About Jessica

Welcome to my blog! I am a 1950s fashionista living in the modern world. Everyday is a new discovery and I look forward to sharing my love of vintage with all of you.

Colour is the Fruit of Life

What happens when the thing you have the biggest aversion to is combined with something you have a serious weak spot for? Throw caution to the wind and be a little reckless right?!? That is exactly what I did when I decided to take the leap with the Jade Fruity Swing Dress by Collectif. If anyone looks into my closet, they would be hard pressed to find anything in black but instantly see a rainbow of vibrant colours with lots of delicious fruity prints.

Available in sizes 6-22UK ~ MSRP £75.00

Lately with my waistline fluctuating, I wanted to be certain the Jade Fruity Swing Dress would fit comfortably therefore I ordered a size 10UK. To my surprise, it fit quite generously and I could have likely sized down even with my 28″ waist. Luckily the matching wide belt allows you to cinch in the waist for a perfect fit.  The Jade Fruity Swing Dress features lovely sweetheart bodice with princess seams, double adjustable straps with bow detail, a full skirt with pockets and back zippered closure. The skirt is adorned with delightful pineapple, banana and strawberry trims. At 5′-4″ tall, the hemline falls just below the knees.

Collectif really got me to see past my strong aversion to the colour black when they designed the Jade Fruity Swing Dress. For some reason I expected a lightweight cotton summer dress but was really pleasantly surprised by the substantial weight and structure of the design. The fabulous stretch cotton sateen makes this dress superior in quality and very figure flattering I must add. The subtle sweetheart neckline is quite modest for us bustier ladies and of course the adjustable straps are a huge win for us petite ladies too.  It is the perfect mix of classic with a little pizazz; I simply adore their unique twist with the  fruity rick rack trim detail. Needless to say, it was a huge hit while on vacation in the Caribbean too…the staff complimented everywhere I went and a couple said I looked like island girl.

Of course my natural instinct was to play up the bold tropical colours in the fruity print when accessorizing Jade Fruity Swing Dress. Pairing the ensemble with a 1940s inspired red turban by Sarah’s Doo Wop Dos, Vintage Bakelite jewelry in yellow, red, green,  and black along with the fabulous Lulu Hun Simona Wedges in yellow. These wedges are super comfortable and versatile to pair with any ensemble. I comfortably fit in a UK4, which converts to a size 37 and I typically wear a 6.5-7US. (Available in sizes 3-8UK ~ MSRP £35.75)

Sometimes we can really surprise ourselves by the simple joy of trying a new style that turns out to really boost your inner confidence. The Jade Fruity Swing Dress made me feel fabulous again after suffering from major winter blues. I have a funny feeling the Simona Wedges are going to quickly become a staple in my colourful summer wardrobe.

Sew Much Fabric, Sew Little Time…

How often do we all make new year resolutions are never stick to them? Earlier in 2018, I shared some of my personal goals for 2018 which included taking more time for myself doing something I enjoy. Thankfully that new found commitment  encouraged me to finally sign up for Beginners Sewing Classes at a local shop. Of course I always have big ambitions, I decided my first project would be Gertie’s B6453 Swing Dress Pattern.

My first visit to the local fabric store was so much fun to say the least. I browsed every aisle looking for prints that might jump out to me….floral, fruits, novelty prints, border prints, etc. From the moment I spotted this darling bird print fabric with colourful autumn leaves and berries, I knew it was meant to be. Of course I happened to be smitten by a stunning border floral panel print fabric as well, so that also came home with me for a future project. Next up was picking out the coordinating sewing notions for the B6453 Swing Dress; 2 spools of thread, 14″ zipper, adjustable bra strap rings and a yard of interfacing.

At my first class, I immediately saw that the other ladies were starting off with much more basic projects like pillow cases, kids clothing, aprons, etc. since most had little to no sewing experience but I was absolutely determined to make this dress over the next 10 weeks. With the aid of my teacher, she showed me how to “read” my sewing pattern and the proper placement for cutting out the fabric. After class I did a little homework online and found Gertie’s Sew Along Tutorial for the B6453 Dress. That is when I quickly realized I had cut out the wrong size of my pattern (too big) because the envelope measurements were incorrect. Long story short, I bought another B6453 Pattern and decided to trace it out instead of cutting into the original. Gertie’s tutorial also recommended making a muslin bodice to ensure the fit is right before cutting into your good fabric.

For the next couple classes, I worked on the mock up muslin bodice and learned how to do princess seams, darting, serging, installing a zipper, etc. The moment of truth finally came when I tried on the muslin bodice and it fit perfectly. I was pretty amazed and excited to move onto making my actual dress. Over the next 5 weeks, I saw my creation come to life. Week after week, my teacher coached me through the various steps and gave me tricks to make the most complicated steps feel much less daunting to master. I also continued to reference Gertie’s tutorial as well, I found her tips very helpful when sewing at home with no teacher by my side. Once I reached making the gathered skirt, it was not too long before my dress was nearly complete.

Although this was my first sewing project, I was adamant to get each step perfect…my OCD would not accept anything less. With sewing, you must have A LOT of patience. If you don’t get it right the first time, or second or third, patience will pay off when you finally nail it. There are a few steps along the way that I had to undo my work more than once but I was so happy that I took the time to redo it to be just right. Let me tell you, sewing the zipper in took 4 very frustrating tries but each time I learned something quite valuable for the next attempt. Every session, my classmates were eager to see the progression of my dress and just waiting for the final reveal.

After 8 weeks, my dress was finally complete and it was pretty AMAZING!  I know that may seem like a long time but our 2 hour weekly classes always flew by and I unfortunately didn’t have much time at home to work on it. All in all, I am beyond proud of what I accomplished over those two months and have a beautiful new dress to show off. There are couple small adjustments I plan on doing to the waist for a snugger custom fit but it is very wearable as is. Since learning new stops, I decided to enroll in the next session of classes and cannot wait to see my next project come to life. Stay tuned…