Thursday, July 10, 2014

Of Ric-Rac and Polka Dots...

This was one of those projects I was SO excited, yet dreading to make. I found the fabric at Joann last December, and got it as a birthday gift to myself, along with some red ric-rac, and dreamt about turning it into a 1950's dress. But I wanted something unique, and just didn't have the inspiration to decide what unique thing to do on it! :)

Enter: Lily.

A couple weeks ago, Lily and Gretel came up for a visit, so Lily could finish up a few dresses for Kathryn, and so Kathryn could take some more photos of Lily. :) Gretel and I just get the benefit of enjoying the fellowship, while Lily and Kathryn work. I personally love their business deal (L sews for K, K photographs and web designs for L), because that gives up plenty of excuses to get together! :)

But back to the dress.... Lily had been making a new navy polka dot dress, and Gretel had just finished a pink polka dot dress, and Kathryn already had a black polka dot dress. I was feeling a bit left out! :) Then we came up with the terrific idea of doing a polka dot 1950's day! So Lily helped me come up with a doable idea for my dress, and fitted it to me and everything. She's amazing. It all came together in about two days. :)

And it's a new favorite.
This was photo that we found to base the dress on. I loved the unique neckline, and that it had kimono sleeves, as I think kimono sleeves make things so comfortable!
Next came the very difficult part of finding a pattern that we already had that we could turn into this dress. We ended up using a combination Butterick #5707 and Butterick #5556 for the bodice, and part of Butterick #5556 for the skirt (though I made a stupid mistake, and had to turn it into a 7 panel skirt instead of an 8 panel skirt...). I drafted up a some wing cuffs, and after a couple tries to get the bodice to lay nicely, I had a new dress. :)
I decided to do pleats on the skirt rather than gathers, as pleats seem to be more flattering on my figure The front has one large pleat, and the back has two on either side. 
Another thing I love about this dress is that there are pockets. I should just put pockets in every dress I make because I really really love them! They're so handy! :)
Thanks to my sister for letting me borrow the belt and shoes for the photos! And thanks to her also for the photos - don't know what I would do without her expertise. This blog would be quite sad....

And huge thanks to the amazing Lily, since without her, this dress would most likely still be one large piece of fabric sitting in my sewing room. :)
Hope all you readers are having a splendid summer! I know I've been enjoying mine! 

P.S. I just realized the last time I posted was in May... goodness, how time flies! :) OH, and be sure to watch Kathryn's blog for photos of our Polka-Dot day, which included old cars, milkshakes, and some pretty fun poses....


  1. How lovely! I like the red highlights over the blue fabric, good decision. You looks fabulous!

  2. Beautiful job! The dress turned out gorgeous! I love the combination of the mint/green with the red trim and accessories.

    the Middle Sister and Singer

  3. BEAUTIFUL! I always loving seeing your new sewing projects! I rally need to get more sewing done. Thanks for reminding me how lazy I have been this summer JK!!! lol!!!!

  4. Ooooh, such a cute dress! Polka dots are the best.

  5. Absolutely adorable!!! I love everything about it!

  6. wonderful job Tara and Lily!
    Looks like all those great 50's dresses available in my teen years!
    Looks so pretty on you T.! love, Oma

  7. Love, love, love the winged cuffs & the ric rac! And I agree wholeheartedly about pockets. Lovely job! ^_^

  8. I LOVE this dress!! Somehow I missed seeing this post until now...*tear*. This is so pretty! I love red and aqua together.

  9. Hi Tara! I saw how you participated in my Period film game and thought that you might be a Jane Austen fan (forgive me if I'm wrong). I have tagged you in a Leibster-type blog game!

    1. Thanks for the award, McKenna! I am a very big Jane Austen fan! I don't think I'll have time to do the blog game, but thanks for thinking of me!

  10. Das ist ein wunderschönes Outfit.
    Liebe Grüße von Heike

  11. I definitely need some sewing tips from you! I love this! So cute, so creative!



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