Saturday, December 22, 2012

Carmen Miranda’s Favorite Fruit Salad

This is one of those online fabric purchases that looked nothing like what I expected, so it sat in a drawer for a bit.  Does this look like “brown fruit print challis”? – yeah, that’s what I thought.  Brown is perhaps the only color that is not present.

And then I remembered that I wanted to make the peplum version of this dress.

One fun part of using a pattern I have already worked with is that most of the preliminary work has already been done!  And, of course, I know what to expect.

To break up some of the crazy colors, I added grosgrain ribbon.   

My first thought was to layer a yellow ribbon over the purple, but I decided that was too cheerleader uniform. 

I was also going to add two grosgrain bows to the neckline corners.  The neckline treatment is so unique that I did not want to duplicate it, seeing as I already have a version in blue.  But the two bows looked too cutesy, so I decided to settle for one.  Hopefully the peplum and fabric choice helps to differentiate it from my other dress!

While I was over at mom’s getting pictures taken, her neighbor said I needed a Carmen Miranda hat to top off the outfit – and I absolutely agree.  How did I miss that?!

I know some people will be horrified, but the peplum is detachable!

And here is the dress without the peplum.  I think I will save a length of purple ribbon to tie in a bow for those days when I choose to leave the peplum at home.  

Or perhaps it could be a day to evening transition piece? – Peter must be rolling his eyes at my inability to make a decision and stick with it!  To peplum or not to peplum, that is the question!

Dress:  Made by me, Hollywood 1449 via VPLL
Jacket:  Banana Republic
Shoes:  Alfani
Earrings:  Liz Palacios


  1. I'm shocked that I'm about to say this, because I'm in favor of adding peplums to everything (blouses, jackets, other people's children...) but I think I like this better without the peplum.

    I say stuff the peplum in your purse, and then halfway through whatever event you're at, whip it out. Everyone will know something is different but won't be quite sure what. You will, of course, deny everything ;)

  2. i love the dress, the fabric, and the peplum. the ribbon edge of the peplum, not so much. you look beautiful, however. thanks for the post!

  3. I really hope you do add a Carmen Miranda hat/fascinator at some point. Love the version with the peplum.

  4. I think this really has to be one of the most elegantly sophisticated ways I've ever seen a fruit print put to work. You went with the perfect dress pattern to help turn it into just being a cute print to one that suddenly seems wildly chic and like something that might have come down a designer runway.

    ♥ Jessica

  5. I stopped rolling my eyes when I noticed it was making my upper lids sag.

    I say ix-nay on the eplum-pay. The way I always see it is this: if the print is eye-catching, make the dress about the print and keep the lines simple. If you're sewing with a solid, make the dress about the lines. Doing both rarely works, imo.

    Your dress is smashing (I'd never have guessed the print was fruit) and the single purple bow works wonderfully. Great job!

  6. Removable peplum!? MIND BLOWN! And it is fabulous both ways!


  7. Fantastic! I would guess this was a FFC/Denver purchase - aren't they the best source of "surprises"? I have gotten some very unexpected textiles from them. You certainly overcame any disappointment. This dress is a triumph in every way.
    I would go without the peplum, but this is only because I just can't get on this peplum bandwagon, whether it is the current craze or the one in the 40s. I do love the purple ribbon though.

  8. Freakin fabulous! I LOVE this dress! It looks great both ways too!

  9. Delightfully and eye-catchingly gorgeous!