In Vintage Inspiration

Family Heirloom

Back in January my Aunt sent me a bunch a vintage dresses that belonged to her grandmother. I immediately tried them all on and marveled at the construction of each one. They are all in extremely good shape, pretty pristine actually, and were well made. The hand sewn invisible hems on these dresses blows my mind! They’re literally invisible from the outside even when looking at them up close. Some of the dresses have tags in them and some don’t, but they ALL have raw unfinished seams on the inside! So strange! I guess sergers weren’t around back then… They just don’t make clothes like they used to!

Oh, and how about invisible zippers and interfacing? NOPE! No where to be found! See, I’m not crazy for discriminating against those two things, I’m just old school I guess. A dying breed.

Anyway, it’s been in the high seventies all week here in Vermont, which is record breaking for this time of year. The amazing weather has made me realize I have a serious lack of spring dresses in my wardrobe. I donated the majority of my “cute” clothes before I moved, thinking I would be working with animals exclusively, and would never step foot inside a dress again. Silly me!

Long story short, after much deliberation as to whether or not I should ever wear any of my newly inherited family heirlooms, I decided to just go for it! These dresses ended up with me so they wouldn’t live in an attic anymore, so they deserve some sunlight!

Pardon the wrinkles, but the fabric content is unknown to me so I’m kind of afraid to iron it! It feels like voile cotton but much thicker. I will admit I sew almost exclusively with cottons because it’s most comfortable on my skin, so any fabric outside of that category is pretty foreign to me!

I also came to the conclusion that I need a cardigan sponsor. I wear one every day!! Even in the summer time. I’m super sensitive to the sun so I wear a lot of layers all through the year. This grey one that I’ve shamelessly worn 2 days in a row, is from Target and it’s perfect! It fits well, it’s comfortable, and the sleeves actually reach past my wrists! Yeah, I’m a little taller than average, but I don’t have monkey arms! Why are most long sleeved things an awkward length!? Does anyone else feel this way?

p.s. there is NO Target in the entire state of Vermont. Not a one. I can’t drive 8 hours to buy more cardigans any time soon, which is another reason why I need a sweater sponsor.

I was totally trying to take photos of myself in the shop during my down time. It’s darn near impossible to take a decent picture of yourself when you can’t see the lighting, the frame, the focus, or anything. Blarg. So my wonderful Mr. snapped a few quick shots for me after work just as the sun was setting. In fact, the solar powered common space light kicked on right as he snapped this last shot, hence the shadows that don’t match. Thank goodness for photoshop I tell ya. That stupid solar light also made the original color of my photo that weird glowy orange that you see in the dark tunnels of the subway. At least I think it’s that color. It’s been years since I was on a subway…

I can’t wait for tomorrow! It’s my day off and I have a lot of sewing to catch up on. I finished a muslin for the bodice part of my “Truffle” dress and I’m soooo excited to get this dress done! If all goes well it will look pretty darn close to my inspiration dress.

Happy Wednesday Fancy Readers!
Enjoy your day 🙂


  • wrinkles-shminkles (shminkles?). So do we get to see the rest of the dresses?  : ) Also, in lieu of a cardigan sponsor, learning to knit is pretty good. Though if you find a cardigan sponsor please pass on their name, number, and preferred cookie so they will send me cardigans too!

    • Yes, I should have learn to knit a looooooong time ago! It’s on my list of things to learn. We should start our own cardigan sponsorship program! …not sure how that would work. Add that to my list. 

      I’ll be posting more pics of the dresses eventually 😉

  • I’m loving the wrinkles, too! You should definitely wear the family heirlooms. Things should be used with love, not left to sit in a box 🙂 I have a bunch of vintage garments, and the construction is so fun to explore. It looks like it has a sheen to it? Maybe a sateen?

    You’re def taller than me, but I feel you on the sleeve length! My arm’s are just shy of being the same length as hubs’, and he’s 6’3″. Haha!

    • It definitely has a “silky” finish to it. It think it could be a sateen. It’s a gorgeous fabric, whatever it is! 

      Sleeves and dress lengths now a days really bother me. I don’t it’s necessary for a dress to ever be much above the knee. It’s almost impossible to find a decent length dress in stores anymore!  Maybe I’m just old school… 

  • Love the dress and love even more how you paired it with the polka dot cardigan! The grey in the sweater and the vintage-yellowish color in the dress are just perfect.

     I too am very sensitive to the sun and cover up for most of the year.

    Enjoy your day off of work!

    • Thank you! 
      Yeah, I love the warmth of the sun, but not it’s burny qualities lol. I tend to enjoy the outdoors from shady areas only. That’s another reason why I’d much rather be hiking in the woods than out in the open on a beach! 

  • Zara Edwards

    Omg, how awesome!  Loved your outfit and that one pic with the vintage suitcases in the background!  Looking forward to seeing the other dresses.  I’m starting to completely love the 50’s style, I feel a shopping spree coming on! 

    • Well I know a lot of cute online clothing boutiques that specialize in that style! I’ll send you some links 🙂 

      I think you’d look absolutely beautiful in a vintage style sundress! 

      • Zara Edwards

        Aw, you are too sweet!  I’d love to rock one of those dresses, definitely send me some links girly 😉

  • Fantastic outfit!!  I agree that these pretty dresses are meant to be worn.  You could always try ironing on a low setting with a press cloth (tea towel in my house!) on top of the dress. 

    I love your cardigan!!! I am a cardigan fanatic, too. 🙂

    • Thanks for the ironing tip! I will have to try that on a little small patch of the dress and see how it does. 

      Cardigans are awesome 😉

  • I love Love LOVE this outfit! I know you’re apologizing for the wrinkles but I actually think the crinkles add to the look. How lucky you are to be gifted beautiful heirlooms like this AND this one fits you perfectly! Don’t you just love being able to peak at the construction of vintage garments? 

    • Thank you! And yes I feel extremely fortunately to have family members who appreciate the true (priceless) value of things like this. I am borderline obsessed with how things are made! I’m always comparing my seams and finishes to that of store bought products. Which often makes me sad because most store bought clothing now a days is complete crap! It just makes me that much more aware of my own personal sewing, and also the quality of amazing vintage pieces like this one!