fun in the sun(dress) Twirling in Eyelet

To start week 2 of our fun series, we want to introduce Jennifer.  Jennifer is a friend of ours from church, and she graciously accepted when we asked her to join in the series. 
At a baby shower for one of our friends, during present-opening, I discovered Jennifer’s talent.  Our friend opened a present – the most fabulous baby dress.  It looked authentically vintage, and you would NEVER know that it was home-sewn.  I heard across the room the words…”I made it…” and was in AWE.  The dress was amazing, perfect construction, even had french seams!  I had no idea Jennifer sewed, and then found out later that she majored in costume design in college.  How awesome. 
We are pleased to welcome Jennifer!

I come from a costume design background, so it is only fitting that I chose a 1952 vintage Vogue pattern for my dress:

The 1950’s is one of my favorite decades; I love the seam detail, large skirts, and versatility of the styles from this decade.

At first glance the pattern I chose seems like it’s more of a cocktail dress than a summer sundress.  However, I decided if I used cotton, shortened the skirt and sleeves, and dropped the front neckline several inches, I could make the dress casual enough to work as a day dress. 
I chose eyelet because it has a light summer feel, and I love the embroidery detail.  Because the fabric is so pale it’s practically see-through, I felt it needed to be lined.  I chose off white cotton as the lining because I wanted it to be cool and breathable on a hot day.  I had to flat line (or underline) the islet with the cotton so that the two layers wouldn’t stick together as cotton layers have a tendency to do.  I also ended up adding two extra pleats into the side skirts pattern pieces, and taking two inches out of the side seams on the skirt because there was too much fullness in the skirt without a petticoat underneath.  
When the dress was completed, I chose to add black trim to the neckline and sleeves because I felt it was a little too monochromatic for my taste.
The most difficult parts of this pattern for me were the side bodice pieces.  The side bodice piece must come to a sharp point exactly ¼” from the bust pleats in order to get the beautiful seam detail that set this dress apart.  It took a lot of pins and a lot of patience to get them right.  Other than that, this pattern came together quickly. 
I love this dress because it is light and summery, but versatile enough to work with flip flops as well as heels. 

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