Ahhh, but it was nice to cut out and sew my first floral cotton project this spring!
This was a major stash busting project. I had gotten several yards of this fabric many years ago when I first started to sew. I thought it would make a nice 1950s dress, but somehow it never quite made it to the top of my queue. Several times I thought I didn't like it that much after all. This spring I took another look, decided I really liked it after all, and quickly paired it with a dress pattern I had made early in my sewing adventures and really liked despite the botchy construction. Time to make a better version, and one that I could nurse in.
The muted delft blue and off-white is such a pretty color, and it's a large floral pattern - rare to find and very 1950s! I'm so happy to see it in my closet now instead of on my shelf.
I love the skirt yoke, with the side fronts pleated into it, and the way the bodice details mirror the skirt.
It had been so long since I'd made the first version that I basically felt like I was making a new pattern again, but that was ok. It came together quickly and without any trouble.
I flatlined the bodice so that I could wear it with a half slip - it is much easier to nurse without having two layers to fasten and unfasten. The fabric I used to flatline it was a bit stiffer than it should have been, so the bodice is more structured than it should be. Ah well, now I know for next time to use something lighter weight.
An invisible zipper hides in the front bodice seam to make it nursing friendly. I added a bit of floral lace as well, for an extra finishing feminine touch.
I paired my new dress with my vintage linen pumps, which by now are badly needing a facelift, some favorite vintage gloves with lace cutout detail, and a vintage basket brooch which seemed appropriate for Easter.
And I made another halo hat to go with it! I ordered some off-white wool felt, hoping it would be the right color. Well, it was exactly the perfect shade to coordinate with the fabric. Making the hat only took about 10 minutes, but it took me a lot longer to decorate it.
I lined the inside edge with some ruffled ribbon to add a bit of decorative fullness to the front, and the back edge I covered with wired ribbon, which both covered the raw edges and added a bit of structure. Then I got out the leftover paper flowers from my wedding, and played around with them for a while, trying to decide what looked best. At first I planned to wire them together and tack them down with thread so they would be removable, but gave up that idea and used the hot glue gun. I have plenty of felt left to make another hat if I want to decorate one a different way.
Should the flowers be grouped on one side? Use just the small ones and wreath all the way across the top? Do an arrangement on each side? I ended up settling on a combination with a larger grouping on one side and a slightly smaller one on the other, majoring on blue and white flowers but with touches of pink and yellow for a spring bouquet sort of look. The veil was taken off a vintage hat and just pinned on so it can be easily removed. I was really pleased with the way it turned out!
My sister, who is also my faithful photographer, borrowed one of my 1950s patterns and a hat, so she coordinated decades with me quite nicely.
(Since Easter came early this year, there is just a light green sheen on the hills, but that green and the yellow willows along the watersheds mean SPRING!!!)
I really enjoyed these projects and putting the outfit together. It was so nice to feel springish in light colors again! And I like the symbolism of laying aside the winter wardrobe and putting on something fresh and bright to celebrate this day and the new season of renewal.
Old things have passed away; behold, all things are become new.