Wednesday, August 3, 2011

My 1950's patio dress...

Yeee-Haw! I'm lovin' this week's theme of 'Western' over at the Sew Weekly.  After the fun of making the 1940's sailor dress--I knew there was only one pattern that would satisfy me this week.....a 1950's patio or 'squaw' dress!! 

I jumped on this pattern when I saw it on etsy:


This pattern was a lot of fun to make.  While not in my size, I found the grading to be really simple since it's just a bodice front and back piece and then the large skirt panels (which didn't necessarily need to be graded).  It sure does take a lot of fabric.  I used about 5 metres and I didn't make it as full as it could go--plus there's 37 metres of rick rack--I went with a conservative 30 metres for the rick rack....


I love these colours together: bright purple and bright orange.  Wow...not my usual colour combination but I really like it!!

I am really proud of my matching chevron in the back.  I first attached the contrast stripe to each side of the bodice (front and back) and then joined the seams down the centre front and back and at each shoulder seam.  Phew...that was a bit intense--making sure it all lined up.  Thank goodness I had a stretchy cotton blend fabric! 

The skirt is gathered goodness :)  I didn't make it quite as full as the pattern suggested as I planned to wear it without the petticoat.  I also shortened it to knee length.  Do you notice how it matches my Ness tartan shoes perfectly?  Definitely intentional--this colour scheme is part of my summer sewing plan! 


I really love how the blouse is separate from the skirt.  I think this blouse would also look fabulous with jeans.  I love the big collar.  I did actually make a muslin of the blouse (shocking, I know!!!  It's because it's not a late 30's/early 40's McCall pattern which I never have to muslin because I know exactly how it will fit and what tweaks to make---1950's patterns always throw me a for a loop because the sizing and fit can be a bit erratic.)  Well, I should have made the muslin in a stretch cotton because the muslin was very fitted but I feel the actual blouse is a tad bit too loose (maybe 1/2 inch or so).  It's always tricky fitting raglan sleeves because you don't want to take out too much ease or you can't move your arms!!  I might go back and take it in slightly at the right side seam and maybe taper a bit more at the waist.

If you want to learn a bit of the history behind these dresses, check out the fabulous series of posts by Lil' Vintage Homemaker.  Part 1 highlights the dresses, Part 2 a bit more about the designers, and Part 3 is about a homemaker that made one of these dresses and then turned it into a career.


I'm taking a poll on whether I should add the traditional rick-rack to the dress.  Here is how the two colours look on the contrast colour:


Here is how it looks on the main colour:


What do you think?  Yea or nay to the rick rack?  Would you ever wear a patio dress?

If the answer is yes, check back tomorrow for the pattern giveaway :)

27 comments:

  1. My vote is for the rick rack!!

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  2. what a fun outfit. a definite yay to ric-rac from me!

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  3. yay on the ric-rac - it's such a pretty, bright, colorful dress... MAKE IT MORE COLORFUL haha!!

    i love the color combo you chose! they really work well together & i love that it matches those pretty shoes!

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  4. rick rack on the main color, definitely!

    and yes, I wear them (as does the 6-year-old) -- I've made a few of these (fully rick-racked), they're so much fun to wear! (although I admit to wearing the tops a lot more than the skirts, personally)

    I've never used this pattern though -- it's on my wish list so I'll definitely be back tomorrow!

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  5. purple and red is my favourite colour combo!

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  6. Yes and Yes ! Oh and you look smokin' hot in those colors!

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  7. It looks fantastic! And I'd go for the ricrac too!

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  8. Cute dress and your hair looks AMAZING! Yes to the ric rac you may as well go all out right?

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  9. So much fun...and of course I vote yes for the ric rac! It just wouldn't be a proper fiesta dress without it. Go for it and thanks for pointing people to my blog. I'm so happy I'm getting to share that info with so many people.

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  10. Do the rick rack! It'll be fun and make it that much better!

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  11. I love the bright colors, and your hair looks fabulous!

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  12. I say 'Yes' to rick rack! There just isn't enough of it used these days...

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  13. Yes! I also think a bit of white rick rack in the mix would really pop!

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  14. Wow, this is delicious. You have totally inspired me to make one!

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  15. Yes on that rick rack it will look great and set it off. I would have never picked this to make but it looks like so much now that you've done it. As for wearing it, well I can't be the judge on that as after all I'm up in the wilds of Alaska lol..and anything goes here believe me.

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  16. A gathered skirt always makes me swoon... I really need to learn how to gather properly.

    I'm not a huge ric-rac fan, so my vote is nay - it's bold enough already. But that said, hey, a little more boldness wouldn't hurt anyone.

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  17. Definite yes to the rick rack, the dress is lovely x

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  18. I say yes for the rick rack! :) Such a fun color scheme--I love that you chose bright colors for this--makes it even more festive! :)

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  19. "Yes" to the rick-rack! And you could make a matching necklace: 1. Divide a package of rick-rack in thirds. 2. Fasten ends together to start. 3. Braid the strands of rick-rack. 4. Fasten ends together to finish. 5. Sew on a ribbon or other necklace fastener, to fit your neck. Saw this on a 1990s package of the trim. It makes an amazingly complicated-looking tube, that can be done in any color or size rick-rack you can buy.

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  20. Have you seen this Vogue editorial? It totally reminds me of you!

    http://dustjacketattic.blogspot.com/2011/08/in-mood-barbara-palvin-by-eric.html

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  21. 37 meters of rick rack?! Oh my. That's definitely a test for patience, and a great chance to find your happy meditative sewing place.

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  22. The notion of adding loads of rick rack to anything scares me. But that may be entirely personal...
    There is one thing I keep wondering about though (and really, I don't mean to be nasty): On your dress, it looks like the bottom of the red tier is gathered as well. The picture on the pattern envelope doesn't show that, and, to me, it looks a little bit odd. Was that intentional and done to keep the width down or is it just the result of some gathering or thread tension trouble?

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  23. I vote ric rac, take it to the extreme!!!

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  24. DEFINITELY ric rac! It just adds that extra pizzazz!

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  25. I think the ric rac would look great with one line on the contrast and one next to it on the main in the alternate colours. Kind of like giant topstitching accents?

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  26. Hi! Popped over from Sewing with Trudy. My mom had a dress like this. I had forgotten all about it until I saw the picture of the pattern. It had ric rac on it.

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I read each and every comment--thank you so much!

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