, and definitely not boring and basic. Everything about it, the bodice details, the bow, the pockets. LOVE. I love gingham, but for some reason I do not have any gingham dresses in my wardrobe. After seeing this- that needs to be seriously changed now!
    The Artyologist

  8. A beautiful outfit - I would love to wear an outfit like that!

  9. You look absolutely lovely Lily! It is so good to have you back in the blogosphere. Your dress is amazing, and those shoes are perfection!


    the Middle Sister and Singer

  10. I had to grin at the title of this post! I love the way this dress turned out! So much gorgeousness!

  11. AMAZING! This is a wonderful dress! I especially love the sash that you can switch out for other colors. Endless possibilities! Wonderful job!

  12. Love it, especially the contrasting sash. So elegant and summer-y!

  13. I think this is my most favorite 50s dress you've made so far, Lily! It is so, so pretty! Keep embracing, the stereotypes. Obviously, it's not all bad. ;)

  14. This is one of my favorite dresses you've done! It's particularly photogenic, and looks eye-popping with your red accessories. The bow and sash through the skirt is an amazing detail!

  15. That is a beautiful dress. I love the sashing through the skirt. I think it adds enough detail without being overly frilly. I like your shoes too! I think Royal Vintage shoes are a wonderful company, unfortunately, my first pair of shoes from them did not fit. :( But I will definitely try again sometime.


  16. This is such a dynamic, beautiful dress. The scale of the gingham works wonders with that eye-catching design and the whole thing is pure, timeless 50s inspired fashion magic.

    xoxo ♥ Jessica

  17. How adorable! I love gingham & this is gingham done right. ^_^ I absolutely love your cute picnic basket. Actually just the whole styling of this shoot is spot on. #nailedit ;)

    Michelle ^_^
    Delightful Handwork

  18. Fabulous!Love your take on this dress. It came out wonderfully!

  19. Supremely gorgeous dress, your sewing is constantly inspiring me to want to step up my game! I love the different sizes of gingham check used together and the ribbon swagged through the skirt is genius. I also just bought these same shoes and I can't wait to wear them <3

  20. This dress is amazing! I love the gingham ribbon going through the skirt and the bodice is so perfect with the bottom half. Your dresses are always so amazing! That's such a fun thing too that the sash can be changed out on whim! <3 So lovely Lily!

  21. Love this dress! Where did you get the cute hat?

  22. Dear Lily,

    Wow, such an exceptional dress! I found your blog (and Etsy shop) through Jessica's recent birthday post (By the way, I LOVE the dress she got from your shop.). This ribbon idea on the circular skirt is fantastic. I am not the best seamstress, but I can handle buttonholes, and I plan to copy this idea in the upcoming months when I get back to sewing. I recently purchased blue gingham on sale and could not make up my mind what I wanted to do with it. You solved that problem :)

    I love the bodice as well and will have to see if I can find that Vogue pattern. Did have to make any alterations to the pattern? I bought a Retro 1952 Butterick pattern B4790, but it diffidently needs alterations to look like the picture on the cover. I made it and loved the dress, but I would not make it again without altering it.

    I found that a darling girl posted wonderful help with alterations for that pattern on her blog: Edelweiss Patterns. I am no good when it comes to alterations, but I could probably follow her simple instructions for this simple pattern.

    I wish that I could sew as well as you - well enough sell my work. Maybe someday, but that is a big stretch for my sewing abilities. I do, however, love to sew and feel confident enough make dresses for myself. I am excited about vintage patterns being so prevalent on the internet. When I was your age, there was nothing like this available. (I have loved vintage clothing since I was twelve years old :))

    I am so happy that I found your blog through Jessica and am now following it. I look forward to many more visits with you.


  23. P.S. I love that you modeled your dress with classic Coca~Cola! Also, I love your red shoes (red is my favorite color). Thank you for sharing that shoe site.

    :) Hope



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