Historical Costume Inspiration Festival
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The Retro Sailor DressSubmitted By margery on 10/10/10
A Maiden's Musings, margery, Documents, Historical Costume Inspiration Festival, Vintage Inspired, Retro, Sewing, Sailor Dress, Silver Screen, Darling, Photography, Gloves, Rosie
Presenting my final entry for the fabulous Historical Costume Inspiration Festival!
I created this dress to be my sewing project for 4-H this year, and I am happy to say that it won Senior grand champion! Was I ever surprised - I am not exactly known for my patience in often long-drawn out trials of sewing, and I honestly didn't expect my project to do so well with the judges;) It did, however, and I al so made 2nd place in garment modeling!
Wonders never cease=)
Here I am at the County Fair in August, shortly after the 4-H fashion show ~
I knew I wanted to make a 1940s-50s styled outfit for 4-H, but I couldn't make up my mind what style to go with:)
I first gleaned inspiration for the dress when I watched The Story of Seabiscuit (Shirley Temple) with my little sisters.
I absolutely love Shirley's dress here - it reminds me of Smucker's jam, and picnics, and darling little shoes, and everything vintage and sweet=)
Then when I saw the dress Debbie Reynolds is sporting in this photograph - I fell in love. ;)
Smart little pointed cuffs, a sailor collar, and a small check fabric with a lovely drape were all elements I incorporated into my outfit from these pictures.
I based the main pattern off of a vintage Simplicity blouse pattern used by my friend's mother when she was little. The skirt piece is derived from my favorite half-circle skirt pattern, worn with a muslin petticoat (also made by me) underneath for the correct silhouette.
The belt and buckle are covered with matching fabric and sewn entirely by hand. I drafted the sleeves, as well as the pattern for the pointed cuffs, and the three blue buttons are an antique find.
The suitcase is one of my most prized possessions - it belonged to my dear great-grandma (lovingly called G.G. by all her great-grandchildren). A spunky Irish girl and the eldest of seventeen, Rose met and married a handsome American solider (my g-grandpa Logan) who was on leave in london after being shot down by German snipers in the French countryside in 1945.
She came over from England in 1946 as a war bride, meaning she journeyed all the way to America solo to meet her husband after the war was over. Though not absolutely certain, I like to think this valise made the journey with her, all that brave and hope-filled voyage.
I am planning to make several posts in future sharing the amazing stories, fascinating memorabilia, and darling photographs entrusted to us by G.G, who passed away only two weeks ago after a short battle with cancer.
This post is dedicated to her.
My gloves and sweet little handkerchief were a gift from a very dear friend, procured at an antique shop in California.
My hat, also bequeathed to me by my friend, is a cunning little affair of pleated blue velvet, held on with pearl-head hatpins. I love the sailor-inspired buckle detail on the navy pumps=)
Posing with Rosie
I sincerely hope you enjoyed your visit - please do come back soon!
P.S. Many thanks to Ellen for her talented (humorous) and dedicated assistance as a photographer!