Friday, March 12, 2010

New Vintage Wardrobe Project#23: Aspects of Alice Tea Dress

What ever happened to the New Vintage Wardrobe Project?
Did it fall down a Rabbit Hole?
Actually it has been more of a issue of lack of documentation,
as opposed to lack of determination.
And when it came to taking self portraits... I, sadly, lacked inspiration.
But we recently came across a potion and were transported to a mysterious place.

 And what do we see?
One of my very first vintage pattern purchases.
Butterick -9721.
This looks like late 50's to me.
So we tried it out in a length of blue polka dotted lawn, that has the slightest glaze.
8 yards of  thrifted fabric.
Thrifted zipper. Thrifted cutom covered belt kit.
Total cost: 3.00

A wearable muslin.

A hand made crinoline underneath, 
stitched every bit, crankily, by hand, 
as it is slick and heavy with layer after layer of nylon ruffles.
 And  upon wearing it reveals that that it is, ironically (or is it literally?), a slip after all...
(Only an inch was supposed to peek out below. 
But as my mother used to say:
"It is Snowing down South, dear."
Isn't that coy?) 


After the photo shoot, it went back in the sewing basket 
for some more determined elastic for it's waistband.
And we had another cup of Earl Grey.

New skills?
A side zipper and hand cut and ironed bias tape to trim the arms and insides.
(What? No arm facings in the pattern? How can this be?)
Getting the fit right with the oversized collar was a seam ripper fandango.
Truly it is why the most effective seamstresses make muslins.
If I had done that to silk, the dress would be shredded. As it is, it still looks strained.
But I think I would get it right if when I make it again.
Still I'd wear this to a wedding, if I had one to go to.

 Other Modifications?
I didn't add the sweet blousey-ness at the waist. I mixed it up with some waist defining darts.
Maybe if I make it in the straight skirted version I could make a Mad Men version with the proper waistline. But I know the fitted waist works for me.. so I cling to the familiar...


But That isn't where the adventure is!


Anonymous said...

First off - love the collar on that pattern. Secondly, the photo of you on the table is maybe my new favorite thing ever. Glad to see you posting again - I've missed you out here in blogland!

Anonymous said...

First off - love the collar on that pattern. Secondly, the photo of you on the table is maybe my new favorite thing ever. Glad to see you posting again - I've missed you out here in blogland!

Maria Stahl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Heidi Ann said...

A magical tea party, and a beautiful dress! I LOVED this post!

sulu-design said...

OH. MY. GOODNESS. You rock. How awesome is this post?!? The dress is awesome and the photo shoot is just spectacular. I love how participatory your son is.

Julie H said...

LOVE IT!! You are so cool :)

Stickyknitter said...

Hey B, this is really cool! I love the whole set-up and the one where J is talking one the phone. Truly mad! Hope I get to see you soon and I hope you are enjoying yourself! love love

iamerica said...

Do I see evidence of your fabulous Illustrator/Photoshop skills at work??? Fabulous photo shoot! Jake does a great Mad Hatter make.

Anonymous said...

All kinds of amazing - the shoot, the skillz, the dress....$3?!! Bravo!

Meghan said...

i love the dress! and the photos are marvellous. i'm so envious of your thrift shops - i'd never find such wonderful supplies at mine! i think the fitted waist works very well, btw. and hooray for having the patience to dance with a seam ripper. usually, that's when i'm tempted to throw it all in.

Maria Stahl said...

Just Call Me Eggface...

I realized I was mixing up two bloggers, yammering about your cats and going to school. Duh. So I deleted. Anyway, I do love the dress. :)

PamKittyMorning said...

You look absolutely splendid. I always enjoy those photoshoots. You're amazing.

Kristin L said...

All that for $3? Where are your magical thrift shops? Mine only have low thread count cartoon sheets and acrylic sweaters.

The dress looks great, and teh photo shoot looks like it was great fun. You got mad Photoshop skillz too.

Gwen said...

this is incredible!! You do indeed have MAD SKILLS! I love the photo shoot, and how great to have your son do it with you!!

So glad that you are posting more, too!

Karen said...

WOW!!!!!!!!ur amazing! I second everything posted above!

Sara said...

Very sweet, keep 'em comin', Betty!

Serendipity Handmade + Vintage said...

Absolutely cute dress! It looks wonderful on you.

BTW, the pattern is most like early 60s. The hairstyles are a clue!

Amy said...

The dress is adorable! i love the photo shoot too!

IƱaki said...

That is WICKED!!


Anonymous said...

The cuteness of this dress takes my breath away. My age and figure would not suit the design, but it sure works for you. Great photos!

Chase Clark said...

That is the cutest dress! I want one in red. Amazing photos as well. Your posts always inspire me to sew dresses!

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