Friday, January 6, 2012

The Eventual Red 50's Dress

Hi there, everyone, this is Tara's sister, Kathryn! I'm the one who usually takes the pictures of Tara wearing her lovely creations. I'm much happier behind the camera than I am in front of a sewing machine (or in front of the camera, for that matter), but I always have lots of outfits that I WANT...... just with very little or zero inclination to actually sew them. :-) Can you tell we're a little bit different? Every once in a while I get bit with the sewing bug and feel inspired to sew everything on my list, but trust me, the feeling passes far too quickly.
Tara was kind enough to let me "guest post" on her blog about one of my sewing projects. Last winter I saw this pattern in the book at the fabric store. I'm crazy about retro dresses, and at the time I only had one 50's dress (I made another one this past summer - maybe I'll get up some pictures of that sometime if anyone is interested), so I decided this would be an adorable dress to sew up in a winter weight fabric. We already had a big roll of red moleskin fabric - which is probably not period correct, but I liked it. I don't remember how long it took me to actually cut it out, but after I cut it, it sat there for a few weeks. Then I sewed a few seams when I was feeling especially industrious. And it continued to sit there, only getting worked on in small spurts few and far between. Any of my penpals can attest to the fact that whenever they asked me if I had any sewing projects, I'd unfailingly reply, "I still have to finish the red 50's dress." :-) Fast forward several months (or was a whole year? I don't even remember) and last month I FINALLY completed what seemed like a never-ending project. Just the wonderful feeling of not having it hanging over my head should be enough to motivate me to complete future projects in a more timely manner.... :-)

This week Tara and I traded positions and she took the pictures while I posed. It was a bit chilly, but we survived. We should have done it today - it's 50 degrees out! What kind of January is this?

All photos taken by Tara and edited by me.

Oh yeah - check out those shoes!!! My other 50's dress I made this year is black and white polka dot, and I really wanted a pair of red heels to wear with both dresses. The only kind I could find that I liked were online and they were $40... I hemmed and hawed about spending that much on a pair of shoes I wouldn't be wearing all that much. One day were were shopping at JCPenney and I thought, "I'll swing through the shoes and see if there's anything there." Lo and behold, there was this adorable pair of red heels, in my size, on clearance, and I got them for... $10! (with a coupon, but still! 1/4 the price of the other ones I originally wanted!).

In addition to being seamstress extraordinaire, Tara is also a great hairstylist. She did this variation on a hairstyle from a new book she got for her birthday, Vintage Hairstyling.

Without my glasses, and with the retro makeup, I look just like my grandmother at my age!

I stiffened the hem with horsehair braid. It's fun, but I don't think I'd do it again. I like the look of the skirt held out only by the petticoat better.

Tara's vintage gloves and clutch - the gloves were only $3 at our local antique store!

This one's probably my favorite picture. I like how the skirt is laying.
(See the horsehair braid around the hem inside?).

So there you have it - the product of much procrastinating which really should have been done last winter. :-) Maybe I'll be back again in another year or two.... 


  1. You look so pretty in that dress! :D

  2. You look so adorable! You could play on a 50's movie perfectly.

    Love you!

  3. Oh. WOW. WHERE did you get this pattern?? This is adorable in every way! I love it! I can't say it enough. It's right off the set of Mayberry. Please tell me where you found the pattern! I'm already dreaming of making this after I finish the other four I have to complete by March.

    Hello I'm Kellie, by the way. I found you/your sister by blog-hopping. =)

  4. Great job!!! From top to bottom, everything is 100% :D Hair looks great. and the shoes are perfect!

  5. Thanks, Jenna!

    Hannah - Well, when we come to visit maybe you can practice your movie making skills and we can make a short set in the 50's. :-)

    Kellie - Thanks! The pattern is Butterick B5556. I bought it at our local JoAnn fabric store, but I'm sure you can get it at any place that sells patterns like Hancock Fabrics, Hobby Lobby, or sometimes Walmart. Alternately you can buy it online through the link toward the beginning of the post.

    Thank you, CNK! I have to admit, the shoes are one of my favorite parts of the whole outfit... I wish it wasn't bad for your feet to wear heels all the time! :-)

  6. Gorgeous! For a person who doesn't sew much, you did a beautiful job. So cute and vintage!

  7. Oh Kathryn how beautiful! The dress is so pretty and you look so pretty in it! :D Good job Tara...the pictures are great!

  8. This is beautiful! You look like you just stepped out of "It's a Wonderful Life!" I love the detail and the richness of the red color. The horsehair lining is a really nice effect, and the lipstick, necklace, belt, and red heels are wonderful accents! :)

    I love the 50's era...its so cute! Great job Tara on Kathryn's hair, it's beautiful!



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