Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Reproduction Dress

I found this reproduction 50's dress at Thrift World for .98 cents some time last year. I'm glad I didn't pay the $150. it lists for online because it is barely worth the .98 cents.

\I could forgive the too-wide arm holes, the bodice that hangs funny at the skirt, even the lack of a button or snap to hold the wrap top closed...but nothing gets me fuming more than dresses held together with loose overlocking. This isn't made of jersey, you could make proper hems and seams and finish them in a manner worthy of the price these dresses sell for. 

Yes, the print is nice, and gets compliments from strangers. That's not enough.  The fabric is a weird stretchy cotton sateen-ish material that instead of being comfortable feels like something that will stretch out and look like a rag after a few wears. It wrinkles horribly just sitting, and the fabric does not breathe. Perhaps that's why they put in such enormous armholes.

"Whoo wee, I'll just stand here in the breeze with my giant armholes and air out my pits. Don't mind me."

"That's better, fresh as a damn daisy."

I have arms like a dockworker, so if they were big on me, I don't really know who the target audience is.

I wish I could find something nice to say about this dress, but I can't. Because it is the only item I have tried from this company, I'm not offering this as a review- it is possible the item was bought in the sale, or it was advertised as, "Factory oops." I don't know, and I can only hope it isn't representative of the rest of their clothing line. I do understand why it ended up donated to the thrift store. Life's too short to spend it taking apart repro-clothing to make it fit somewhat okay. I rarely bother that much with true vintage. Anyway, I'm glad I didn't splash out big money on this dress. If I can muster the energy I might cut it down to a skirt.

For those of you that worried over the fate of the lamb cake's head. After the photo was snapped I marched the head to the table ceremoniously before the boys finished it off. I never did get around to using the bunny shaped tin. Oh well, next year.

Outfit Particulars:
1950's repro dress-Thrift World
Vintage wool cardiagn-New Life Thrift
Belt-Shop Ko
Shoes-K Mart
Vintage handbag-Salvation Army
Pink Bangle-Goodwill
Vintage beads-Hand-Me-Ups
Vintage clip earrings-Hand-Me-Ups
Flower-Tiff and Tam
Celtic brooch-Can't remember
Fragrance-None (sad face) it was allergy jab day (I don't like to subject the allergic to perfume)

We stopped by Hand-Me-Ups on the way home to donate some of Danny's outgrown clothes, and they had just put out a load of vintage patterns at ten cents each. I spent $4.50. For my money I came home with designer Vogue patterns (YSL, DVF, etc.) and a tonne of 50's and 60's Butterick and Simplicity. Most of them by some miracle were in my size (because grading a pattern is more work than I'm up to most days). The few smaller sized patterns that were too good to leave will be off to new homes shortly. I really did get a bit of an endorphin rush going through the patterns. A kind woman seeing how happy I was pointed out a few more boxes of patterns in the corner. I nearly fainted from excitement. It was that good. 
Danny seemed confused about how patterns work (he's never been interested enough to watch me cut one) so we're going to do a 1950's Western shirt I found today that's roughly his size (with some adjustments). I don't enjoy sewing men's shirts, but I think it will be a good project for us (mostly me) to do.  As great as the patterns were, the jewelry was even better. Here's a peek at some of what I found:
 Who remembers their Greek Mythology?
 Beautifully Carved screw-back earrings

A China brooch to match my earrings. That was lucky. 

Another brooch because I obviously don't have enough. You'd have bought that for .50 cents too. How could I say no?

As I was walking home this evening from the park, two gigantic vultures began circling low overhead. They followed me some distance. I tried screaming, "I'm not dead yet!" but they seemed rather intent on following me home. Vultures are such assholes. 


Vix said...

I love Athena's mate, the little owl! I'm a mythological tart and can watch Jason and The Argonauts till the cows come home.
The dress looks great despite the shoddy manufacture. I've seen lots of repro brands in chazzas here and am always horrified by the quality.
That's chazza karma, donate and good things will appear. Great score on the patterns. xxx

Polyester Princess said...

I have bought a few repro dresses in my time before vintage and believe me, they were not cheap even when in the sales, but many a time I was disappointed with the quality of the fabric and the finish. Love the jewellery, especially the owl earrings and I have some very similar ceramic brooches, which I bought in the UK last year. Good luck with the shirt! xxx

Bibi Maizoon said...

What brand is that repro dress? Repro 50's styles in crap fabric and questionable manufacture & design was soooo 80's. Anyway that dress looks fab on you despites it's issues.

Sewing from patterns is such a great lesson for kids. It's living architecture combined with the simple joy of making something with your own hands!

That china brooch is so sweet!


Goody said...

I loved that movie too!

@Polyester Princess
I'm sorry to hear you had a similar experience with repro. It is a tough thing to get right, I suppose.

I'm not going to name/shame them until I've had a chance to see some of their other offerings-that seems only fair. If you've been looking at repro dresses and want to avoid this company, drop me an email and I'll tell you who it is.

peppylady (Dora) said...

Stop in from Vix. I been looking for brooch lately and seem not to find them at our local thrift stores. But usual I come home with something interesting. Like a pair of birds that I can mount to our Christmas tree. I know it early.
Coffee is on

Mim said...

I love the owls! We have a lot on sale in the Roman Baths shop here as our goddess Sulis was linked to their Minerva, who was linked to Athena. Both those brooches are excellent too.

I agree with Vix; donate and good things will come your way. Danny will probably get really into sewing when he tries it; my husband had little interest in it till the BBC started showing Sewing Bee (a competition for home dressmakers) and then he realised there was all this technical stuff to do with drape and grain lines and darts, and now I swear he likes the programme more than I do. And once Danny's hooked, you can start your own one-child sweatshop producing GOOD 60s repro!

Big armholes in modern clothes drives me bananas too. I have a lot of front, so usually it means the armhole gets pulled forward giving the world a good view of the side of my bust. Good job I buy nice bras.

Beth Waltz said...

Drat the flaws in construction, because that dress does look well on you, especially since you've added the big flower and equally weighty pink bangle. But, yes, I'd save it for a skirt and be rid of the unfastened bodice and oversized armholes.

What a nice haul for the jewelry box! The Minervan owls are hooting for a chance to be worn with that classic drapery dress of yours.

Curtise said...

Well, at least you didn't pay full price for the shoddy dress - imagine the disappointment of the poor woman who bought it originally, only to donate it! Some items of clothing are just so annoying to wear, it isn't worth bothering with them. That said, the dress looks good, even if the quality and fit are dodgy.
Loving the jewellery, you have fantastic luck finding interesting bits and bobs. I see quite a lot of those floral porcelain brooches, but they are rarely in perfect condition, the petals and leaves get damaged so easily.
The pattern haul sounds exciting! Keep us posted on the shirt-sewing project.
Sorry to be so behind with commenting - I am struggling to keep all the plates spinning... Xxxx

Sue said...

I am having a massive catch up on your blog, and as usual you have been busy doing what you do best. Old pattern, what a score, do photograph some to show and tell!! Seeing you with bare arms is a good sign of good weather approaching your neck of the woods. We are starting to cover up down here, but I am refusing to let go of any notion that my summer has left. Now I have to read what I have missed from you, see you in a week!! Jokes!!

Goody said...

@Polyester Princess
There must be good repro out there, but thus far I haven't found any.

Thank you for stopping in.

*slaps head* why didn't I think of that-I can make the kid sew all my clothes. I knew there was a reason I had him ;)
Can you imagine punishing him for bad behaviour?
"You didn't clean up your room-go run me up a skirt!"
I sounded a bit like my mum there...scary.

If it ever warms up here, I'd love to wear that dress. Strange spring we're having.

This one does have a small chip to one of the leaves, but it is so small I don't care. I rarely wear the earrings for fear of damaging them.

I bin loads of inferior clothing these days as I wouldn't want to redonate something the next person will feel bad about. I consider it a public duty to get bad clothes out of circulation.

I promise to take good care of summer for you and return it in tip-top shape next year.

Vronni's Style Meanderings said...

Such a shame about the dress because the print is gorgeous! It will make a wonderful skirt.

I love your jewellery finds; I'm afraid I can't pass jewellery by and my brooch collection continues to grow, even though I don't wear brooches that often. Must rectify that.

What a marvellous haul of patterns - I hope you make some fab outfits with them. I've collected a few vintage (i.e. before decimalisation pre 1971) knitting patterns from my charity shop. I don't knit but I thought someone might find them useful. If we get any sewing patterns in I'll keep them for you - what size?