Historical Costume Inspiration Festival
16 Comments - 32559 Views
The Retro Sailor Dress
Submitted 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!
 
 
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The Introduction
 
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 ~
 
 
The Inspiration
 
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 Costume
 
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!
 
Yours, lovingly, 
~Me~
 
 
P.S. Many thanks to Ellen for her talented (humorous) and dedicated assistance as a photographer!
 
 

» Reply to Comment
Re: Historical Costume Inspiration Festival
4 weeks - 32,767v
Posted 2010/10/10 - 2:01 GMT
So sweet!  What a fun photo shoot:)
I love the suitcases and the handkerchief in your pocket;)
» Reply to Comment
Re: Historical Costume Inspiration Festival
2 weeks - 22,159v
Posted 2010/10/10 - 2:04 GMT
Thanks,Tasha!  I love them, too;)
» Reply to Comment
Re: Historical Costume Inspiration Festival
4 weeks - 32,767v
Posted 2010/10/10 - 2:10 GMT
Seeing your skirt reminded me that I forgot to tell you the grievous news - I ripped my beloved half circle skirt ):  Not a big rip, just a little one on the back, but it shows.   I ripped it on the sheep fence.  It was very sad:(   I'm in mourning.
Anyway, just thought you should know=)
HTSYS!
Much love,
~Penelope~
» Reply to Comment
Re: Historical Costume Inspiration Festival
2 weeks - 22,159v
Posted 2010/10/10 - 2:31 GMT
Oh, I'm so sorry for your loss, dear!  We ought to get together and have a sewing day sometime.  It might be good therapy=)
 
Love ya!
~Polly~
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Re: Historical Costume Inspiration Festival
4 weeks - 32,767v
Posted 2010/10/10 - 2:44 GMT
Actually, I just finished mending it, and it doesn't look too bad.  The rip is partially hidden in the folds of the skirt.  But, it was getting old anyway, so I need to make a replacement.
We should have a sewing day!  And watch Swing Time!=D  That would indeed be good therapy;)
Need to get some more light weight denim first, though - we're running alarmingly low on fabric around here!
 
Lovingly,
~Penelope~
» Reply to Comment
Re: Historical Costume Inspiration Festival
1 hour - 153v
Posted 2010/10/10 - 2:22 GMT
What a beautiful dress! You look gorgeous in it too! :D
 
Much love,
Sereina
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Re: Historical Costume Inspiration Festival
2 weeks - 22,159v
Posted 2010/10/10 - 2:33 GMT
Thanks, Sereina!  You're too kind=)
 
Lovingly,
--Kellie
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Re: Historical Costume Inspiration Festival
41 minutes - 29v
Posted 2010/10/10 - 4:23 GMT
This is the *most* adorable dress!! And I love all the accessories too!
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Re: Historical Costume Inspiration Festival
2 weeks - 22,159v
Posted 2010/10/10 - 21:51 GMT
Thanks, Atlanta!
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Re: Historical Costume Inspiration Festival
1 hour - 135v
Posted 2010/10/11 - 15:59 GMT
Oh. . . Oh. . . oh. . . I love it!! You did a beautiful job!  
 
That dress that Shirley Temple wears catches my attention every time I watch that movie.  It' so lovely.  I love the Debbie Reynolds inspiration too!
 
You really did a great job, I can see why you won Grand Champion at the fair. Beautiful!
» Reply to Comment
Re: Historical Costume Inspiration Festival
2 weeks - 22,159v
Posted 2010/10/13 - 21:33 GMT
Thank you!
 
I know what you mean- isn't it simply sweet?  I'm hoping to make a recreation of Shirley's exact dress someday as well=)
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Re: Historical Costume Inspiration Festival
7 minutes - 2v
Posted 2010/10/14 - 23:00 GMT
I love these pictures! Great work!
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Re: Historical Costume Inspiration Festival
2 weeks - 22,159v
Posted 2010/10/15 - 3:51 GMT
Hey, Emily!  I'm very glad you like them {;^)
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Re: Historical Costume Inspiration Festival
3 hours - 295v
Posted 2011/08/05 - 18:34 GMT
Ooohh!!! Kellie!! I absolutely ADORE your darling little dress!
So, so cute.
Congrats on winning the contest! :)
 
Love,
Sarah
PS:What pattern did you use? ;)
» Reply to Comment
Re: Historical Costume Inspiration Festival
2 days - 3,135v
Posted 2011/08/06 - 2:31 GMT
The dress is lovely Kellie. Every time I see it I have to tell myself not to covet :). The pictures are adorable too.
» Reply to Comment
Re: Historical Costume Inspiration Festival
2 weeks - 22,159v
Posted 2011/08/07 - 23:23 GMT
Sarah!  So wonderful to hear from you!  
It's high time I sent you a letter, however, I seem to have mislaid your new address. :(  Do you think you could email it to me?  I promise it shall be a fat, jolly missive filled with news!
 
Thank you - so do I;)  
For the half-circle skirt, I used Simplicity #2758, seen here:
www.simplicity.com/p-1703-misses-skirts-with-blouse.aspx
I just love this pattern, and use it over and over again for my projects. For the Sailor dress, I merely lengthened it considerably.

I wish I could share the pattern number I used to base the Middy top off of, but unfortunately, I think it is now out of print. Tasha's Mom used it when she was a girl. It is a Simplicity pattern also, but I do not have the number.  It's so hard to find good sailor top patterns these days! 
 
@ Michelle:  Thank you, dear!
 
Love in Christ,
~Kellie~


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