Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Dress Like Your Grandma Challenge: Planning

It's time for a sewing challenge that I have been looking forward to since last year - the Dress Like Your Grandma Challenge! Tanya of Mrs. Hughes started this challenge last year and the idea is to recreate an outfit from a vintage photo - it can be a relative or just a random old photo you like as long as it's vintage. I really wanted to participate last year, but it came at a time that I just wasn't able to get anything done. This year things are busy, but I feel like I can make something happen in the time given. As soon as Tanya announced this challenge, I started looking through old photos to see what garments I might have to choose from. These were some of my contenders:
 The first 5 photos are of my mom's mom- this is my lovely Grammy :) I have a lot of digitized photos of her from her funeral, so I had lots of inspiration. This pictures is from the late 1960s. This white shirt dress was a big contender - I love the collar and the tie and the belt combo. All white just looks so classic. If I wasn't such a total klutz, I would probably have jumped on making this up. Alas, I would definitely soil a dress like this and pretty quickly. So I kept looking...
This is my Grammy (right) with her parents (left two adults), her uncle (right), and two of her brothers. In love Grammy's outfit here - she looks so cool, doesn't she? My grandma appreciated a good button-up shirt, and this is a great example. I could even take a page from my great grandma's book (left) and make myself a capelet if I felt I could pull it off, but I don't think my day to day life is quite glamorous enough to call for one. This pictures is probably from the late 40s or early 50s.
This is my grammy with all her kids - my mom is the one with the absolutely enormous collared dress, lol. I'm digging her cuffs though. If I was a suit person, this suit would be epic - I believe it's a skirt suit. I love the neckline, the sleeve length, and the bias cut button placket. This must have been on Easter or some other holiday for my uncles to be so dressed up, lol. Doesn't my one uncle look like PeeWee Herman?
This is another picture from the late 40sor early 50s - possibly on the same day as the family shot above. I suspect this is the same outfit, but doesn't the skirt look epic draped over that car? She looks pretty badass in this shot, no lie.
This is from the early 50s and I really love the patch pockets on the skirt she's wearing (she's on the left). Also another great button-up here. 
This one is from 1985 and that is me on my blessing day between both my grandmas :) I actually really like grammy's outfit here, and I was very tempted to choose this picture, but I did not have any appropriate red fabric for the shirt and I wanted to keep this in stash to save on time. I love the skirt and shirt in this one though.
 This is a shot of my dad's mom in the mid-1950s. I'm really liking that neckline on the shirt, but I'm not quite sure how I would replicate that without a pattern. I love the button tab on the skirt too.
 And this is actually my husband's grandma, but I love her outfit. Isn't ths shirt cute? Again I'm not sure how I could replicate the collar without a pattern, but I love the whole thing.
After examining my stash possibilities and looking through all of the photos, I decided to go with this one as my outfit inspiration. This picture is from the early 1960s and I feel it's pretty representative of grammy's style - a button-up shirt with a flares skirt. Also can we just pause for a moment and appreciate that my uncles are dressed like tiny Colonel Sanders? lol
For the blouse I'm going to use the Mimi Blouse pattern from Tilly and the Button's book Love at First Stitch. I've wanted to make this pattern for a very long time, so this will give me the perfect kick in the butt to figure out the fit and get some made. I'm going to make it up in this nice white rayon challis that I grabbed when Hancock Fabrics closed down a few years ago. I think it will be a great wardrobe piece that will go with everything, so I'm pretty excited about getting this one going. I think the pattern is perfect for the neckline and collar, but I will be going with the longer sleeves of the pattern instead of the cap sleeves on my grammy simply because I hate cap sleeves. Give me a real sleeve, please thanks.
For this skirt I am still deciding on a pattern. At first I thought I'd make a Hollyburn (mostly because I usually always want to make one because I love wearing them), but when I look closed at the photo, it looks the there is an angled pleat front and center (or maybe it's a circle skirt and creating a fold there? I like the pleat idea better, so I'm saying it's a pleat, lol). This made me think of Gertie's Butterick 6285 skirt since it has fancy double pleats - but the pleats are at the princess seam lines, so not exactly the right placement for my inspiration photo. Then I thought of the skirt on Simplicity 2444 which has very similarly angled pleats across the front. Now I'm contemplating a merge of the 2444 skirt with the Hollyburn pockets and a waistband. As far as fabric, I have a nice bright red linen look I grabbed at The Sewing Studio a few years ago that would be perfect for a skirt. I also have some red poly satin lining should I feel it needed.

I think this will be an outfit my grammy would appreciate if she were here to see it. Honestly grammy was always encouraging in everything I made and would praise it no matter what, but in this case especially I like to think she would be happy with my choice. She would probably have a blast showing me other good outfit photos to help me decide. I just hope this all turns out as well as I think it could.

Are you joining in the challenge? Let me know! I'd love to see others' inspiration photos :)

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