In an old house in Paris that was covered with vines…

13 Jan

This dress was actually inspired by the little straw hat I am wearing, which I found at Sportsgirl of all places. Together with the faded blue of the dress and cream bib, it reminded me of a lovely book… Madeline!

I used the bodice pattern of the Brown Birds dress, which has proven to fit me so well, and added a basic gathered skirt made of two rectangular panels. The fabric is from an op-shop and feels like a cotton/linen mix; it drapes so beautifully. At the moment I am becoming more and more attracted to plain fabrics that feel lovely, rather than busy prints – although I don’t think I will ever stop loving them!

The cream bib is a piece I cut out of a 1930’s blouse that had become so tattered and stained there was no wearing it in public. It still has a few stains on it, but I figure that gives it character, right? I simply made up the bodice and hand-stitched the bib onto it. Originally I wanted to cut away the fabric behind the bib (an idea I am playing with in more detail at the moment) but decided that the stability lent by the blue fabric would help hold the shape of the vintage piece.

I learnt a new technique! At the top of the back zip I made a thread loop for a hook closure. I didn’t take a photo, but this involves making a few loops with stronger thread and covering the loop with blanket stitch. I hate sewing on metal eyes for hooks, and I see this little detail all the time on vintage blouses, so it’s going to be a handy skill I think!

I had to resort to self-timer photos here… you will probably get to see my whole house eventually! Ok… and you will see me using that 1960’s pattern a lot too because it’s so adaptable and well-fitting!

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14 Responses to “In an old house in Paris that was covered with vines…”

  1. Kat January 13, 2010 at 8:14 pm #

    Gorgeous dress! I love the lace bib on the front. I think you should leave the fabric behind it. It looks nice with the blue showing through the lace.

  2. Lily January 13, 2010 at 9:34 pm #

    Oh wow… that’s stunning! Love it so much! You should machine stitch over bits of the lace and cut away bits and pieces of the blue. Would look awesome and would not compromise the stability (although admittedly would take ages). I can’t wait to see your next creation!

  3. Abi January 13, 2010 at 10:13 pm #

    What an adorable dress! It’s quite unique, and you did well with the lace. I really love seeing old garments that can no longer be worn being made useful!So very inspiring!

  4. Debi January 14, 2010 at 12:14 am #

    LOVE the lace bib! what a clever idea!! And the madeline hat….fantastic outfit.

  5. Anna January 14, 2010 at 12:20 am #

    Oh my! That’s gorgeous!

    I wish we had summer here too … (I live in Sweden).

  6. tastymoog January 14, 2010 at 12:51 am #

    Cute! 🙂

  7. Alyssa January 14, 2010 at 1:18 am #

    I love dreaming up sewing projects that remind me of literary characters! I still have yet to make some Nancy Drew outfits though.
    The dress is very adorable and the hat makes me squeal with girlish glee. There is nothing quite like a miniature hat!

  8. Gertie January 14, 2010 at 1:51 am #

    Adorable! As a children’s book editor, I especially appreciate the Madeleine inspiration. 🙂

    I don’t know how I haven’t come across your blog until now . . . it’s wonderful. I just added you to my blog roll. 🙂

  9. marLou January 14, 2010 at 11:24 am #

    Oh, I love it so much. Great job! The bib is a great idea! I personally find lots of inspiration from Pride & Prejudice and Anne of Green Gables. (You and your blog is very inspiring too!)

  10. Andi B. Goode January 14, 2010 at 1:52 pm #

    That is such an adorable dress. It looks great. And I love Madeleine…well…the TV show. ;] And that little hat is cute, too! Sportsgirl…wow.

  11. Jodi January 16, 2010 at 3:13 pm #

    Oh that is one insanely gorgeous dress! I love everything about it.

  12. alibahbah January 21, 2010 at 11:23 am #

    I love how you have used the cream lace from a blouse you can no longer wear, I really like the idea of taking something which would normally end up in the bin and using it to make something magical!

    Plus the cream lace looks so nice over the blue – you look adorable x

  13. lunatepetal February 14, 2010 at 3:44 am #

    whoa! what a beautiful dress!! love the color and the vintage bib is gorgeous 🙂

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