Monday, November 28, 2011

1940's on the Beach

I've had this dress done for quite a while now. I thought that I wouldn't have a chance to take pictures of it until next spring/summer, since it is currently 39ยบ outside. :) But our family decided to take a vacation in Hilton Head Island earlier this month and so I figured the beach would be a perfect place to take pictures.

We went there at mid-day, so the sun was shining full down on us, which made for *ahem* rather interesting squinty smiles and challenging for my sister photographer, but she is just so amazing that she could still take great photos, even in full sun. :)

Here's the front. I'm standing on the steps up to the dunes house. We've been going to Hilton Head Island since before I was born, so these steps have a lot of memories attached to them!

And there's the back.

I used Butterick Pattern #5209, with (of course) some small alterations. I raised the neckline, curved the empire seam, rather than having it come to a point. I also made a different skirt, because I didn't want gathers at the waist, and I eliminated a few seams on the bodice. The fabric is 100% rayon.

I got up early, did my hair and make-up, but I guess I could have stayed in bed, as far as the hair was concerned. It was SO windy that it pretty much looked like a mess as soon as I stepped on the beach!

You can see a little more of the bodice detailing in this photo, though the busy print makes it rather hard to see the seams. 

The sleeve seam - I'm loving the angle of it!

Neck-notch! Retro patterns are SUCH fun! 
*This actually was one of the hardest parts of the dress to sew - the notch came our crooked a few times before I finally got it right! :)*

Splashing in the ocean (notice the way my sister captured the water splashing on my leg)

And this is on the other end of the dunes house

So there's my latest creation! Lots of other outfits are swimming around in my head, so I'll be back with more sewing adventures sometime soon!


  1. Your dress is so cute! I love the 1940's styles and I'm in a sewing mood now! : ) Beautiful job! Your sister takes amazing pictures as well!


  2. Such a beautiful dress (and model, too!)
    Everytime I see your outfits it inspires me to learn how to sew. =)

  3. It's awfully cute... I can't wait till I get my many other projects out of the way so that I can sew mine! (And find a pattern that I like... ughhh).
    I really like how the pictures came out, in spite of all the sun and wind! Sorry about what it did to your hair though. :-(

  4. Tara, this is ADORABLE! (and you know how much that means coming from me and my infatuation with the 40s! or something.... ;-)) At any rate, this is very cute and very inspiring!! I think I just don't like pattern illustrations of 40s dresses, as well as solid colored 40s dresses. Hmmm.... Maybe I can actually get excited about this! :-D

    I understand the hair frustration, but honestly, I like the wind-blown look! Since you're on the beach and not decked out to the nines anyway, it gives it a very "real girl from the 40s look", which I tend to prefer from that decade. ;-)

    All in all, very fun and I can't wait to all get together in our 40s dresses!! :-D

  5. Hey these turned out really good - and your lipstick looks fabulous! :)

  6. oooo how lovely Tara! Yes, the lipstick is adorable, and the sand dunes and waves are beautiful! You have really inspired me to try and make things like this! they are so beautiful! good work!


  7. Red lipstick and a 1940's
    dress? Perfection.
    You look divine, friend!

  8. I love the pictures!Great job Kathryn on the photos and Tara on the dress making!


  9. This shoot looks like it was so much fun!! :D Great work to the both of you!

  10. Allison - I agree - I LOVE 1940's! Watching old black and white films usually get me in the mood! :)

    Samantha - Oh good! It's always good to hear that someone wants to take up sewing! You should!

    Kathryn - Your dress sure is gonna be cute once it is made! Don't worry, you'll find a pattern....someday. And many many thanks for the photos. You're the best!

    Lily - YAY! Glad you like it! And yes, your approval is very much desired in these quarters because you're soooo amazing! :) The 40's week needs to happen as soon as it warms up (you know, next year *sigh*)! Maybe we could do it out of order and do a 1930's one in the winter, which would require me to make a 1930's winter outfit...hmmm... that sounds fun! BUT I have a few pressing projects over the winter, so I may not have any time to do it. Rats. Anyway, I'm just rambling. Thanks for the comment!!

    Mom - Thanks for stopping at Walgreens to get the lipstick! Now I can wear cheap new lipstick when I dress-up, rather than old expensive lipstick that has a horrible flavor. ;)

    Elizabeth - Isn't the beach so pretty! It makes a perfect setting for basically any type of photo-shoot! Thanks for the comment!

    Sheean - Thanks!! One simply can't dress retro style without lipstick, don't you agree? :)

    Esther - Thank you!!

    Laurelyn - :) It was very very fun, even in spite of full sun and wind!

  11. It's scrumptious! I admire your sewing skills on improvising the pattern!

    I came over from your sister's blog, and when I saw your link...yup...I was pretty excited. ;)



  12. Thanks Bethany! Glad you came by and hope you'll be back often! :)

  13. Could you do a tutorial on how to make/attach an over skirt for a dress that is already made? I am curious on how to do it, because I'd like to do it myself. I have a plain dress and I want to add a ruffly over skirt to it.



  14. That dress is d.a.r.l.i.n.g.! You all must be so crafty!

  15. Tara you look beautiful. And your dress is adorable too. :) Love the pictures.

  16. Johanna - Well, I am pretty full up on sewing projects for a while, but maybe sometime down the road I can get up a tutorial for you! I'd have to try it out first though, because I've never done that either! :)

    Kara - Thanks so much!

    RJ - Thank you!! I can't wait for summer so I can wear it again! :)

  17. just plain stunning!!! THAT is a dress I would love to have in my everyday wardrobe :-) well done!



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