Friday, April 20, 2007

Gorgeous vintage 50's era cocktail dress

My co-worker overheard me talking about RetroRama and the need - well, maybe need is a bit too strong, so want - of a 50's style dress to wear to this event.

So the next day look what turns up in my work space! This gorgeous vintage 50's dress that belonged to her mother. She lovely lovingly recalled seeing her mother wearing the dress and said her mother was an absolute knock out. But how could you not be wearing this gown?!?

She offered to let me borrow it to wear to RetroRama - and wasn't that sweet of her? I'm ten years beyond being able to wear anything this size and, as you can see, even GiGi can not get the back zipped up completely.

Because I'm so fascinated with fashion and textiles I couldn't wait to peek inside the dress to see what the label was and how it was constructed. Alas, the label was cut out but I did see the construction, although I don't have photos of that today.

My co-worker let me take it home so I could study it! Seriously, how awesome was that? I did notice that the metal zipper has become unattached on the skirt, so I'll hand sew that back in place for her before returning the gown. Its the least I can do for the pleasure of being allowed to drool over this dress.

I love the work on the bodice. I will display my ignorance for all to witness as I ask the question - what is that detail work called? It looks like little tubes of fabric that were hand sewn onto the bodice. And sprinkled in between are tiny little rhinestones. I want to replicate this on something - I just don't know what it will be yet.

The lower portion of the bodice is curved which is not too evident from the photograph of the front view. The tulle over skirt is attached to the bodice about hip length and then gently curves upwards to the waistline at the back of the dress. The taffeta underskirt is tacked to the seams only inside the bodice at the waistline.

The back is finished with more of the tubing tied into a tiny bow. Such a sweet little detail.

I must admit, for one small moment, I allowed myself to dream that I might be able to wear this dress to the event.

However, I am back to my original thought of sewing a dress. I stopped by the fabric store to pick up both Vogue 2960, which Shannon mentioned she was partial to, and Butterick 4919, which both Stacy and x.Helen.x thought was a winner. I planned to look them over to see which I would be able to complete the quickest. (By the way, thank you for your comments and thoughts on which one to make. I appreciate it!)

Unfortunately, many of the Vintage Vogue patterns, including Vogue 2960 were out of stock, so I choose Vogue 2401 as an alternate.

I showed both dress patterns to my husband and he immediately choose Vogue 2401, saying that the other dress was "too sexy and you're not wearing that if I can't go with you!" (Little does he know that reviews on Patternreview have mentioned that Vogue 2401 really shows off a curvy figure!)

Stay tuned as I dig through my stash in the hopes of finding fabric suitable for the dress. Pin It


  1. Oh, that dress - I am drooling! It is absolutely divine. I envy you for getting a chance to get "intimate" with it.

    Vogue 2401 is another one of my favourites - I adore the tie at the waist and the dramatic collar. But, whatever you chose, I'm sure you will look smashing.

  2. I believe that technique is called bias tubing! I used it on my red organza blouse (I will remake that blouse just after I finish my current project). That dress is so awesome!!!

  3. What a cool dress and what a nice surprise!

  4. Um, I am soooooo late to the party on this one! What a gorgeous gown! I am drooling!

  5. That is stunning. Lucky girl!



Blog Widget by LinkWithin