Rose Print Dress ca. 1947

The Third Class Stairway on the Queen Mary
 I’ve had this dress finished for a while (since March!) and only now have gotten around to posting the pics. So without further ado, my rose print dress!
It’s made in the post-war style, with a bit more fabric in the skirt but still keeping the broad shoulders that became popular as a way to showcase the intricate hairstyles. Note: My hair style is… not so intricate. This is due to the fact that I sneakily wore my 1947 dress to a 1930’s event… considering the fact that the vintage die-hards didn’t show, I got no flak! (Especially not from the girls dressed in the “pin-up” dresses covered in cherries, inaccurate little…..)
In any case, the dress was actually very difficult to make. I accidently sewed in a crooked hem and couldn’t repair it, because no matter how gentle I was with the seam ripper, the fabric would run like a puma was chasing it (even though it’s a woven fabric, not knit!). I’d end up getting white threadlines in the silk until I had to recut it (the bodice was cut twice so I could mix and match pieces that looked decent, but the lining looks like a bear attacked it). Even my machine could make it run just by stitching!!! Ahhhhh! Was it worth it?
Cisco says that the material is soft and that he thinks the effect was worth it, and to be honest, a below-the-knee day-t0-evening dress is a nice thing to have in the closet. The pattern itself came from my Aunt Lynn, and it’s a great pattern! The pattern is either halter neck or backed and sleeved, so I plan to use the same pattern to make a halter dress in the near future.
The event was a blast. It was the 75th Anniversary of the Queen Mary. We got to hear speeches, got free foie gras (free because we snuck in the backway accidently and didn’t get charged), and went to a buffet based on the menu from the original menus from her first voyage. Have you been to a buffet that serves lamb, filet mignon, and a cherries jubilee station? How amazing! I encourage everyone to stop by the Queen Mary in Long Beach, she’s a beautiful art deco piece of history and she deserves your dollar to help preserve her artwork!

At the 1930's themed Buffet

 Thanks for reading!


Published in: on June 15, 2011 at 7:54 pm  Leave a Comment  
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OMG! Modern Shark Dress!! ca. Now

Three posts, and I’m already diverging from what this blog was intended to be. Oh well. These things happen. I present to you “Modern Dress in Blue”, inspired by years of heavy soaking wet denim.

Entering the Shark Encounter at Sea World, San Diego

For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved to sit in the soak zone at Sea World, hit Splash Mountain at Disneyland… if it gets me soaking wet, I’m there! But I also love jeans. And if you’ve ever worn soaking wet jeans, you know, they get heavy. And not just like, “Hm. This is uncomfortable.” It’s more like, “AHHHH, the sheer weight of the water is pulling my pants down, and why can’t I move my legs???” It feels like you’re in a bad dream and something is chasing you, you just can’t move your legs, no matter how hard you try. So as I sat in front of a sewing machine stitching up a rose-print black dress (pictures on their way, I just need to find an appropriate vintage setting for said pictures), I thought, “I should just make a light cotton dress to wear, something that would dry quickly and easily.

I also wanted to make a fishy dress to wear to aquariums and Sea World and other such places, and out of this, my soak zone friendly dress was created. It was originally knee-length with an off-the-shoulder ruffle, but then I ditched the ruffle and replaced it with thick straps (you can’t really tell from the pictures, but the straps fold in the back like a kimono. This happened because I took the scrap fabric from the sides of my A-line skirt and used those as my straps. Also, it creates kind of a faux-sweetheart neckline). Then I shortened it, because, let’s face it, the print is slightly overwhelming when it covers your entire body.

In front of an ancient shark jaw

This is also my first dress sans-pattern, thanks to the dress form my best friend Mandi got me! Let me tell you, it is soooooo much easier when you don’t have to pin it together on your own person and then try to remove it without stabbing yourself. Also, while I still suffer from pucker zipper, I managed to hide the zipper better this time. Note to self: Crazy prints hide zippers that pucker. You’re too distracted by orange sharks!!!
Overall, I like this dress. Two people actually complimented me on the dress, and Cisco says another woman said she wished she had this dress as she walked by us, but I didn’t hear it. Still, I trust him.
Of course, the greatest test was sitting in the soak zone. I got wet, and by the time the show was over, I was dry, which is pretty darn impressive! Way to go, shark dress. Way to go.

Published in: on May 1, 2011 at 1:35 pm  Comments (1)  
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A yellow 1950’s dress…

please ignore the dopey facial expression... on me, not on Dopey.

In front of the Snow White Grotto at Disneyland

This dress was my first foray into vintage dress making. I never thought it would be so different from modern sewing, but boy, was it!

I made this for the 55th Anniversary of Disneyland, my favorite place on the whole planet. My friend Juliette arranged for a few of us to go in 1950’s attire, so all these pictures were taken in the sweltering heat that was July 17, 1955/2010. I chose a lemon yellow gingham (I  really do wish you could see the checks on the dress), because when I think 1950’s, I think pastels and sunny colors. The skirt is absolutely huge and took way too many yards of fabric (the exact number escapes me, but I did have to go back and by a second helping), which really isn’t too odd for the 1950’s, since women were showing off the lack of rationing.

a picture taken with a modern camera of someone taking their picture with a vintage camera. stylin'.

Taking pictures in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle

I admit to cheating a little bit on the petticoat. I simply took an elastic loop and tacked on yellow tulle. I tried to get as close to the color of the dress as possible, but it ended up being more the color of Juliette’s dress… which, by the way, was unplanned. We all just showed up in yellow! I guess that settles it; I’m not the only person that thinks “lemon yellow” when I think 50’s. Next time, I’m making something in mint green, just to show’em.
the film cloud at the bottom makes it look like my bloomers are radioactive...

Juliette and I

The day was a lot of fun–we got stopped every few seconds to get pictures taken with guests of the park and to be asked questions. Juliette did a great job arranging the day, complete with trivia and games. Cisco, my dearest darlingest man, brought his 1950’s era Graflex to take pictures (which is why there are some clouds on the photos, since the light overexposed the film), and poor Jeff who came along came in a wool suit, which was very appropriate for the 50’s but not for the 100’s, where the thermometer registered that day. My dress was cool enough, but I tried to wear a sweater over it for vintage effect–and to hide the fact that I had some puckers along the zipper line. I gave up on that, though, about the time I was seeing spots and panting. I have fixed the zipper since, so as not to repeat that somewhat traumatic experience. 😀
Thanks for looking!
aww... he's so handsome...

Cisco and I in front of the castle ❤

Published in: on December 9, 2010 at 10:11 pm  Comments (3)  
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