I realize that I missed my annual Christmas 1950s dress post – not for lack of sewing Christmas dresses, but for lack of time to photograph and blog about it! I still hope to share pictures soon, but I have something else to share first! Last year my husband and I had the amazing privilege of traveling to Israel, and naturally I *had* to sew a vintage dress for the trip! Israel is one of my favorite countries, and it holds a very special place in my heart.
So for a 1950s dress I planned to wear in Jerusalem, I spared no expense! 😉 I purchased five or six yards of a beautiful blue floral print designed by Gertie for Joann Fabrics, which reminded me very much of a watercolor Marc Chagall painting. I felt it was the perfect mixture of 1950s flair with a nod to the Jewish theme at the same time. For the bodice I chose a coordinating eyelet fabric, since that was one of the options on the pattern I was working with. (I’m sharing Instagram pictures below from the sewing process, so not all captions are present-day.)
A post shared by Katrina @ Edelweiss Patterns (@katrinaariana) on
Finally, I hand hemmed the yards of full skirt with tiny, invisible stitches. On such a colorful print I could have hidden larger stitches fairly easily, but it’s more fun to do an impeccable job!
I purposely chose the high boatneck and three-quarter length sleeve design not because of the weather (as it was absolutely stifling in Israel in late summer), but in order to be respectful of the Orthodox Jewish dress code that many religious Jews in the area observe. Orthodox women usually cover the neckline up to their collarbone and never let their arms show above their elbows.
For me personally, I don’t feel that it is wrong whatsoever to wear short sleeved or even sleeveless tops, but I think it’s important particularly when you are in foreign countries to do everything you can to not offend people or dress in a way that they feel is not appropriate. Israel is also a very secular country in many areas and there are lots of women who dress in typically modern fashion, but I wanted to try to stick to a more conservative dress code around Jerusalem since I was staying in the very heart of the Jewish quarter.
These pictures were taken directly outside the Israel Musuem which, among other things, houses the Dead Sea Scrolls. I learned to read Hebrew when I was a teenager, so going through this place and reading fragments of scrolls from the Bible dating back thousands of years was unbelievable!
The sun was shining so brightly on the white limestone that it was quite hard to not squint, and I was not wearing a crinoline petticoat at all. Between the lack of petticoat and the addition of sandals instead of high heels, this was definitely a rustic version of my usual 1950s outfit! But I absolutely loved wearing it in Jerusalem, and I’ll never forget the day I wore it there!
While in Israel I also had the chance to visit Middle Eastern fabric stores and pick up some gorgeous fabrics in Tel Aviv! That’s for another post if I find time, but you can see more pictures of my trip on my Instagram page if you scroll down several months. And if any of you are heading to Israel in the near future (which I highly recommend!), you must check out the fabric shops in Nachalat Binyamin!
Unfortunately, I just don’t have the time to update the blog as often as I did when I was single, but I do still sew prolifically! I do more actual wearing of my dresses to events in real life now that I’m a busy married woman, as opposed to blogging about them when I was single! 😉 But if you want to keep up on what I’m sewing, you can see regular updates over on my personal Instagram. I can’t promise when I’ll have the next pattern or post ready, but it will all happen!
Hope you all are having a wonderful 2017, and happy sewing!
“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: ‘May those who love you be secure. May there be peace within your walls and security within your citadels.” Psalm 122:6&7
Several years ago I mentioned that I was going to make a pattern for Liesl’s Edelweiss Dress as my next design. Well, life got awfully busy, and I haven’t been able to work on any new designs for a while. But this year, everything fell into place for me to finally put up pictures of the finished dress that I drafted and sewed! This is inspired by the dress Liesl wore during the “Edelweiss” scene. It is not an exact film costume replica, but it’s extremely similar! I literally spent dozens of hours just scrutinizing the design of the dress on screen before I sketched and designed this version.
The scalloped ruffles at the sleeves and neck proved to be a task – I didn’t like the size of the scallop stitch built into my sewing machine, and I couldn’t find any scalloped white cotton at that width… So since I didn’t have a die cutter, I cut all the scallops by hand and glued the raw edges of each scallop using FrayCheck. It was a project! The tiny purple flower appliques were as close as I could find to the film version. I searched far and wide for something like this, and eventually ordered these in bulk from France. They’re not identical, but as close as I could find without creating an embroidery design myself.
The thing I love about the original Dorothy Jeakins creation is that it perfectly blends the European dirndl charm with a slightly more refined almost-1940s look. You have the fitted bodice with all the piping and seams so common in dirndls , but the lack of printed cottons and bold colors tones down the “Octoberfest” look! 😉 Saul Chaplin (one of the associate producers on the film), once remembered that the production team had actually asked Dorothy Jeakins to *not* put any “fancy dirndls” in the film.
The skirt is very full and gathered, but it’s still quite lightweight to wear since the dress is made of a linen-cotton blend. I love the fit of this dress!
So now I come to the point which I’ve been asked for the last couple years over and over – “When is the pattern going to be ready?!” 😉 Well, here’s the thing of it – my schedule is so full between working, running a business, and running a house that I don’t have an awful lot of spare time. With how precious my time is right now, I would need to know that there are enough people who would be able to use it in order to make it worth the one hundred or so hours it would take me to put into grading, writing instructions, final testing, and drawing illustrations. SO -I am considering setting up a “pre-order” on Kickstarter to have a certain number of patterns on pre-order before I dive into publishing the pattern. Then again, if we didn’t have enough pre-orders for it to be worth my time, Kickstarter would refund you and/or you would not be charged. Assuming there is enough interest, I could have a goal of having this pattern out by spring of 2017!
Either way, this dress has been on my “dream sewing list” for years and I’m so thrilled to have it finished and photographed! And without giving too much away, I have reason to believe that one of the other most-requested Sound of Music dresses will be recreated by this spring here on the website as well…
I hope you all have a wonderful December, and I’ll see you in another week with my annual Christmas dress post!
I wanted to share some of my favorite things with you in a slightly random post today, as these things are very inspiring for me and I hope will be to you as well! These are a few of my favorite things in no particular order.
Flowers! ~ One can never have too many flowers. They lend so much beauty to wherever they are, and even in winter you can decorate your house with silk flowers from your local Joanns or Michaels.
This girl is a former ballerina with the New York City Ballet, and has one of the most beautiful websites and Youtube channels ever! She has an exquisite style, and does her makeup so elegantly – it’s quite similar to what I do on an everyday basis but I just love to watch them all the same. Oddly enough, she and I share a classmate from ballet – a girl I danced with down in Houston in about 2000 ended up joining the New York City Ballet the same year Kathryn did! Too funny! Kathryn is planning her wedding right now, and I just love her wedding videos as well! You can see her website here and her Youtube channel here.
This lady is basically a living 1950s housewife who dresses vintage every day and makes the most adorable cooking and homemaking videos! She was a big encouragement to me after I became a wife last year, and suddenly was in charge of a three story town-home to keep track of and three meals a day to cook while working and running a small business! 😉 I really love how she encourages women to not get so busy taking care of the house that they forget to do things that will inspire and refresh them. Her website is here and her Youtube is here.
This lady is one of the top makeup artists in the world and has a delightful British accent! She’s done makeup for members of the royal family and many other famous people. I’ve learned so much from watching her videos over the last couple years, and she has a wonderful vintage makeup section on her channel as well! Her knowledge of makeup is amazing, and she’s really an artist in the truest sense of the word. Not all the makeup looks are something I would wear, but there are a lot of classy and gorgeous ones, too.
An absolutely stunning website that offers some of the loveliest jewelry you’ll ever see. I discovered this brand on a trip to Israel several years ago, and I’ve been a fan ever since. The items are handmade in Israel in almost Victorian style. They’re a bit pricey, but absolutely gorgeous! Love this website! <3
There’s no official website for this one, but don’t we all need to take a break every once in a while and have a good cup of tea and a scone or two?
English Country Dancing is one of my current favorites, although my husband and I like to swing dance from time to time as well! As Frank Churchill (from Emma) once said, “There are simply not enough opportunities to dance”, but if you search around there might be a good group in your area you can join! If not, why not start a small group with a few friends and learn some of your favorite Jane Austen dances from Youtube tutorials? You never know if it might take off.
While some may think these are frivolous, I’ve found I feel sooo much better while doing housework, sewing, and typing when my nails are professionally manicured. It gives you a fun thing to look forward to every two to three weeks, and even though I’ve always had strong nails I find my nails perform so much better and don’t get hangnails when I have them professionally done. You can get a Gelish nail polish manicure for around $25, and after a tip that’s around $10 a week if you get them done every three weeks. There’s something so refreshing about getting your nails done, and they make me happy every time I see them when I’m typing for hours at a time. (More picture ideas on my Pinterest board.)
So there you have it! A few of my favorite things! I’ve realized there are so many things that make me happy that I really have enough ideas for two or three posts… Maybe I’ll find time to do some more of these inspiration posts in the near future!