A 1960s "Lilly" Dress

60s lilly pulitzer style dress | allie J. | alliemjackson.com

Aaaages ago, I emailed Catherine from Sewing the 60s (one of my very favorite blogs) about collaborating on a twinsies project. I thought we could both sew the same pattern, but in different styles that would reflect our personal aesthetics.  It can get sort of lonely in the vintage pattern world--no sewalongs, no new releases--so I'm always excited about things like the Vintage Sewing Pattern Pledge and other collaborative or community-building projects.

60s lilly pulitzer style dress | allie J. | alliemjackson.com

Catherine one-upped me and reversed my same pattern, different styles challenge, very generously offering to send along a few yards of this amaaazing 60s floral fabric that we could both use to create different dresses in the same material. Since there was only about 2 1/2 yards to begin with (I think) we both figured we'd make shift dresses. She cut hers out and sent along the rest to me, and then we both did some solid procrastinating. But at last, the dresses are here!

I have not seen her dress yet, nor has she seen mine, but I'm really thrilled about my final project, and I know she's pleased with hers as well!

60s lilly pulitzer style dress | allie J. | alliemjackson.com

The fantastic print and my fabric limitations inspired me to make a Lilly Pulitzer-style dress. She is most famous for her multi-colored shifts. To this day, Lilly Pulitzer (the company, the woman died in 2013) makes shift dresses with wild prints and often white lace trim; there are vintage examples on etsy here, here, here, here, and here. What luck that I had some white lace in my closet... on my pink shift dress! Since this dress never gets worn due to fit issues, I didn't feel bad stealing its trim. The trim on my dress is not exactly like any of the vintage examples, but definitely fits within the parameters.

60s lilly pulitzer style dress | allie J. | alliemjackson.com
that blurry part was a GIANT bruise from donating blood, gross

I used Simplicity 7194 from 1967 as the base of my dress. You may notice, however, that my dress looks basically nothing like the pattern illustration. I left off the sleeves, altered the front bodice to eliminate the pesky darts (like so), ditched the collar and placket... basically I just wanted a princess-seamed dress and this was the only one I had! I mentioned before that I spent ages searching for that perfect shift dress before realizing the look I was going for just didn't suit me. I still have some tweaking to do for this pattern (leave suggestions for fit improvements in the comments if you want!), but now that I have Simplicity 7737 for an a-line dress and Simplicity 7194 for a fitted sheath, I'm feeling confident about my "shift" dress options.

Check out Catherine's dress (and her great blog) here!

If you sew vintage, what sorts of community-building projects would you like to see? What would you add to the line-up that isn't yet there? Decades-specific sewing? Pattern-specific? More general?

xoxo,
allie

ps: funnily enough, we also discovered that we had each independently purchased the same navy on white breton stripe from miss matatabi, as well, so... more twinsies in the future!

allie J.

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25 comments:

  1. Love it! The little bows are my fave, and the lace looks so pretty :) I think in terms of vintage sewing, I just love seeing the sheer variety that people come up with! It would be cool to see some decade specific sewing though - I have a stack of my grandmother's patterns from the sixties on loan at the moment and I'm looking forward to making up some of those over the summer - a bit of a step outside my usual fifties comfort zone!

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    1. Ahh, you'll love the sixties! There are a lot of early 60s patterns which have a 50s feel to them, but often use slightly less fabric, which makes them more accessible. I've been super into the later patterns recently though--branching out from 1963 all the way to '68 or so! haha

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  2. Very cute! Looks like you nailed the fit, too :)

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    1. Thank you! I did a LOT of fiddling :)

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  3. This is so cute on you. The fabric really suits you and your personality. The sleeveless shoulders hit at just the right spot!

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    1. Thanks! I had to mess around with them a lot. They aren't quiiiite perfect but I think they look great!

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  4. Such a great dress. I would love another vintage challenge. I don't mind about the theme but it would be nice to have something a bit interactive. I have lots of 70s patterns I need some motivation to make up.

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    1. I have never really been attracted to the 70s but I simplicity has recently published two retro 70s patterns that I adore, 8013 and 1059. I'll definitely be sewing both of them at some point, so I'll try and think up some sort of group thing.

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    2. Ooh this is a great idea. I've just purchased a Vogue 70's inspired pattern 9076 and would love to join, too :) if I have time (work has been very busy lately as it's approaching end of year). I'm not really in to 70s styles as much as 60s and 50s but there're some nice exceptions out there.

      Your dress is very lovely on you btw and those bows!!! so cute...

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  5. why hey hello there dress twin! I love love your version and the addition of the lace and bows. I hope you get lots of wears out of it once the weather warms up! We should definitely do more sew a longs - maybe get people to join if they like!

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    1. I expect this dress to be in heavy rotation once it gets warmer! We had a streak of sunny, warm days last week, and I expect we may get one or two more so I may even get to wear it again this fall! ;)

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  6. Such a cute dress! I love the lace trim and the bows. I'd definitely be up for a vintage sewing challenge, maybe we could all make the same pattern (providing we all have it that is!).

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    1. Yes, that would be great! I know we both have Tilly's Coco, and Simplicity 6220. I wonder if there's anything all three of us have? There must be!

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    2. I'm sure there is, we shall have to brainstorm! I'm sure we could always send the other one a copy of a pattern if we don't all have it.

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    3. yes! Lets do a triplet dress! I dont have either of those patterns but we could find one or trace off for each other. Ill email you both!

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  7. Love your sassy pose in the first photo :)

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  8. So cute! My first thought was "Lilly" before I'd even clicked through from Instagram so, I'd say you nailed it :) I really love the added bows!

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    1. Oh, thank you! The bows aren't traditional Lilly but I love them too :)

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  9. great idea, love the fabric, and both versions divine............

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  10. This is SO GOOD! I just finished a 60s shift dress too, but I like yours better! I love the way you added the trim to the bodice, and the fit looks terrific.

    http://blog.breadandrosesvintage.com

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  11. This is so incredibly cute and very Lily P! I have to admit I kind of avoid shift dresses as I'm not a very 60s-friendly shape, but I love the lace and bow detail and this looks perfect on you. <3

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