Tuesday, May 1, 2012

vintage dress for a modern girl

as my oldest gets older i’m finding it’s more and more difficult to dress her. not because she’s picky or stubborn, but because apparently mainstream clothing manufacturers assume my almost-12-year-old really wants to look like an almost-21-year-old.

nope. not this gal, thankyouverymuch.

alright, i’ll come clean—i’m all about the teeny weeny bikinis on the chubby little bodies. but once they get bigger it’s over. i’m the momma, and i’m allowed to have double standards if i want to.
so there.

anyway…it’s fortunate that i sew. many of my friends do not—and find themselves and their tween daughters in the same predicament. it’s ashame, and makes me more determined than ever that my girls learn their way behind and around a sewing machine before they’re out of my care.
in this case, guinevere needed a new dress. so we headed out to pick out a pattern, and she surprised me by picking this one:

butterick retro b5032

a vintage butterick pattern. which makes my fluffy-skirt-lovin’ heart sing! but makes my pattern-hating-heart have da sadz :(

it wasn’t so bad though. obviously i turned what’s supposed to be a sheer overlay into the actual skirt, and i also did my own thing on the zipper, the length, the belt the buttons up the back…so i guess what i’m saying is i’m OKAY with patterns, provided i almost, but not completely, ignore what they say.

but hey—can’t argue with results, right?

vintage dress (neve) 017

vintage dress (neve) 018

i bought five yards of fabric for this dress. ahem--5 yards of walmart fabric that was $3/yd. it was her pick. truth be told--it wasn't my favorite. on the bolt, or even as i started sewing.

vintage dress (neve) 022

but finished? i love it. the fabric has just the right touch of a vintage look that makes it perfect for the pattern.

vintage dress (neve) 020

also: i have chopped up pieces totalling maybe 1/2 yard left.

that’s a very, very full skirt.

after she tried it on once we decided to put horsehair in the hem. it gives just the right amount of fullness without slips. (i talk more about horsehair here)

vintage dress (neve) 023

down the back a line of covered buttons run next to the invisible zipper, bringing in a pop of yellow.

vintage dress (neve) 014

also adding a pop of yellow: the optional belt, with matching flower.

vintage dress (neve) 015
i have a hard time deciding whether i like it better with the belt, or with
out. opinions?

the final pop of yellow:

vintage dress (neve) 003

a sweet little cardigan. one that started it’s life as a thrifted pullover sweater. more details on that coming later!
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  1. it's a very cute dress but when you add the yellow, I LOVE it!!

  2. I love the whole outfit, the extra belt and sweater just take it the whole nine yards and back again!

  3. Very cute dress! Good on your daughter for not wanting to follow the trend of dressing like an adult as a child!

  4. I also have a 12 year old daughter and am dealing with exactly the same issue of finding her interesting clothes that we can both agree upon and that fits her. She still has the body of an 8 year old, if you know what I mean. Loved the dress idea! Please show more!

  5. So darling...love the full skirt. makes me want to put on something I can twirl in. I think the yellow really completes the look.

  6. Oh my gosh - WITH the belt! But you know I love yellow.

  7. I love the belt and especially the buttons, they're adorable. You did an amazing job!

  8. That's just amazing! I can't sew at all, but am really admiring of people who can, and your reason for wanting to sew clothes for your daughter instead of buying the trashy stuff makes it even more lovely!

  9. With the belt, with the yellow cardigan, with the buttons! I love it! Very nice job!!

  10. Love the dress with the belt-the pop of yellow is great!!

  11. You are seriously talented my dear. Seriously. I love the dress and I'm loving the belt!

  12. Oh my goodness, I love this! Particularly the pops of yellow and buttons up the back. Can I please be your daughter? I'm 17 and self-sufficient and promise I won't be any trouble :)
    (& in my mind we're already friends due to our mutual following on twitter.)

  13. i love the retro look!! She is beautiful in that dress!!!

  14. I love this dress! With or without the belt, but particularly with. I want one! =)

  15. This is so pretty and the horsehair hem is an authentic vintage technique. As a person who was obsessed with vintage patterns I have a tip for you: The authentic, original patterns have a really good fit with very little ease while the new reissued retro ones you buy in the fabric store have way too much ease and a pretty bad fit straight out of the envelope. I get mine on E bay.


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