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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

· A Touch of the Tropical ·

What should you do if it's the middle of winter, but you find yourself without any seasonally appropriate blog posts? Pull out something super summery for complete change of pace!

I bought this fabric in a desperate search for something out of the box and new a few years ago.  I was feeling like I was getting into a rut, and wanted to shake things up a bit.  This large floral rayon certainly qualified! ;-)  The color scheme is so fun and while I was most excited to accessorize with mustard or one of these pretty blues, when I went to my accessory drawer I couldn't resist the chance to finally incorporate this wooden bangle!  To help tie it in with the dress, I added this block-printed silk scarf while the rest of the accessories remained pretty neutral.  I'm looking forward to figuring out a few more ideas to accessorize this dress once the weather warms up again- I think the possibilities will be endless!

It took me a few years to decide what pattern I wanted to use for this fabric, but I eventually settled upon Butterick 6927 (an out-of-print 1940s reprint pattern).  The pattern details are amazing and it's such a comfortable style - I really should make it up again in a solid so that the details are showcased, but I always say that and never buy solid fabrics. ;-)

Angled released darts, slashes and inset gathers, fiddly seaming: this pattern has it all!

To top it all off, I was such a dutiful seamstress on this dress!  My experience with rayon is that it frays like MAD, so after learning that the hard way on my first project, I've made sure to serge all of my raw edges since then.  I really wanted to see how using rayon seam binding compared to serging and I think I'm a fan!  I'm not sure it made enough of a difference to justify the extra work on *every* project, but it was easy to work with!  And as for using it to finish off the hem.... I'm a HUGE fan.  Love the way it finishes it off beautifully, love the way it lays so perfectly!

Since this is a 1940s dress, I had my usual dilemma about shoulder pads- to add them, or not??  I was totally committed and ready to do it, but for whatever reason they were looking horrible in this dress so I left them out.  I figured I'd wait until I did a photoshoot and could view it more objectively to see if they needed to be added.

However, now I can't decide.  So, dear readers, help me out and give me your opinion!  Does this dress really need a little extra love in the shoulder area?  If so, what's your favorite method for making shoulder pads?

Now enough of the nit-picking and onto the accessories!  This silk scarf came from a church sale a couple summers ago and while it's not something I'd typically go for, I'm really happy I kept it!

I'm still looking for a really great statement necklace to complete this outfit, but I haven't stumbled upon it yet... This is a great shot of the neckline though!  I've used this blouse pattern before (my gold dotty dress), and the ingenious sweetheart neckline still thrills me!


Earrings! Or at least clip-ons. ;-)  Definitely an unusual look for me, but it did make me realize how much I love the look of earrings with turbans!  I'm hooked now, and my poor earlobes will just have to cope with the clip-on pain.  I'm way too much of a wimp to pierce my ears, so this is as good as it'll get! ;-)

For an entirely different look, I went with a pared-down styling of the dress.  The rayon fabric releases wrinkles and dries quickly, which it a great candidate for traveling.  I though I'd take a cue from that and style it with a casual resort vibe!

(Plus it's just a fun excuse to pull out my round vintage sunglasses!)

· Photos by Kathryn! ·

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