Monday, January 5, 2015

• Floral 1940s Dress •

I am very excited about today's post!! I just made this dress last week, but it is already a staple in my wardrobe. Everything about it makes me happy!
I intended to make a different 40s pattern out of this fabric, but the mockup looked less than stellar. The fabric just had to be made into a 40s dress though, so I decided to make Simplicity 1587. I have already made this pattern in a polyester crepe, so I was very familiar with the design. It was not very much fun to make out of such a stiff yet slippery material, so making it out of cotton was a breeze! This has to be the fastest dress I've ever completed. So much fun!!

Since the back yard gets realllly extra boring for a backdrop, we finally decided to head into town (barely a town) and take some pictures by the old train station. It ended up being the perfect backdrop for photographing! We will definitely be back there again soon!
It was the outrageously warm temperature of 17 degrees, so if I look frozen, there's a very good reason. Times like that are what make me thankful for slightly warming objects like gloves and minks!! :)

The hairdo. I got a haircut several weeks ago because I really wanted to start pin curling. I was sick of 2014-trying-to-look-1940s hairdos, so I decided to get a bit of a trim. I only got about 3, maybe 4 inches taken off, but it made the difference between being able to pin curl and not being able to.
This was actually only my second time ever, so it was nowhere near being perfect, but I think it's not bad for starters! It's going to take commitment to pin curl every single night, but if that's what it takes to get a good vintage hairstyle then I'm all for it! I look forward to perfecting my techniques and being able to do more styles.
One of the many benefits of a pin-curled hairstyle is that hats look so good! I never was quite sure about this one in days gone by but I absolutely love it now. I think it's time to go hat-hunting again!!

As for the dress, I made a few slight alterations to the pattern. I lengthened the bodice and sleeves a bit, and added a bit of length to the bow as well so that it would drape nicely. I used the skirt from Vogue 8767, flaring it out from the waist down as much as the fabric width would allow. 
Since the neckline is a little lower than I prefer, I made a panel to wear underneath the dress. I wish I knew how to raise the neckline, but I really don't have a clue how it would be possible amidst all those pleats. Maybe someday.
I also omitted the back neck keyhole opening since I could get it on and off easily without it. All in all, I was able to get the whole dress, excluding the belt, out of 3 5/8 yards. For me, that's about like getting a whole dress out of a fat quarter when compared to the usual 5-6 yards I need for an average dress. 

I am so excited to finally have a dress that is mink-friendly! I love our little furry footed friends and can't wait to wear them more!
I wasn't sure what to do for a belt buckle, but then I realized that this lovely vintage brass(?) one was the perfect accent! I definitely need to build up the buckle stash.
This lovely purse was a prize find a few weeks back at the antique store. It was only $10, and in nothing less than perfect condition inside and out, which is amazing considering all those beads! The front and back are slightly different so it can coordinate with a lot of different outfits. 

I love the American-made cottons that JoAnn has started selling. They seem to be very good quality, and the price is great! More for less is the way to go! I've got my eyes on that green polka-dots-on-polka-dots material. Hello, 1950s dress!
I have a definite addiction to 1940s dresses these days, so don't be surprised to see more of them soon! I'm trying to resist the urge to just make 57 more of this same exact pattern, but it isn't easy.
In any case, I'm going to make a career out of staying far away from that horrible "publish" button until it's time....gulp.
Thanks to my lovely mom for the photographs!
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  1. As always, this is so impressive and beautiful! And that portrait is so beautifully vintage-looking.

    1. Thank you so much, Kira Anastasia!! You're so sweet!

  2. The dress is lovely Esther, and you accessorized it so beautifully! The price of that purse certainly was a steal! You also did a great job with your hair.

    the Middle Sister and Singer

    1. Thank you, Brigid!! :) I was very excited to find that purse, for sure!!

  3. Esther,

    You look so lovely!! Such a pretty dress. I really like the fabric you chose.


  4. This is beautiful! Definitely for the times!


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