Hi there, friends!
Have you ever been so excited about a fabric and recreating a vintage design and then just let it sit in your fabric stash for a year? Well, I have… I had been yearning for a lobster print skirt or dress for a while and designed some fabric to make my own version and then I let it sit around unsewn. I guess I wasn’t that excited, was I? Well…. now that I have that lobster skirt, I am super excited to finally wear it!
I saw this vintage 1950’s Horrockses lobster print skirt on Pinterest and knew that I had to have that and went about creating my own print. I designed my print at My Fabric Designs and had it printed on basic combed cotton. My lobsters aren’t quite as cool as the Horrockses design, but I love them just the same.
This skirt is a self drafted dirndl style skirt. Basically, just two rectangles gathered with a waistband. The Horrockses skirt buttons down the side. I added a side button closure instead of a zip using some large pearlized vintage buttons. Being white, the fabric is a bit see-through, so instead of lining it, I have on my white cotton petticoat (Simplicity 5006).
Paired with my skirt is a sleeveless Cashmerette Harrison shirt. I made it out of a white twill from LA Finch Fabrics. I often test for Cashmerette Patterns, but didn’t have a chance to test the Harrison pattern at the time, so this is my first version of it. This pattern really does sew together very well and is shapely with it’s double princess seams. My version is a bit more fitted than I’m used to, but it pairs very well with this skirt for a mid-century silhouette. I graded between sizes between the bust and waist/hip, following the size chart, but would probably go up a size for a future version as I like a little bit more ease.
The twill that I used has a sateen finish is a little bit heavier than a shirting. It’s a lovely fabric that worked really well for this shirt and makes me think that I should purchase some more to make a dress with it.
I used some vintage buttons from my stash for this shirt. I have a lot of buttons — both vintage and new — so I often don’t go out and purchase buttons when I get fabric for a specific project like this one. I shop in my stash first and if I don’t have something that will work, that’s when I go button shopping.
BTW: I do a lot of thrift and antique store shopping, so I pick up buttons (and many other notions) when I find them. I don’t really do this just to be frugal, but because I find vintage buttons to be of better quality than most modern ones and often more interesting. Plus, have you seen the button selection at JoAnn’s lately?! I guess that’s why I either shop from my stash for buttons or buy buttons for special projects at Stonemountain (Berkeley, CA) or Britex (San Francisco, CA).
I chose white for this shirt as I needed a versatile shirt that would go with many things. However, I being me, wanted to add a little something to this shirt. I found this fabulous monogram transfer pattern on Etsy a few weeks ago and I would say that the fact that I wanted to monogram everything with it, really pushed me sew this shirt as sewing basics is always on the bottom of my list. The monogram pattern is McCall 1339, a vintage pattern from 1947. This pattern was a bit more than I generally pay for patterns as it’s kind of rare, but it was uncut and fantastic, so here it is in my hands. 🙂
This pattern has instructions for both a beaded and sequined version and an embroidered version with a chainstitch and herringbone stitch. I did consider using sequins, but thought that might be a bit flashy for an everyday shirt. I also checked out JoAnn’s selection of sequins and was unimpressed, so will definitely purchase sequins online when I get to making one of those. Instead, I used light gold silver-lined Czech glass seed beads (size 11) and filled it in with an embroidery thread herringbone stitch. I considered doing this monogram in red, but I really wanted this shirt to be one that I could wear with many other skirts, so I chose the more neutral color of gold instead. I usually do beadwork and embroidery in freehand and generally don’t use a pattern, so I found it refreshingly quick to use this transfer pattern and I plan on putting flashy monograms on more things!
One of the things that drew me to the vintage monogram pattern that I used was this photo of my grandma from 1946. Look at that monogram on her dress!!! I don’t know if she used a pattern, if she embroidered it herself or even if she made her dress as I didn’t notice it in this photo until recently and sadly she is not here any longer for me to ask. My hope is that I’ll find a pattern similar to that someday, but if not, I will design my own and recreate that dress that she’s wearing.
I’m not really much of a skirt wearer, but I am super happy with this skirt and this outfit as a whole. When I tried it on together, I was blown away by how much I love it. My only problem with this outfit is that I don’t know how I’m going to keep it clean…. I already had a battle with some type of ink stain on the shirt that mysteriously landed there some time when I tried it on while I was sewing it. I tried a few things to get it out and finally was triumphant when I tried a Fels-Naptha bar on it.
And Rollie might like it, too. 🙂
Note: I received the Harrison shirt pattern in return for being a Cashmerette pattern tester. I received the fabric for the skirt as part of a stipend that I had last year at My Fabric Designs. These are my honest thoughts and opinions.
- Shirt: Cashmerette Harrison in white twill, made by me
- Skirt: self-drafted in custom printed cotton
- Shoes: Swedish Hasbeens
- Earrings: Luxulite
- Lip color: Clinique Chubby Stick Intense in Plushest Punch