The “Little bit of Horrockses” Dickie

This little apron came from an op shop.  I thought it looked old – you don’t see much polished cotton these days. I sometimes buy aprons because they are often in interesting old fabrics.  I think old ladies (often excellent recyclers!) make them from scraps left over from frocks. This apron was made up from lots of narrow strips and a whole lotta selvage (the taupe section)!  It is sewn in very tight zig stitches which were a nightmare to unpick – so I left some in!

The fabric is pretty special. The print really caught my eye. The figures are dressed in Rococo fashions and are drawn in a very cartoonish style.  Cute colours: pink purple yellow and aqua – very on trend for summer – according to Pantone’s forecast.

Recently I was trawling around the net researching 50’s dresses and I found in Te Papa (New Zealand’s National Museum) collection a Horrockses dress in the same fabric as my little apron.  Thought it would be perfect to make for the Queen’s Jubilee Celebrations this week.  The other ladies on the Sew Weekly are also doing this theme if you care to take a look.

Horrockses Fashions by Christine Boydell

– this book is fantastic if you are into 40/50’s fashions.

When The Queen toured New Zealand in 1953-4 she wore a number of Horrockses dresses.  My mum Natalie Blair bought one in this tulip print in a grey and yellow colourway.  She bought it because it was similar to what The Queen had.  Mum likes The Queen.

So it is with great pleasure I celebrate The Queens Jubilee with a wee Dickie.

It matches my 50’s cardi rather well don’t you think?

She is a trooper – congrats Mrs Quinn, and thanks for all the years of gracious service (said in a strong New Zealand accent. Check out Flight of the Conchords if you don’t know what it sounds like!).

The Facts
Fabric: Vintage apron in Horrockses Cotton $4, and polka dot scrap from stash
Pattern: Vogue 6984 combined with Simplicity S.119 – about $5

Year: Early 1950’s

Notions: A button and the whole front is interfaced

Time to complete: A crazy 7 hours, and a good hour for testing out the wing collar and fitting pieces into scraps!
First worn: for the photos
Wear it again? Yes – its more comfortable than a shirt would be and is a hint of vintage for a work day

Total cost: $10

Charlotte has done some reserach on Dickies here:
And so has Jemina Bean

Sorry it’s on the mannequin – it was one of those weeks and I hate my new haircut!

My Favourite Dress

I have had a huge week at work this week so have been too tired to sew.  Last week my lovely parents were here from NZ so we did things like go whale watching!  It was lots of fun but we didn’t see any sadly!

So I thought I share with you my favourite dress that I made to wear to the 50’s Fair back in 2009.

Photo: Gavin Blair, Hair by James at Sterling Hair

I used my now favourite Cotton/Lycra Sateen fabrics from Spotlight or Lincraft.  These fabrics are perfect for this type of dress as they you can achieve a good fit and still breathe – or eat comfortably!

I posted it on Sew Weekly for the Royal Wedding Hat challenge of 2011 – one of Mark’s and my first photo shoots – at night – inside – dress looks passable – facial expression rather strange.

I think it is my favourite pattern ever because it is easy to sew and and it fitted me without too much effort on my part!

Originally I made a mock up in black wool (what was I thinking!  Must finish that and perhaps put long sleeves in for Winter! I Definately still had baby brain I think, even though said baby was aged aged four at that time!).

Made it again in black and white cross hatch print- a la Prada Autumn 2010.  Adey has a picture on her blog of the inspirational dress – it’s the one with the bare midriff.  I agree with her comments!

I am wearing it with a petticoat or two underneath in the above photo!

Wore that to the “I love Vintage fair” to meet Kesenya of Alice Jeans and Brooke  of Brooke Orchard Photography, for the first time. Note excited groupie expression!

This dress is perfect for pear shapes is fitted to the waist, it skims over childbearing hips and accentuates a lack of bust with the bathered bosum section.  The bias binding is nice and the extended sleeves are flattering to 40+ year old mummy arms.

A very simliar looking contemporary pattern is  Vogue 8728 – which is suggested for knit fabrics.  I haven’t tried it.

I feel like a million bucks in this dress.  Everyone should have at least one dress that makes them feel like that don’t you think?

Prints for little kids, and big ones

Spotlight has some very cute 50’s reproduction children’s prints at the moment.  Aren’t they  irrisistable?  They were hiding in the quilting section – why should the quilters have all the fun?

Whee!  Looks like fun doesn’t it!

Sorry it’s a bit blurry – but you get the idea

And this is the one that came home with me.  You are looking at next year’s summer PJ pants – Yay!