Friday, May 13, 2011

Sewing: Vintage Zoo Dress


I am sewing, madly sewing...

I hope not too madly really, but I am working on outfits (among other things) for Audrey's upcoming birthday party and the effort just happens to coincide with Elsie Marley's KCWC. Her challenge was the boost I needed, though not such a boost that I managed to sew through the night. I wish I could! But I don't get enough uninterrupted hours of sleep as it is so this dress for Audrey is finished later in the week than I hoped. But still finished!


This little dress is the result of combining two vintage patterns. I loved the scalloped collar on McCall's pattern 7656 and couldn't resist the puffy short sleeves and inverted pleat on the dress in Simplicity 5683. Seems they would combine fairly easily, but, (always a "but") the necklines and shoulders are pretty different, and I needed to enlarge it two sizes, so I pulled out my roll of examination table paper (such a great thing to have!) and drafted a new pattern with elements of each. Oh, and I skipped the zipper (as I am wont to do) and changed the back to buttons. Much easier putting in the work on the front end than to have tried pinning and cutting with multiple pieces. 


So here is Audrey's Vintage Zoo Dress. For Scarlett's birthday last Fall I was unsure about a bow but this dress was begging for it. I made it extra large. Audrey provided her opinion on that and I agreed. (She's come a way on the bow thing. A year or so ago she certainly would have said, "no bow.") Oh, and that's a dickey in the front. A dickey! A first for me. It required hand-sewing.

The fabric for the bow was totally serendipitious! I was at Joann buying rickrack and other notions for party making and the woman next to me was having this polka dot fabric cut. It was difficult to remain calm and hope she wasn't taking the entire bolt because it was the perfect match to the fabric I had brought along! I felt like high-fiving the cutter when the bolt was set aside with enough left for me! It is in the line DS Quilts Collection for Fabric Traditions, which I believe is a Joann exclusive and reportedly a big seller.  


It looks just perfect in the pleat on the sides. But I thought the dress needed a bit more of it to go along with Michael Miller's "Kid Zoo" fabric.  So I took some inspiration from No Big Dill and added a polka dot placket for the buttonholes on the back.


I was a bit nervous about it but I love it!


This also provides a bit of a sneak peek for Audrey's fifth birthday party. We're so excited!

27 comments:

small + friendly said...

The only thing I love more than this dress is your description of wanting to high five the cutting gal - classic! This is my favorite thing from kcwc so far - way to knock it out of the park!

ZiaMaria said...

I absolutely love this dress! Thanks for sharing...

Wanting What I Have said...

This is ABSOLUTELY gorgeous!!! You are so talented and the fabrics - wow! What a perfect combination!

Jayna Rae said...

Super cute! I love the fabric. You always do such a wonderful job.

KJ@letsgoflyakite said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
KJ@letsgoflyakite said...

Beautiful dress. Well done combining two vintage patterns, your work is always flawless. I also love the anecdote about hoping the woman in line doesn't purchase the entire bolt (we have all been there and identify!!!)

Mandy said...

great patterns and dress! I like the fabric & button choices! And the bow and the scalloped collar :)

Shelby said...

Adorable! I so wish I had your talent!! I can't wait to see the party!

Tonya said...

That is ADORABLE!

Twins Squared said...

Oh this is amazing! My girls would flip for this dress. It was the only thumbnail that I clicked on in the flickr group. I was really hoping that there was a blog post linked to it and there was! Very nicely done!

Jess said...

I grabbed me some of that polka dotted fabric too, and I wish I'd gotten more, and that dress is fantastic! I seriously CANNOT wait to see her party.

Tammy said...

It's adorable!

I'm the opposite of you, I'd rather do zippers than buttons and buttonholes. :-)

k a t y said...

anneliese! it's modernly retro! glad you were brave enough to venture doing a contrasting placket in the back. adds that much more charm :)

k a t y said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Delia said...

This is beautiful! I love the scalloped neckline.

Destri said...

Absolutely beautiful :). Every bit if it!

feelincrafty said...

Fabulous. Again.

needlekrafter said...

i have two young boys, but if i had a baby girl, this is exactly the dress that i'd want to make for her. that supposing that i knew how to sew! just love your beautiful sewing and crochet patterns- you have a beautiful family to match! :)

Jessica F. said...

Can I please just be you and have your skills. That is the cutest thing EVER! I need some serious tips if I ever get a girl!

dana said...

oh so cute! Darling Anneliese! Can't wait to see how the whole party comes together.

Sandy said...

adorable!
You did great...
I too have that, that sometimes I am unsure to do something "different" not sure if you will be happy when done.
But, the back with uttons and polka dots is totally the finishing touch.
i love your invites too. Very well done.

sertyan said...

I like the scallop collars and the beaufiful bow..your girls are so lucky!

Seaweed and Raine said...

I L-O-V-E that fabric! So cute! I could totally imagine summer Pj's for my little boys out of that too! The patterns you combined are lovely. I don't really know how to do button holes with my ancient machine (it's the same age as my dad!), but I think perhaps I need to learn ;)

angie said...

TOO cute for words.

bagfashionista said...

the dress is adorable!

Claire Meldrum said...

What a wonderful dress. I love the contrasting button placket at CB, the collar, the big floppy bow - everything. I've bookmarked it for my inspiration file, that's how much I love it!

The Mac's House said...

I'm totally in love with this dress. I came to your blog by way of another. I have to say that I have been thru your side bar and went back from the beginning of your posts. Is it wrong to say I'm totally in love with your creativity?

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