Wednesday, April 20, 2016

• 1940s Tropical Print Rayon Dress •

It's about time I posted a vacation dress, don't you think? ;)

Ironically enough, even though we got back from vacation almost 2 months ago, all I have been posting is (very) new projects! I think the reason was all the cold weather; I didn't want to cover up all of my warm-weather vacation dresses with sweaters! In any case, here is the first vacation dress installment of many. ;)

I posted a preview picture of this dress back in January, but at that point it was not even sewn together! Between then and the completion of it was a period of deep displeasure with it! I had it nearly completed and tried it on for waist length, only to discover that I really, really hated it. The reason was, I was trying it on without a belt, and it was also about 2-3" too long in the waist. So you can imagine how grand it looked....2010s goes 1920s long-waisted, hangy peplum dress. Blech!

It was hurled onto the UFO pile, but about a week later, I decided to try it on for laughs, just to prove how horrible it truly was. I tried it on with a belt that time, hiked the waist up a bit for looks, and I actually loved it! It was finished very soon after, and all ready to wear on vacation. The bonus is that during the time of displeasure with it, I got an extra dress made for vacation. ;)

I used Simplicity 1692 for the bodice, adding darts in place of the tucks, adding a sweetheart neckline from a vintage pattern, and changing the armholes a bit. So basically, 1692 was just used as a basic bodice sloper. 

The skirt (oh, that skirt!!) is from Butterick 6266. It is one of my new favorite skirt patterns! Admittedly, the rayon fabric makes it hang beautifully, but really, anything with a peplum like that is *so* perfectly 1940s. I would love to make that pattern sometime with the pleated-neck bodice that it comes with!

I purchased this fabric almost 2 years ago from Denver Fabrics; it was a 3-1/2 yard remnant that was on sale for a very good price! I won't mention that I bought it just because it matched my Miss L Fire shoes....even though I did. ;)

I had a bit of a hard time with the washing and sewing process, however! It is rayon challis, which stretches when it's wet, and even as you iron it, none of which information I knew at the time. So when I washed it, I hung it out on the clothesline to dry, and inadvertently stretched it as I clothes-pinned it. The result? Very contorted, stretched-in-some-areas-and-not-in-others fabric. Grr. Fast forward probably a year to this January when I finally decided to make it, I washed it once again, but this time oh-so-carefully draped it over a clothes rack, being careful not to stretch it in the least. That worked, thankfully! It ended up stretching a bit as I made it, which caused quite the scare when it looked noticeably smaller after washing! It wasn't a problem though, thank goodness. :)

This belt buckle was from one of our antique forays earlier this year. I love the color as well as the width; wider belts are fast becoming my favorite kind!

Ironically enough, even though I bought this fabric to wear with my orange Miss L Fire shoes, I don't think I've worn them with it once as of yet! ;) I wore my Two Old Beans '40s oxfords while on vacation, and my Remix Vintage sandals with it this time. The weather was simply too glorious not to do so! 

I had to topstitch the neckline in order to keep it from rolling outward, since it refused to lay right even after pressing it.

Incidentally, I wore this dress when we toured the USS Alabama! We *just happened* to be there on the day of their Living History reenactment, which made it all the more fun! It was very amazing to watch the battle reenactment! 

Cleaning the guns and prepping them for the battle....


The commander fired a few (imaginary) shots.....

Got him!!!!!

There's only one word for that battleship; MASSIVE. It's so huge!!! It was so much fun to tour it again; we were there 7 years ago, but there was a lot that we missed last time. I also got a totally new perspective of it since I have a so much greater appreciation for WWII history than I formerly did! 


It was *so* wonderful to be able to take pictures of a light, summery dress without freezing to death! The weather has been simply glorious, and has invoked even the sewing-addicted (aka: ME) to get out and garden! I planted the "early" vegetables; potatoes, onions, carrots and peas, and now just need to work on cleaning out the many weed and dead-vegetation-infested gardens! :) It's actually fun though when the weather is this beautiful! 

There is and has been a lot of sewing happening around here as well. The current sewing itinerary includes (amongst others); a gingham 1930s dress, a Civil War dress for an upcoming reenactment next month (squee!!), a 1950s teal dotty birthday dress, and a dressy peach-hued 1940s or '50s dress for an upcoming wedding in June. Lots of sewing to do!!!

Thanks for stopping by, and as always, thank you so much for your kind and sweet comments! I appreciate each and every one of you! :)
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  1. What a stunning dress! So colorful and perfect for a spring or summer vacation! I love peplum too, this dress reminds me of one of the vintage vogue patterns I have in my stash.

  2. What a gorgeous dress! The colours are amazing and so beautifully summery. The belt buckle and button finish it off beautifully, picking out that glorious bright green.

  3. This! Is! Stunning! Just looking at it gets me all invigorated to start sewing some summery things. I *love* how bright it is, and the belt buckle is awesome! I've never come across any like those in antiquing (maybe I don't antique hard enough) and when I went to find a modern equivalent the selection in craft stores and web sites was dismal. I ended up putting D rings on that last dress...

    ...anyway, I digress. The Living History event looks amazing! I've been wanting to get me and hubby, both WWII nerds, to a reenactment or maybe the National WWII Museum in New Orleans. All you vintage bloggers have such perfect settings for your beautiful creations! :D

  4. Love this bright and happy dress! As always, your work is beautiful :-)

  5. What an absolute joy and feast for the eyes this vibrant, beautiful dress is. I adore every single element of it, very much including that sculptural green belt buckle. Awesome vacay piece - it looks magnificent on you, sweet dear.

    ♥ Jessica

  6. So glad to finally see this dress. It looks wonderful on you; the print is so unusual, but suits it so well. I do have that Butterick pattern, still haven't worked out what I will make with it

  7. Your new dress is truly stunning!! You look like you stepped out of a technicolor 1940's musical. : ) Your hair has grown so much! It looks beautiful.

  8. The print of this dress is so fresh and pretty. And the fabric really drapes well. You look amazing!

  9. Oh how fresh, tropical and very summery! I got a vision of heat waves rising off the road! You look marvelous in this fun dress! Yay for vacation dresses!!

  10. Now that is some summery goodness! :) This dress is SO pretty!!! Hurrah for rescued UFO's! This one is a true winner, all the way around.

  11. Thank you all SO much for your sweet comments and compliments. You are the best!! :)

  12. You look really cute in this vintage outfit.I really love its print and this is perfect for summers.Have a look at my vintage collection

  13. Great dress and yes, a lovely photo spot for you!!
    Great looking garments...!!!


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