Saturday, June 16, 2012

Have I Mentioned that “I Love Lucy!”?, Part 2

As soon as I saw this pattern, I fell in love.  The short sleeved version may just be the world’s perfect sun dress.  And I was really hoping that my embroidered polka dots would work.  Without the border design, my fabric was only 45” wide.  Thankfully, it did!

The envelope design seems to indicate that the skirt is rather full and even looks like a crinoline is involved.  However,  the skirt width does not easily accommodate a petticoat or crinoline.   

I am not finding a copyright date on the pattern envelope or instruction sheet.  But a previous owner (I am thinking the original) wrote a few notations on the envelope, including a handy date of “July 52.”  I would assume that it refers to the date of purchase, so the pattern must have been printed prior to July of 1952.  The name “Irene” is also written in pencil, but I am not sure if this is the purchaser, seamstress, or intended recipient of a finished garment.  The pattern was never used, but it feels extra special to know that someone had plans for this particular pattern, even if they never got around to them!

And the pattern description is just wonderful:  “A smart afternoon dress with kimono sleeves and a diagonal front closing from neckline to hem-line.”  I believe that Simplicity is an American company, but the description sounds very British.  Or perhaps I just equate old fashioned wording and clever phrases with Ye Olde England.

This is another Sew Weekly Challenge garment.  This week was all about television shows.  Although the dress was originally meant for Vegas week (as a Rockabilly frock), once I found my buttons, I though it would be perfect for channeling Lucille Ball.

Dressing like Lucy makes me feel like a bit of a goof, so please forgive the ridiculous photos.

I attempted to recreate her hairstyle as well, with limited success.

Actually, I own a big red curly wig that I purchased a few years ago to complete my I Love Lucy Halloween outfit, but it felt like a bit much, seeing as it is not Halloween.

Lucy and Ricky Ricardo, Halloween 2009

A chance encounter with a yellow watering can stepped up the silliness to a whole new level.

Now that I have finished the dress, I realize that this design would work quite well as a dressier garment, with the right fabric and buttons!  And I bet it would make an excellent skirt as well.

Those flamingos are looking a bit parched!

But after making fourteen bound buttonholes in the last couple of weeks for this dress and my Garden Party frock, I am going to do my best to find a project that does not require buttons or zippers of any kind.  

I am ready for a break!

Dress:  Made by me, Simplicity 3849
Belt:  Made by me
Shoes:  Colin Stuart
Necklace & Earrings:  local farmer's market 

[More construction specifics may be found here.]


  1. Those cascading buttons are So Cool!!!

  2. This is beautiful. And great for everyday wear.

  3. Great dress. I love the buttons

  4. Absolutely STUNNING! Just love the teal bound buttonholes with the red buttons! The shape of the dress is really great--Another fabulous creation!!

  5. I love the buttons going diagonally across your dress! And the polka dots in different colours are great. Really nice dress!

  6. Wow, I wonder if I search hard enough I could find a pattern for a dress like like. Your is so lovely.

  7. Just beautiful! And I think you did a great job with the hair!

  8. This is absolutely gorgeous. I love the diagonal placement of the buttons and the contrast of the red that you chose. Too fabulous!

  9. Oh goodness! That is simply wonderful! I love how the buttons are diagonal! You look so gorgeous.

  10. What an absolute triumph! A stunning dress that looks sensational on you :)

  11. Beautiful! My Summer resolution is to perfect button hole making! Good on you that you were persistent enough for 14. They are perfectly in line!

  12. I always adore everything your create and wear, but have to say this certainly high up on the favourite list. 1950s (especially early 50s) frocks are near and dear to my heart, too, and I'm absolutely smitten with this timelessly wonderful design.

    Oodles of hugs & cheerful wishes for the week ahead,
    ♥ Jessica

  13. What a dress! Everything came together beautifully and you wear it well. I recently learned Simplicity patterns are designed in England, hence the pattern description.

  14. Now that's a shirt-waister with a difference! Beautiful dress and fabric to match. I've been reading your seam binding method - I know it's well past it's sell by date, but thanks for the tut and the information. I'm trying it on my next project. One more thing - what will you do with the butterflies?

    1. You are so welcome, Ruth!

      As for those butterflies, I am not sure at this point what will become of the leftover yardage. It is folded and back in the drawer for the moment!

  15. I've been reading your wonderful blog for months and I just had to say how much I LOVE this! I normally avoid shirt waisters like the plague as I have a really high waist but this could definitely tempt me! so pretty and fun.

  16. I really love the diagonal buttons and the turquoise bound buttonholes are really lovely.

    Your dress is amazing, I love it!

  18. I love that pattern! And the contrasting buttonholes and buttons are just works of art! Fabulous!

  19. Absolutely inspiring! Not to mention *adorable*!!

  20. Really lovely work! You are so inspiring! Thanks so much for sharing all your hard work!

  21. I really love this dress! I want to make my own! Although I just found your blog and it's wonderful all over :) I'm still learning, but I definitely have same kind of taste as you :)