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Showing posts from May 11, 2008

RetroRama - a celebration of '50s Suburbia

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The ladies relax with a martini in the living room after a hard day of cooking, cleaning and chatting. Linda, wearing an apron from her mother's estate over her vintage inspired shirt dress, just finished putting the pot roast in for Sunday's dinner. The black velvet square purse sits on the table right where she left it after church. This purse is also from her mother's estate. Sharon said she donned her vintage black cotton dress - adorned with white dogs and polka dots as well as pink pom-poms - to take the dogs out for walk, but secretly she wanted to show off her new dress to the neighbors. She hoped the poodle wouldn't notice that the dogs on her dress were Scottie dogs and not poodles. (Note: this is the dress I sewed using Simplicity 3509 , c. 1951.) Beth, after trying on multiple dresses from her vast wardrobe, settled on a vintage inspired silk house dress with large brown and black polka dots. She mixed up a batch of martinis to offer to the head of th

Fifties dress - done!

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The are not showing up too well in this photo, but the pink buttons were definitely the way to go on the dress. Thanks for the input! Sadly, I didn't have time to sew the matching belt or the petticoat I had planned to wear with the dress. But this still has a 50s feel to it and I must say, I think it will be fun to wear this dress with those pink pom-poms flopping around. I'm bringing my camera so look for photos of the event soon!

Another step closer to completing the fifties dress

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After pleating the skirt portion and basting it to the bodice I realized I needed to remove two inches from the waist. While I prefer my dresses to fit loosely, to maintain the fifties look the waist on this dress needed to be more fitted. The faux pocket flaps are sewn over the side seams and I didn't wish to remove them, so rather than take in the waist at the side seams, I added a second dart in the back of the bodice. That meant redoing the pleats in the center back of the dress to match the smaller center back waist ...sigh, more math. The fun adventure with this dress has been following the 1951 instructions. For example, the seams have been finished with a pinking shears rather than a serger or zig-zag stitch. Another item in the instructions was the addition of seam binding along the waist seam to act as a stay. I even found vintage seam binding to use for that step. All that's left now is to add the pom-pom trim around the neckline, sew the buttonholes, buttons,

Sewing continues on my Retrorama '50s cotton dress

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At the moment, it doesn't look too spectacular. But it's actually coming together quite nicely. I had to do an FBA to the bodice and also add width to the waist. The entire skirt is pleated, which meant I had to add extra width to the skirt but still keep the pleats even. And here I thought those junior and senior high school math classes were a waste of time. It's beginning to look a lot like the cover of the envelope.

Sneak Peek - sewing project for RetroRama

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The pink pom-poms and black cotton fabric - scattered with white Scottie dogs and polka dots - will soon become my '50s suburban housewife dress for the upcoming RetroRama . After all, what says '50s suburbia better than a button front cotton dress? Worn with heels and pearls of course.